The world we live in is observed to be a solid mass of matter. Even our own bodies are seen to be parts of physical nature governed by mechanistic laws, which alone appears to be all that is real. It has become a commonplace idea today, especially in the universe of science, that life is strictly determined by the law of causality which rules over the entire scheme of the world. We are told that distinctions that are supposed to between such realms of being as matter; life and mind are only superficial and are accounted for by the grades of subtlety in the manifestation and spreading of particles of matter. Even the organism of the human body, which appears to defy the laws of the universal machine that modern science envisages, is explained away as only one of the many forms of the workings of the brute force of matter which. is the ultimate stuff of all things? The natural consequence of such a theory as this is the astonishing conclusion that human life, like every other material substance in the world, is completely determined by blind causal laws and the so-called free-will of man is subservient to them, if not a mere chimera. When we protest that man is not merely matter but also mind, it is explained that mind is nothing but a subtle and ethereal exudation of forces of matter. Man is reduced to an insignificant speck in the gigantic machinery of the cosmos which works ruthlessly with its own laws, un-concerned with the weal and woe of man.
This naturalistic interpretation of life, that is fast threatening to become rampant in this modern scientific and atomic age, seems to be really the philosophy of the common credulous man and even of the intelligent public who have neither the patience and the leisure (nor the equipment of understanding) to fathom the greater depths of human experience. Hand in hand with this theory of crass materialism there is a craze for more comfort and pleasure by vi Savanna: Biography of a Modern Sage lessening effort and movement of every kind, and an inherent feeling that material progress conceived at its zenith should be the ultimate purpose of existence. Due to an irrational faith in the efficacy and correctness of this doctrine, the man of the world seems to have forgotten the corruption of moral values today, the fall in the mental life and the standard of present-day education, and a sense of monotony and restlessness of spirit brought about by such a view of life, in spite of his riches and material possessions.
The fact that man is not merely a humble cogwheel in the deterministic machine of a relentless universe and that the essence of man is a spiritual principle co-extensive and co-eternal with the universal Spirit, was easily felt by many as a reaction to the very unsatisfactory and humdrum propaganda carried on by the materialists. The balance swung from the extreme of materialism holding that man is merged in the physical nature, to the other extreme of the idealism which propounded that man is perforce dragged on by the impetus of a cosmic spiritual Substance. The difference between these materialistic and idealistic theories is found finally to be in the conception of the ultimate stuff and constitution of the universe - the one advocating that it is matter, motion and force, and the other affirming that it is pure Mind or Spirit. But both agree in holding that man has no real choice and freedom of his own, he being inextricably involved, merged and lost in the ultimate reality of the universe, be it material, mental or spiritual. Unfortunate man discovered that it was hard for him, under such circumstances, to live a normal life of enjoyment of the aesthetic, religious and moral values - and at the same time feel his feet well planted on mother earth, with her richness and grandeur, promises and mysteries. Yet that life is not all. There is some awe-inspiring and terrible truth continuously pointed out by the phenomena of suffering, pain and death; by the restlessness of the world and the vicissitudes of life, the endless desires of man and the moral aspirations surging from within. The man of the world required a loving and sympathetic, reasonable and satisfying teaching to enable him to live as an individual, fulfilling his daily duties in life, and yet aspiring for that marvelous and magnificent Beyond which ever seems to beckon him through the tantalizing veils of Nature. With the advent of Western education, people began to move along the ruts of a so-called modernism of thinking, a rationality of approach and the leisure (nor the rater depths of human s materialism there is a effort and movement of )regress conceived at its e. Due to an irrational e, the man of the world use today, the fall in the cation, and a sense of by such a view of life, cogwheel in the deter-the essence of man is a the the universal Spirit, rarer unsatisfactory and sets. The balance swung man is merged in the ism which propounded s of a cosmic spiritual: realistic and idealistic f the ultimate stuff and zing that it is matter, is pure Mind or Spirit.
But both agree in holding that man has no choice and freedom of his -id lost in the ultimate spiritual. Unfortunate such circumstances, to religious and moral anted on mother earth, mysteries. Yet that life is bled truth continuously in and death; by the endless desires of thin. The man of the, unable and satisfying 'filling his daily duties d magnificent Beyond aliasing veils of Nature. e began to move along rationality of approach and a scientific attitude to life, and the sublimity and the wisdom of the lives of their ancient predecessors were slowly lost. There were many who delighted in doubting spiritual laws, in denying the super physical, and went even to the extent of decrying soul and God. They succumbed to the glamour of applied science and the utility of an industrial revolution. The situation called for a revaluation of all values and for the building of man's inner life upon a stronger foundation. There emerged several powerful and authentic voices in the prominent fields of life's activity -politics, sociology, religion, yoga and spirituality - to correct erring minds and give articulation to the requirements of truth, law and morality. Swami Savanna figured prominently among such leaders who brought about a thorough inner transformation in modern India, and placed the grand spiritual values on a firmer footing and in a proper setting.
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Brahma Sutras (85)
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