Lectures on Vedanta and Modern Society (An Old Book)

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Item Code: NAO634
Author: Maheshanand Giri
Publisher: Bharatiya Sanskriti Samaj
Language: English
Edition: 1987
Pages: 100
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 130 gm
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Book Description


Humanity has reached a crossed. Within a period of twenty years or so it went through the agony of the two World Wars. Since the end of the last war, during the last thirty years or so, we are living on the threshold of a nuclear holocaust. Humanity is at the mercy of two super states, and perhaps even those so-called super states are also at the mercy of a score or so individuals. During the millions of years that the Homo sapiens have existed, they have never been in such a pitiable and dependent state. This is what modern science has given as a present to humanity for the complete confidence and faith that humanity reposed in it. Thus with the nuclear war-mongers of the two camps roaring in the horizon the process of desiccation of spiritual values from values from the human mind has set in. The earth seems to be a spiritual wasteland, and values but a mirage. Unless humanity is able to neutralize this base instinct, it is headed for total annihilation. Children have already turned to nihilism, for spiritualism seems to have failed. A vibrant spiritual resurgence is the only practical solution for human survival. A devoted heart, boundless faith, deep intellectual introspection, loves expressed as active sympathy, mystic intuitive experience and absolute fearlessness is the need of the hour.

Vedanta is concerned mainly with the supreme spiritual reality. This reality is the basis of external as well as the internal world. The identity of Jiva (internal) and Shiva (external) is the final truth. Though this is to be actually sought within the cavern of one’s heart, yet once realized it explodes the barriers of the internal and external, leading to one homogeneous wholesome existence. Such individual realization serves as a catalyst for the emergence of a deeper change in humanity. The divine state of blessedness does not remain a dream but becomes a reality in everyday life. Such persons become capable of turning the mirage of spiritual and ethical values as a palpable reality. Myths, legends and scriptures open up the deep spiritual significance that is embedded in them. The ‘joy’ of science pales into insignificance in the Sun of Shiva-blessedness. India with its rich cultural heritage is the right spot to bring this blessedness to humanity. There is vast literature yet unpublished in the Indian languages which will prove a paradise to those interested in bringing a re-formation of modern society both in India and the rest of the world. It is bound to add to the references which will enrich humanity and its knowledge quantum.

Homo sapiens is also socials. As such he is under constant observation and judgment of other human beings, and in turn is an observer and judge of all those who come in his contact. He also observes the nature around him both in an intelligent and emotional manner. In doing so he evaluates and concludes a situation or a person as good or bad, and sometimes as indefinite. This is what is known as the ‘value-judgment’. Values are not consciously created but ‘discovered’. Psychologists may claim that social or individual or even the cosmic unconsciously creates them, but as a matter of fact even this is only a judgment based on a ‘value’, which may at least involve a cause and effect syndrome. Thus we are right in claiming that values existed before our birth and will outlast our death. Values in particularity may change, but value as such persists. Just as the content of our knowledge may change, but knowledge as such goes on existing, for the changed-knowledge is also knowledge, similarly values change but a changed value is also a value. Hence a value-less human being is contradiction in terms. It is in this sense that value is eternal. Values can never be transient as objects are transient. Values are like mathematical laws. Mathematics may change models. Decimal system, Pentad system, etc., have given way to the Dyad system in the computer age, but the eternity of laws remained. Similarly the law of love as a value is eternal though models and modulations of love may change.

Human society is more potently affected by values than any other art or science. One may not take cognizance of these laws but they affect us all the same . Values may be subdivided as universal values, categorical values, true values, human values, cultural values, religious values, national values, social values, etc. But all values are necessarily ‘demanding’. They dedicate ‘should do’ rather than ‘should be’. In ancient India Dharma and Gyana were subdivisions of Vedas based on this. Jiminy dealt with what one ‘should do’, whereas Badarayana dealt with what ‘should be’. Bochenski in the west has dealt with beauty, elegance, sublimity and so forth. Hindus for that very reason have included joy in ‘Brahman’ rather than Dharman group. No individual can be entirely bereft of ‘should do’ whether he calls himself an atheist or a cynic. He expects from other members of society what he will claim to be complied by all members. Similarly a country may claim to be secular, yet it expects some duties from the populace. Even the charvakas of ancient India expected their members to observe the rules or laws laid down by the dominant group or. Criminal law is based on certain values, and no social group or country lacks it totally.


Preface vii
Lecture I 1
Lecture II 13
Lecture III 28
Lecture IV 44
Lecture V 59
Appendix 75

Sample Pages

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