To Two Syndromes: of Dhritarashtra and Alfred Russel Wallace

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्
उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् (The Panchtantra, 5-21)
[The petty minds see the categories of ‘mine’ and ‘not-mine’ (or thine) , the broad minded persons see the whole world just as a family. ]
About the Wallace Synrome with which we suffer, I have already written in Chapter 20 (pp. 266-267). Now this Dritarashtra syndrome. 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
[BY Shiva Kant Jha, shivakantjha@gmail.com]

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