Human intellect and other sensory faculties decline with passage of TIME. As a result, the sum total of all 'modern' knowledge is far from perfect and is faulty. That is why new solutions to problems facing mankind is ineffective, and these new solutions generate even more difficulties for mankind.
MOTHER/SERVICE ECONOMY is
here explicated by an ‘economist’ who took his B.Sc in Business
Administration from Syracuse University USA
and Masters Degree in Public Finance from Columbia University. Mother Economy is based only on
Truth & Non-violence. The
following paragraphs sizes up various
economic perspectives and behaviors, starting with animals, and thereafter
mapping similar behavior patterns onto individual humans and subsequently groups,
organizations and even nations. At the end it becomes clear that Mother Economy
differs entirely from Modern
Conventional Economic Theory and Practices.
Economic activities may be
grouped under five categories, after careful observation of certain actions,
connected to foraging (food) and shelter, of
animals around us.
- An animal or plant
which lives in or on another and draws
its nutriment directly from it,
harming it in the process is called parasitic. Eg Tiger.
It gets its food by killing other animals. And it consumes without
is predatory behavior ? Given to or living
by plunder or marauding, ruthlessly acquisitive at the expense of others,
rapacious, exploitative, unfairly competitive or aggressive in business- these
are the dictionary definitions of predatory behavior. Eg. Monkey. The monkey
does not kill the source of its food but takes what is available. Here also
there is consumption without production. Both the monkey and the tiger
mentioned above are self-centered. They have no sense of duty. They act only in terms of their hunger-selfishness and
self-centeredness based on rights.
(3)Enterprising Stage – Here there is a balancing of
rights and duties. The consumption of certain things is done after
self-production. Eg. A bird building its own nest, to lay eggs.
Here there is an excess of a sense of duty as against a feeling of
right. Eg : A bee collecting honey and depositing the same in the honey comb ,
which could be used by the other bees also. Production is greater than
consumption and the surplus is meant for others. There is an excess sense of
duty as against a feeling of right .
(5)Mother Economy or Service Economy – Suppose that the
eggs in the nest got hatched and baby
birds are born. The mother bird flies
around and collects whatever food it can find, and brings it to the nest to
feed the baby birds. It does this to keep the tiny birds alive, allowing it to
grow. And does this action/karma without expecting any return or reward.
That is, without giving any thought to the result or fruits of karma, the
bird is mechanically doing its duty towards
its young. This action is wholly motivated by a sense of duty. This is what may
be called a Mother Economy or Service Economy.
correspondence between the above five behavior patterns of
animals/birds TO human economic activities
(individual stage) may be drawn out.
activity- In the parasitic stage, consumption is all self-centered and right-centered, and takes place without
production. It also mostly results in physical harm/violence to the host or
victim, leading to death. Eg. Thieves and robbers, murdering for gain.
activity – Here also there is consumption without production, but physical violence is almost
absent. Eg. The thieving by a
activity – Example is subsistencefarming:
serving only to support the farmer's household directly without producing a
significant surplus for trade. What is produced is consumed.
economic activity – The Hindu Joint Family system affords an instance of
gregarious economy. The brother works, not for himself but for the whole family. The individual
works and he does not think that the wealth created belongs to him
personally because he himself has
5.Service Economy –
A mother is the best instance of this. The mother works for the child. She does
not expect any return. SERVICE IS ITS OWN REWARD. (But in these trying
times (modern/post-modern/Kaliyuga), even mothers and fathers are
expecting to be taken care of in old-age. In many cases the expectations are
much above this ‘threshold-level’.)
The above economic activities applied to group
life, to MNC’s, in government, in nations etc may be considered.
“Group life based on destruction of life
or the suppression of the rights of other people- which Imperialism is,
is jungle economy. By this other countries are subjugated and the mighty get
something out of the weak. It is a parasite economy
(1) India had been subjected politically
to Great Britain. This is an illustration of Parasite economy
(2) Economic subjugation of others -Financial
penetration of America is a good instance of predatory economy.
(3) Enterprise – The agricultural
economy which had been practised in our country in olden days is an
instance of the enterprising economy . It is a self-sufficient economy.
(4) Gregarious economy -Soviet Russia And
Nazi Germany come under this category to a large extent.
(5) We do not have in history an instance
of a stage of ServiceEconomy , but Gandhiji was working towards
FIVE STAGES OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOUR REFLECTED IN OUR DAILY LIVES
“These five stages can be found in our
individual daily action also. It is easy to laugh at others, but when we come
to think of ourselves, we are sometimes tigers, sometimes monkeys,
sometimes this and sometimes that. When we eat untidily, and throw out all sorts
of things, we belong to the tiger stage. We should ask each night as to
how many times during the day we have been a tiger, etc., and if
there is a growing tendency towards the mother economy, we are
moving towards civilization. Otherwise, we are going towards the jungle
VARNASHRAMA AND ITS ADJUNCTS – THE BASIS
OF THIS SYSTEM OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS.
“The analysis given is nothing very novel,
because it is found in the Hindu order of society. You have the Mlechchas,
Shudras, Vaishyas, Kshatriyas,and Brahmins . If your desire is to help
your fellowmen, even though you may be a Mlechha by birth, you belong to
the Brahmin group. If you are born a Brahmin and are doing Government service,
for the fat salary you get you are in effect a Mlechcha. These Mlechchas are at
the tiger stage. The Shudras are predatory. The Vaishyas, who deal justly,
belong to the enterprising stage. The Vaishya, who gives wrong weights and
measures, belongs to the tiger economy. The mill-owners belong to the tiger
economy. If we divide our society into these five broad stages,
based on actions and not birth, it is possible for the Mlechcha
to be a Brahmin in the service of his fellowmen. Gandhiji's plan was to
develop human beings step by step from the Mlechcha plane onwards to the
Brahmin stage. The upward progress will be according to one's moral and
physical development. That is the purpose of all education. At the time when
rights disappear and duties take their place, we reach the Brahmin or service
DR. J.C KUMARAPPA This Economic Analysis was done by
1960). The last three major paragraphs (within inverted commas, sans the
Sub-headings) are borrowed per-se (rather quoted) from the book of
J.C.Kumarappa, published in 1951. Book
Name is ‘Gandhian Economic Thought’ and this resource is available on-line. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/8693162/Gandhian-Economic-Thought-by-JCKumarappa)Dr.
Kumarappa is frank enough to acknowledge that the original source/inspiration of his fundamental economic thoughts were obtained
from knowledge and observations of ‘the Hindu order of society’. And he had
with abandon used all the technical terms related to Varna-ashrama-dharma.
Kumarappa’s caution regarding the US. (where he did higher studies)
Kumarappa was also perfectly aware that in
the post-War era, British imperialism was being replaced by American
imperialism. His analysis of the 'financial imperialism' of the United States
and its modus operpandi, written in 1953, remains fully valid after
six decades. "Britain came to India with a feudal background ....which
took the form of political imperialism. ...A little later came the Americans.
They appeared on the scene with a tradition of slavery. Hence their mode of
control of 'underdeveloped' countries took on a different colour to the British
one. They are following a financial imperialism, which is practically
irresponsible for the welfare of those who come under its grip....
"The USA is proceeding on various
plans to entrap the nations by guile, by compulsion, by coercion and financial
entanglements. These methods are not calculated to liberate its victims but to
carry on its nefarious purposes like the spider. The webs are woven so well and
close that the victim hardly realizes what is happening, and all its struggles
only make the end come sooner....
"At the present time America
represents the menace to the world. It is leading in active violence all over
the east of Asia, and if we wish to halt this danger, we should knock at the
very roots of war. This will mean giving up the use of products of centralized
industries, and in particular the use of all American-made articles."
(source of above three paragraphs http://www.frontierweekly.com/articles/vol-45/45-14-17/45-14-17-Back%20to%20Basics.html
Final Days Spent at Gandhi Niketan Ashram at T.Kallupatti,
Madurai Dist, T.N
Vinoba Bhave, while on his Bhoodan march
went to see Kumarappa in 1956. Kumarappa took Vinobaji into his hut. In the hut was a picture of Mahatma Gandhi. When Vinoba
looked at the picture with affection and concentration, Kumarappa broke the
silence and said, 'He is my master' and pointing at another one he said, 'And
here is my master's master'. That picture was of a poor farmer.
On 30 January 1960 evening Kumarappa breathed his last and merged
with the soul of his Master. (Gandhiji’s death anniversary falls on 30th
Jan) (source of the last two paragraphs http://www.mkgandhi.org/associates/jck.htm)
Here is a book-review, giving us an idea of its
contents. The question raised in the book (highlighted in yellow) is
fallacious !!! (to put it mildly). The paragraphs occurring before the
question, are on track. But the question itself and the offered
solutions to the question raised, are preposterous, judging the contents.
Consider the following sentence from the review. (red color text) “Our economic activities
are becoming information-dependent and many products and technologies process
only information and so consume less energy.” Our own experiences belies this
sentence !!! Just try to recollect the number of computers and printers we
(only ourselves) had changed/thrown-out/exchanged in the last say ten years.
Obsolescence is the twin-brother of technology, and generates
lot of wastage. From the tenor of the review, we are lead to conclude that the
authors have not fully understood what entropy really is and thus this
book is bound to mislead.
Many sins are committed in the name of development. We are
becoming aware that much of what were hailed as achievements over the past few
centuries were actually “sordid boons.” Curiously, the words ecology and economics have a common root, okios , which means ‘habitat’ in
ancient Greek. But dialogues between economists and
ecologists/environmentalists on how to achieve development with the least
incomprehension of, and violence to, habitat have been of recent origin.
The strain imposed by development has been measured using a
number of Indicators. In its report released on September 27, 2013, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that the warming of the
climate system is unequivocal — oceans have warmed, snow and ice have
diminished, sea level has risen and greenhouse gases have increased — and there is a 95 per cent chance
it is all manmade. The living planet index based on a number of
indicators of biodiversity has fallen in the poorer countries. Materials
Footprint is increasing by 6 per cent for every 10 per cent increase in GDP.
Earth Overshoot Day is the day every year when we have consumed natural
resources at a rate beyond what our planet can replenish and have produced more
waste than can be reabsorbed. In 1970 it fell on December 29. Advanced by two
days every year, it fell on August 20 in 2013.
Physical and social sciences
and social sciences together must address the problems of growth and its
implications. To the growing community of scholars who are equally
at home in both sciences, the book’s emphasis on “the role of entropy law of
thermodynamics in making the basic assumptions regarding a development model”
is encouraging. Frederic Soddy
(not mentioned in the book), a Nobel-prize winning chemist, was the first to
introduce thermodynamics into economics. Working with Rutherford, he
split the atom and was the first to produce and name isotopes. Aware of the
destructive power he unleashed, he wanted to improve the economic system, which
was not in a position to act on scientific advances. So he shifted his career
to economics and came up with radical ideas in the 1920s. He was derided by economists and
none of them quoted him for 70 years, but he was rediscovered recently.
book makes the point that development increases entropy, and asks: “Can growth
of human knowledge and technological progress reverse the effects of entropy
law and delink economic growth and rise of entropy?”
The role of knowledge and human values in directing
development cannot be over-emphasised. Our economic
activities are becoming information-dependent and many products and
technologies process only information and so consume less energy. The
internet changed the way we consume energy. To what extent can we uncouple
economic growth from energy growth? How soon can we have a grid of wind, solar,
geothermal and tidal energy, and next-generation nuclear fission and fusion,
and energy from nuclear waste? Advanced diesel engines with low
compression ratio and the consequent benefits resulting in much higher fuel
efficiency, and electric transport, can prove game- changers. We can prospect
for materials in space colonies. These involve uncertainties and we must also
get better at technology forecasting.
Clean technologies with minimal reduction in productivity
are the concern of all countries: a rise of 2.5 per cent in global temperature
will reduce agricultural productivity by 6 per cent in America but by 38 per
cent in India.
The author covers comprehensively 14 interrelated topics
relevant to the title of the book. A background in mathematics is needed to
understand the concept of sustainable development and the ideas of Partha
Dasgupta and Nardhaus. There is even a mathematical model to choose an optimum
family size (my next wedding present!). The data in the book refer mostly to
India, although a few tables draw information from the International Energy
Agency, the World Bank and the UN.
Among some minor blemishes, the description of
photosynthesis is sketchy. In the accompanying chemical equation — the only
equation in the book — a chemical formula is written without saying it means
glucose. It is hoped that the next edition will have more recent data in the
tables. In the current edition, some of the data go back to the 1990s.
The book will appeal to researchers in the area of development
economics and policy analysts /makers and succeed as a textbook . Hopefully, it will stir the
conscience of a new generation.
( N. Balasubramanian is Advisor, Centre for Study of
Science, Technology and Policy, Bangalore )
Interpreter:Dr. Sankaranarayanan and (below) a sample of Brahmi script.Photos: M. Karunakaran and V.V. Krishnan
RESEARCHER His knowledge of Sanskrit and history bring to light new perspectives. Suganthy Krishnamachari
Dr. S. Sankaranarayanan was an epigraphist with the Archaeological Survey of India for 21 years, director of the Oriental Research Institute, Tirupati, for 10 years, former Honorary Director, Adyar Library, and a recipient of the Presidential award for Sanskrit (1994).
Now 88, he greets me with “Mangalaanibhavantu.” As he talks on various subjects, one wonders why he didn’t make it to the top in government service. “I did not know how to move with officialdom,” he says. He is frank, perhaps a further disqualification.
After traditional learning in a Veda Pata Sala, Sankaranarayanan studied tarkka in the Ponnambala Pillai Sanskrit school, Chidambaram. One of the papers in Sironmani was Comparative Philology, and Sankaranarayanan’s professor advised him to study English, of which Sankaranarayanan’s knowledge was nil. So he taught himself English, and was enchanted by the language.
After his Matriculation and Inter exams, in which he scored high marks in English, he applied to Annamalai University, and was allotted History. “I wanted English major. But Vice Chancellor, Sir C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer said that with my background in Sanskrit, if I did history, I could be a good researcher.”
After completion of the course, Sankaranarayanan joined ASI. Dr. D.C. Sircar, who interviewed him, was to say in later years, “I appointed a diamond.”
When Sankaranarayanan was posted in Mysore, he did his Ph.D in Karnatak University, Dharwad.
Just as Sir C.P. had predicted, Sankaranarayanan’s background in Sanskrit and his strong footing in history, enabled him to look at history from new angles. He says that his theories in some cases are only inferential, but, as he points out, a lot of history is inferential.
Sankaranarayanan says that all Indian scripts are the progeny of Brahmi. Although the Vedas and Vedanga texts were learnt orally, there must have been a script in existence. How could works such as Panini’s Astahdyayi and Yaska’s Nirukta have been possible without a tradition of writing long before their time? He points to a passage in the Aitareya Aranyaka, which says that students should not learn the Vedas by writing in ink, or scratching on clay tablets or leaves, or by engraving on stones. If there had been no script, why should there be an injunction against writing? (A logical query)
Amarasimha in his thesaurus refers to Panini’s bhasha as Bharati Bhasha - a language having a pan-Indian presence, and labels Brahmi as a synonym for this language - Brahmi tu Bharati Bhasha . Brahmi, according to Sankaranarayanan, must once have been the name of Sanskrit and the script later took on this name. Sankaranarayanan edited the earliest Sanskrit inscription in South India. This is from a pillar in Guntupalli, in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. It is significant, because it belongs to the time of Salankayana King Nandivarman II (the last quarter of the 4th century A.D.), when Sanskrit replaced Prakrit once and for all in epigraphs in South India in general.
Sankaranarayanan says that Sankara’s biggest achievement was was that he established Vedanta as a separate Sastra, independent of Mimamsa.
Sankaranarayanan believes that a careful study of Sankara’s works indicates that he must have lived before 500 A.D. He also cites a copper plate inscription from Sanjeli, Gujarat, dating to about 506 A.D., in defence of his theory, although other epigraphists have interpreted the inscription differently. The inscription says King Bhuta granted two villages to an institution called ‘Bhagavatpaadaayana’- that is, the temple of one Bhagavatpaada. The inscription says that the villages given as an agrahara, were reclassified and redesignated as ‘parivraajakabhojya’, and the use of this expression is important, for ‘parivraajakabhojya’ means land given to a Brahmin ascetic of the Paramahamsa order. Sankaranarayanan says the Brahmin ascetic referred to here must have been Adi Sankara.
Women and sacrifices
Another inscription with regard to which Sankaranarayanan differs from the editors, relates to a widowed Queen Nagamnika, who, according to a first century B.C. inscription, performed Vedic sacrifices. The editors felt something must have been missing in the epigraph, for it was unthinkable that a woman would have been allowed to perform sacrifices. But Sankaranarayanan says there were some Mimamsa schools that allowed women to perform sacrifices. The Vedic injunction is ‘svarga kaamo yajeta’- he who desires heaven should perform sacrifices. Now svarga kaamah is masculine gender, and so it was concluded that only men could perform sacrifices. But the school of Badarayana argued that this was not the right interpretation, for there is also an injunction – saranaagato rakshitavyah- he who has taken refuge must be protected. Does this mean a woman who seeks refuge must be turned away? Nagamnika might have followed the Badarayana school, says Sankaranarayanan.
Sarabasvaamin, the author of the Mimamsa Bhasya, made caustic remarks about men, who intoxicated with love for their wives, allowed them to perform sacrifices. Why would he make such an observation, if women did not perform sacrifices? Interestingly, Sarabasvaamin and Nagamnika were not far apart in time. Nagamnika, according to the inscription, performed 15 Vedic sacrifices, including Asvamedha and Rajasuya.
Talking about the date of the Kurukshetra war, Sankaranarayanan says that if one tries to reconcile all possible evidence, one is inclined to conclude that there was not one war, but two! He rejects the suggestion that the war may have been totally fictional. He admits that what we have is a highly embroidered account, but the core of the story must be true. But if there had been two wars, why would all accounts talk of only one? “If you did not have a proper account of the two World wars, but the memory of the wars was kept alive through stories, then would you not get confused and think of the two wars as one? That’s what must have happened in the case of the Kurukshetra war.” He argues that one war took place in the 25th century B.C. and the other in 10th century B.C.
As for Sanskrit education, he says the new found dislike of Sanskrit is purely political. Is it not possible to have regard for both Sanskrit and Tamil, he asks. In this context, he says that the Vaishnava commentator, Periavachan Pillai, through his Manipravala commentary, did a great service.
Sankaranarayanan has an unusual interpretation of the Ahalya episode in the Ramayana. He says later literature did a grave injustice to the Vedic God Indra, by portraying him as a villain. Halya means cultivable land. When the rains fail, the land is Ahalya- uncultivated. Indra is the god of rain. Will not the land delight when it rains? So must we see Ahalya’s delight in Indra, for when it rains, she once again becomes cultivable, he explains. But what is Rama’s role then? “He restored agriculture to the land.”
Dr. Sankaranarayanan is currently working on a book titled ‘Sri Sankara and his bhashya in a historical perspective’. He has already typed 1,000 pages and has more to do.
Karma and re-birth put together is the primary consideration of the Bagavad Gita. For re-birth, karma-vasana is a necessity. An enquiry is made here, as to whether karma-vasanas exist !!!!
B.Gita is supposed to be a ‘shastra’ , and its primary
consideration is theory and practice of Karma aiming at
unconditional and permanent bliss. This permanent bliss is possible only
after the attainment of complete freedom, ie, freedom from all karmas.
This is a state , which is before the manifest stage. That is, in the realm of
the absolute consciousness (poorna-bodham). Thus it denotes a
pre-materialistic stage. The Gita vouches that this stage is attainable.ie one
can evolve from the embodied to the disembodied form.
birth /death fall in the realm of Karma. The cycle of birth and death as
per the ‘shastras’ ie Karma-theory is any state other than the state of
happiness. Therefore how to remain happy and the means for the same in
the embodied/materialistic state (ie having been born)
,signifying our terrestrial existence also falls in the realm of
Karma-theory. Here happiness , which is sustainable because it is unconditional
and not based on events or things, is a state of mind, which could be
attained by anyone who learn, understands and follows the shastras per
is the effect of karma/action/work. To be specific, residual karma-vasanas
springing up from karma is the cause of birth/death. It then
follows that one’s karma in the previous birth, affects or has an
influence on his present birth and living. This ‘assumption’ is central or is
the core of Karma-Yoga (Karma theory or Karma-shastra).
Elaborating, karma, karma-vasanas & rebirth are the essential
components of the karma-theory. All are ‘karmic’ ie doing actions
one way or the other in the present birth , and cannot do without it in
the embodied state. (Gita 5. 8, 9)This is one basic premise (axiom)
of karma -theory. The Gita fully analyses Karma, and informs us
that ‘karma’ not according to the ‘shastras’ (eg. Gita) will
contribute to the generation/accumulation of karma-vasanas , which gives rise
to the next birth. Future birth of the ‘jiva’ is thus a foregone conclusion and
is the effect of the accumulated karma-vasanas of the previous births
plus that generated during the present one. Unless measures are taken to reduce
and eliminate the vasanas, the cycles of birth/death continues. Thus
‘karma-vasana’ becomes another axiom or postulate of the Karma
Theory. (An axiom, or postulate, is a premise or
starting point of reasoning. As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise
so evident as to be accepted as true without
controversy. The word comes from the Greek ἀξίωμα (āxīoma) 'that
which is thought worthy or fit' or 'that which commends itself as evident.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom#cite_note-1)
Vasanas can be eliminated only by deliberate Karma.
karma-vasanas be eliminated by inaction, ie by not resorting to any karma
at all ? This is absolutely impossible. Because the Gita states that in the
embodied state, one is subjected to Gunas, and therefore cannot be
without karma even for a fraction of a second.(3.5).Even if it was possible,
how to eliminate the vasanas already accumulated ? Further the Gita does
not recommend suppression of karmas in the present birth, which
are influenced by precipitate of karmas in a previous birth. (Gita
3.33) This inspite of the danger that karmas in the present birth
prompted by previous vasanas may even add up the vasanas.
The Gita goes to the root of the problem, and provides a solution to wear off
the karma-vasanas . It explicitly tells to do those very actions(in a way as
enjoined in the shastras) which in the first place contributed to or generated
the vasanas.(Gita 3.35) It has to be considered that vasanas may be
either positive or negative , giving rise to actions that may be punya
or papa ,ie. Daivee or asuri.
from The Mahabharatha
come to the battlefield , prepared to wage a full-scale war,
Arjuna all of a sudden, developed cold-feet, after surveying his close
relatives and teachers on the opposite side. He expressed to Krishna,
that he is prepared to abandon all arms, thereby making it clear
his unwillingness to fight. Meanwhile if gets killed by his
cousins, he will consider such an end to be the best for him. (Gita1.46). He
further states that, he considers begging to be a better course of action (a
better profession than being a responsible ruler), than killing gurus and
elders to regain the kingdom for enjoying the powers and privileges, that
will be the fruits/result of such a train of actions. (Gita 2.5).
being the omniscient , omnipotent, all pervading principle knows the complete
in and out of Arjuna. He reminds Arjuna that , they both had undergone
many births/deaths in the past, that he Krishna knows/remembers fully
about it all, whereas Arjuna has become oblivious of such
experiences.(Gita 4.5). Arjuna is representative of human beings. We do not
recollect our past lives.(Did we have a past-birth !!!?) . We do
not even re-collect all the events that have happened in our life ? We can’t
even keep track of all what we did and experienced, the previous year/month!!!!
tendency/vasana of Mankind- Conflict ?
had fought many battles before this Kurukshetra war. His tendency/inclination
to take up arms and fight is illustrated by many such events in the
Mahabharatha. He has ‘Yuddha-vasana’ inherent in him.
Consider his fierce fighting with Kirata, who was Shiva in
disguise. (Vana Parva-Chap. 38-41, Kairata Parva, p.121 of M.N.Dutt). At
the end of that battle, Shiva will remind Arjuna, that the duo, Arjuna-Krishna
were Nara-Naryana in former life. That together they had chastised/fought
Danavas at the coronation of Indra. In Adiparvam there is
another incident connected to the churning of the milk-ocean. Here
it is mentioned that Nara-Narayana had fought the Asuras. (Astika-parvam,
Amritha-mandhana-samapthi) Putting all these events in perspective,
the karmic tendency/inclination (ie karma-vasana) of Arjuna is to take up arms
and fight. Arjuna lacks this insight of himself due to nescience. If Arjuna is
considered to be a representative of jiva/Nara/mankind, conflict
contrasted to peace or co-operation is the innate vasana of
is very well aware of Arjuna’s karma-vasanas. That is the reason why, he asks
Arjuna to fight in the given context, since this is no ordinary
fight, but an essential fight against injustice & evil.
All elders like Bhishma, Drona, Vidura and even Dhritharashtra
the father of Duryodhana, knows that Duryodhana is unjust and
unreasonable. All diplomatic efforts in securing at least five houses for the
Pandavas had failed. In addition to this Duryodhana displays asuric/evil
propensities and this had become evident in the poisoning of Bhima,
disrobing of Draupadi in the royal court (in public) and trying to exterminate
the entire Pandavas in the ‘wax-house’.(Arakkillam). Moreover the
people of the land dearly wishes for Dharmaputra to reign over them.
Krishna tells that divine intervention (fate) has provided an opportunity to
Arjuna to fight a just/dharmic battle, to eradicate evil and install
righteousness. (Gita 2.32) In this way he can wear-off his
karma-vasanas, because the battle is not for his selfish-ends, but is a
requirement of the age. (Gita 4.7)Karmas (born out of karma-vasanas) if done
with a daivee disposition of mind, for maintaining dharma, and not
yearning for any fruits thereof, will wear away all karma-vasanas.(positive as
well as negative.). Such actions/karma will become centripetal, and bring the
individual nearer to the Truth (Sat). This is one aspect of the karma-shastra
of the Gita.
Gita also provides us knowledge of the universe. How the universe came into
being is also a main consideration of the Gita. Further it explores the
relation between consciousness, karma and matter. All these knowledge are
essential for a proper understanding and practice of Karma-Yoga.
SHOWS -Empirical Evidence of Karma-vasanas
it has been mentioned that karma, karma-vasanas and rebirth are the axioms or
postulates of the Karma theory. Are these three, ‘evident as to be
accepted as true without controversy’.?
is indisputably evident. What about karma-vasanas & rebirth? These
are inextricably connected. Put together can one find any evidence for
the same.? Can we cite atleast one conspicuous and positive vasana,
carried by humans around us.? The Reality Music shows provide us with ample
evidence of positive vasanas carried over from the previous birth to
this birth. We find children and adults , without any musical background
perform exceedingly well. In many cases their parents or other family members
have no background in music, and thus this phenomenon cannot be explained in
terms of genes and chromosomes. But even such expediencies have
been suitably addressed by the Gita. Suppose a person embarked on the path
seeking truth and moksha, dies(have to leave the body) before achieving
his objective, he will be reborn in such circumstances /homes , where he will
be able to continue his pursuit. (Gita 6: 41-44)
Punishment vis-à-vis Karma-vasanas
can find many human specimens possessing negative karma-vasanas, in our prison
houses. Habitual offenders , not subjecting themselves to be re-formed
fall under this category. Can their negative karma-vasanas be
channeled to do positive actions? For this there should learning to gain
appropriate knowledge and a real change of heart. This willingness on own
accord is not likely to happen in many cases .Therefore in extreme cases
society will have to resort to capital punishment , and their next birth will
still be a lower one, and subjected to many such extended cycles. When
Duryodhana was born, seeing inauspicious omens, Vidura and other learned
Brahmins/scholars had told Dhritharashtra to abandon that baby. (Gandharee-puthrotpathhi,
Sambhava-parvam). It shows that some individuals are incorrigible and
society will have to neutralize them and at the most necessitates
their weeding out.
take The Gita for granted. We have ceased to appreciate its subtle percepts.
The knowledge contained in the Gita, provides us a ideal yardstick, to measure
our decline or progress, to caution us about our deviations from
the ‘only’ path. Today the world has become tired because of excessive
work/karma. All nations are blundering along a tortuous path. Without
being clear of the destination. Nations have wrongly assumed GDP growth as the
path to a impossible and utopian paradise. All the karmas of the
citizens are geared to this. The time is ripe for a drastic change
because the present system is overly strained and offers little
promise of improving. Its offerings are becoming lesser and lesser in this
birth and as per the Gita, it holds no promise for future births.
The Karma Theory , all moderns consider to be only
theory and not practical/practicable. But
practical work, especially in manufacturing (if we may borrow that word),
based on ‘Karma-yoga’ was in vogue
as late as the first quarter of SEVENTEENTH
CENTURY , at least in India. Whether the persons/artisans engaged in such work,
really knew(had consciously known) about Karma Theory is questionable. But our society had been structured (by our seers) in such a way that , work were
organized to wear off the ‘karma-vasanas’ Abbe
J.A Dubois was a Roman Catholic Missionary who lived in South India for 31 years (1792-1823). He
tried to gain first-hand knowledge of the Hindus, ‘by the more laborious (but more accurate)
method of personal inquiry in situ.’ He believed that such knowledge pertaining
to the ‘innermost life and
character of the Hindus’ would help him in his proselytizing
work. The Abbe was rewarded for this
study of Hindus with 2000 star pagodas (equivalent to 8,000 rupees in 1897) by
Lord William Bentick, who bought the manuscript from him after paying this sum
on behalf of the East India Company. This manuscript originally in French, is
now available in print in
English, having been translated and edited with notes, corrections and
biography by Henry K Beauchamp,in 1897. The book title is ‘Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies’.This resource is freely available on the
Abbe had recorded in brief the method
of work and the tools and instruments
used by artisans like carpenters, goldsmiths and weavers. This knowledge is very insightful, considered
from the standpoint of ‘Karma Theory’. The Abbe was in India during the period of
the Industrial Revolution,(1760-1830) when machine made
goods made in England
and Western Europe were flooding markets of the world/colonies and raw-materials
were being siphoned-off from the colonies to the industrial centres.
tools used by the Hindu carpenters and goldsmiths were few, and as per European
eyes/observation (standards) crude. The loom used by the weavers was so simple that it could be carried around
by a single person, and set up in no time.
But the products turned out with this simple tools were world-class and
traders had come to India from all parts of the globe to buy such items.
Another missionary Willam Carey writing about the Indian Sickle (Kastya) used
by farmers in Dinjapur, Bengal in the early part of the 1800’s remarks that “It (the Blade) is fixed in a rude handle ;
and is used to cut corn, grass or even brushwood on occasion, being to the
Hindu a very useful instrument, although a European labourer would scarcely
pick one of them up if he saw it lie on the road.”Carey had also given detailed information
about the Indian ploughshare and other ‘çrude’ implements
used in agriculture.
NEGATIVE KARMA- VASANAS & MACHINERY
above tools and implements being simple were aiding karma, and not replacing
human karma wholesale like in the case of machines. Dependence on machines,
will not help in removing the karma-vasanas, which are essential for the many.(
ie those who desire and are in various stages of realization). Machines are not
essentially labour saving, but increases
the labour of those who have to work the same. In addition it denies many,
opportunity for laboring and thus denies them a honorable livelihood.
Further machines add to the negative or
harmful karma-vasanas of the entire humankind. Examples of the manifestation of this negative vasanas abound, and
could be garnered from daily news bulletiens. The effects of the sum total of such negative vasanas are
wars and man-made climate change.
HANDICRAFTSMEN IN DISTRESS
Abbe is entirely aware of the harm caused to Indian artisans , by the
industrial machinery of Europe. He had seen , weavers out of work, and
starving. His first-hand account of the situation in own words “Just before returning to Europe (Jan 15,
1823) I travelled through some of the manufacturing districts, and nothing
could equal the state of desolation prevailing in them. All the work-rooms were
closed, and hundreds of thousands of the inhabitants, composing the weaver caste,
were dying of hunger ; for through the prejudices of the country they could not
adopt another profession without dishonouring themselves”. The Abbe left India (for Paris) , never to
return on January 15,1823, his
passage having been paid by the East
last part of the above paragraph is noteworthy, and resonates with the ‘karma theory’expounded by Krishna in the Gita. Maybe the
Abbe if he would have studied the Gita in depth, would have
found out a more solid reason , apart from the ‘dishonour’he attributes to the members of weaver
community, not adopting another profession. The Gita unequivocally states that
, even if one is experiencing difficulties of any kind in his profession/livelihood
(swa-dharma),one should not abandon it and take another
profession/livelihood even if it(the new one)
seems to offer better prospects, because swadharma as per ones
nature(gunas) if done consciously to wear of the karma-vasanas will
contribute towards total freedom (liberation/moksha). See Gita 18:47.
Similar idea is to be found in Gita 3:35. Thus it becomes incumbent on the society, to see that its artisans are cared
for, by providing them ample opportunities to wear off their karma-vasanas. The govt or king at any cost should protect
their trade. This implies that changes social changes, due to technology should
be minimal, and even if changes become a utmost necessity, it should only be
introduced after careful study and preparation. Any change in social equation
is a tendency in the centrifugal direction. World history provides copious
examples/events, making men like Gandhiji exclaim that things are becoming
worse as time passes on.
RAMA & SHAMBUKA- A KING STRICTLY ADHERING TO THE RULE OF LAW,EVEN TO THE EXTENT OF BANISHING BELOVED & ONLY WIFE !!!!
we find in 17th century India, weavers preferring to starve to
death, than change their profession. We are knowledgeable of an event (in a
story) from our pre-historic past, a reverse event, ie a man
disregarding his varna and swadharma, and engaging in other ‘profession’,
about which men (like E.V.R) hell-bent
on turning gold and precious stones into mud/garbage (a kind of demonic/asuric alchemy), had heaped calumny on
the protagonist of this ‘story’, to
further their very narrow agendas. Lord Rama had beheaded a Sudra
ascetic Shambuka for inverting the mode of penance and as well as depreciating
the objective of penance. This story in detail appears in Uttarakanda, Book Seven, Cantos 73-76
of Valmiki’s Ramayana. A Sudra’s, Gunas and Karmas are different from that
of a Brahmana. And if Sudras takes up
the action/karma of Brahmanas for which they are ill-suited/not
prepared (and vice-versa), the social order is ruptured and none benefits.
There are only disadvantages than advantages. Therefore for taking up a karma
which violates ‘the law of being’ (ie varnashrama), Rama the king, who is
concerned as well as responsible for the overall social order and peace
within his kingdom punished Shambuka. 17th
century weavers in India did not switch their ‘profession’ even in the face of adversities, and in contrast to this, in
ancient India, an individual was punished by a king for violating the
established code of conduct, based on the law of our being (ie varna based on
gunas and karma).
full text of The Abbe’s observation of
S.Indian arts and crafts is given as follows. Excerpts from the book "HINDU MANNERS CUSTOMS AND CEREMONIES"
“Further, one would be
justified in asserting that it is to caste distinctions that India owes the
preservation of her arts and industries. For the same reason she would have
reached a high standard of perfection in them had not the avarice of her rulers
prevented it. It was chiefly to attain this object that the Egyptians were
divided into castes, and that their laws assigned the particular place which
each individual should occupy in the commonwealth. Their lawgivers no doubt
considered that by this means all arts and industries would continue to improve
from generation to generation, for men must needs do well that which they have
always been in the habit of seeing done and which they have been constantly
practising from their youth.
This perfection in arts and manufactures would undoubtedly have been attained
by so industrious a people as the Hindus, if, as I have before remarked, the
cupidity of their rulers had not acted as a check. As a matter of fact, no
sooner has an artisan gained the reputation of excelling in his craft than he is at once carried off by order of the sovereign, taken to
the palace, and there confined for the rest of his life, forced to toil without
remission and with little or no reward. Under these circumstances, which are
common to all parts of India under the government of native princes, it is
hardly surprising that every art and industry is extinguished and all healthy
competition deadened. This is the chief and almost the only reason why progress
in the arts has been so slow among the Hindus, and why in this respect they are
now far behind other nations who did not become civilized for many centuries
Their workmen certainly lack neither industry nor skill. In the European
settlements, where they are paid according to their merit, many native artisans
are to be met with whose work would do credit to the best artisans of the West.
Moreover they feel no necessity to use the many European tools, whose nomenclature
alone requires special study. One or two axes, as many saws and planes, all of
them so rudely fashioned that a European workman would be able to do nothing
with them—these are almost the only instruments that are to be seen in the
hands of Hindu carpenters. The working materials of a journeyman goldsmith
usually comprise a tiny anvil, a crucible, two or three small hammers, and as
many files. With such simple tools the patient Hindu, thanks to his industry,
can produce specimens of work which are often not to be distinguished from
those imported at great expense from foreign countries. To what a standard of
excellence would these men have attained if they had been from the earliest
times subjected to good masters !
order to form a just idea of what the Hindus would have done with their arts
and manufactures if their natural industry had been properly encouraged, we
have only to visit the workshop of one of their weavers or of one of their
printers on cloth and carefully examine the instruments with which they produce
those superb muslins, those superfine cloths, those beautiful coloured
piece-goods, which are everywhere admired, and which in Europe occupy a high
place among the principal articles of adornment. In manufacturing these magnificent
stuffs the artisan uses his feet almost as much as his hands. Furthermore the weaving loom, and the
whole apparatus for spinning the thread before it is woven, as well as the rest
of the tools which he uses for the work, are so simple and so few that altogether
they would hardly comprise a load for one man. Indeed it is by no means a rare
sight to see one of these weavers changing his abode, and carrying on his back
all that is necessary for setting to work the moment he arrives at his new
Their printed calicoes, which are not less admired than their muslins, are
manufactured in an equally simple manner. Three or four bamboos to stretch the
cloth, as many brushes for applying the colours, with a few pieces of potsherd
to contain them, and a hollow stone for pounding them : these are pretty well
all their stock in trade. (From Part 1, Chapter 2 (p.35,36))
The Poverty of the Hindus.
India has always been considered a most wealthy and opulent country, more
favoured by nature than any other in the world, a land literally flowing with
milk and honey, where the soil yields all that is necessary for the existence
of its happy people almost without cultivation. The great wealth accumulated by
a few of its native princes, the large fortunes so rapidly acquired by many
Europeans, its valuable diamond mines, the quality and quantity of its pearls,
the abundance of its spices and scented woods, the fertility of its soil, and
the, at one time, unrivalled superiority of its various manufactures : all
these have caused admiration and wonder from time immemorial. One would
naturally suppose that a nation which could supply so many luxuries would
surpass all others in wealth.
This estimation of the wealth of India has been commonly accepted in Europe up
to the present day ; and those who, after visiting the country and obtaining
exact and authentic information about the real condition of its inhabitants,
have dared to affirm that India is the poorest and most wretched of all the civilized
countries of the world, have simply not been believed. Many people in Europe,
after reading what various authors have to say about India's manufactures and
about the factories which turn out the delicate muslins, fine cloths, and
beautiful coloured cottons, &c, which are so much admired all the world
over, have supposed that the establishments producing such magnificent stuffs must have supplied models for those which are
to be found at Manchester, Birmingham, Lyons, and other cities in Europe. Well,
the truth is (and most people are still unaware of the fact) all these
beautiful fabrics are manufactured in wretched thatched huts built of mud,
twenty to thirty feet long by seven or eight feet broad. In such a work-room
the weaver stretches his frame, squats on the ground, and quietly plies his
shuttle, surrounded by his family, his cow, and his fowls. The instruments he
makes use of are extremely primitive, and his whole stock in trade could easily
be carried about by one man. Such is, in very truth, an exact picture of an
Indian factory. As to the manufacturer himself, his poverty corresponds to the
simplicity of his work-shop. There are in India two or three large classes
whose only profession is that of weaving. The individuals comprising these classes
are, for the most part, very poor, and are even destitute of the necessary
means for working on their own account. Those who deal in the products of their
industry have to go to them, money in hand, and after bargaining with them as
to the price, quality, and quantity of the goods required, are obliged to pay
them in advance. The weavers then go and buy the cotton and other necessaries
with which to begin work. Their employers have to supervise their work and keep
a sharp look-out lest they decamp with the money, especially if the advances
happen to be in any way considerable. (p.80,81)
FROM Dubois, J. A. (Jean Antoine),
1765-1848. “Hindu manners, customs and ceremonies.” Oxford : Clarendon Press,
serious cause of the poverty of modern India is the decrease in the demand for
hand labour, resulting from the introduction of machinery and the spread of
manufactures with improved methods in Europe. Indeed, Europe no longer depends
on India for anything, having learnt to beat the Hindus on their own ground,
even in their most characteristic industries and manufactures, for which from
time immemorial we were dependent on them. In fact, the roles have been
reversed, and this revolution threatens to ruin India completely.
Just before returning to Europe I travelled through some of the manufacturing
districts, and nothing could equal the state of desolation prevailing in them.
All the work-rooms were closed, and hundreds of thousands of the inhabitants,
composing the weaver caste, were dying of hunger ; for through the prejudices
of the country they could not adopt another profession without dishonouring
themselves. I found countless widows and other women out of work, and
consequently destitute, who used formerly to maintain their families by cotton
–spinning. Wherever I went the same melancholy
picture confronted me.
collapse in the cotton industry has indirectly affected trade in all its
branches by stopping the circulation of money, and the cultivators can no
longer reckon on the manufacturers who, in the days of their prosperity, were
wont to buy up their surplus grain, and even to lend them money when they were
in arrears with their taxes. This has led the cultivators to the hard necessity
of relinquishing their grain to, and thus becoming the prey of, remorseless
Such is the deplorable condition into which the poor Hindus have sunk ; and it
grows worse daily, thanks to the much-vaunted improvements in machinery which
some nations glory in. Ah ! if only the inventors of these industrial
developments could hear the curses which this multitude of poor Hindus never
tire of heaping upon them ! If only, like me, they had seen the frightful
misery which has overtaken whole provinces, owing entirely to them and their inventive
genius, they would no doubt, unless they were entirely wanting in human pity,
bitterly repent having carried their pernicious innovations so far, and having
thereby enriched a handful of men at the expense of millions of poor people, to
whom the very name of their competitors has become odious as the sole cause of
their utter destitution ! (Chapter VI p.94,95)