Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Critique and A Proposal - Chapter 1: Realizable Spiritualism (अनुभवात्मक अध्यात्मवाद)

For ages, the ideas of spiritualism, theism and super-naturalism have been there in collective consciousness of humankind.  A lot has been written around these based on speculations and hypotheses.   Great many people put in herculean efforts and demonstrated their faith in these scriptures in the form of formidable acts of penance, yoga and renunciation.  These acts are also termed as idealistic acts, since not everyone could do these.  The religious scriptures therefore prescribed such acts as “virtues” for those who couldn’t live up to these ideals.  Despite adhering to all these dictates of religion - spirituality, divinity and almighty have remained mystical.  Mystery by definition is about the unknown.  In this way, all acts of spreading faith without knowing can be termed as “idealistic pursuits”.  Faith, by definition, is assuming existence of that which is unknown.  This is common knowledge. 

The scriptures claim that sentient and insentient world is under supervision of almighty, gods-goddesses and spirituality.  While explaining unknown events, it was told that this world is in control of Spirit, gods-goddesses and almighty and great deal got written in support of this claim.  Despite great efforts and devoting great deal of resources towards these ideals, there is no evidence (consistent repeatability) of these claims by way of study, realization, experimentation, or behaviour.  While in reality, inexplicability is no one’s preference.  Mysticism is but a flight of imagination over faith, which itself took the form of scriptures.   These scriptures are based only on imagination and freewill, naturally present in human beings who have been free while performing actions and dependent while facing their consequences.

This critique is presented here because each human being has natural expectation to evidence truth, resolution, order, justice, prosperity, fearlessness, and coexistence.  Each human being speaks truth (narrates events as seen) from birth, therefore he has the need to understand Truth.  The understanding of Truth is still awaited from the ways of Materialism and Idealism.  In the absence of understanding of Truth, understanding of all round Resolution and of Justice is also still awaited in last decade of 20th century.  The need of Realizable Spiritualism was recognized based on this study.

Salvation and heaven have been described (in spiritual texts) based on mysterious and fanciful imaginations.  (Vedic) Spiritualism describes salvation as – “Atma (the self) lives in the heart of Jeeva (the consciousness in conscious beings distinct from mortal body).  Salvation is when this atma gets dissolved in (or becomes one with) Brahman or Supreme-self.   The only refuge for accomplishing this state is Brahman Realization.  Some proponents say that it is possible to achieve this highest state by way of solitude, while others say it is the result of great penance, still others say it happens from practicing yoga, by seeking refuge of sangha (order of seekers), yet others claim that it happens by fortunate chance occurrence.  All these are indicated as methods for achieving salvation.  “Indicating” means ways of making these proclamations acceptable.  There are some proponents who say that salvation is in the form of ending of the world, at the time when everything dissolves into Brahman or gods-goddesses.  All these theism theories proclaim that it happens by the grace of That (Almighty, Brahman, gods and goddesses), and abiding by the God’s Laws itself is Religion.

As far as Heaven is concerned, these scriptures try to depict it to be at some other place than this Earth.  They talk of there being some god or goddess to be ruling heaven, and its beauty and bliss is under their authority.  These scriptures portray heaven in most fascinating and alluring manner, and merit of virtues is told to be the only capital to gain access to its gates.  In order to earn merit, the selfish need to become caring and generous.  It is wrong to consume in excess.  Along with this, sermons of renunciation were given to be worthy of entering heaven.  It was written in scriptures that donating goods of comforts and luxury to worthy recipients results in getting infinite fold more of those comforts and luxury in the heaven.   The acts of meditation and prayer are told to be other sources of earning merit.  Along with this giving donation, serving, singing prayers to accomplished seers, gurus, and others who are capable of giving assurance are ways of earning merit.  They also say that one should be kind and love animals, birds, flowers, trees etc.  With this, a lot has been written about purification and stabilization of mind.  Despite endless such sermons one could not see anything other apart from these acts based on faith, fear and temptation – i.e. whatever was said in the form of sermon, its evidence could not be seen.  Based on this critique it was accepted that Realization based Spiritualism is absolutely needed.

Imagination and freewill present in human being resulted in development of thoughts in one other way, which is called Materialism.  Here comforts and luxuries are assumed to be the only basis of human welfare and heaven (the ideal) is something tangible.  This got acceptance in the minds of most people.  In this way – while Spiritualism developed faith towards intangible, Materialism tried to see the tangible objects as the basis of human happiness and progress.  Materialism, in this way, prepared the mindset of struggle swinging between polarities of fear and temptation.  Materialism essentially says – activities of atoms, molecules and physical objects have inherent tendency for struggle, and as human being too (according to them) is composed of atoms and molecules – he has the natural right to do maximum struggle and using this right itself is progress and development.  Materialism, in this way, showed the possibility of realizing the promises from heaven on this Earth itself, while it remained stuck in the trap of fear and temptation.  The ways and tendencies of struggle kept on increasing with spread of education based on Materialism, while the fact remains that struggle is because of illusion of fear and temptation.  Fear and temptation is nothing new, it has been there ever since man came about.  Man fearful of nature’s furies was given assurance by the Priest and the King together for salvation and safety respectively.   By the time tribal age came, the struggle among humans had taken the form of fight with limbs, fists, stones, sticks and swords.  With the coming of the Royal court, the war weapons too became advanced with guns, gunpowder, grenades, chemical and biological weapons, atom bombs, along with radar technology and missile technologies of near, medium and far range.  The fear in man naturally remained as it is.  Along with this exploitation reached its peak with unrestrained conflict-revolt, snatching and robbing, deceit-cheating-contempt-hypocrisy, and swindling-trickery.  Temptation for accumulation and luxuries kept the mind agitated.  In summary, the fear and temptation that was present even in ancient ages, got established in the form of fear of hell and temptation for heaven by idealism (spiritualism), and with materialism it became in the form of fear of abduction, snatching, robbing, mistrust for others and temptation for luxuries, accumulation, enjoyment, over consumption and mindset of struggle became prevalent.  Now most people are found to be having this inclination.  Its evidence is first - most people are occupied in maximizing their accumulation and comforts, and second - most people are trained in ways of suppressing others.  Everyone, every family, every group, every nation is seen to be practicing and trying to become well equipped with these ways of suppression.  With these evidences, we can say that the fear in human mind has remained as it is, though the object of fear has changed with time.  Along with this, mentality of temptation has grown gradually, and it can be surveyed that now everyone dreams of locking whole Earth’s wealth into one’s own safety vault.  Accumulation has no point of fulfillment

The central theme in the whole critique and analysis presented above is the human mentality.  Heaven-Hell, Fear-Temptation, Accumulation-Luxuries, Enjoyment-Over consumption – all these frameworks have not been able to give formula for realizing Trust among human beings.  Coexistence should be eternally effective among human relations also, as that is the truth, fact and reality of all existence, it was understood that “Realizable Spiritualism” is most needed for human mind; therefore we need programs to make it achievable and accessible for everyone by way of education.  At one end there is existence in the form of coexistence and at other end there is acceptance in human being for authenticity, in between these two is the mandatory need for realization of purpose and its continuity in human being, which I have presented in a way that has coherence among knowledge (realization as fulfillment), wisdom (discrimination between right and wrong) and science (rational thinking).

- English Translation of Chapter-1 of Anubhavatmak Adhyatmvad by Shree A. Nagraj

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