By Indu Jain
In governance, the core idea is to ensure the positive alignment of the pancha tattvas. For this, action has to first spring from within, from the inner core that all of us have, including those of us who are in the business of governance.
India’s growth rate is computed on the basis of material resource development. This involves spending these resources. The focus is on production and consumption. However, resource management ought to give sufficient importance to the regeneration and revitalisation of these material resources as well as the subtle resource that resides within us.
Pre-industrial India was considered Soney ki Chidiya, the golden bird, because people were content. Lifestyles were environment-friendly and there was room for reflection and introspection that enabled people to seek the truth without encroaching on another’s path. There was greater scope for creative pursuits in the fields of art, philosophy, culture and spirituality. And there was greater tolerance and understanding of different perspectives.
What was the secret of a system that allowed for both inner and outer growth? How did people find the Golden Mean? Achieving this ought to be easier with technological advances that are meant to make life easier, our chores simpler, and so leave us with enough time for meditation and deep thinking.
However, this does not seem to be happening. Technology and other advancements seem to have made our lives more hectic and stress-ridden. Life has become a race against time. Therefore, inner growth is intrinsic to sustainable development.
Earlier, conditions fostered the flowering and growth of different schools of thought. Diversity was celebrated, even respected. Today, the trend is towards uniformity of thought, word and deed. There are greater conveniences but less comfort. There are more time-saving devices, but we seem to have less time at our disposal to think about what we are doing.
Let us revive our ancient knowledge systems that are rich in healing techniques besides containing a wealth of wisdom on a variety of subjects. Tradition and culture are as much a part of our heritage as are stone monuments.
In ancient India, the individual was encouraged to live in harmony with himself, his environment and community, by bringing about a balance between his inner and outer realities. It was recognised that growth on the material plane must be balanced with growth on the subtle plane. As individuals and as members of society we need to strive towards achieving the right balance inside out.
This was first published on March 12, 2008.
(Indu Jain: 08.09.1936 – 13.05.2021)
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
END OF ARTICLE