The Future of Civilization

P.R. Sarkar
Modern minds are often perplexed by the fear and doubt of the extinction of the human race within a short period. People deem that civilization is passing through a very critical phase and there is no possible escape from its total annihilation. But this can’t happen.

Both individuals and society are dependent on three factors for their existence: existence (asti in Sanskrit), development (bhati) and bliss or mental peace (ananda). Dwelling place, food, clothing, education and medical facilities are the sine qua non for existence. The term bhati means vibhati: development and progress. The mere earthworm for instance, has existed for hundreds of millions of years, yet it does not signify existence in the true sense of the term. That is to say, there has to be progress and development. Eating, drinking and being merry cannot represent a true life. It would be an encumbrance, a boredom.

For the all-round development of an individual or a society a goal is needed. But for this determined goal the direction and purpose of development will remain confused. A bud blooms into a flower; this is what you may call its development. The purpose of development is the attainment of bliss. The term ananda connotes infinite happiness, the equipoise of pleasure and pain, the perfect mental peace.

The absence of any of the aforesaid factors may cause a great consternation or convulsion in individual or social life. The earth came into existence hundreds of million years ago. Though from the archaeological point of view it is still in its infancy, one day or the other it is bound to meet its Waterloo. This will naturally mean the extinction of the human race. Is it so?

The destruction of a particular planet or solar system does not mean the end of the human race. There are numerous other stars and planets in the universe. With further development of science and by the help of inter-planetary rocket systems, human beings will move to other planets. What is a dream today will become a reality tomorrow. It is the inherent desire of an individual and the collective body which takes a concrete shape. It was an age-old desire of human beings to fly in the sky like birds. The aeroplane was a product of this desire. Desire is the mother of action. In coming days, you will see such rockets which may enable human beings to travel to other planets. And if one day these planets and stars also perish people will move to other planets. It may also be argued that a day may come when due to constant radiation of heat and light the temperature of the entire universe may become the same, that is, the thermal death of the universe may occur. In the absence of external heat the universe may cease to exist. This means that humanity will also perish. But it can’t happen. There can’t be a thermal death of the universe. The solidification of the object will result in bursting (jadasphota). Tremendous heat will be released due to the bursting or exploding apart of a particular planet, and new galaxies and stars will be formed out of it. There is therefore, no cause to fear. The earth may one day become extinct but humanity can’t cease to exist. You can rest assured of existence.

Numerous factors are needed for the development of a group of people. But the following six are the most important of them.

There should be a spiritual ideology in the life of both the individual and the collective body. Much of your energy is misused due to the ignorance of your own self and the destination towards which you are moving. This misuse of energy is bound to cause destruction.

The second factor for the progress of society is spiritual cult, a process of meditation (sadhana). Everyone has got a physical structure. The problem with every individual is to produce more and more ectoplasmic stuff by the body and then to convert it into consciousness. There should be a proper process for this conversion. Spiritual cult consists of the conversion of the five rudimental factors into ectoplasmic stuff and then into consciousness through a special scientific process. This is a process of metamorphosis. Spiritual cult therefore, is indispensable. But only spiritual ideology and spiritual philosophy will not do.

The third factor which is a blending of existence and development is a socio-economic theory. There should be a priori knowledge regarding the social structure, the distribution of wealth and its growth. For want of this knowledge there can’t be a solid ground for the construction of the social edifice.

The fourth is social outlook. All living creatures in this manifest universe are the children of the same Cosmic Entity. They are the progeny of the same Supreme Progenitor. Naturally they are bound in a thread of fraternal relations. This is the central spirit. A socio-economic theory is of no use but for this fraternal feeling. The implementation of this theory is an impossibility without spiritual cult.

The fifth factor for the progress of society is for it to have its own scripture (shástra). There is a need for the company of elevated persons (satsauṋga) in all spheres of life. The authority whose contact means satsauṋga for you is the scripture. That which elevates society by dint of discipline (sháśana) is called scripture. We should have a scripture of our own.

The last but not the least important factor for the progress of society is for it to have its own preceptor.

The entire social structure is dependent on these six factors. Development is meaningless without them. The weakness of one among them may jeopardize the very existence of development.

From ancient times many groups of people came into existence. Some of them somehow managed to drag on, some became extinct and some continued to exist in a metamorphosed form. About one thousand five hundred years ago, Arabs were very developed in science. But they were defeated by the Islamic wave, for they were lacking in the six aforesaid factors, while the latter had at least five of them. The same is the case with Egypt. It was fully developed in the spheres of art, architec ture and science. It is the Egyptians who made the pyramids which needed subtle geometrical knowledge. Moreover, they were also very advanced in the sphere of civilization. Despite this, they could not prevent their defeat. Today’s Egypt is the Egyptian form of Arab civilization. The cause of the death of its older form was the lack of the aforesaid six factors.

The Christian or Roman civilization was also considerably higher on the ladder of development. Yet they were lacking in social outlook. There were no feelings of fraternity and equality. The slave system was rampant and human feelings were on the wane. Furthermore, the lack of a proper socio-economic theory generated a kind of fascist mentality in them. Those rolling in luxury and adverse to labour became indolent. Naturally they were defeated by a stronger and more strenuous force. The destruction of the Greek and Chinese civilizations was also caused by the lack of the factors of development. The Aryans could defeat the indigenous Indians only due to the latter’s lacking in the factors of development. They had several factors of development but there was no preceptor and hence they were defeated.

In the future also, for want of the six factors of development, the extinction of a concerned group of people is sure to happen. But where these factors are present, there the movement is toward divine bliss, and due to this movement the chance of their elimination becomes nil. Such groups which have the six factors in their possession will be able to produce enlightened leadership (sadvipras). Sadvipras are those whose all efforts are directed towards the attainment of bliss. They are also conscious of existence and don’t lack in the six factors of development. They are strong in morality and are always ready to wage war against immoral activities.

Strength of persistence (tapah siddhi) is an impossibility without the six factors of development. Those who strictly adhere to the principles of morality, are ensconced in tapah, and are ready to wage a war against immoralists are sadvipras. Only those sadvipras are safe from destruction and extinction who can work for the welfare of the human society. Therefore, it becomes the prime duty of all people to make themselves and others sadvipras. By sadvipra it is not meant those who practice Mala-Jap or Práńáyám. In Práńáyám also there are three stages – purak means to inhale; kumbhak which is to hold the breath and recak which is to exhale. The práńáyám of the sadvipras will be to inhale the entire universe in purak, to keep it within in kumbhak and then to exhale it after mixing it with their own greatness and good will in recak.

Sadvipras will wage a ceaseless struggle against immorality and all sorts of fissiparous tendencies. Those who pose as righteous (dharmic) but are bashful with the spirit of fight cannot be called sadvipras. Shiva was great because his trident (trishul) was always ready to strike at the immoralists. Krishna was great because his arrows were meant to curb the anti-human and immoral elements. He also encouraged the moralists to wage war against the immoralists. They were not only sadvipras but also the parents of sadvipras – the great sadvipras.

… By making a useless fuss over problems one will not ease the trouble. The spirit to fight against all odds alone can solve the problems confronting human beings. March ahead and wage war against all difficulties, every impediment. Victory is sure to embrace you. Difficulties and encumbrances cannot be more powerful than your capacity to solve them. You are the children of the great Cosmic Entity. Be a sadvipra and make others sadvipras also.

Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011

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