Directive Principles for Actions (by Shiva Kant Jha)

एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति: This immortal fragment, from the Rigveda, expresses a most fundamental perception that finds its illustrations in the Vedas, the Upanishads, and in our cultural traditions. It is founded on the perception of the cosmic unity. The principles of fraternity and equality inhere in this. This has led us to see the unity in diversity, this has led us to co-exist with all. This idea has helped us maintain our social and national integrity. This idea has dissuaded us from building systems to exploit others as the exploiters and the exploited are, at the core, same. This dictum of universal validity has taught us ‘tolerance’. and counselled us to respect others. India has sustained its national integrity because of our deep faith in those words of the Rigveda. .
अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्, उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् : We all know that the Mabharata War was caused by Dhritarashtra’s ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ notions: the Kauravas were his (‘mine’), the Pandavas were different (‘thine’). The idea that this shloka expresses is most relevant to our times in two important ways: The idea that the shloka expresses is most important for us living in the days when materialism and consumerism have made us embrace the culture of narcissism. Christopher Lasch has portrayed the state of affairs in this sort of society in his the well-known book The Culture of Narcissism (1979). He identifies our generation as ‘the Me generation’. The shloka tells us to treat all humans as the members of one family. This is our vision of ‘globalization’. For the weal of all we have always been ready to consider noble ideas coming from all sources. This shloka warns us not to create conditions under things get choreographed thus, to say in the immortal words of William Blake:
Some are born to Sweet Delight
Some are born to Endless Night


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