The Supreme Operative Principle (Prakrti in Sanskrit), the authoress of multiplicities, has been carrying on Her endless creation or diversity. The beauty, the sweetness and the wonder of this diversity is manifest in every place, in every stratum of creation. Human beings have emerged as the highest beings at an evolved stage of Her creation in the course of its extroversial (Sain’cara) and introversial (Pratisain’cara) phases. And there are a great many diversities and apparent distinctions within humanity itself.
The people of some countries have dark skin, tall bodies, black irises, black hair, thick lips and flat noses, while the people of other countries have a fair complexion, medium height, blue irises and aquiline noses. There is a remarkable difference, a wonderful diversity, in regard to physiognomy – hair, eyes, skin, nose, lips, etc. – among the inhabitants of the different parts of the world. In fact, this difference between human beings is so staggering that sometimes people are wrongly led to believe that the white people are perhaps superior to the black population, and that the blacks are only a little higher than our animal ancestors on the scale of evolution. As human beings were not able to unravel the mystery of this diversity, they wrongly preached the doctrine of racial supremacy, resulting in hated of their fellow human beings and heartless cruelty, and indulged in savagery and bloody warfare – these were the darkest and the most lamented chapters in human history. Even today in Europe, particularly in Spain and Portugal, and in the USA, South Africa and Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe], one unmistakably notices the curse of this ignorance.
But is racial supremacy a scientific concept? Is it humanly justified? What does ethnology say? What is the origin of humanity? Did the ancestors of human beings of various colours belong to the same stock, or were they different? According to ethnology the human ancestors were the same. From them originated the Aryans, the Austrics, the Mongolians and the Negroes of today. Those first forebears of the human race have been termed Australopithecus in ethnology. On an auspicious day in the remote past, say 1,000,000 years ago, the first human being saw the light of this verdant earth. The Australopithecus group branched out into two categories of creatures – chimpanzees and orangutans on one side, and human beings on the other side.
The first human beings were born in the vast geographical area between the Java Islands and Palestine. The Australopithecus gradually transformed themselves into human form but this great transformation did not take place overnight, nor even in one century, but by slow degrees. Ethnologists, to be more precise, have conceived of an intermediate stage of beings – the Homo Erectus – who are neither Australopithecus nor exactly human beings in form and nature. The fossils of these creatures have been found in different parts of Java, China, and East and North Africa. These creatures of the Homo Erectus species emerged in the unknown past, chiefly during the Pleistocene Age of the earth.
Everything on this earth is subject to the rule of change and progress. Eventually there came about enormous changes in the environment and natural conditions of the earth in subsequent ages, and consequently thousands of species entirely vanished. Because of the immutable law of nature, these species also had to leave this earth forever, without leaving any trace behind.
But before their extinction they left behind their descendants – Homo Sapiens were the first ancestors of humanity.
The different groups of Homo Erectus spread out in different directions. Some of the groups were doomed to extinction in the face of the fierce onslaught of hostile nature, while other groups had the advantage of congenial environments and gave rise to a higher species. Those who were responsible for the advent of the human race could not maintain their survival because they could not adopt themselves to the enormous changes in the natural environment of this earth.
The first Homo Sapiens did not remain tied to one place. In quest of greater ease, comfort and safety in life, they spread out from Eurasia to the Arctic Ocean, from the Bering Strait to Melanesia, and from there again they moved in other directions, to find new homes in unexplored horizons.
Thus the single species of Homo Sapiens scattered itself over different parts of the world. At first the colour and physiognomical differences between the scattered Homo Sapiens were not very prominent. But with the passage of time, as they passed their lives over long periods amidst diverse geophysical conditions, differences in their physical structures became more and more apparent. Thus the apparent diversity in the human world today is the product of natural conditions.
Geographically this planet of ours is divided into a few distinct zones: the snow-covered poles; the hot, sandy and dreary deserts; the roaring and ruffled seas and oceans extending up to the distant horizons; and the silent and motionless, high and intractable mountains. In some places rivers cut vast plains into two; at other places high waves break upon the banks of great lakes with a thudding sound.
Human beings, since their advent onto this earth, found themselves confronted with these types of conflicting natural environments. They had to fight tooth and nail against those particular adverse circumstances to preserve their existence, and that process brought about marked changes in their outward physical structures.
The greater the heat of the sun, the greater the amount of ultraviolet rays in the sunlight. A study of geography tells us why there are differences in the degree of heat of the sun’s rays. Where the sun?s rays fall on earth obliquely, there is less heat of the sun, and where the sun’s rays fall straight on the earth, the heat is greater. In very hot countries white-skinned people find it very hard to live, because their skin, having less of the chemical substance called melanin, is unable to stand much heat. Body skin with a great quantity of melanin in it turns jet black, and obviously a lesser quantity of melanin makes one’s skin white.
If ever white people are forced for some reason to live long in a hot climate, their colour turns brown. In 1939-40, when British soldiers came to India for war purposes, their colour became brown due to the great heat. Naturally, as the skin of these soldiers had to adjust with the hot climate of India, there were some necessary changes in their skin to effect acclimatisation.
In hot countries the irises of people?s eyes are generally black, because more melanin is required to protect the eyeball from the scorching rays of the sun.
The nostrils of people in hot countries are comparatively large and the front of the nose is extended. Why does this happen? Because external heat makes the internal air heated. The body temperature having increased, the internal heat tries to force its way out rapidly. As a result of the rapid exhalation of heavy, hot air, the diameter of the front portion of the nose increases.
People who live in cold countries develop fatty tissues in their bodies. These tissues are particularly helpful in maintaining body temperature. And though their noses are high, their nostrils are comparatively small because if a large amount of chill air enters the body it will inevitably affect the lungs and vocal chord. That is why nature has made the constitution of the inhabitants of cold countries so ideally suited as not to allow a greater than necessary amount of air to enter the body at the time of breathing.
In the same way the variation in natural environment and climate has variously effected other changes in the physical structure of human beings. Some people are jet-black, some reddish white, some yellow, while others are brown. The one species of Homo Sapiens has become divided into four distinct races (living under different circumstances), but basically they all originated from one and the same source – from Australopithecus to Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens. The same stock is divided into various so-called races – white, black, brown and yellow. These races are as different from one another as the rivers Ganga, Meghna, Padma and Bhagirathi, which spring from one common source, the Gangotri in the Himalayas.
There are four main races in the world today – the Aryans, the Austrics, the Negroes and the Mongolians.
The Aryans first moved from West Asia and migrated to different parts from the Black Sea to the Danube Valley and then to Central and West Europe. They advanced and settled in Iran, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, North Africa and Spain, and along the Mediterranean coast. They spread out from West France to the British Isles, and later spread to Afghanistan, the Indus Valley, the Red River Valley, and Korea and Japan in the Far East.
The Mongolians had China as their main homeland. Later they spread out from the Arctic Ocean to the Bering Straight and to the White Sea. They could not move westward because of the obstruction of high mountains in Asia. So they advanced eastward and southward and reached Burma, Siam (Thailand), Indochina, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines and Japan, and joined the original inhabitants of those places.
The Negroes lived near the equator in Africa and New Guinea, near the southern coast of the Indian Ocean. Their descendants are found in South India, the Andaman Islands, the Malayan Peninsula and the Philippines.
Human society comprises these various branches of various races. There is no reason whatever to recognize one race as superior to another race. The external differences in constitution among these human groups cannot alter their basic human traits – love and affection, pleasure and pain, hunger and thirst. These basic biological instincts and mental propensities equally predominate in human beings of all complexions in all countries and in all ages. A mere rustic, unlettered, half-naked tribal mother of an unknown hamlet of Chotanagpur Hills (in Bihar in India) bears deep maternal affection for her young children; in the same way, a well-educated mother of a locality of New York pours out of her heart a great love for her own children. The subterranean flow of love and affection exists in all hearts alike. Every person cries out in pain, everyone feels pleasure when there are occasions of joy and happiness. In different geographical, cultural, social and other environments the lifestyles of different human groups may vary – a few special psychic traits of some of those groups may assert themselves – but fundamentally their mental existence flows along the same channels of ideas and consciousness. Containing the same cosmic momentum and under the same cosmic inspiration, they all have set out for a tryst with the same destiny.
From the unknown past until this day, the various branches of the human society have given rise to different civilizations. The Alpines and the Mediterraneans (two branches of the white race) produced the Hellenic, Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations. The Nordics and the Dravidians were responsible for the Indus Valley civilizations. And the yellow race produced the Chinese and Japanese civilizations. The Red Indians built up the American civilizations.
Black people did not lag behind either. True, compared with other races their contribution to human civilization is less impressive, not because of their racial inferiority, but because the so-called civilized races (for their selfish political interests) deprived them of sufficient scope in their development. Furthermore, the hostile natural environment did not allow introversion of their psychic potentialities. There is still the burning desert of the Sahara right in the heart of Africa, surrounded by sea on most sides, and there is still the deep and impenetrable forest thwarting any easy human communication. This unfavourableness of nature prevented the Africans from looking within and that accounts for their failure to build any civilization in the past. In spite of that, there are immense human potentialities lying dormant in them too. And for that the most pressing need is to develop those possibilities by creating a congenial environment.
There is an admixture of blood of different races. In India, all the four prominent races – the Aryans, the Mongolians, the Austrics and the Negroes – have been inseparably mixed up. The present Filipinos are a mixture of Negro, Mongolian and Aryan races, though the Mongolian elements are predominant. Ethnological research has proved that the present Philippino race grew out of a heterogeneous mixture of people from India, Indonesia, Malaya, China, Africa and Arabia. Similarly, the Japanese race was evolved out of a blood mixture of the Aynus (a sub-branch of white people) hailing from the banks of the Amur River, a sub-branch of the yellow race from Korea, and a hybrid community of browny-black coloured people who migrated from Malaya and Indonesia. The Chinese people are composed of people from South Russia and Central Asia. The population of Great China is a mixture of those different communities.
Only recently Hitler fed the German nation on the spurious notions of Aryan supremacy and incited the vain and arrogant Nazis to fight a horrible war. He raised his arrogant slogan – “The Aryans are not to be ruled but to rule”. But is this chauvinistic and blind concept of Aryan supremacy supported by the science of ethnology? No, this science holds that the modern Germans are not a homogeneous race. They are a mixed race. Thus, if analysed, it will be found that none of the existing human races are free from admixture of the blood of other races. Therefore the talk of “purity of blood” of a race is meaningless, for there cannot be any purity of blood of a particular race. Rather, blood is always pure.
In India, the maximum mixture of blood has been in Bengal. The Bengali race evolved out of the Aryans, Mongolians, Austrics and Negroes. The people of Bihar and Orissa and the Kayastha (a high-caste Hindu community of East India) belong to this Bengali race. In southern India, too, Negro blood came to mingle with the Austric blood, and a new race, the Dravidians emerged.
Thus in the dim past of unknown history, different human groups came in one another’s contact. There was unavoidable intermingling of blood, and ultimately there arose many so-called new races after gaps of long periods. The innate migratory nature of human beings has goaded them to journey from one horizon to another, from one hemisphere to another. For more than one reason, human beings have broken narrow geographical boundaries and set out for other lands and associated with other communities. The direct and indirect causes of their association with other races are roughly as follows:
- To preserve their existence, fighting collectively against hostile natural forces.
- Through wars, victories and defeats of warriors, and expansion of kingdoms.
- For inner attraction because of common religion.
- Because of geographical proximity.
- For reciprocal trade and other communications.
- Through linguistic and cultural exchanges.
The above-mentioned factors brought the various human groups in close contact with one another. And goaded by an innate instinct, they freely mixed among themselves. This contact and close relationship among various groups gave birth to the many so-called races of today.
Ultimately this close association amongst themselves culminated in marital bonds. Many small races were fused into a new race through inter-racial marriages. For instance, in South America, as a result of constant intermingling of the blood of the Negroes, the Europeans and the Indians, a new race has emerged. Similarly, in Colombia and Mexico, a new Mestizo community has come into being as a result of interracial marriages between the Europeans and Indians. That is why it is not proper to attach much importance to differences in respect to noses, eyes, hair, height, etc.
Human society is continually striving to arrive at a synthesis through analysis, some sort of unity through diversity. The natural obstructions of small clans, narrow communal interests, geographical distances and intractable customs and usages – none of these obstacles could hinder the steady and silent movement towards a supreme goal. That is why the policy of apartheid, the vanity of racial superiority, national chauvinism or regionalism – these relative doctrines or social philosophies – could not thwart the progress of human society. The outdated ideals of nationalism are crumbling to pieces today.
The newly awakened humanity of today is anxious to herald the advent of one universal society under the vast blue sky. The noble and righteous persons of all countries, bound by fraternal ties, are eager to assert in one voice, with one mind, and in the same tune that human society is one and indivisible. In this voice of total unity and magnanimity lies the value and message of eternal humanism.
A Few Problems Solved Part 2
One Human Society
PROUT in a Nutshell Volume 2 Part 7
Supreme Expression Volume 2
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011