The innate tragedy of Western Civilization has been grought to light by this total war. A suicidal mania has caught hold of it. Unconscious of its destiny, it seems to be heading towards it destruction. They are hoping for victory of the allied democratic nations. We fully agree. But will the dreadful cost which staggers one's imagination even now, justify it ultimately to mankind as a whole? We doubt. Our concern is not the loss or gain of this or that nation. Mankind as a whole is an organic unit although this consciousness is slowing dawning upon it to-day heavy loss or suffering of a part can seldom be to the abiding good of others.
With out limitations in this world we cannot ignore the causal nexus. Speculations are ripe to trace out the root cause of this huge catastrophe. Some attributed it to economic maldistribution, others to the desperate bid for racial supremacy and consequent imperialism of some form or other. These are contributory conditions no doubt, in which the festering sore has come out; but the real cause we think, is to be found in the life of the individual as it affects society as a whole to-day.
We must admit that this is a very singular moment in history: We have arrived at a very critical turning-point where man's attitude towards fundamental values in personal and social life are daily changing. Formerly it was religion, then art now science have become the object of man's sceptical attack, although any nonsensical theory in the name of any of them is sure to find votaries and believers. Unparalleled increase in productive powers has given birth not to peace and plenty but to war, famine and misery. Men will one thing to be the results of their efforts but what is brought about by them precisely the opposite and all their efforts at ideological reconstruction, only enhance the number of conflicting and partial views about reality. Chaos has become the very keynote of his life inspite of the wise efforts of the great leaders of science, art and culture. But why does this strange doom hang over mankind? In the words of a good thinker of the west, "they are no longer the doctors they are the disease." And this disease has manifested itself in this huge holocaust. We are to go to the root of this disease that is the great problem facing us.
Man no longer looks up to religion for solving his difficulties. He goes to science or politics. Good. But is it not the tragedy of science and politics, that we are witnessing in this war? They are no longer to be considered as panacea of all evils. We think the time for re-orientation of our outlook towards "Dharma" has come. (I deliberately avoid the word religion here). Religion as such has of course sickening tales of class and caste oppressions and exploitation to account for in many countries. Non the less science and politics also have to do that. Really what are we to do is not to recount their failures but to so re-adjust their relations as they can best be to the real good of man as a whole. So we should try to know the real function of each, and how they should best act harmoniously. Our concern here is to renovate our outlook towards religion and this will teach us how to deal with the science of politics.
By religion men generally understand something mysterious which reason should not aspire to comprehend. This mystic idea about religion has certainly vitiated his conception of it and has made it the toy of his speculative imagination in many places. It has after been turned into a gamble about the future and the beyond. But dharma in the true sense of the term only reveals out relation to the Truth. There should be nothing mystic about it. Man knows the external world through his mind and senses. This knowledge must be transitory, partial and conditional for the mental apparatus is so by constitution. But knowledge of Reality acquired through the soul is eternal and permanent that being the nature of the soul. All sciences are arts deal with the former while religion is the concern of the latter. As mind cannot come into direct relation with matter as such the soul also remains ever uncontaminated by any mental functions. Soul can act only in relation to the over soul i.e., Truth Absolute. All attempts of men to know the over soul through the mind is sure to be frustrated in the long run and this gives birth to all contaminations of his essential nature. Thus religion is misused in this world and loses its hold on life. God has reserved to Himself the right not to expose His Self to human mind and his senses. The All-spirit Purnachetan reveals Himself only to the spiritual in mani.e., his soul. So the Upanishad says
To a half beast man of the African jungle the complexities of a civilized man are all mysterious so to a man who is all-mind soul, is equally mysterious. Hence arises the mystic view of religion and its so-called discarding or acceptance by the ultra-rationalists and mental gropers.
Our soul's relation to the Absolute lies at the basis of life, nay that is life! Whenever this is ignored frustration and futility stare humanity in the face for then we only take a partial and conditional view of the Truth. When man gives himself up to mental and sense pursuits be it religion, art or science in * * ultimate frustration become inevitable in every sphere of life and life becomes unnecessarily complex. The climax of these life complexities, we see in this was. The fundamental irony of human life lies in the fact that he must learn through suffering for he proceeds by challenging Truth at every step. But on the soul place man progresses by submitting to the Absolute not by challenging Him as he does on the mental plane. This submission is unconditional and unquestioning, it lies in the very nature of the soul. And it manifests itself on the mental and physical place by loving service rendered to Godhead and his creation. Here service and duty first, then from it come all real rights spontaneously. No intermediary should stand in the way of this service. God and his counter-manifestation His Devotee alone can re recipients of the eternal service of the soul. our duty to society, to the state, nay even to our own selves only follows from it. If we reverse this deductive process each would only exploit our life and become an instrument of oppression. We best serve man when we serve him as Krishna's servitor, otherwise we must exploit him.
Man to-day is dead tired of the inextricable complexities of life in the mental work. What he calls progress and deludes himself, is nothing but creation of new vicious circles in life every day. In utter despair he cries out What is life? Life is death, and he faces death everywhere. But, a new dawn is casting its fore appearance in the midst of darkness the Dawn of Service, of [devanagari] of submission to the Truth. This alone can bring harmony and real peace on earth.
Modern man fears that he will become tradition-bound and lose all incentive to progress by this attitude of submission to truth and by placing religion first as happened in the middle ages called the dark age. With progress has come free thinking and liberty in living. But Truth is not static something. He is the source of incomputable variety. The Upanishad says he is [devanagri] He is more changeful and rapidly moving than mind itself all real progress lies in Him. Only when our relationship with Truth becomes vitiated by extraneous mental considerations of salvation, world piety or sense of enjoyment i.e., spirit becomes enmeshed in matter that all clogging of true progress ensues. Real contact with Truth is maintained through service alone.
But who is to usher in this age? One who can render unalloyed service to Truth one who is aShuddha Bhakta whatever be his creed, colour of caste is the messenger of this age. Let us prostrate before Him. Through him is humanity to be redeemed to-day. All praise, al homage to Sree Gurudeva who stands at the forefront of them all. Who else in this age has done so much for preaching Suddha Bhakti and reforming society so that it can be properly practised there? He is the great Harbringer of the Dawn. [devanagari]