Saturday, 25 March 2017

Nation - an extension of man


But still, because there is no other way, let us try, when I use the word Nation, you must think I mean Rashtra. You must translate it immediately into Rashtra and try to understand it according to Sanskrit connotation. Then it will be slightly easier.

Then what is this Rashtra? About man – I told man or woman – is the totality of the physical, the mental, the intellectual and the spiritual - four dimensions, which every one of us has got. We are not only body. We are not only mind. We are not only intellect. We are not only the spirit or the soul. We are all these together. So that is man. Nation is easily described as a collection of men. We say, "India is a Nation of hundred crores of people". So what is understood thereby? That, Bharat is a collection of hundred crores of people. That is what is generally understood. But, that is also not correct. Simply by collecting people you cannot make a Nation.

A Nation is not merely a collection of people just like a family is not a collection of a man, a woman and two or three children. If you bring together a man, a woman and two or three children, they do not become a family. It is true – in my family there is a man, a woman, and children too. But simply bringing a man, a woman and three children does not make a family. A family requires a husband, a wife and their children a father, a mother and their daughters or sons. Then only they become a family. So family is a living concept. It is not an arithmetical concept. It is a living concept. It is an organic concept. A family grows and is not made. A family evolves. A family develops. Similarly a Nation. True, it consists of many crores of people. But many crores of people put together do not make a Nation unless there is something which is born, grows, develops and flourishes as an organic living being.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Nation - An Extension of Man

The word Nation is an English word and we know the meaning as given by English people to the word Nation.

But what is the original word for it in our Sanskrit? What is the term we use in Hindi? The word is 'Rashtra'. Rashtra is translated in English as Nation. But the meaning of the word 'Nation' in English and 'Rashtra' in our language is different. As there is no other word for that in English we use the word Nation to denote Rashtra.

How is it different? The concept of Nation in the West was born only two, three hundred years back. Before that, there were no Nations in the West. So it is only within these three hundred years, the concept, the meaning the significance of the term Nation was evolved in the West. But you will find the word Rashtra in Atharva Veda which must be at least five or six or ten thousand years old. So, ten thousand years ago, we had the concept of Rashtra, understood its multi-dimensional meaning as connoted in our Sanskrit language. That meaning cannot be conveyed in English when you say Nation. It is like a fully grown up man. The concept of Nation in the West is just like a child. It is yet to grow. Whereas the concept of Rashtra in our country, is a very mature one. A fully developed concept. Therefore, when we use the word Nation, we have to understand it as the meaning of Rashtra – not the Western Nation but the Hindu Rashtra. You will have to understand it in that context. The word is like a vessel. But the contents are different. The content in our terminology for the word Rashtra is qualitatively different. Even quantitatively different.

It is like the word Dharma. How do you translate the word Dharma in English? . . .  Religion? Dharma is not Religion. But there is no word for Dharma in English, because they have no concept of Dharma. Dharmena hina. They are devoid of Dharma. In the Western terminology, there is no concept of Dharma. Even for us it is very difficult to understand dharma, "Dharmasya Tattvam Nihitam Guhaya". It is very difficult to understand even in our own country where this word has grown. It is very difficult to understand Dharma. You ask ordinary people what is Dharma? Very difficult to say. So the Westerners cannot understand the connotation or meaning of the word Dharma. So they say it is religion. What is religion? Going to Church and praying. Is it Dharma? That can be a very small part of Dharma. Dharma is much wider. The Putra Dharma. The Pitru dharma, the Dharma of the husband, the Dharma of the wife, Dharma of the teacher, Dharma of the student. All these are included in the word Dharma. So Dharma cannot be translated as Religion. And if you think that Religion is Dharma, you are doing injustice to Dharma.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Nation - An Extension of Man

While speaking of "Nation – An Extension of Man", Mananeeya P Parameswaranji said :

"Man", we all understand. There is no difficulty to understand the word man. When I say man or woman-our education system has conditioned us to think of the person in a limited biological sense only. 

For example, Swamiji said, "Man making is my mission". An ordinary man knowing English will ask this question "Are we not already men? How are you going to make us men?"

The meaning given by Swamiji to the word 'man' and the general meaning of it are different. All of us are men or women. But what is it that Swamiji means, when he says. "I want Men"? Men includes women also here. The man Swamiji means is different from the ordinary man we think about. There is a qualitative difference between them though quantitatively the same.

That man of Swamiji is a 'Man' – with a good physique with a developed mind, with very sharp intellect and with a spiritual dimension. Only when all these things are there the specifications which Swamiji means – will the man qualify for the term "Man". Otherwise all are men. So when we use the word 'man' in the sense Swamiji used it, we have to understand it correctly, differently, with its full significance, i.e. a Man fully developed, physically, mentally, intellectually and spiritually. So if, even the simple word 'man' has to be understood in a special way, how much more difficult it is to understand the word Nation? Nation is an extension of man. What is a Nation? That is also difficult to understand. The word Nation is an English word and we know the meaning as given by English people to the word Nation.