Evolution [Part II]

human-evolution-scheme

Around a million years ago [give or take a few hundred thousand], our ancestors, the first humans, walked this earth.

They progressed from learning  to use fire, and making simple stone tools, to using metals to make weapons and implements.

They learnt to communicate with each other using words instead of gestures. Languages evolved and so did literature- reflecting the culture of that particular community.

From being hunters leading a nomadic existence, they graduated to farming, and instead of wandering from place to place, settled in groups in fertile areas near rivers.

As humans society evolved, rules evolved too, to keep order in this society. Social pressure, moral or religious conventions, and later legal systems became necessary.

Sciences, the arts, technologies, philosophy, economics, sports- spectacular achievements were made, and are being made, in every field. Humans have even conquered outer space and succeeded in landing on the Moon.

So where do we go from here?

Material, technical, scientific innovations, will no doubt continue to take place. But can we say that these innovations will necessarily better human society?

The novelist Aldous Huxley said that

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backward.”

Reading the morning newspaper or listening to the news channels makes us wonder if it is indeed true, as Aldous Huxley suggests, that the human race is regressing.

Murders, rapes and other violent horrific crimes make the headlines every day. Frauds are commonplace, with everyone trying to scam trusting people out of their hard-earned money.

Even a good education does not ensure employment, which leads to sections of youngsters in society becoming cynical, and frequently turning to crime.

Selfishness abounds,- the one thought in an average person’s mind while considering any action is, “what’s in it for me.”

Frequently I hear someone quote these verses from the Bhagvat Gita

[Lord Shri Krishna said to Arjuna- ]

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । 
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्||
 
“Oh, descendant of Bharat [Arjuna], whenever there is a decline in Dharma, and a predominance of Adharma, at that time I personally manifest Myself.”
 
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् । 
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥
 
“To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of Dharma, I come into being, millennium after millennium.”

I have heard people say that they hope Shri Krishna would really come to save us, and punish the criminals, the destroyers, the cruel.

If they truly hope for that, then maybe it should be kept in mind that it is the pious/ virtuous/ good that he will save- according to the sloka.

Perhaps it would be helpful if we tried to become worthy of being saved?

And that might not be as difficult as it seems at first thought.

Because it is said that-

नर जो अपनी करनी करे तो नर का नारायण हो जाये |

If a person works/ does his duty with sincerity, then he attains Godliness.

Well, I don’t think we need to aspire to such a lofty result, but it will be no small achievement if we can become better humans by doing our duty sincerely, in the various facets of our lives.

What do you think?

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22 thoughts on “Evolution [Part II]”

  1. Manju what you have expressed in your article is the simplest but greatest truth.
    Being born as a human with a thinking brain that can differentiate good from bad & right from wrong is associated with our species but what we are seeing all over the world and even in our great Bharat is saddening and depressing.
    I am concerned about our Bharat.
    All this ‘modern education’ in the English medium has completely deracinated us from our Atmiya Adhyaatmik wisdom.
    How long will this ‘universal consciousness of values’ passed down through the centuries from our Rishis & Munis remain alive is a query that worries & troubles me looking at the state of our Bharatavarsha today.
    The degradation & destruction of every sacred institution we treasured,protected & followed is evidenced and people are becoming insensitive,vulgar & extremely selfish.
    Sadly despite all technological advancement this indeed is not evolution but ‘regression,degeneration & degradation’ of human value systems.Humanity is going towards सर्वनाश एवम् प्रलय ।
    Unless there is an अवतार like श्री कृष्ण to establish धर्म once again I wonder will भारतीय संस्कृति survive???
    भारतवर्ष is the last bastion of Wisdom & Refined Culture and if it disappears then there is no hope for the world at large.
    सनातन धर्म is the Flame that has given Light to the world and kept humaneness alive in the hearts of humans!
    Hindus have to awaken & Arise in the words of Swami Vivekananda. Here the reference to Hindus is not in the narrow religious sense but in the deepest of आध्यात्मिक Spiritual context -मानव धर्म !!!!!!

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    1. Vijaya, thank you so much for your lovely comment.

      I agree, we are destroying our sacred institutions. By discarding everything from our past- as we seem to be doing- we are throwing out the good with the bad.

      Yes, as Swami Vivekananda said- the need is indeed to awaken and arise. But I am not pessimistic- we will surely realize the downward slide we are on, and reverse the direction in time. 🙂

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  2. I am so happy to see you back:)..
    Perhaps it would be helpful if we tried to become worthy of being saved?

    And that might not be as difficult as it seems at first thought….best lines..really if everyone thinks about it..everything could be changed..

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  3. Well said!The question is how do you make our people Thinking people?
    Every home used to have women who were the torch-bearers of the Wisdom of our Sages.
    Today homes are becoming empty as women are vying with each other in the corporate world to be ‘seen & heard’ and earn more and more material wealth!
    We in Bharat are going the occidental way where women have become competitors with their male counterparts at the cost of children & family.We are losing confidence in our own strengths as women.
    Women were never competitors and did their स्त्रीधर्म without any superiority or inferiority complex.
    Women have to know the power that they possess.
    I recall a saying that my mother used to quote quite often- O would the Giftee give us the power to see ourselves as others see us!I shall make a small change here – to know ourselves !
    We have to know what we wish to make of our lives!
    Homes & schools are of utmost import to inspire and give direction to the children of today to become what they should.
    I end with Sri Adi Sanakara’s great lines-भज गोविन्दम् भज गोविन्दम् गोविन्दम् भज मूढ़मते!

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  4. Manju we were writing to each other in synchronicity!
    You are correct in not becoming pessimistic.Let us hope and work towards the renaissance of our priceless values!
    शुभ २०१४ to all readers!

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  5. My mother was very good at story telling…she used to tell us and later to my children about the last avataar of god is Kali and he will come when the human race goes to the extreme of destroying humanity/bhoomi. I remember my son asking her, how do we know it? People will start fighting with each other and start killing each other without proper reason. I wonder if we are reaching that stage now.

    As you say too much modernisation might be taking us backwards faster than the normal pace. Sincerity is whatever we do is gone. It is always, as you say, ‘What’s in it for me’ now.

    I am more worried now seeing the current generation bringing up children. I see small children here speaking only in English. Parents mix Tamil scantily with English. Our festivals are not celebrated. The first celebration here in our new complex was Chritmas. The children sang Christmas carols. One person dressed as a Santa and distributed gifts and sweets. I admire the Santa character, no doubt. But our Indianness is going off very fast. Most of them stayed abroad for some years and have come back! But they are influenced by the western culture. We can take good things from them, like men also taking care of home, children etc. But that is not visible. Women come back from work and go straight to the kitchen. Men come to the gym! Hmmm…you have triggered my frustration! Sometimes I think that all the generations think that theirs was best and the next one is bad. I might be behaving like that too!

    Let us see for how long people of Bharath are going to be Bharateeya!

    Please write often, Manju!

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    1. I guess that yes, every generation thinks that their ways were better than the new generation’s. 🙂

      I don’t think that there is any harm in adopting methods or dress or languages from cultures different from ours. Particularly now, since travel has become so easy, and people often go abroad for education or work. However, why should we do so blindly, without even thinking whether they are suited for our climate or nature?

      And we frequently see that there is a tendency to look down upon our own culture, and consider western culture to be superior. Why should we feel that way? Ours is a very rich culture, with an envious store of knowledge, arts, literature. We have no reason at all to feel inferior to anyone.

      As for humans killing each other for no reason- really it does seem as if we have reached that stage now, doesn’t it? Let’s see if we humans have the capacity to change for the better? I hope we do…

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  6. Just read your comment Sandhya ji.
    I share with you the fears & apprehensions of our Hindu-ness & Samskriti slowly and steadily disappearing.The first sign of our ‘doddering culture’ is the use ( no use ) of our mother tongues.We are all vying with each other to ‘speak English’ even at home and what is tragically amusing is that even women ( I am a grandmother ) of our age with no ‘exposure’ to this foreign tongue speak it with their grandchildren to ‘impress’ them!
    Sadly we too are using this medium though it may be justified as we may be from different regions of Bharat.Coming back to this question of ‘losing our BHARATEEYA-ness’ I am indeed mortified.
    But then it is happening right under our nose.Who is to blame?Sorry the answer is us -we women!
    Till now in the context of Time we Hindu women were following and transmitting our Samskriti to our children both boys & girls as we took the Matri Dharma very seriously.But the scenario is fast changing.
    I recall once long ago in a fanciful mood I wore as ‘salwar-kammez’ and my little son was so ‘disturbed’ that he made me change back into a sari.I wondered at that time!This was because he saw me always in a saree!
    What do our grandchildren see their mothers and even grandmothers wearing today?
    Dresses and skirts and alien attire without ‘Pottu’ and even the Thali!They have become de-sensitized to our ways of dressing nay our ways of ‘aachaaram’ as we would say in Tamil.
    Hindu women feel ‘inferior’ to wear sarees & put the Pottu.Instead of saying Namaste/Namaskaar/Vannakkam they say HI (हाय – a term equivalent to Ayyo which is considered very inauspicious).
    My paternal grandmother who was from the North used to ask me ‘ why do these people say हाय हाय?
    Our Hindu symbols of Pottu,Mangalsutra are all symbols of deep wisdom & great thinking & philosophy is behind the application of these symbols.
    Coming back to X-mas & New Year (1st January ) these are definitely not Hindu and though we are familiar they are alien celebrations to Hindus.There is nothing wrong but there is something not right.
    I am treading ‘dangerous’ ground now (I may be classified as a Hindu fundamentalist )as I continue with the thread of my thoughts!Hindu homes proudly flaunt x-mas trees and sing X-mas carols and there is a Santa Claus etc.
    Our women now have started ‘baking cakes’ & ‘baking’ has become a hot topic of discussion within beautiful drawing room conversations!Not that it is something bad but looking at our country,our philosophy and the state of our nation today it is like ‘Nero fiddling away when Rome is burning’!
    But then I have digressed from the subject.
    We were never against such celebrations but we did not make it our way of celebration because our celebrations are always on a deeper & higher scale of trying to meld IHALOKAM with PARALOKAM -us mortals with the the ETERNAL!
    You have rightly pointed out very gently about the disappearance of Bharateeya-ness as we slowly dilute our ‘in-depth spirituality’ in such celebrations of New Year & Xmas.
    I wish people a Happy 2014 but not Happy New Year as this is not our New Year.
    Women-mothers,wives,sisters have to rise,awake & act as we have the greatest responsibility to pass on the wisdom of our Rishis and sages to the younger generations.
    Are we awake enough?
    Sandhya you may be interested in reading this article which is actually giving pertinent reasons as to why our society is ‘moving away’ from our Samskriti.
    My better-half read this article out to me.
    Manju this article says that today women are abandoning स्त्रीधर्म and entering other domains.
    This is being ‘celebrated’ and is the main reason why our ‘family & society’ is suffering and there is such ‘confusion’ in our Hindu society.( I may now appear to be anti-feminist which I am not )
    Women have to first and foremost realize their ‘duty’ towards family & society as this is her Streedharma.

    http://mahaperiyavaa.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/%E0%AE%B8%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%B5%E0%AE%AA%E0%AE%BE%E0%AE%B5%E0%AE%AE%E0%AF%81%E0%AE%AE%E0%AF%8D-%E0%AE%B8%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%B5%E0%AE%A4%E0%AE%B0%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%AE%E0%AE%AE%E0%AF%81%E0%AE%AE%E0%AF%8D-penmai/

    Manju I know you are Maharashtrian,Sandhya is Tamil speaking.In my case I only speak Tamil due to my mother but also speak Marathi as my mother was educated in Hingne at Maharishi’s Karve Mahilashram.
    So ‘education’ of little children is of utmost importance who have to be ‘instilled when young’ with our values!
    Can this be done & how & where do we begin?
    Any ideas?
    As we are ‘vibrating’ in the same wave-length hopefully let us dialogue and try to contribute in some small capacity to turn the tide from the direction our traditions are taking.
    Having said all this I must again state that these are my sincere thoughts for the preservation of our Samskriti with no animosity towards any other way of life.
    So once again Happy 2014!
    Namaskar!

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  7. It’s such a pleasure seeing you back after sooooooo loooooooong.
    I agree with every point you have talked about.
    I have a very closed mind on certain issues.I feel,world is changing and will continue to change.One can’t stop nature playing its role. Technology will keep getting updated.
    But,under no circumstances,should we lose our values of life.
    It is up to the parents to teach their children the real VALUES OF LIFE

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  8. Thank you, Manju and Vijayaa!

    Yes, we have to move with time! But it is very difficult to see our ancient languages dying. Tamil is a very rich language. Though I have taught Tamil to my children, no one reads Tamil books…I buy magazines and I have got books also. They know so much about all English books and authors, but even if I read or talk about them, they just laugh it off. What to do with the Tamil books, I am worried! Even English books won’t of of much use, my son says…kindle and other electronic gadgets are destroying even this!

    I don’t mind celebrating, saying ‘wish you happy new year’ to each other, since we are following this calender now for everything. But singing Christmas carols pains me a lot. Very small children are singing those songs. Some grand mothers have taught our shlokas to those children. Otherwise, they don’t know anything about our gods in this time of both parent running for IT jobs. I asked a child if he has read Amar Chitra Katha…III std. child. He said No. I am going to buy some and distribute those to the children. The play area is just below our house. I am not good at story-telling…a draw back! I used to buy so many Amar chitra kathas for my sons. Will they be of any use…only future will tell. The first son speaks only English! I am not able to do anything about it! The second one is with us and we speak to him in Tamil…but for how long will it survive?

    Manu, you are getting pos-like comments! I think I go out of the subject matter often!

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  9. In my view Sandhya you are not going ‘out of the topic’.All these points are very much relevant to what is happening on ground level.
    Reading about your pain at the state of Tamil in your own home ( I believe this is the situation for our other languages too ) re-enforces my very strong beliefs that first and foremost we have to restart by only promoting our ‘matri bhaashas’ within the sacred walls of our homes even if it is critiqued and ridiculed upon as being very ‘insular’.
    It is an uphill task but nothing comes easily in Life.
    I recall a very dear Maharashtrian friend who passed away a few years ago who made a statement that intrigued me at that moment in time.He said that the British had ‘attacked,destroyed and wiped out’ our Bharat’s educational,legal and medical systems and replaced them with their ugly institutions.This indeed is the bitter truth.
    We in Bharat having had an oral tradition are today completely a deracinated people.
    Having been followers of the ‘varna system’ we do not possess a ‘universal conscious memory’ to connect with other communities.
    At times we of the earlier generation do get ‘flashes’ of our ancient wisdom quotes that we heard from our grandparents.For the current generations there is no such fallback as they speak in a foreign tongue and have a different.In fact in many homes there are no supportive grandparents.
    First thing we should do is to speak only in the ‘matri bhaasha’ (very difficult indeed) within the 4 walls of the home to be able to rejoin to our ancient roots.And what a history we have!
    It will meet with resistance or problems at first ( for me it is of not being in our own environment ) as I myself find it here in my home far away from home.
    Secondly,parents will have to get pro-active and start connecting with like-minded teachers and school management members.We have to discuss the overall denigration of our culture and the ways to instill and give ‘Indic values’ to our children first and foremost in our own our languages.
    We should lay more stress on the overall development of our children than their ‘academic’ performance.We have to take out time to dialogue with our children as to what Life is.
    To not really ‘run after shadows’ and leave the substance behind.But then each one has to find out what is the substance?
    The greatest hurdle to cross is to reverse back into our own language systems.
    May be you have heard about Rajiv Malhotra an Indian American who has been working on the ‘consciousness’ of Bharat & Bharateeyata.
    He has written two books titled Breaking India (jointly with Aravindan Neelakanthan ; also translated into Tamil) & Being Different.
    He has a big following and he visits universities,institutions and colleges speaking to youth and people at large about ‘Being what we Are’.He has also an active e-group.
    So mother tongue,right value education -the meaning of DHARMIC Action have to be tackled at ground level from childhood with example from elders of the family.
    One has to also think of ‘joining the garland of our colorful different languages’ to our great MOOLBHAASHA Samskritam from where flows our भारतीय संस्कृति!That means we have to interact with all Bharatis coming from different regions.I find myself very very fortunate my ‘birth circumstances’ as I feel most comfortable anywhere in Bharat speaking in Tamizh,Hindi,Marathi or Bengali.I feel myself to be a true Bharati who can appreciate Carnatic music,Marathi abhangs or Hindustani music.
    What wonderful literature,poetry,music and food (real food included) for the body and soul we have in every region of our very own Bharat!
    We just have to open our ‘Gyaanchakshus’!
    We have been deceived far too long by the history written by vainquers that Samskrit is a dead and difficult language and that Tamil has no connection to this DEVABHAASAHA.
    We are all connected by ‘unity & diversity’ throughout the length and breadth of our Bharatavarsham.
    One can refer to the recently written treatise by Dr.R.Nagaswamy ‘Mirror of Tamil and Sanskrit’ which clearly points to the connection of Samskrit and Tamizh.
    Dr.Nagaswamy Former Director,Department of Archeology,Government of Tamil Nadu.
    http://m.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/article3606162.ece/

    Manju and Sandhya my comment is a long one but I did feel the necessity to state my truth.
    Let me along with you both,hope it also sheds some light on others to take action in the right direction.
    Namaste!

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  10. Absolutely true Sandhya!Bharati comes from Devi Bharati = Sarasvati the repository for All Wisdom & Knowledge.
    That is why Naamkaranam is a sacred Samskar & even calling someone by name ‘connects’ us to Eesvar (because we have सहस्रनाम &सहस्रनामावली)if the caller awakens his/her ‘consciousness’!
    Next time I am in Chennai and also Manju when I’m in Mumbai let us meet.
    We could also connect by Skype if possible.If yes then I could send you my details.
    Let us do our bit.

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  11. Sandhya & Manju ,you may be interested in reading a very wise transcript of truths stated.by the great PERIYAVAR the Great Sage of Kanchi Mutt about 60-80 years ago.
    The article is (one of a series ) both in original Tamizh & English (translation by my better-half ) on स्त्रीधर्म & स्वधर्म ।

    http://mahaperiyavaa.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/%e0%ae%b8%e0%af%8d%e0%ae%b5%e0%ae%aa%e0%ae%be%e0%ae%b5%e0%ae%ae%e0%af%81%e0%ae%ae%e0%af%8d-%e0%ae%b8%e0%af%8d%e0%ae%b5%e0%ae%a4%e0%ae%b0%e0%af%8d%e0%ae%ae%e0%ae%ae%e0%af%81%e0%ae%ae%e0%af%8d-penmai/

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