The Hindu scriptures say, we are in a age of Kali-Yuga. Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali-Yuga, because the belief is that people are as far away as possible from God. Some of the attributes of Kali-Yuga as per the scriptures are, rulers will become unreasonable, irresponsible and mostly self serving; rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world.
In human relationships, avarice and wrath will be common; people will openly display animosity towards each other. Ignorance of dharma will occur; people will have thoughts of murder with no justification, and will see nothing wrong in that; lust will be viewed as socially acceptable; sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish; people will take vows and break them soon after; people will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs. Gurus will no longer be respected, and their students will attempt to injure them. Their teachings will be insulted. The maximum lifespan of a human in this age is 90-100 years.
When we read the writings in the scriptures, and we see incidents like the recent shooting in Newtown, CT or the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old woman in Delhi, India, or the general geo-political situation – socio or economic, one is forced to ask the question – ‘is this all coming true?’. Have we hit the nadir when it comes to functioning as human beings and functioning as a society?
In response to the rape incident, I have heard angry reactions, suggesting public hanging or shooting of the culprits, castration, cracking a whip at the politicians and the police who have become absolutely corrupt, irresponsible and unaccountable, etc., etc.
I am sure we will have new laws and legislation We will have new tools and gadgets for preventive action, protection. We will invest in security personnel and will have more boots on the ground. Affluent parents, will consider having body guards for their children to escort them to schools and wherever they want to go. Companies, will once again review and take extra measures to protect the women work force.
Is this the kind society that our sages and scriptures wanted for us, our children and our grandchildren? What change is the president referring to?
President Obama told those attending the memorial service at Newtown, CT, “We can’t accept events like this as routine. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”
Of-course, we have to take immediate steps to prevent such incidents but any steps we take we need to take with the complete realization and recognition that they are only stop gaps, to prevent the immediate leaks. CHANGE that President Obama refers to and the CHANGE that our scriptures have always insisted up is the INNER CHANGE, the TRANSFORMATION within.
What is then, this INNER CHANGE, and INNER TRANSFORMATION? Are they just buzzwords? No, our scriptures help us understand the root cause of violence, they help us understand need and greed, they help us understand how attachments, desires, greed and fear drive anger and violence within us they help us understand how to deal with conflict. The sages, through years of study of the self discovered these, and have spoken about these through our Upanishads.
Violence, anger, ..are like weeds in a garden. The more we uproot the weeds, the better is the soil condition to produce fragmented flowers that will grow and reseed of their own and spread like a blanket providing hardly any room for the weeds to surface. This is the outcome of inner transformation. Policies, legislation, tools, protective gear is like the weed spray that only acts on the surface temporarily, and will show up at the next untreated spot or once the effect is washed off with time. So, is our attention today. People get away with offenses because they know no one has time to hang on. They know people will kick and scream and fade in no time and the weed can sprint back again. We need to grow fragmented flowers and not equip good people with guns to tackle bad people with guns.
We need to cultivate Sattwa, Sattwa will promote a society that operates on need and not on greed. It will enable a society that lives on sound principals and strong foundations of value. It will enable a society that promotes a strong sense of community and not individuality. It will promote a society that believes in giving, sharing, forgiving and healing.
In response to the rape incident in Delhi, here is what a German citizen had to say ‘I am sorry that a foreigner like me has to advise you on something that originated from your own land. Even if I am a German, I will only ask one thing from you people. If you Indians want to develop your own characters and become excellent nation builders, then please read, understand and implement the words of Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is the one and only hope for India and the rest of mankind. I am not just saying this without any experience. I have experienced the tremendous and magnificent transformations that have taken place in my life and my friends’ lives after reading the Bhagavad Gita. The words of Krishna have given me courage, strength and hope in this battlefield of life. A human life is incomplete with being aware of the teachings of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. One of Krishna’s most magnificent teachings in the Bhagavad Gita is to continue doing your duties without worrying about the fruits of your results. As I have said many times before, your first duty is to read, understand and implement the words of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. If you are already a reader of the Bhagavad Gita, then that is great. But then your second duty is to convince your friends to read the Bhagavad Gita. I have done that here in Germany itself. I have convinced many of my friends here in Germany to read the Bhagavad Gita. If I as a German can do that, then I know for a fact that you Indians are definitely capable of doing that. You just have to have the will to do.’ – so well put.
(Will we in a few weeks from now, forget about these incidents, and continue with life as if nothing ever happened, till the next incident hits us and jolts us out of our slumber again?)