Whole world seems to be in a turmoil. COVID 19 has affected almost all countries and millions have lost jobs, are sick, crippled or dead. Total cost of this epidemic could run in to trillions of US dollars. Climate change is causing disastrous forest fires, floods, draughts etc., but world leaders have given little more than lip service. China is trying to take over foreign territories, utilizing slave labor to produce cheap products and create wealth. Russia, China and Iran are interfering in US elections. Under the leadership of Putin, Russians are trying to take over parts of other European countries. People are trying to flee their country because of poverty, starvation, crime, political turmoil, etc. Little children are asked by their parents to leave their villages and travel thousand miles on their own to go to USA for a better life. Thousands die in Mediterranean Sea fleeing from North Africa and Middle-East. Since World War II, US has been involved in armed conflicts in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc. Pakistan started to fight with India right from the day of its creation and later called this policy “Death by Thousand cuts”. Countries of the world have enough nuclear weapons to blow up Mother Earth many times over. Corporate and our personal greed has created pollution and climate change never seen before. Hope this chaos does not end up in another ‘war to end all wars’. Most intelligent species in the history of the world has created monumental problems which could end up destroying all life on earth.
How have we created this situation? Have governments of the world failed to serve their people? Where is the world heading towards? Is there a way out of this chaos in the world? Can we change this disastrous situation?
There are many different styles of governing a country from Autocracy / Theocracy / Monarchy- one person rule to Democracy when a government is elected by majority of people. Then there are economic systems like Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, etc. Countries have changed from one style or system to another but history tells us that all have ultimately degenerated, deteriorated and failed. The communist regimes of former USSR and present day China have killed millions of their own people, invaded other countries and spread their ideology by catchy slogans and false promises. Even in democratic countries like US, Canada, UK & Europe people are ruled by a few leaders supported by powerful large industries, religious groups, rich billionaires and/or the Military Industrial complex. There have been many prophets who have established different religions, proposed different ‘God’-s for their followers to worship. This has created divisions and wars to establish one religious group’s superiority over non-followers resulting in millions of people dying or taken as slaves.
India forgot the teachings of her own Guru-s (Master Teachers) and stopped to live by Dharm (code of ethics and morality). Rulers in India failed to protect the country when it was invaded by foreigners. Some others, out of greed, joined forces with the invaders and betrayed their own people. As a result, for more than a thousand years, India was invaded by many foreigners who then ruled over with a very heavy hand. Foreign invaders tried their best to destroy Bhāratiy culture so that they can rule over India for ever and exploit her human and natural resources. India became impoverished – materially, physically, morally, and spiritually.
Even after her independence, our own people in power followed the ideology established in foreign lands without giving any serious consideration to negative outcome of foreign Socialist / Communist doctrines, foreign religions, text books written by foreigners and the policy of ‘Divide and Rule’. Even today, there are intellectuals educated in elite schools glorifying these very destructive concepts. These ideas and ideals have also been promoted by Indian educational institutions, political parties, foreign Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) and religious denominations. It is like a ‘fatal attraction’ that a moth has for a flame that only leads to destruction.
Why Governments Fail?
How and why did so many countries with different systems of governments and ideologies fail to thrive and survive for very long?
ॐ ईशावास्यमिदम् सर्वं यत् किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।
तेन त्यत्त्केन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्य स्विद् धनम् ॥१॥
“ॐ Ishāvāsya-idam sarvam yat-kincha jagatyām jagat
Téna tyakténa bhunjithā mā grudah kasya svid dhanam”
God pervades all this (the whole universe).
Enjoy what He gives you. Do not steal wealth of others.
Ishāvāsy Upanishad, 1
When a king, country, religious leader or a community becomes greedy and tries to take away other community’s wealth or way of life by violent or unethical means; the end result is a disaster. Greed of political and religious leaders to acquire wealth and power can lead to violence and war.
Védic scriptures describe seven major human weaknesses – greed, fear, anger, hate, jealousy, selfish desires (to gain wealth, power and prestige) and arrogance. One or more are reflected in State Policy depending upon the traits of the dictator, King, Prime Minister or President. Just as an individual has to face the consequences of his/her actions (karm phal कर्म फल), every community or country has to face consequences of the sum total of their actions. ‘Good’ thoughts and ‘good’ actions have ‘good’ consequences. True history will show us that each and every country or civilisation was afflicted by one or more these seven weaknesses before their fall. Of all the weaknesses, greed and selfish desires are very common faults among the leaders and traitors.
If we want to learn lessons from our history books, we need to find narratives written by honest, truthful and knowledgeable historians. A lot of history books used in educational institutions are biased in favour of a country or ideology or religion.
Through their educational system and news media, the British created and perpetuated myths to make all Indians feel inferior to Europeans and facilitate their rule. Gāndhi and many other leaders realised that the British historians wrote scholarly articles and books to show how great and benevolent they were towards people in their colonies.
“They have habit of writing history; they pretend to study the manners and customs of all peoples… They write about their own researches in most laudatory terms and hypnotise us into believing them. We in our ignorance then fall at their feet.”
- K. Gāndhi in “Hind Swaraj”, 1909”
Young minds are very easily impressed by what they learn in schools. In Canada, the Government abducted young children of Indigenous people and forced them to live in Residential schools to ‘civilize’ them, not speak their language and forget their way of life. Now Indigenous people are the poorest, with least life expectancy, high rates of alcoholism and incarceration in jails. When children constantly read and hear that their ancestors were barbarians, of inferior intelligence or moral values then they grow up with an inferiority complex and don’t do well in life. Childhood education is very important.
We have become so used to listening to and believing in foreign experts that I will mention one quote of foreign historian and intellectual to make my suggestion more convincing.
“At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way of salvation is the ancient Indian (Hindu) way. Here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together into a single family.”
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889-1975)
British historian, author of ‘A Study of History’
Here, I presume, he is talking about our ancient teaching:
अयं बन्धुरयंनेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।
उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥ ६:७१ ॥
Ayam bandhuh ayam néti gańanāṁ laghuchetsāṁ
Udāracharitānāṁ tu vasudhaiva kutumbakaṁ
A (spiritually) less evolved person says ‘This is a friend. That one is not.’
To a broad minded (spiritually evolved) person the whole world is a family.
The concept ‘whole world is a family’ was established in India a few thousand years before all the prophets appeared on this earth and when rest of the world was still in ‘hunter-gatherer’ stage of evolution.
“India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages, she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all”
Will Durant (1885 – 1981)
Pulitzer Prize winning American Historian
Source: India TV News
There are many other learned men of the West who have studied our scriptures and literature with similar opinions but we don’t read or hear about them in our schools and universities. This is where the ‘New Education Policy’ (NEP) of the Government of India comes in. The Union Human Resource Development Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said that the country’s ‘new education policy was going to be based on Vedic knowledge-science’ (Swarajya Magazine, May 10, 2020). Our (Bhāratiy or Indian) roots go much further than what we have learnt in history books written by foreigners or Indians who have blindly followed everything taught by them. Western history does not go beyond 4,000 years because according to them the world was created at that time. Recent findings are deliberately kept out of the text books. Mahābhārat War, for example, took place in 3,100 BCE (more than 5,000 years ago). After the war, Bheeshm Pitāmah tells Pāndav princes ‘how to rule a kingdom’ according the principles of Védic Dharm:
“Dharm exists for the welfare of all beings. Hence, that by which the welfare of all living beings is sustained, that for sure is Dharm.”
From the Mahabharat (Shanti Parva 109.10)
English translation by Kamala Subramaniam
For everyone the message is ‘live your life according to morals and ethics prescribed in Védic Dharm’. This is especially important for our leaders so as to convince ordinary citizens ‘what is right and what is wrong’. Cultural heritage is the real strength of India. All of us need to make maximum effort to preserve it by learning, practicing and passing it on to the next generation. It should be taught to all young children in all schools and universities. This knowledge does not belong to any particular religion – it is universal. If it is practiced in India, the world will hopefully follow. In modern times Indians taught the world Yog Āsan-s and Meditation. These practices have been found to be so useful that medical professionals from all religious denomination are recommending them for mental and physical health. In the same way Sanskrut (Sanskrit), Bhagavad Gitā, episodes from Rāmāyan, Mahābhārat, Bhāgvatam, etc.; should be taught in schools in India and the world will follow. In Switzerland all children learn four languages. Some private British schools teach Sanskrut. Why can’t India improve the quality of education for all her children? The Government of India by proposing the New Education Policy has taken a bold step in the right direction. Hope all those who want peace and prosperity in the world would support these new initiative and may all the forces of evil against world peace and prosperity be defeated.
This is an extract from the book “Vedic Dharma: by Dr. Arun J Mehta. Read the full book for free here.