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  Rule-of-law, Duty, Supreme Self, Present Moment  

         
   

Vision >>TTKOH >> Excerpts

TOWARDS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

Excerpts: This page will help get an idea about the contents and style of the book

Page 191:
A system breaks down when people forget to keep the dharma intact. When individuals do not perform then the very purpose for which a system is set up is defeated. It leads to chaos. The system itself may play host evil. On the other hand, a land where individuals strive towards that ideal is an enlightened one. They call it ‘Ram Rajya’ in Hinduism and the ‘Kingdom of Heaven” in the Christian doctrine. The Supreme Self manifests itself in the best of men in that society and it is all together a different world: the world of the brave, the martyrs, the immortals…

From Introduction:
Diverse as they are, religions do have at least a fine thread of similarity running common through all of them. And when one gets hold of the thread, a whole world of logic and reason opens out to him.

From Introduction:
If the truth is that religious stalwarts are manipulating us and fooling us to do good to society then fine, let’s know about it. If the truth is that stalwarts of the modern world are ignorant about the greater truths, then too fine, lets know about it. The important thing is to be sure that we are aware of the “truth”

Page 35:
….  In Swaraj, however, this authority comes from the love and mutual trust between boss and his subordinates; from the boss’ service, his wisdom and humility. The subordinate obeys out of respect and faith, not fear. There is co-operation not remote control. Everyone functions (commands and obeys) according to ‘dharma’…. for the sake of society…. such an attitude extending into punishments too… 

Page 44:
… We all know that ‘Democracy is a rule of the people by the people and for the people’. It should rather be ‘Democracy is a self-rule of the people, by the people and with the people’.
Through the present perception of democracy, we hand over responsibility to a group of individuals through elections. Once the selection is over, we are left to their mercy and they themselves are left high and dry with some authority and heaps of responsibility. 

Page 56:
…. Without the stimulated learning based on the experiences of our forefathers, we are merely lay persons who need to discover truths of life from around us and from the prevailing traditions, right from scratch. This applied to the Vedic system as well. If the Vedas are passed from generation to generation blindly, that is, in a manner similar to the handling of a huge diamond by men who refuse to open their eyes, then, finding wise men among such scholars would be difficult; as difficult probably as finding wise men amongst lay people. What can you expect from scholarly lay people such as these? Anyway, as we have already seen, the innate nature of the Vedas ‘did’ enrich those who handled it.

Page 63:
… the challenge or vision is not about making nations of hermits, but rather it lies in changing the manner in which the skirmishes are handled. In enlightened anarchies, trouble spots are pacified and not amplified. People settle their problems mutually. Both or all parties involved take initiative for solving a problem. People forgive naturally, just as little children do among themselves.

Page 65:
… People indulge in evil to get status, power and honour. But of what use is such power and honour that they get in the eyes of people who fear for their lives? True honour comes from brave fearless admirers and that honour is won by being truly just; just even to those who are termed as enemies. It is far more honourable to be a servant amongst the brave rather than a leader among fools.

Page 66:
… We have, as a civilization, become unjust to our progeny too. We will leave for them an environmental hell hole on the earth. When we stand in the ‘accused’ box of the courts of the later generations, probably all of us, even those who sincerely and selflessly work for the flourishing of our countries’ economies, would receive death sentences… a hundred times over. 

Page 94:
… in contrast to worldly wealth the heavenly wealth is supposed to give a kind of happiness of a more permanent kind. It gives persons a better chance to say in the state of ‘Bliss’. And interestingly the joys are shared by others as well. It also promises some fulfilment in life. And most of all it is consonant and consistent with a requirement for man to be zealously at work, aiming at excellence. 

Page 99:
… those who are considered more learned about the ways of the ‘self’ have alternate ideas to suggest. According to them, the nature of one’s ‘wealth’ can make a difference between a contented and a restless life. It can make a difference between a person who can perform and one who cannot. In the light of this, it can be seen that, even though a textbook (of economics) helps by providing information, it harms in another way: by influencing a student to absorb wrong attitudes, it negates the very purpose of education. Only those student s who have in-built instructive, cultural and religious defense mechanisms, are able to circumnavigate these ‘other influences’. It requires a degree of dishonesty with the actual meaning of words like ‘wealth’ –either deliberately or instinctively. For instance one may refer to material goods as ‘wealth’, but using it without associating with it the feeling of ‘precious’. This is actually a basic redefining of the English term ‘wealth’. Another possibility for side-stepping this idea is to study the theories in a detached manner; maybe, thinking that it applies to other people while it may not be absolutely relevant to oneself. 

Page 113:
… Since the system believes that the human wants are endless, it acknowledges that there is no upper limit or end point to progress. A capitalist system, if at all it exists, would not be an end point or a goal, but would rather be an edifice of an effort , towards an ever “bigger” ‘capitalistic utopia’. The best that the system would offer would be a better tomorrow while each today could be made as fair, as equal or as ‘just ‘ as possible. 

Page 116: 
… In effect, the right to hold property, and extent of that right, should be subject to the common good of all people. Indeed, if we live in an establishment among friends, then we cannot perceive our surplus property as our own, especially if there are many who do not have the minimum of livelihood and education. Rather, the surplus becomes a ‘responsibility’ that we have to shoulder.

Page 117:
One who thinks that joy lies in what he possesses will work to gather more possessions. What he gathers he will guard zealously. To him whatever he has will be a fruit of his labor. To a deprived person he will say, “You go out and slog it out for yourself like I and my father did. You too will get what you want.” Probably he is a fair minded individual, who always also stayed within the rules. But hardly will he entertain the idea that there are other who have right over what he owns!
On the other hand, if we perceive that what we hold is actually somebody else’s property, and if we are supposed to be happy about it, then, it necessarily implies that joys lie not in holding property but elsewhere.

Page 119:
…. And if the economic system is part of that system’s benevolence, then the reward given at the end of a person’s profit efforts is indeed an increase in responsibility.

Page 126:
… The life lived is the one we spend gathering possessions not the one we think we will get after gathering it.

Page 129:
… as a choice for a system, this economic order, based on ‘the capital’ may be fantastic, but then we still have miles to go before it manifests in a manner that it will be a true representation of justice and a channel for peace: Peace with nature, peace between individuals and peace within individuals.
As the Indian sages say OM, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Page 133:
… Obviously, the theory of progressive wants beginning from basic needs and ending in self-actualization is turned on its head. The fruits of self-actualization which comes last in the scale are instead considered ‘primary’ for a contented existence.

Page 140:
In companies we deal with things that make a difference between people being able or not being able to earn a living. But in the centuries gone by, knowledge about organizations was more directly a question of ‘life and death’. Not only that, division into small kingdoms and tribes and constant warring definitely tested philosophies to their limits. Naturally the odds are indeed great that the erstwhile gurus could have been far more advanced in matters of HRD.

Page 146:
The problem lies in how we evaluate people. In the capitalist world the moneyed man is the honoUrable person. We have studied this matter in length earlier. When we value people in this manner, on the basis of the riches they have, how can the system appreciate the intrinsic value of people?

Page 149:
According to S. Evelyn Thomas, “Labour includes all manual and mental efforts taken for a reward….”
According to Swami Vivekananda, that action which frees you from material bonds is moral and that action that binds you materially is immoral.
So what do we have here? .... “Labour is immoral!” All the work that we undertake with an intention of getting some material reward is immoral! ... Surprising, is it not?

Page 177:
Pilgrimage was a remarkable educator.  As people walked the length and breadth of the land and paid homage at important religion-cum-cultural centers they acquainted themselves with the ways of other regions of the subcontinent. They gained from subtle parm vidya aspects of learning inherent in those regions too. So the tradition enriched the cultures tremendously. Individuals also benefitted a lot through interaction with other faithful.

Page 181:
…  a student-teacher relationship that has that particular ‘human’ dimension cannot work in the framework of ‘business’ institutions. The complete training of individuals, as we have seen earlier, incorporates a great many other things which cannot be measured in terms of money:- ‘Priceless’ so to say. In matters even remotely connected with param vidya, there is a need of a kind of ‘student-teacher’ relationship that lies beyond the scope of the take and give which is so prominent in the economic world. The treatment of teaching as another economic service deprives education of those very values that are necessary for the running of a successful capitalist structure. It also ruins one of the most fruitful and joyous of human relationships.

Page 191:
… Needless to say, honor in ‘dharma’ goes to one who does his job well, not to one who is doing a bigger job—badly. In the final analysis, the quality of life that they lived is judged not by what they had possessed or where they had served but rather on the basis of how they had lived. This final analysis again need not be considered as some day of reckoning in some celestial court in the future: it is obvious even today. Obsession with the material world and frustration go hand in hand, those that break free live joyously.

Page 196:
Militancy:- Speaks of that which threatens or causes injury to another’s physical being. It naturally implies that tools are used for the purpose which we otherwise call arms. Couple it with violence on one hand and non-violence on the other and militancy makes a world of a difference.

Page 161:
… Indeed, what is the point if one knows everything about the universe and nearly at the end of his life realizes that he could have lived more at peace, contented and successful all along? What if he then learnt that his efforts had potential for better results? That his relationships with other people could have been more fulfilling….?! Human nature should be the most important branch of study; it should definitely take a decided priority.

 
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