Saturday, May 13, 2017

How to live conscious in today’s times?

Well, who in today's world would not like the world to be happy and peaceful place? 
Except really some nasty destructive unconscious minds, average population of the world would like it to be a happy and peaceful place. At least I believe so.

When I believe so, obviously I indirectly pass the judgment that the world today is not a peaceful place. Along with my day to day interactions with people, influx of news from various sources makes me believe that - ISIS, Syria, Religious terrorism, rapes, murders, various serious health issues, are order of the day in today’s world. On a slightly milder scale, decline of democratic values, income inequality, inferior treatment on the basis of gender, decline of value systems etc are experienced.

Environmental damage has become a matter of serious concern in today’s times. During my spiritual walk and journeys all over India and to other countries, the news and observation I have faced most commonly is damage to the environment. From death of rivers, deforestation, cutting of mountains, industrial toxic emissions, vehicular pollution, animal extinction, piling of plastic garbage, pollution of oceans, e-waste and so on…
These issues have posed serious problems before us in terms of polluted air, rise in temperature, water scarcity, scanty rainfall, change in the weather pattern, rise in various deceases, and loss of overall ecological balance.
I think many will agree with the above observation about my world-view.

I have excessively indulged into materialistic aspects of life, in desires, in acquisition, in consumerism. I have traveled barefoot for years, I have meditated, contemplated, isolated, tried to be not part of any religious, social, economic system as a part of my spiritual experimentation. I have tried to believe only in the first hand source of information. 

Yogi Arwind walking barefoot in the Himalayas in the Manali-Leh region during his Bharat Bhraman 2010

Based on my yogic experimentation, I have come to the conclusion that because of various impressions of exercise of political power in last couple of centuries - persistent onslaught on the local cultures and lifestyles has been carried out. Beautiful tiny social, economic & cultural models have been destroyed in the process. From Amazons to a big ‘crop pattern’ change in my native village in Central India, there would be ample evidences. From Coorg, to Bhutan, to Sikkim to every single village in the mountains, in Western ghats, there are tiny independent socio-economic systems which have beautifully interlinked the enterprise, politics, economics, religion, & personal peace. Since economics is the major force emerged in previous century, concept of modern money has devalued the real value that formed basis of economic activity. Hence populations have illusion-ed to go for paper money over real value in the form of production of crops, fruits, handicrafts. Indirectly the journey from real value to notional value has happened ruining various integrated models of value creation.

Since ‘fast’ is a driving force behind today’s economic activity, the long term planning about farm activity has been fast fading away. Planting trees for future generations was a spiritual guidance for farmers. This is being missing because of the greed of cash crops. Division of land into smaller plots is resulting into cutting of trees. Governments of the yesteryears have blindly followed the policy of uniform plantation of British rulers which has resulted in millions of hectors of forests of non-indigenous plants that literally don’t give any production. And this is against the general advise our forefathers had given to plant Panch-Pallav – five types of trees – Mango, Jamun, Neem, Banyan and Peepal. And Gullar and Amla alongside. So this overall fall in consciousness about plantation of trees, crop pattern has resulted in drastically reducing the subject matter expertise in the form of farmers knowing the lifecycle of plant, maintenance of the plantation and utility of the plant. Certain aspects of research of lifecycle of the plant that will range over few lives of the plant are vanished. This is the loss we have incurred due to our greed for ‘fast’ results and money.

It’s not only the trees, plants and farms that are affected by the disease of ‘fast’ but also lifestyle solutions like yoga and meditation too. In its greed of making money from these disciplines, various stakeholders are so in rat race of appropriation that the very essence of these practices is getting lost. Instead of deriving beautiful results from these disciplines in the form of peace, harmony and balance, the practitioners and teachers have reduced it to a few hundred hours certification and resultant money making from it.

Instead of simply putting it as a capitalist manifestation, I would try to project it as an outcome of various complex power systems that shape human consciousness in today’s world to try make the world appear uniform in appearance, in its delivery of value and in governance. 

Empirical evidence would suggest that this endeavor of uniformity has weakened the spirit of human existence by establishing disharmony with nature.

As various agencies that are in charge, appear helpless in bringing peace in the world today, in my opinion, going back to the basics on individual level is the effective solution. Nurturing independent functional ecosystems based on deep harmonious relationship between humans and the nature - as they existed for ages - is the solution. 

Yogi Arwind performing daily Havan at his Ashram in Rishikesh 2010

For this we will have to change the narrative. Our thoughts, speech, & actions need to be synchronized - from controlling resources to nurturing resources. The uninterrupted chain of gross, subtle & unknown needs to be established.  By removing anomalies, the chain of human, nature & divine needs to be re-corrected.

Yogi Arwind collecting garbage from the river Manadakini at Gaurikund, Kedarnath as a part of Clean Ganga campaign 2011

Particular institutions gain importance in particular phase of time. Now is the time of collective endeavor. The lethargic thought of governments will carry the welfare and we will vote them for a term of office is not going to work. The hidden agenda of religion, economic gain, invasive policy, coercion, is not going to bear fruits. 

Now the change has to start from one's own self! We have to change our lifestyle from making money to shaping consciousness. from acquiring resources to nurturing natural resources. From accumulation of resources to sharing resources. We have to build our consciousness by designing every single small aspect of our life. By making conscious decisions and choices about what we wear, what we consume, what we eat and drink, what we exploit, what we do and not do, how we behave in society and in seclusion, how we speak, what actions we carry.... we have to bring in that consciousness factor in all these above considerations. And we have to ultimately relate it with a conscious, harmonious, peaceful relationship with the nature.

Yogi Arwind planting a tree in Bangalore -2013

We have to wake up every morning with the thought that the nature is mine and I am for the nature. We have to think of sharing with the nature and not exploiting the nature. We have to live the yam-niyams of yogic lifestyle with utmost commitment. We have to sleep in gratitude that the nature is showering its blessings and abundance on us. And we have to sleep with the firm resolution that with the new dawn I will embrace the nature with my pure intentions. I will preserve and protect it.

Do it. And the joy and peace is at your door-steps.

Shubham Bhavatu.