Wednesday 8 May 2024

At Her Lotus Feet - The healing touch is not yet

 – Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari (Yuva Bharati, Special Commemorative Volume, 1984, Sept)

The health of our nation is causing grave concern to all. It has been steadily deteriorating over the years, though during the freedom struggle there was some semblance of restoration to its old health and vigour. That was when everybody heaved a sigh of relief. But that was short lived. The condition is steadily deteriorating and today our beloved Motherland is critically ill!

The most general symptom of the malady presently is an excessive appetite for power, name and fame, followed by an insatiable hunger for wealth and opulence. This was of course preceded by the usual deliberate indifference to the higher values of life and attraction towards the easier and indulgent ways. Finally, it has culminated in deep-rooted corruption and total demoralisation of the entire populace. In the absence of doctors with competence and conscience, the malady is deepening and spreading. They have only been wasting their time by trying all sorts of superficial remedies.

They tried to restore health by eradicating ignorance and imparting wisdom, by creating centres of learning -Universities galore, which only helped to spread an education alien in its content and method. This has aggravated the malady by creating generations and generations of young men and women 'angry' at their ancient culture but passionately devoted to the imported stuff! The net result is that the allergy towards India and everything Indian has become more universal and fashionable. An irresistible attraction to the West and brain-drain are natural sequels.

They built gigantic industrial complexes to provide massive employment. With all care and concern, they provided supra- sensual comforts for the 'Supermen in charge, but utterly neglected the teeming millions who were really turning to work. No wonder quality got delinked from quantity, profit hid itself and these complexes turned into hotbeds of despotism, corruption and goondaism.

Then they turned to agriculture. Mother Earth yielded as ever before. Granaries overflowed, markets became overcrowded with people and produce too. All-time records were broken in statistical terms. Green Revolution became a tangible reality. Farmers became 'progressive'. YET, millions went to bed without a morsel of food in their stomach. Children died of hunger, malnutrition and diseases. Poor mothers found themselves dry with no milk to feed their little ones. When more than half the nation remained underfed and undernourished, others were busy building up a five-star culture of super affluence.

Huge dams were erected unmindful of the immense social injustice they were leading to. Those who traditionally took care of the forests and the mountainsides were uprooted and made vagabonds. When these custodians of the natural ecological balance were disturbed, flora and fauna protested. Nature showed her anger and floods and droughts danced side by side their dance of destruction.

Even places of worship were not left out in the total 'development' that swept over 1 the Nation. Social thieves among others, - found temples the most convenient place to hide their misdeeds. The Lord of the - Milky Ocean continued to be benign and merciful, absorbing all that was black and turning it into white. The last nail was also hit when sacred places were crudely converted into arsenals, regardless of the finer sentiments of devout people and turned into 'dens' for culprits and national enemies. Terrorism and divine contemplations co-existed in temples!

The lure for foreign money led to large scale looting of the coffers of the nation. Her trees, plants, animals-not even frogs are spared and human children including, have become commodities to earn 'valuable' foreign exchange! The priceless treasures of our temples and palaces have found new homes elsewhere, in drawing rooms and museums in the West, thanks to the professionals in anti- national activities.

Treatments and counter treatments go on but the malady is getting worse day by day. Nobody has diagnosed the deep seated malignancy-lack of love for Motherland and faith in our national heritage, disrespect for the everlasting values of life, and above all, lack of faith in oneself and one's potentialities. Today, this sickness is gnawing at the very vitals of our Nation at its crown in Kashmir, heart in Punjab, and shoulders in Assam. It can, any time spread to other parts. Intensive care and treatment alone can provide the healing touch.

Which specialist shall we approach?

Swami Vivekananda had diagnosed the cause of this national malady long back. He says: "Until the body's vitality is at a low ebb, the germs even if they enter the body they cannot do any harm. Only when the body is weak can germs enter and cause disease. 'JUST SO WITH NATIONAL LIFE'. It is when the national body is weak that all sorts of disease germs, in the political state of the race or in its social state, in its educational or intellectual state, crowd into the system and produce disease. To remedy it therefore we must go to the root of this disease and cleanse the blood of all impurities. The one tendency will be to strengthen the man, to make the blood pure, the body vigorous, so that it will be able to resist and throw off all external poisons".

"We have to bring out the life giving principles of our common heritage to every man, woman and child throughout the length and breadth of the country, understand them, know them and try to bring them out in their lives. This is the first step."

Swamiji was passing on the healing touch which his great Master had handed down to him, for his ailing countrymen, nay for the whole world. That is what we have to apply with all tenderness and care. What we need urgently is a national identification of some common factors. How deep rooted is this malady of non-identification can be understood by a report which came as early as in 1934. Sir Henry Gidney addressing the Anglo-Indian Community has made the following observation, which is as pertinent today as it was then,....... Your future, your progress and your opportunities will depend entirely on the attitude you adopt towards your countrymen'........... "Realise that you are the sons and daughters of this country, that India is your home and that when you talk of going home, you are really going away from it. Be proud of this, our common Motherland. Remember that you are one with your Indian brethren."

Today this is applicable to all those who seek newer identities. "It must be the endeavour of every community not to neglect its duty to the country. The first lesson taught to every child must be 'to become a good citizen first', than anything else. No good citizen will ignore the rights of his fellow citizens. The minorities would find the best guarantee for the protection of their legitimate rights in upholding and popularising the ideals of good citizenship, in partaking heartily in the social and political movements of the country along with the members of other communities and thereby showing that they are ready as much as others to shoulder responsibilities."

Our brethren in Punjab are sad and unhappy today. Why? That is the question which the whole country including themselves have to answer. In the correct answer to that would depend the restoration of much of our National Health. It depends on the mutual capacity of the majority and minority to give-love, understanding and respect- and to receive them gracefully.

We should observe a vow to pray with a pure and sincere heart for the healing of the wounds of our brethren who have given us so much, in valour, in riches, in dignity of labour. They have played a big role in making us self-sufficient in food. They were in the forefront in guarding our frontiers from alien attacks. In fact, they were originally formed and trained as a militant sect to protect the Motherland and her glorious culture from the sheer vandalism of the invaders. Can we ignore these facts of History?

What we need is a massive dose of the most potent and healing elixir of patriotism, a non-stop drip of the refreshing and reinvigorating spiritualism a national drive to eradicate the pollution of communalism by clearly defining the national principle of secularism, wholehearted efforts on the part of government and others to remove social injustices and above all spread of meaningful man-making education to strengthen the human character by instilling in him the faith in the Divinity within. This intensive multipronged care alone can give a lasting cure. No amount of half-hearted treatments can cure the disease. The prayer for a lasting cure should come from the hearts of millions of our countrymen.

Great power is contained in a united 1 benevolent thought, and good thoughts have great creative and healing powers. In the dark hours of ignorance and violence, what we need most are the light  of knowledge, reason and understanding, soothening words of love and expressions of the same through actions. Let us pray in one voice for the restoration of our - National Health-through goodwill and understanding amongst all who have adopted this great country as their Motherland. Sri Ramakrishna, that Master par excellence, has shown us the way in all his illustrations and parables, he never decried anyone, never belittled anyone. Bemeaning was unknown to him. Let us adopt his reverent attitude towards all religions and groups. Out of his broad grasping power and love, he built bridges of human understanding.

Everlasting value of good is what Sri Ramakrishna affirmed and the healing power of his words for our times is unquestionable. Let us not permit spirituality to be refuted through wrongly interpreted formulae as a result of which places of worship are converted into battle grounds. At the same time, let there be an unceasing flow from the fountain of true spirituality, whichever source it comes from temple, mosque, church, or gurudwara. True spiritual strength alone can be the sole redeemer for this country and the world at large.

Today, in this land which has preached and practised universal brotherhood for centuries, which has given shelter to millions who were persecuted and driven away from their own land of birth, the meaning of this is being questioned! Those who have not realised true God- love are using that for dividing their brethren. These self-styled God-lovers, not being God-knowers, cannot and do not understand the expressions of Godhood, where and how to seek Him.

Even God-love, delinked from sacrifice and service, is just a blind sentiment which can do more harm than good. On the contrary, imbued with sacrifice and service it can turn into perfect Knowledge, the central core of life. Let us pray for this love in the hearts of all our brethren. Constructive affirmation of the ultimate truth, good and unity by millions can work wonders and that alone can cure our national maladies. A deep rooted understanding of Oneness can be a sure and everlasting healing touch.


-- Let's perform our duty by casting our vote in favour of the national interest. 

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

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