Where do we go from here?
The twentieth century has been described as the age of Science and Technology while the present century, experts variously forecast, might well be the information age, the knowledge age or the age of genetic design. Progress has no doubt been always accompanied by an increase in wealth and in the standard of living, but in all this benchmarking, somehow the importance of values appears to have been totally overlooked, so much so few appreciate that thousands of years ago, this land gave humanity the treasure of ultimate bliss and happiness.
True there are machines to take away the drudgery, one can cross the world in a matter of hours, and one can communicate with people anywhere in a matter of seconds. However, on the flipside there are conflicts, dangerous levels of pollution and weapons of mass destruction.
We live in a finite world and in such a world, there simply cannot be unlimited growth. Many strategies to deal with this contradiction have been proposed, all based on the intellect. Unfortunately, there is no place in any of them for the intrinsic humanness of the human being. There is, however, yet another option bequeathed to us by our ancestors and enshrined in the Gita. The formula is simple really; basically, one must go back to simple living and high thinking. As has been said, the earth has enough to fulfil the needs of all the people living on it but not enough to satisfy the greed of one man.
Most of the problems faced by humanity today originate in the mind of human beings. Anger originates in the mind, promotes hatred, which in turn breeds violence. Likewise, desire starts in the mind, triggers greed, leading on to exploitation. It might be argued that the Gita belongs to the distant past and is irrelevant in this internet age. This is where Baba's approach becomes very pertinent. He says that we do not have to throw away the benefits of modern science; that would be like throwing the baby with the bathwater. On the contrary, we can and should use the benefits of science with the feeling that knowledge is a gift of God, not meant to be misused. Through his various projects and his University, Baba has shown how this could be done for the benefit of Society.
It all comes down to Divine Love or Prema as Baba refers to it. He says that when Prema becomes the driving force in life, one is filled all the time with the uncontrollable urge to serve, serve Selflessly and with Love. And when many become so motivated, there can be sea changes.
Every great human achievement has been driven by a compelling force from within, whether it is in the creative arts or in science or in the realm of adventure. Baba says that there is also a higher force, that of Divine Love, that is latent in every single individual. If this force can be unleashed and coordinated, then many problems faced today by humanity can be solved.
The bottom line is to see the spark of the Divine in everyone. This is what Krishna taught mankind through the instrumentality of Arjuna, and today, Baba is repeating that very same message: Love God, see God in all, and go through life serving humanity seeing God in every being.
No other country has such a wonderful heritage of noble thoughts and profound wisdom. As a tribute to Sri Sathya Sai Baba whose 80th Birthday is being celebrated today, the question we should be asking is whether India should seek mere IT superpower status or lead the world in this hour of moral darkness, by returning to Sathya and Dharma as Baba constantly advises, and as our forefathers dreamt?
Sri Sathya Sai 80th year of Advent