Intro : Almost 50 years ago, the philosophy of Integral Humanism, based upon the ancient Bharatiya vision of Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, which means let there be bliss and happiness in the universe, was propounded by Deendayalji through a series of lectures in 1965.
Rapid spread of the modern internet communication and transport (ICT) technologies, coupled with the elimination of geo-political barriers, hitherto applicable against cross border trade, commerce and investments have brought the society and nations so close to give the perception of a global village. This neo-globalised world has been experiencing worst ever crises including environmental degradation, violence of communal-terror of ISIS, Al Qaeda and Taliban kind of outfits and economic instability associated with grinding and unprecedented disparities, within the countries as well as among the countries.
This ongoing socio-economic and communal strife within the countries and in the world can be redressed well, by integrating the perceptions, stakes and expectations of diversely oriented societies and polities, inter se and by invoking reciprocal, self-righteous restrains and responsibilities. Such conflicting stakes can best be intertwined and sustained by invoking the philosophy of integral humanism, propounded by late Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. Almost 50 years ago, this philosophy of integral humanism, based upon the ancient Bharatiya vision of Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, which means let there be bliss and happiness in the universe, was propounded by a series of his lectures in 1965.
The strife of medieval era inter-religious wars, or the communism inspired wars or the present day miseries of economic instability coupled with disparities had been a result of conflicting perceptions, mission and goals. Integral humanism can well reconcile and harmonise the divergent stakes by invoking a universal vision in every individual, society and nation. It aims to integrate and balance the perceptions and actions of individual(s) with various constituents, co-existent on the planet, and comprising the individual, his/her family, society, nation, world, all the living beings and the whole of the cosmos.
Indeed the unilateral greed of people or monotheistic assertions, coupled with communal violence had been the root cause of all the strife. Likewise the Nature and its resources can cater the needs of everyone but, is altogether insufficient to fulfill the greed of even a single individual. Therefore, Deendayalji asserted that all our endeavours should be in perfect congruence and coordination with and for the mutual co-existence of not only human beings but, the entire living as well as the non-living world for a sustained co-existence of each of the worldly variables. This reciprocal inter-dependence of all the constituents of the cosmos or world can be displayed by the two figures-the figure 1 and 2.
Key for the circles: The 7 circles represent Individual (1), Family (2), Society (3), Nation (4), World (5), Nature (6), Cosmos or Parmeshthi (7)
In figure 1, each outer circle, encompassing the other, represents a discrete but mutually interdependent constituent of this well structured world where in each of these constituents is dependent upon every other constituent and each of which also influences every other constituent of these. As already stated, these components are not independent but largely inter-dependent. Rather, they are so intertwined that, the survival and wellness of each of them is dependent upon all other components. Therefore, Deendayalji has depicted all these discrete circles of figure 1 by a single thread encircling each of the components, and called the whole as an ‘Akhand-Mandalakar’ or a seamless cosmic entity (see Fig. 2). The innermost constituent in both the figures is the individual or person, whose deliberate actions, feelings and perceptions influence his/her family, society, nation, world, living beings and nature i.e. the constituents represented by outer circles in succession. So he/she has to proactively coordinate with each.
In turn, all these constituents represented by the outer circles too influence each of the constituents depicted in the inner circles in succession, one after the other. Therefore, an individual has to keep in view, and proactively coordinate with the members of family and each member of the family should also reciprocate with every other member likewise each of these members of the family should display utmost degree of responsiveness towards all the components represented by the successive outer circles and vice versa. Likewise all the families, societies and nations have to be responsive to one another as well as with the universe, including living beings and nature. So, the conduct, behaviour, mandates and regulatory framework of each of the components, represented by the outer circles should be balanced to portray a caring gesture with utmost consideration for every constituent of the inner circles and each of the constituent units of every component. So instead of creating conflict, a complementary approach is necessary. Each unit and component, constituting the universe has to expect only that much from the universe, which does not deprive the others.
In this regard the basic tenets of Bharatiya philosophy, meticulously prescribe very affirmatively, the reciprocity of responsibilities as well as duties of every constituent, from individual to the cosmos in a way that, a delicate balance is sustained inter se, the stakes and expectations of every individual and all the constituents of the cosmic unity, whereby a sustained balance, pre-requisite for the meaningful co-existence of every constituent and unit of individuals and constituents perpetuates. The doctrines of conduct to be pursued by every individual are well enshrined in the very first hymn1 of Isha Vasyopanishad. It means that this entire universe is indwelt, enveloped and covered by the Supreme Being. So, everyone should have a sustained happiness in life in this world and enjoy it with minimum consumption and maximum sacrifices’ for wellness of all other living beings. One should not covet/grab unjustly, the wealth of any other creature in existence in the world. It affirms that, one should always enjoy with his/her justified needs from the nature which should be possessed in accordance with the principles of righteousness. Here is a great teaching for everyone that no one should be greedy to usurp others’ share.
This aforesaid tenet of Upanishad, restrains every individual against usurping the interests of other people as well as the other living beings. In fact, according to Bharatiya philosophy from individual to the whole universe, every constituent of it has four cardinal constituents viz. body, mind, intellect and conscience. The integrity of all these four cardinal constituents of each of the components from the individual to the world, including family, society and nation etc. they have to pursue or undertake four kinds of endeavours or purusharthas viz. Dharma, Arth, Kaam and Moksha.
These four kinds of endeavors or purusharth of every individual, family, society, nation and also of the world should have utmost self-righteous affirmation in their pursuit for the creation and distribution of wealth, fulfillment of material needs and in raising the self above the partisan and lustrous greed. In the present era from individual deeds to the running of an economy and the polity as well as in the economic and social conduct of people and nation, the philosophy of integral humanism needs to be invoked and ingrained in their conduct and endeavors in every sphere of their lives. Deendayalji propounded this philosophy when people were facing miseries across the globe, the US and the USSR were entangled in a cold war and Bharat was also trying a hybrid of capitalism and communism under the guise of mixed economy to pursue socialistic pattern of society.
The country was suffering from shortages, black-marketing, hoarding, etc. He asserted that if the philosophy of integral humanism is invoked in all of the following and other major spheres of the nation along with the endeavors of the individuals, families, society, nation and world, it can usher us in an era of sustained bliss and wholesome life for everyone. The spheres which need to be ingrained with their philosophy are:
• Economic system
• Political system and governance
• Civil Administration
• Judicial administration
• Social and cultural
• International relations
• Religious teaching behavior and conduct
• Environment and nature
• Economic activities like agriculture, trade, commerce, industries etc. and so on
If the philosophy of integral humanism as inherited from the ancient Bharatiya Intelligence, comprising the Neeti Shastras and Sootra Granthas, is pursued in all the above spheres of life and all affairs are regulated and conducted after recontextualising the doctrines propounded by Deendayalji, almost five decades ago it would have lighted our path best suited as the system of governance for the polity and people of Bharat and all other nations as a comprehensive remedy for the tatters of disarray and violence, overtaking our society, due to ceaseless conflicts inter-se the present day communalism, regionalism, capitalism, market globalism, socialism and pseudo secularism. This necessitates for a detailed treatise of the integral humanism on all the aforesaid aspects under the contemporary context. It would be undertaken in a series of few articles to follow.
(The writer is a renowned Economist and Vice-Chancellor of Pacific University, Udaipur)
1. Ishavasyamidam sarvam yatkinchit jagadyam jagat|tena tyaktena bhuñjitha ma gridhah kasyasvid dhanam
It means as cender: idam sarvam = all this (this entire universe); Ishavasyam = Ishasya avasyam = Ishasya
avasayogyam = pervaded by Isha, the Lord Hari; yat kiñchit = also whatsoever, and whatever there may be; jagadyam = prakrtyam = in the primordial nature; jagat = the world; tena = by Him (the Lord Hari); tyaktena = dattena vittena = wealth granted, allotted, given; bhuñjitha = bhogam kuryah = do experience, enjoy; ma gridhah = ma kanksethah = do not crave for, do not seek; kasyasvid = anyone else's; dhanam wealth
2. The 4 constituents of the individual are as under:
1. Shareer i.e. Body
2. Man or Manas i.e. Mind =
Sensory, processing mind
3. Buddhi i.e. Intellect = Which
knows, decides, judges
4. Chitt or Aatma i.e. Conscience =
That guide the righteous conduct
Moreover all the successive components including the family, society, nation and the world have the simily of constituents viz. the body, mind, intellect and conscience, to be explained later in another article. The series of speeches delivered from 22-25 April 1965, offer a sound philosophic base.
Prof Bhagawati Prakash Sharma