Material Sorrow is Directly Related to Spiritual Ignorance (maya)
Man's ethical, cultural and spiritual status is directly related to how sacredly cultured, is his/her consciousness or soul. Mental advancement should also include amassing of material powers and their enjoyment capability. In ancient times man must have been more powerful physically if compared to today's man. Despite this the state of ancient man's consciousness was not advanced and hence his all round state too remained lackluster. When one cogitates over the backward state of ancient man it is clear that his/her mental ignorance was so painful and full of shame.
The Associate Curator (Bird section) of the American Museum of Natural History has penned some thoughts wherein he says that tribal men of New Guinea roasted meat of other human beings to fill their hungry bellies. Once, a group of bird hunters reached that area from another alien land. Papua tribes are known everywhere for their barbaric, inhuman acts. No one is allowed to enter this region without a proper security cover yet somehow this bird search group reached this area. The result was that all its members were horrifically killed.
For 45 years a Christian Missionary named Father Ivoschaefer preached Christ's teachings in Papua region. With his love and kind service he greatly influenced these cannibals. With the help of proper education, health services etc. this great missionary transformed Papua cannibals for better. These cannibals looked upon him as a great saint and hence revered him.
Initially this compassionate and dedicated saint very wisely carved a place for himself amongst these cannibals. Schaefer writes in his book that when he entered this region for the very first time along with a friend all the cannibals surrounded them. These cannibals shouted aloud in order to call 40-50 more man eaters. They all had spears in their hands and started dancing wildly while surrounding Schaefer and his friend. These cannibals were overjoyed because they could now eat human flesh of 2 white skinned men. They would see to it that these 2 men would not escape their clutches. These cannibals were dancing so as to appease demigods before partaking human flesh.
The saintly priest decided to use a ploy. He took out a mirror from his bag and placed it right in front of the face of the cannibal's leader. The leader was frightened to see his image in the mirror. For these cannibals an object like a mirror was an entirely unknown entity. One by one each cannibal was shown the mirror by the priest. All the cannibals were terrified and thought that this white man is a magician. Hence they were in two minds whether to kill the priest and eat him up. All of them threw their weapons away and bowed down to the priest for blessings. The priest displayed one more magic. The priest had dentures instead of teeth. He removed these dentures from his mouth and waved it in the air for all the cannibals to see. Then again he placed these dentures deftly back in his mouth. The cannibals were so amazed with this 'feat' that they truly thought this priest to be a great magician. This gave the priest enough opportunity to work for the betterment of these cannibals. Previously the priest had partially mastered the language of the cannibals so as to help him in communicating with the cannibals.
The priest further writes that cannibals of New Guinea are fighters, heartless, terrorizing, tough minded and lack generosity. If a cannibal of one group enters the area of another cannibal group so as to merely fell even 1 tree the latter become so furious that they see to it that the culprit is killed come what may. While writing about one such attack the priest says that Kangna group of cannibals once attacked the Kararan group of cannibals. The Kangana cannibals chopped off the heads of about 30 Kararan cannibals and brought these heads to their homes. One of these heads was offered as a gift to the priest too.
These cannibals make intense efforts to become a leader or fighter of the cannibal group. At the age of 16 years in order to pass the test one has to chop off the head of his own or a rival group person and present it to his group. For this generally a woman bought from ones own or another group is made use of. These women are easily bought by handing over tamed birds, bird skins, feathers etc. On the day of the festival of killing this unfortunate woman is taken to a shrine of demigods. Over here the 16 year old 'student killer' pierces the skin of the woman mercilessly. Once she dies her head is chopped off and presented to the cannibal chief. Now he is elected as a fighter in the cannibal group. Amongst these many such fighters one is elected as the cannibal chief. Once some white skinned men were staying with the priest and the cannibals surrounded all of them menacingly. The cannibals demanded that one white skinned lady be handed over to them for killing. In return the cannibals promised to hand over 20 cannibal women to the whites. This perilous situation too was tided over by using an ingenious ploy.
In ancient times man remained a laggard because of ignorance. Today we take pride in our progress only because of knowledge based materials available for our use. If we so desire that we attain eternal peace in days to come we will have to reach the pinnacle of imbibing human and spiritual values. In the past India had passed through a Golden Era only because of spiritual values imbibed in great abundance by its citizens. Today there is a dire need of world humanity imbibing more and more spiritual values for heralding heaven on earth and making world human beings divine. If one analyzes the past and present world situations it becomes crystal clear that without apt spiritual wisdom a bright future can never be attained by world denizens.
Regarding this wisdom based spiritual practice (Sadhana) Upanishad Seers of yore say:
"Paraanchee khaanee vyatrinat swayambhoo
Staramatparanga pashyati naantaraatman.
Davrutachakshuramritatvamicchan." (KENOPANISHAD 2/1/1).
It means: "The self manifested Almighty Lord created the doors of our sense organs in such a way that they opened externally. Hence we see only external objects and not our inner self. It is only a rare wise soul who in pursuit of immortality encouraged his sense organs to turn inwards (soul) and thus experienced his immortal self or Atman."
We know a great deal about our external life and the material world of sense objects and yet what is most amazing is that we just do not know anything about our inner self and our inner world. We are so engrossed in our external worldly transactions (eating, sleeping, earning wealth etc) that not only do we fail to study our true inner self but that we do not even think it to be very important to do so. If only we truly realize our true nature, goal of life and duty towards society we will be able to transform our relationship with the world for the better. In this manner this ordinary looking human existence can attain pinnacles of human and divine glory.
In order to carry out our daily life's chores we possess 9 means to do so: 1) eyes 2) tongue 3) nose 4) ears 5) skin 6) mind 7) intellect 8) psyche (Chitta) 9) ego. It is via these mediums that one gains worldly information. We think this information to be absolutely true and yet a deeper reflection with reference to this tells us that the above 9 means have limited capabilities and give us only relative information. In fact this information is not true in the absolute sense and is also not omnipotent. Vedanta Philosophy calls this unfulfilled knowledge a dream or Mithya.
Due to various causes in the world many sound vibrations are created and each type of vibration has a different speed and movement. Man's ears can catch only those vibrations that have speeds between 33 and 40 per second. Our ears fail to catch vibrations below 33 and above 40 per second. The flow of sound vibrations beyond this band is so gigantic that we can say that more than half the sound vibrations existing in this world goes unheard by our ears. Thus we can say that our ears hear only a few drops from the mighty ocean of sound vibrations of the world. The rest is totally unheard by us all. This helps us conclude that the sound based information/knowledge attained by mankind is very negligible. Hence we cannot say that we know everything possible about the world.
Knowledge attained via touch (skin) too is as incomplete as that attained via the ear. Further touch sensations give illusory information too. Place a piece of ice on the palm for 1 minute and then dip the palm in ordinary water. The water fells warm when actually it is not. Now place a slightly hot object on your palm for a minute and then place it in ordinary water. This water will feel cold. The water was of one temperature but because the skin touched a cold and hot object at different times the water too appeared hot and cold respectively. Thus how can we depend on our skin for reliable and full proof information? The difference between heat and cold is perceived by our skin only to a limited extent. Our skins cannot bear extreme heat or extreme cold. Thus can we emphatically proclaim that such a skin with limited perception potential can be capable of giving us true knowledge?
At night in sheer darkness our eyes fail to see anything. And yet an owl, cat, cheetah etc can see things very clearly. Modern science says that light exists everywhere at all times. There is nothing like 'darkness' in this world. Human eyes can perceive light vibrations only in a limited manner. When the speed of light is less than the power of human eye perception it experiences darkness.
Light waves of various colors move at varying speeds in space. Man's eyes perceive only a few waves of the 7 colored waves of light. The rest are not perceived by our eyes. A person ill with jaundice sees yellow color everywhere. A disease called retinocytis pigmentasia results in the patient seeing a straight line as a blob or a drop. Take the case of the sky. We all see it as an endless sheet of blue color. Within it we see stars hanging. Yet the question asked is, is this information true in the real sense? Is the sky as limited as perceived by our eyes? Are all the stars uniformly placed in space? Is the color of the sky actually blue in color? Astronomers will definitely answer in the negative and yet what to say about our eyes which insist that the sky is blue in hue?
The same holds true for our nose. We feel that many objects are devoid of smell and yet the fact is that they do possess smell. The levels of their smell too are varied. The nose of a dog can smell all of these and when we get lost our dog can lead us to our homes solely on the basis of smell perception. Specially trained dogs are known to nab criminals who commit theft, murder etc solely on the basis of their smelling capacity. This holds true for the differences as far as fragrance and foul smell is concerned. Many abhor the smell of garlic, onions etc and yet there are others who feel that their meal is not complete without the addition of garlic etc. The same is the case with alcohol, cigarettes etc. Thus how can one depend on the nose sense organ for factual information?
Even our tongue which tastes various food items fails to give us apt information. When a food item mixes with certain secretions from our taste buds our intellect categorizes it as a particular taste (bitter, sweet etc.). If the information given by the brain were to be uniform why would a neem leaf taste bitter to human beings and delicious to camels? Thus it is clear that the taste buds of camels give information of a particular food item which is totally different from that given by human taste buds. The tongue sense organ fails to uniformly identify the taste of a particular food item. Various creatures taste a single food item variedly because their taste bud designing. Uncooked or raw meat is abhorred by human beings but animals, birds etc eat it with pleasure. Dirty food is unacceptable to the human tongue but for pigs etc it is 'yummy'. When one gets ulcers in the mouth or when one is very ill or when ones taste buds are inactivated with certain herbs etc one does not get any taste while eating delicious food. Thus how can when get 'direct proof' of various tastes from our wavering taste buds?
The famous philosopher Faravi says that every object is principle in nature. Every object not only has movement but consciousness too as its substratum. This movement and consciousness pervades not only in objects but in living beings too. Thus how can we deny that behind animate and inanimate objects lies a substratum principle? This substratum can be known by inference and proof too. Which other proof is needed to prove the existence of divine consciousness which is otherwise called God, soul, Atman etc?
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AUTHOR: Shriram Sharma Acharya, founder of the International Gayatri Family, was a great Yogi, seer and incarnation of God who wrote volumes of scientific literature mainly on spiritual subjects for world welfare and peace.
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