Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Apropos of the New Millennium

Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Apropos of the New Millennium

Article excerpt

According to a Christian legend pansies were at one time more sweet-smelling than the violets. But then this also became a cause of concern for them. Flower-gatherers in search of them would trample over large tracts of cornfields and occasion considerable damage. Pansies prayed to the Trinity to take away their fragrance. At present violets are more fragrant than pansies.

We can now imagine why Eliza Doolittle sold violets at a theatre. The flower-maid could not pronounce her `h's properly; nevertheless, in her innocence there was something very sweet and aromatically charming. But these days we, in our sophistication, do not understand that nature has a different purpose for us and that she expects us to participate in it. We are moving away from the pristine freedom and naturalness of the heart.

We love our civilisation; however, in our ineptitude we do not respect values. That kind of noble and refined insightful sensibility is absent in us. We do not know the Path of the Soon-to-Come. We are not aware of our own possibilities; we do not recognise that we are born to realise the highest ideal. We disregard the voice that tells us: "Come to the beautiful, the good, the hue; don't get lost in weakness, don't fall asleep in the present: come towards the future." We are busy in building the City of Man and do not hear the footsteps of the coming Millennium. If somewhere deep within us we do see the enduring spirit of magnificence of our past, we are also well pleased by the riches that have come to us today in their material abundance. Yet it is essential that we exercise caution while accepting the time's untrustworthy gift horse. In the specific context of India it is obligatory that we should awake to the spirit of India and live in it. Akbar had a blackbuck as his pet. When Mansram died the Emperor honoured it with a cenotaph. But today the species is in danger. The simple Bishnou community of Rajasthan takes it as the avatar of Krishna and reveres it so. But urbanisation and poaching pose a threat; film stars and celebrities are its great killers. The Dharma of India is the Dharma of Truth, Satya Dharma, and the manner of upholding it is the life of dedication to it, of Satya Yajna. It is in that tapasya that we shall fulfill ourselves and fulfill the world, -- and also humanity and God. When we shall awake to it and perform the Yajna, only then shall we conceivably participate in the august vision and work of Sri Aurobindo. In it "we shall hear more and more the song of the growing godhead ... of human unity, of spiritual freedom, of the coming supermanhood of man, of the divine ideal seeking to actualise itself in the life of the earth, of the call to the individual to rise to his godlike possibility and to the race to live in the greatness of that which humanity feels within itself as a power of the spirit." (1) That is the prospectus put for us, the Prospectus of the Eternal.

Tapasvins of the ancient days spoke of the Truth and in their being they ever grew towards its increasing manifestation. With the offering of bright oblations and chanting of prayers both the Gods and the Rishis climbed the steep slopes of heaven: rebhanto vai devascha rishayascha swargam lokamayan. Thus they attained immortality. Ever in this land, and even in the declining of ages, Knowledge approached Brahma and invoked his benedictions: "Protect me, I am thy treasure. Do not expound me to the scornful, not to the unstraighfforward, nor to one who has no self-control; thus I shall grow powerful." It is that Word which illumines all, gives to everything the truth of expression. The guardians of light are never asleep here and their awakening is uninterrupted. The touch with the Infinite is never lost. But now the Path has to go beyond the City of Man. In the Babylonian epic we have Gilgamesh standing in front of the proud gates of his Uruk. He is inviting us to look around and view the greatness of the city, its high walls and its masonwork. …

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