Category Archives: Contemproary Issues

Contemprary Relevant Issues to be aware.

The scourge of consumptive culture

== Introduction ==
Americans and Western Europeans have had a lock on unsustainable over-consumption for decades. But now developing countries are catching up rapidly, to the detriment of the environment, health, and happiness,according to the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington D.C.-based research organization focuses this year on consumerism run amuck.

Approximately 1.7 billion people worldwide now belong to the “consumer class”—the group of people characterized by diets of highly processed food, desire for bigger houses, more and bigger cars, higher levels of debt, and lifestyles devoted to the accumulation of non-essential goods.

Today nearly half of global consumers reside in developing countries, including 240 million in China and 120 million in India—markets with the most potential for expansion.

“Rising consumption has helped meet basic needs and create jobs,” Christopher Flavin, president of Worldwatch Institute said in a statement to the press. “But as we enter a new century, this unprecedented consumer appetite is undermining the natural systems we all depend on, and making it even harder for the world’s poor to meet their basic needs.”

The report addresses the devastating toll on the Earth’s water supplies, natural resources, and ecosystems exacted by a plethora of disposable cameras, plastic garbage bags, and other cheaply made goods with built in product-obsolescence, and cheaply made manufactured goods that lead to a “throw away” mentality.

“Most of the environmental issues we see today can be linked to consumption,” said Gary Gardner, director of research for Worldwatch. “As just one small example, there was a story in the newspaper just the other day saying that 37 percent of species could become extinct due to climate change, which is very directly related to consumption.”

And yet another disturbing trend according the reports from World Bank is that the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption, while the poorest 5% just 1.5%. This stark inequality in consumption is widening the distance between the have’s and have-nots. while the one become exploiters and others exploited or shall we call big munchers and small nibblers.

== From Luxuries to Necessities ==

Globalization is a driving factor in making goods and services previously out of reach in developing countries much more available. Items that at one point in time were considered luxuries—televisions, cell phones, computers, air conditioning—are now viewed as necessities.

China provides a snapshot of changing realities. For years, the streets of China’s major cities were characterized by a virtual sea of people on bicycles, and 25 years ago there were barely any private cars in China. By 2000, 5 million cars moved people and goods; the number is expected to reach 24 million by the end of next year.

In the United States, there are more cars on the road than licensed drivers. Increased reliance on automobiles means more pollution, more traffic, more use of fossil fuels. Cars and other forms of transportation account for nearly 30 percent of world energy use and 95 percent of global oil consumption.

Changing diet, with a growing emphasis on meat, illustrates the environmental and societal toll exacted by unbridled consumption. To provide enough beef, chicken, and pork to meet the demand, the livestock industry has moved to factory farming. Producing eight ounces of beef requires 6,600 gallons (25,000 liters) of water; 95 percent of world soybean crops are consumed by farm animals, and 16 percent of the world’s methane, a destructive greenhouse gas, is produced by belching, flatulent livestock. The enormous quantities of manure produced at factory farms becomes toxic waste rather than fertilizer, and runoff threatens nearby streams, bays, and estuaries.

Chickens at a typical farm are kept in cages with about nine square inches (about 60 square centimeters) of space per bird. To force them to lay more eggs, they are often starved. Chickens slaughtered for meat are first fattened up with hormones, sometimes to the point where their legs can no longer support their weight. Crowded conditions can lead to the rapid spread of disease among the animals. To prevent this, antibiotics are included in their feed. The World Health Organization reports that the widespread use of these drugs in the livestock industry is helping breed antibiotic-resistant microbes, complicating the treatment of disease in both animals and people.

The World Bank has also rethought its policy of funding livestock factory farming. In 2001, a World Bank report concluded “there is a significant danger that the poor are being crowded out, the environment eroded, and global food safety and security threatened.”

== Not Much Happier ==

The increase in prosperity is not making humans happier or healthier, according to several studies. Findings from a survey of life satisfaction in more than 65 countries indicate that income and happiness tend to track well until about $13,000 of annual income per person (in 1995 dollars). After that, additional income appears to produce only modest increments in self-reported happiness.

Increased consumerism evidently comes at a steep price. People are incurring debt and working longer hours to pay for the high-consumption lifestyle, consequently spending less time with family, friends, and community organizations. “Excess consumption can be counterproductive,” said Gardner. “The irony is that lower levels of consumption can actually cure some of these problems.”

Diets of highly processed food and the sedentary lifestyle that goes with heavy reliance on automobiles have led to a worldwide epidemic of obesity. In the United States, an estimated 65 percent of adults are overweight or obese, and the country has the highest rate of obesity among teenagers in the world. Soaring rates of heart disease and diabetes, surging health care costs, and a lower quality of day-to-day life are the result.

Some aspects of rampant consumerism have resulted in startling anomalies. Worldwatch reports that worldwide annual expenditures for cosmetics total U.S. $18 billion; the estimate for annual expenditures required to eliminate hunger and malnutrition is $19 billion. Expenditures on pet food in the United States and Europe total $17 billion a year; the estimated cost of immunizing every child, providing clean drinking water for all, and achieving universal literacy is $16.3 billion.

There is, of course, no easy solution to the problem. But first and foremost we need to reorient our way of thinking, says Gardner.”The goal is to focus not so much on sacrifice, but on how to provide a higher quality of life using the lowest amount of raw materials,” he said. “We need to change the way we produce goods and the way we consume them.”

== How consumerism affects society and the Environment ==

Consumerism is economically manifested in the chronic purchasing of new goods and services, with little attention to their true need, durability, product origin or the environmental consequences of manufacture and disposal. Consumerism is driven by huge sums spent on advertising designed to create both a desire to follow trends, and the resultant personal self-reward system based on acquisition. Materialism is one of the end results of consumerism.

Consumerism interferes with the workings of society by replacing the normal common-sense desire for an adequate supply of life’s necessities, community life, a stable family and healthy relationships with an artificial ongoing and insatiable quest for things and the money to buy them with little regard for the true utility of what is bought. An intended consequence of this, promoted by those who profit from consumerism, is to accelerate the discarding of the old, either because of lack of durability or a change in fashion.

Landfills swell with cheap discarded products that fail early and cannot be repaired. Products are made psychologically obsolete long before they actually wear out. A generation is growing up without knowing what quality goods are. Friendship, family ties and personal autonomy are only promoted as a vehicle for gift giving and the rationale for the selection of communication services and personal acquisition. Everything becomes mediated through the spending of money on goods and services.

It is an often stated catechism that the economy would improve if people just bought more things, bought more cars and spent more money. Financial resources better spent on Social Capital such as education, nutrition, housing etc. are spent on products of dubious value and little social return. In addition, the purchaser is robbed by the high price of new things, the cost of the credit to buy them, and the less obvious expenses such as, in the case of automobiles, increased registration, insurance, repair and maintenance costs.

We shouldn’t allow this or anything like this happen. Things may be starting to turn around in our favor. But it takes work and time and attention to details and a willingness to try new things for our own and our the next generation’s benefit. There are serious changes ahead. We can control some of these for our benefit or we can just react to them after they have happened.

Simply stated, there’s a lot of money being made and a lot of power being gathered by the people that promote consumerism. You pay for it in gradually limited economic mobility, pollution, threats to your health and a declining standard of living, as measured by the things that really matter.

In addition to the everyday things that you can do, there are concepts that need to be discussed and not just in a trite way. The mantra “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” is pregnant with meaning, and reflects worthwhile goals, but it hardly contains solutions to the real integral problems of the world.

== Vedic Observer ==
Malls have replaced parks, temples and community gatherings for many who no longer even take the trouble to meet their neighbors or care to know their names. People move frequently as though neighborhoods and cities were products to be tried out like brands of deodorant. Consumerism sets each person against themself in an endless quest for the attainment of material things or the imaginary world conjured up and made possible by things yet to be purchased.

Indian ethos have always stood for simple living and high thinking. Lord Krishna recommends in [ BG 4.22] how one should not endeavor more than required rather focus his endeavors in side in the pursuit of the self. So does Isoupanishad which riterates the need for being contended. There are numerous examples of extravagance in puranas but all of them have a strong undercurrent of renunciation. Take for example the story of Saubhari Muni who created an opulent city filled with human pleasurables and yet he renounced it once and for all. Sage Vasishta could create a opulent palace filled with heavenly pleasures by the dint of his spiritual prowess but he himself lived in his hermitage.

The world will have sustainable and balanced progress only if we recognize that it is not an object of exploitation rather an wonderful boon bestowed by the creator in our care. Then sense will prevail. To conclude in the words of Mahatma Gandhi “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”.

== References ==
#[ Startling facts of Consumerism]

#[ Global Issue of Consumerism]

[[Author#Lndasa|L Narasimha Rao]]

Can Man tame Nature?

== Understanding Nature ==
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world or material world. “Nature” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the cosmic.

Man’s appreciation of nature and the quest to understand her is well known. Beauty in nature has long been a common theme in life and in art, and books emphasizing beauty in nature fill large sections of libraries and bookstores. Some fields of science see nature as matter in motion, obeying certain laws of nature which science seeks to understand.

== Imitating Nature ==
True to the quote of the famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “The counterfeit and counterpart of Nature is reproduced in art” we find several noteworthy accomplishments in the fields of science and technology that in the past have made and in future promises to make a positive impact to the lifestyle of modern man.
To note a few examples,
* The modern aviation industry is a result of multiple attempts of several individuals to mimic the ability to fly as birds;
* One of the combat techniques used in war, the ability to remain unseen by enemies through camouflaging, is a result of studying similar defense mechanism exhibited by certain species of the animal kingdom;
* One of the recent discovery in the domain of nanotechnology is to create adhesive power that aims to recreate the remarkable ability of the Gecko lizard to climb effortlessly across any vertical surface;
* Daniel Nocera, Professor of Energy, MIT predicts water plus light would be the future oil, proposing to mimic photosynthesis to store high-energy bonds of light for later use;

== And trying to control it ==
Besides these positive outcomes of understanding nature one must also admit the negative impact of trying to tame nature. Although humans comprise only a miniscule proportion of the total living biomass on Earth, the human effect on nature is disproportionately large. There exists a highly complex feedback-loop between the use of advanced technology and changes to the environment that are only slowly becoming understood. Man made threats to the Earth’s natural environment include pollution, deforestation, and disasters such as oil spills.

Could the man-made disasters and natural catastrophes that continue to periodically strike the world and wipe out the lives of several thousand be a response of nature to bring man to the understanding of being subordinate?
It could well be so, especially when we consider the age old wisdom of living in harmony with nature being a proven ideology. This should not, however, be misunderstood as being conservative at exploring the possibilities of tapping the resources of nature. Rather it is based on acceptance of reality of man being a tiny part of an orderly creation, meant to utilize the facilities provided by nature to achieve a higher dimension of existence. Vedic texts, especially the Bhagavad-Gita, acknowledge the innate inquisitiveness of a human and advices channeling the same towards questioning higher truths of existence.

Francis Bacon, British painter, says “We cannot command nature except by obeying her”. Instead of
* Trying to control hurricanes, as attempted by the ‘giant- tub proposal’ funded by Bill Gates, which the critics say as akin to placing pennies on a railroad track and hoping to stop a freight train or
* Shoot dust into threatening clouds as planned for the 2008 Olympics, an endeavor that had several meteorologists and weather modifiers of the world chuckle or
* Build dams like the ‘Three Gorges’ on Yangtze river whose disastrous environmental/social impact is well documented,
man would do well to lead a life of humility, gratefully acknowledging the gifts of nature and utilizing it towards enabling one to attain higher dimensions of blissful existence that have so often been alluded to in several ancient texts of the world, especially the Vedas.

Else, nature would have to continue to brutally remind man of his foolhardy attempts to dominate.
Nature… She pardons no mistakes. Her yea is yea, and her nay, nay. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

== Vedic Observer ==
Man prides himself on being a creature of reason, above the lowly beasts. Yet it seems that when he applies his reason to unlocking the secrets of nature for his benefit, he sinks deeper and deeper into a quagmire of intractable problems. The internal combustion engine gets us where we’re going faster, but also results in choking air pollution, the greenhouse effect, and a dangerous dependence on oil. Harnessing the atom gives us cheap energy, but also leads to weapons of mass destruction, Chernobyl, and a rising tide of dangerous radioactive waste. Modern agribusiness produces a dizzying variety and abundance of food at the supermarket, but also results in the death of the family farm, the pollution of ground water, the loss of precious topsoil, and many other problems.

It’s clear we’re missing something in our attempts to harness the laws of nature for our own purposes. What is that “something”? We find out in the very first mantra of the Isoupanishad the foremost of ancient India’s books of wisdom known as the Upanisads: “Everything in this creation is owned and controlled by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”

In nature we see this principle at work. Nature’s arrangement, set up by the Lord, maintains the birds and beasts: the elephant eats his fifty kilos per day, the ant his few grains. If man doesn’t interfere, the natural balance sustains all creatures.
Any agriculturalist will tell you the earth can produce enough food to feed ten times the present human population. Yet political intrigues and wars, unfair distribution of land, the production of cash crops like tobacco, tea, and coffee instead of food, and erosion due to misuse ensure that millions go hungry, even in wealthy countries like the United States.
We must understand the laws of nature from the viewpoint of the Supreme Lord, who has created these laws. In His eyes all the earth’s inhabitants—whether creatures of the land, water, or air—are His sons and daughters. Yet we, the human inhabitants, the “most advanced” of His creatures, treat these sons and daughters with great cruelty, from the practice of animal slaughter to destruction of the rain forests. Is it any wonder that we suffer an unending series of natural disasters, wars, epidemics, famines, and the like?

=== Peace Formula ===
The source of our problem is the desire for sense gratification beyond the consideration of anyone else’s rights. These rights are the rights of the child in relation to the father. Every child has the right to share the wealth of his father. So creating a brotherhood of all creatures on earth depends on understanding the universal fatherhood of God. This is the peace formula.

== Suggested Reading ==
# “Laws of Nature” by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami.

Written by [[Authors#kndas|Kaushik Balasubramanian]].

Lessons from Recession

=Is Recession Man made?=

== Introduction ==
”’Recession”’ – A word that sends jitters in the hearts of the IT nerds giving them sleepless nights haunted by the fear of possible pay cuts and layoffs. The outward causes of recession may seem to vary each time. The last time it was the ”bursting of the “dot com bubble”” and now it’s blamed on the “subprime crisis”). However, the underlying causes of all these recessions are more or less similar. In this article, we examine the main causes and discuss some of the solutions.

==Root Causes of Most Recessions==
=== Greed and Panic ===
Both of these are negative emotions and they govern the functioning of the economy and capital markets. Out of extreme greed, companies make over ambitious plans for expansion and borrow heavily to fuel their ambitions. They also go on a recruiting spree, which is when we get the ”feeling” that the economy is booming.

When corporates go overboard with such ambitious plans, any brief fall in demand for their products or services leads them into a heavy liquidity crunch and they are suddenly forced to cut down on their plans and costs (including manpower costs) to avoid huge losses. This is when we feel the pinch of recession.

A classic example of going overboard due to greed is the situation in which the Tatas find themselves today. The Tatas went over board with their ambitions and bought over Jaguar Land Rover Company by taking huge loans, and are now struggling to repay the debt. They are now again borrowing from the common man (by way of Corporate FDs) to repay their debts. This means, they are taking more loans to repay off earlier loans!

Greed can also lead to Corporate Frauds, as is the case with Satyam Computers, where the founders of the company fudged the company’s account books that presented a false picture of the company’s financials and inflated the company’s share price, enabling the company founders to make money at the expense of lakhs of share holders and thousands of employees.

Protectionism or Panic is another emotion that plays with people’s minds. An example is when most equity investors suddenly get into a panic mood and sell off their stocks, causing a stock market crash.

=== Flawed Business Orientation ===
Most companies are measured on their performance on a Quarter-to-Quarter basis or Year -to- Year basis. This means that generation of profits is not sufficient, the companies always need to show higher profits compared to earlier quarters and years in order to satisfy their shareholders. Hence they take extra risks (such as investing in risky forex instruments, derivatives and subprime lending) for generating more profits. These risk taking strategies backfire badly, when there is sudden liquidity crunch in the market.

=== High Commodity Prices (Crude Oil, Coal, Copper) & inflation ===
One major flaw with most economies in the present times is excessive dependence on certain depleting natural resources, especially Crude Oil (Petrol). This remains a major worry for most countries, in spite of oil discoveries being made occasionally. Nobody has a concrete solution for this oil shortage and governments just helplessly watch the Crude Oil Prices shoot up as demand grows, plunging the economy into inflation and recession. Prices of all essentials (including food) shoot up as a result, as the middle class people struggles more, to make ends meet.

”Did you know?” International prices of Crude Oil shot up from about $100 per barrel to as high as $150 per barrel within a couple of months in 2008, mainly due to traders “speculating” (read ”gambling”) with Oil Future Contracts resulting in artificial pushing up of the prices!

Inflation is another big concern, with food prices shooting up by as high as 50% within a year (Examples are rice, sugar and Dal).

=== Artificial Stimulation of demand ===
Most economies run by encouraging the common man (read ”Consumers”) to go on a spending spree for luxury items and consumer goods, most of which are not really necessary. This spending increases profits of the companies that manufacture consumer goods, thus resulting in more money for government in form of tax collections.

To ensure this, liquidity (money) is artificially injected into the economic system, by way of financial stimulus packages and loans at reduced interest rates. This “artificial demand” for consumer goods, presents a false picture of a ‘booming’ economy, but clearly, such artificially stimulated demand cannot be sustained for too long, resulting in the economy plunging into a recession.

=== Turning a blind eye to the facts ===
There are usually enough indications of a recession well before it actually occurs, but governments typically either ignore those indications, or push them under the carpet, or provide a temporary patch up solution.

”Did you know?” The subprime crisis actually surfaced in 2007 itself (though the recession apparently started only in 2008). However, the US Fed just provided a patch up solution by reducing the money lending rates and injecting liquidity into the system. Everyone soon forgot about the looming crisis, and started squandering away the fresh money provided by the US Fed and in 2008, finally the whole crisis resurfaced, this time in full throttle and could not be suppressed anymore. As a result, many financial giants in the US, such as Lehman Brothers and Merill Lynch went bankrupt and were taken over by other companies.

== Solutions for building a Recession Proof Economy ==

=== Agrarian Economy ===
It has been proven, especially during recent times, that agriculture provides much more stable employment as compared to other industrial sectors. This has been one major reason why Indian economy (being predominantly agrarian) has been less affected by the recession, compared to the US and UK. Unlike in the US, where so many financial giants collapsed, no such thing happened in India.

Most Industries in the other sectors are unable to provide sustained employment over the long term. We have seen over the past decade that during each economic boom, a different set of sectors hog the limelight, whereas some others stagnate and plunge into recession.

”’Examples:- ”’

In the 1990s – IT sector was in the limelight

Early 21st Century- Finance, IT and Realty Sectors were in the Limelight, whereas Aviation and Pharmaceutical Industries were going through a rough patch.

Recent Recession (2008-09) – Infrastructure, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare sectors came into the limelight where as IT, Finance and Realty Sectors went through a rough patch. Aviation has recently made a partial recovery.

All this leaves the Student community a confused lot, as they are not sure of what kind of career to pursue. For example, many students who went for degrees in Computer Science and IT with hopes of landing a good job in IT, subsequently found themselves unemployed and then turned towards government jobs.

”Did you know?” Companies in Agriculture Sector (such as Jain Irrigation, Bayer Cropscience and Rallis India) have performed very well despite recession! Agriculture is clearly a recession proof sector!

=== Cottage Industries:===
Cottage industries enable people to work at home with simple tools (such as handlooms) and produce sellable goods such as clothes, baskets, etc. The knowledge of the trade is easily passed on to subsequent generations. In contrast, the modern factories require huge capital investments in terms of Machinery, power and infrastructure. This in turn requires a person to undergo many years of schooling and expensive professional college education (Read “Engineering”), not to mention the cut-throat competition at all stages, in order to get even a decent job.

==The Vedic Observer==
Interestingly, the ancient Vedic lifestyle was designed to be peaceful and simple, where people did not have to work too hard or face cut-throat competition or gamble with shares in order to earn a livelihood, nor were they overtaxed, either mentally, energetically, or monetarily as we are in the modern times.

People would engage primarily in agriculture and cow protection. They used to work about 8 hours a day about 4 months a year during the sowing and harvesting seasons, which would provide them enough for the whole year. If anything additional was needed, that would be provided by trade and commerce centered on simple cottage industries.

People had more time for asking the larger questions of life. Just as we aspire to take up higher and higher positions and roles in this corporate world, the people of the Vedic Civilization would invest time in understanding the higher role and purpose of human life, i.e. understanding and reviving our original position as eternal living entities, servants of the Supreme Being.

This effectively means understanding the plans of the Supreme Being as described in the Vedic scriptures and help in implementation of the same. Thus they learnt to live in harmony with nature and all other living beings with a single focus of achieving a common goal. The isopanishad aptly describes this – ”ishavasyam idam sarvam….” [ Isopanishad_Text1] – ”Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong”.

The society was mainly divided into four divisions. There was a learned/intelligent class of people (referred to as “Brahmanas”) who were in full knowledge of the scriptures and subject matters related to self realization and all moral & social codes, who selflessly focused on serving the society by educating the masses in higher subject matters of self-realization without any expectation of remuneration. The Ruling and Administrative class were ably guided by such learned brahmanas and they ruled efficiently and justly. The Mercantile Class would engage in agriculture, Cow Protection, Trade and Commerce. The labour class would assist all the above classes and would receive remuneration for the same. Since the brahmanas guided the entire society, there were no worries related to recession, job insecurity, stock market crashes, scandals, corruption, political instability, crime, pollution, etc.

Compiled by [[Absolute_Truth:Authors#vivek_d|Vivek Devarajan]]

The dangers of Promiscuity

The [[wikipedia:Hedonism|hedonistic]] ideology of “Dont worry just enjoy” coupled with the artificial hype and eulogization of culture based on unrestricted sensuous indulgence has resulted in the widespread promiscuity which is destroying the very fabric of cultured life and is the cause of a number of concomitant social problems such as infidelity, divorce, depression, suicide, degradation of values both at individual level and society as a whole.

In the name of “celebrating life”, now we are living like animals, impulsively pursuing the raw gut feeling for satisfying the senses without any consideration of the disastrous consequences of such irresponsible behavior. Succumbing to various influences ranging from propaganda by media (cinemas, magazines), imitation and hero worship of “celebrities” etc, people are indulging in extra-marital affairs, homosex and all sorts of illicit activities. And the “secular” government’s is over enthusiastic to legalize the practices such as homosex, “live in” relationships that were unheard in India, the abode of culture. Wasn’t that really an ”icing on the cake”?

In actuality the poor people who boast themselves of being the enjoyers of their free-will little do they know that they are as a matter of fact becoming victims of their own uncontrolled mind and senses which are dragging them down to hellish life both in the present life and the next.

==Sex Fascination – The disease of the modern age==
Sex is the overwhelming obsession of the modern society. Sexual promiscuity is so unrelentingly stressed that anyone who does not appear to be highly interested in it is considered to be a crank. Social pressure induces people to try to maintain juvenile lustiness long after the sensual high of youth has subsided. Thus millions of people remain emotionally immature all their lives. It is a sick world.

===Media’s contribution ===
In the name of entertainment and marketing, media exploits the people’s sexual cravings, making a business out of it. The advertising industry in particular churns out the unending pictures of half or almost undressed women – in magazines, on billboards, on television, on internet – always and everywhere. Not wanting to be left behind, now even the daily newspapers are competing with porn magazines. Despite grossly exploiting the bodies of women and the basest impulses of men, solely for the sake of making some already over-rich people even richer, their activities continues for the most part unquestioned. The general public absorbs their propaganda and remains ever steeped in lust, having no knowledge of the necessity to resist. Thus advertisements oozing with sexual overtones allure the willingly gullible public to mindlessly purchase everything from back-scrubbers to brandy. And the consumer society rolls on, its members forever sexually jacked-up.

The power of the media to mold people’s attitudes and behavior is a pathetic but who cares. Even if an average person’s mind would not have been absorbed in sexual thoughts, the media makes sure he does.

== Chastity – The secret of good health ==
The body’s vital fluid is a precious substance containing the life force of humans. After Dhanvantari ”the incarnation of Vishnu” had taught all the details about Ayurveda to his disciples, they enquired about the keynote of this medical science. The Master replied, “I tell you that brahmacharya is truly a precious jewel. It is the one most effective medicine-nectar indeed which destroys diseases, decay and death. For attaining peace, brightness, memory, knowledge, health and Self-realisation, one should observe brahmacharya which is the highest dharma. Brahmacharya is the highest knowledge. Brahmacharya is the greatest strength. Of the nature of brahmacharya is verily this Atma and in brahmacharya It resides. Saluting brahmacharya first, the cases beyond cure, I cure. Aye, brahmacharya can undo all the inauspicious signs.”

Practice of [[Brahmacharya|brahmacharya]] gives good health, inner strength, peace of mind and long life. It invigorates the mind and the nerves. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments memory, will force and brainpower. It bestows tremendous strength, vigour and vitality. Strength and fortitude are obtained.

According to Ayurveda the vital fluid retained in the body goes upwards to nourish the brain, rendering the body robust and the memory and intellect sharp. Determination, optimism, confidence, will power, fixed intelligence, noble character, photographic memory, and shining good health are all the fruits of conserved semen. According to Ayurveda, the retained vital fluiddevelops ojas, a vital fluid that gives strength, luster, enhanced mental abilities and immunity to diseases and slows the aging process.

Scientists have analyzed semen the vital fluid to be amazingly rich in hormones, proteins, vitamins, minerals, ions, enzymes, trace elements and other vital substances. If retained within the body, it nourishes the body and brain in a way impossible for any tonic or dietary aid to emulate. The current craze for vitamin and mineral supplements is an attempt to make up for the self-imposed deficiencies. [ More] on Scientific reasearch on value of Continence. This is equally true to both the genders.

==The Ill effects of promiscuity==
Retention of vital fluid is so essential in progressive human life that it is simply astounding how the whole endeavor of modern civilization is based on discharging it as much as possible.

# Degradation of moral values in society. Leads to adultery, debauchery etc.
# Increase in divorce rate due to infidelity and domestic unrest.
# Excessive loss of vital fluid leads to all sorts of diseases as the vital fluid nourishing the body and mind is drained out.
# Such irresponsible behavior sets a bad example for the next generation and the trend follows. Imagine the disastrous impact an obscene billboard make on the minds of children.

== How a cultured civilization addresses the conjugal needs of humans==
Human life is a rare opportunity given to the living entity which one attains after transmigrating through 8,400,000 species of life. The holy scriptures, therefore advises the humans to make optimum use of this rare opportunity to reach the destination of life – salvation or liberation from material existence. Just as a vehicle is used to reach a destination, we must use the vehicle of human body to achieve the ultimate goal of life mentioned above (salvation).

Nevertheless, the scriptures prescribes regulated sex life for the purpose of pro-creation. A cultured human civilization facilitates the physical needs of humans through the institution of marriage. In vedic terminology such a person who is regulted is called Grhasta or one who lives in family life with a wife for the purpose of advancing in spiritual life. Such a Grhasta may unite with his wife for the purpose of procreation. And bringing up responsible children in dharma. Such a regulated life is [ dharma] according to Bhagavad Gita.

The person who doesn’t subscribe to this view is called Grhamedhi. The grihastha makes gradually advances towards the goal of life while the grihamedhi remains perpetually in the cycle of birth and death due to his attachment to body and sense satisfaction.

==Conclusion – Think higher and feel the real bliss of life==
The greatest happiness for the self starts with complete freedom: freedom from misery, unhappiness and all sorts of suffering.
How can we become happy when we are slaves of the dictates of the demands of the mind and senses? Human life is not meant to be led like the animals whose intelligence cannot go beyond eating, sleeping, defending and mating but to search out and attain the Absolute truth. In actuality we are spirit souls and so neither male or female, which are our temporal bodily situations.

The real way to real happiness is to see and think beyond the momentary and short lived pleasure of the body and mind. Let us look inwards, introspect and discover the bliss of the eternal spirit in its pure association with the supreme.

== Suggested References ==
# Brahmacharya by H.H.Bhakti Vikasa Swami

Written by [[Authors#Madhur_Gauranga_Das|Chandrasekar Gani]].

Right to the Right Education ?

=Right to the Right Education ?=
Recently our parliament has passed ”The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008” which seeks to provide education to children aged between 6 to 14 years. The Bill also earmarks 25 per cent seats to weaker sections in private schools. Our HRD minister commented that the bill is a “historic opportunity” for providing better future to children of the country as there was never such a landmark legislation in the last 62 years since independence. “We as a nation cannot afford our children not going to schools,” he asserted, noting that the measure details the obligations of the Centre and the states for providing free and compulsory education to children. But the more important question here is ”What sort of education are we going to impart to them when they once come to the school ??”

==What’s wrong with the modern educational system==
The western world has already undergone all these educational, industrial and civil reforms long back. What kind of educated class are they producing today? A class totally confused about goal of life, a society full of divorces, dissatisfaction, depression and people with destructive mentality. Therefore the question begs itself: where has modern society gone wrong? Despite extensive attempts at mass education, why has the advancement of knowledge not made people peaceful? Illiteracy can no longer be considered a reason since the best schools in the world have witnessed the worst violence in the last decade. The foundation of American society has been rocked by the repeated massacres by school children of their own peers and teachers for no good reason whatsoever. In many schools, metal detectors now screen every child before he enters ”the modern temple of learning.”

The Vedic texts, a vast body of profound knowledge coming down from ancient India, provide thought-provoking insights into this sorry state of affairs. The Vedic texts exalt knowledge for its transformational power. “What you know” is not considered as important as ‘”What is the effect on you of what you know”. In marked contrast, modern education swamps students with information, but the educational products are sadly lacking in character; many of the students are often victims of self-destructive habits like smoking, alcoholism and substance abuse; and even the best of them cherish no values higher than personal economic aggrandizement. ”Information, information, information, but no transformation” is the plight of the modern educational system.

Of course many curricula worldwide do have some sort of value education, but they mostly serve a cosmetic purpose; they are ineffectual in actually building the character of the students. The Vedic texts assert unequivocally that morality has to be founded on spirituality; otherwise it soon becomes a mere lip-service. Unless one has an understanding of God as the Supreme Controller, the call to ethics has no weight. After all, what is there in an atheist’s world view to impel him to stick to morality in his pursuit of pleasure? If a person does not understand his identity as an eternal soul, if he thinks that he can get away with whatever he does, provided he just does it cleverly enough, why will he not try to maximize the pleasure that this life can offer him? “Beg, borrow, steal, kill, but enjoy” becomes the motto of such a spiritually illiterate person.

==The effects==
Modern scientific education has been largely responsible for this spiritual and social decay. Honest scientists readily admit that spiritual subjects such as the existence of the soul and God are simply beyond their scope. But unfortunately practically all the science textbooks worldwide portray dubious theories such as the big bang theory and evolution theory as proven facts, thus forcing the naive and innocent students to embrace atheism as the only “scientific” way of looking at the world. Many eminent scientists have openly rejected these theories as unscientific, while others continue to debate about them. But they are certainly not verified truths and putting them in the school textbooks is a travesty of justice. If we let our children be taught that they have come from monkeys, how can we expect them to not behave like monkeys? The notion that life is a result of chemical combination breeds a murderous mentality: “If life is just a product of chemicals, then why can I not cut a bag of chemicals and eat it, if it tastes good? Or worse still: “If there is nothing more to life than chemical activity, then why can I not destroy the lump of chemicals if it obstructs my path to success?” When entire generations grow up with such perverted conceptions, is it strange that peace eludes humanity?

==The Remedy==
If we want our children to inherit a peaceful world, we have to teach them the spiritual truths that will engender that peace – within and without. To this end, the following non-sectarian universal divine principles must be incorporated into the syllabus worldwide:
1. God is the Supreme Father of all living beings and He is the Supreme Owner and Controller of everything, as confirmed in one of the foremost Upanishads, the Ishopanishad (ishavasyam idam sarvam)
2. We are accountable for all our actions to God (As you sow so shall you reap)
3. We are spirit souls, eternal children of God and our real happiness is not in material acquisition, but in spiritual realization, in lovingly harmonizing ourselves with nature and God.

These spiritual precepts do not contradict the principle of secularism because secularism should not be misunderstood or misinterpreted as atheism. Secularism basically implies impartiality towards different religions and the above precepts are the common underlying teachings of all the major religions of the world. It will be most unfortunate if, in the name of secularism, we let people stay in spiritual ignorance and thus court global disaster. We can cite here the historical transformation of Hippies in late sixties in America by embracing the genuine spirituality. Empowered by this divine knowledge, thousands of youths were able to break free of the shackles of all self-destructive habits and become selfless spiritual activists, dedicated to the holistic service of God and all living beings. Even today it is a globally repeated phenomenon that adoption of genuine spirituality by an individual concomitantly leads to character and compassion, the pre-requisites for sustained world peace.

Following slogan succinctly summarizes the need of the hour, “Without the awakening of divine consciousness within the individual, there is no use of crying for world peace.”. No other kind of education is going to help much in changing the world.

Compiled by [[Absolute_Truth:Authors#ysrahul|Rahul Mishra]]

Did man go to the moon ?

=Did man go to the moon?=
As students, we have grown up falling in love with science as an excellent means to understand the world around us. Specially we, Indians, feel so fascinated when modern science presents evidence and reasoning establishing the existence of the soul For example[1] . We feel so proud of our heritage. But when we come to know that, according to the Vedic scriptures, man could not have gone to the moon, we become immensely disturbed. Landing on the moon is globally considered the crowning jewel of all the accomplishments of modern science. To have that conquest declared as a fake is not easy to take. We hate the unpleasant choice that confronts us: choose either science or scripture. “Can’t there be a reconciliation of both?” we wonder. Perhaps only when our most cherished assumptions are challenged do we strive for a higher understanding.

==Different scales of observation==
According to Vedas, we could not have gone to the moon because it is a higher planet. Without doing good karma, one cannot go there, just as without proper immigration clearance, one cannot go to America. This logic itself reveals a fundamental difference in the Vedic and modern world views and that difference holds the key to a reconciliation of the two.

Modern science sees the moon as a lifeless satellite, whereas Vedic science sees it as Chandraloka, a higher-dimensional planet inhabited by higher beings. Imagine two transparent glass beakers, one containing white chalk powder and the other, black charcoal powder. If we mix the two powders, we will get a grey mixture. But if we see the same mixture under a microscope, the grey particles will disappear; we will see only white and black particles. Which is the reality? Not sure ?  May be both !!!  

What we see varies with our scale of observation. What is a grey powder to the naked eye is a mixture of black and white particles to the microscopic eye. Similarly, what is a lifeless planet at the human scale of observation is a higher-dimensional planet filled with higher beings at a divine scale of observation. Hence the seeming contradiction.

The Vedic texts themselves contain descriptions of cosmology based on both scales of observation. There are two main sources of cosmological information in the Vedic literatures – the Puranas and the Jyotisha-shastras. The Puranas describe [[Bhagavatha_cosmology|cosmology]] from a divine perspective and they mention many features of the cosmos that are inaccessible to human observation. On the other hand, the Jyotisha-shastras describe cosmology largely from a human perspective. Among the Jyotisha-shastras are works on mathematical astronomy known as astronomical siddhantas. The siddhantic cosmology contains information similar to the information obtained from modern cosmology. For example, the Surya Siddhanta, one of the most important siddhanta-shastras, states:

#The distance between the earth and the moon as 253,000 miles, compared to modern measurements of 252,710 miles.
#The Earth’s diameter is 7,840 miles, compared to the modern measurements of 7,926.7 miles.

The very fact that cosmic distances were measured with such precision in Vedic culture long before the dawn of modern cosmology is itself remarkable. It suggests that Vedic cosmology deserves to be studied with due respect, not dismissed summarily as unscientific due to some of its features being currently incomprehensible to us.

== Three possibilities ==
We can’t say for sure what actually happened with the moon flights. Authoritative mathematics textbooks state that three plus three is six. If somebody says, according to his calculations, it’s not six, we know for sure he’s wrong. But we can’t know for sure what answer he got. Similarly, the Vedic scriptures authoritatively state that Chandraloka is a higher-dimensional planet with higher living beings. So if astronauts claiming to have gone there did not encounter any life there, we can know for sure that they have not accessed Chandraloka. But we can’t know for sure where they went.

Still, based on [[wikipedia:A._C._Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada|Srila Prabhupada’s]][2] statements, we can envision at least three possibilities,” Firstly, let’s understand the concept of a higher dimensional object being projected to a lower dimension. A three-dimensional office address in Mumbai (given by avenue, street and floor) can have a two-dimensional projection (given by avenue and street). Similarly, the higher-dimensional Chandraloka can have a three-dimensional projection, the moon visible to us with the naked eye. No matter how hi-tech our spacecrafts, they cannot take us beyond the three-dimensional reality that our sensory apparatus limits us to. On a map of India, which is a two-dimensional projection of the multi-dimensional reality, India, if I move my finger from Pune to Mumbai, I cannot experience Mumbai – its people, its skyscrapers. Similarly, the astronauts may travel in three-dimensional space to the three-dimensional projection of Chandraloka, but not experience its higher-dimensional reality – Somadeva and the other residents, the heavenly opulences.

Srila Prabhupada said that the astronauts may have been subjected to a hi-tech diversion by the demigods. Consequently, they imagined they had landed on the moon, but had been grounded on some other relatively (relative to Chandraloka) lower planet like Rahu, which is ordinarily invisible to us due to its existing in a dimension higher than ours.

Or the third possibility is that the moon flights may have been [ hoaxed]; the astronauts may never have gone out of the atmosphere of the earth. For example, regarding the first American Apollo flights, there are dozens of books and scores of websites devoted to [[wikipedia:Apollo_Moon_Landing_hoax_conspiracy_theories|”the moon conspiracy theory”]] with its proponents and opponents both vigorously presenting arguments and counter-arguments. Given the money, prestige, security and technology involved, ascertaining the truth in such projects will be difficult and possibly dangerous.

==Where modern cosmology falls short==
But if everything depends on the scale of observation, then doesn’t that make everything relative and subjective? Isn’t there a reality? Aren’t scientific theories real? After all, scientific technology works – If we look at the cellphones, the internet, the airplanes. Yes, That’s true. But, doesn’t spiritual technology also work? There are so many researches establishing Mantra meditation helps one to control anger, decrease stress level; spiritually fulfilled people live longer and less prone to diseases and so  many similar facts. So, if what works is the standard to decide what’s real, then even spiritual principles should be considered real.

Different things work at different levels. If our goal is to improve our external comforts and control, to increase our ability to manipulate the world around us, scientific technology works. If our goal is to improve our internal life, to increase our self-mastery, spiritual technology works. Modern science is fabulously successful in controlling a tiny slice of reality, but does it give a satisfactory explanation of the totality of reality?

A quote from Noble Laureate physicist Erwin Schrodinger unequivocally admits the incompleteness of the scientific worldview: ‘I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.’

What to speak of explaining the existence of life on other planets, modern science cannot explain the existence of life on our own planet. We obviously know that life exists here because we exist here. But modern, reductionist science claims that life is a result of chemical combination, but it cannot demonstrate or explain how life arises from chemicals.

Not only can reductionistic science not explain how life arises, it also cannot explain why life arises. It offers no explanation about what the purpose of our existence is or what the values guiding our existence should be. That’s why eminent Indian scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in his book Ignited Minds, quotes Albert Einstein recalling Werner Heisenberg’s words to him: ‘You know in the West we have built a large, beautiful ship. It has all the comforts in it, but one thing is missing: it has no compass and does not know where to go.’

==Toward a more complete cosmology==
To gain a more holistic understanding of the cosmos, we have to free ourselves from the rigid constructs of Euclidean and Cartesian three-dimensional geometry, which forms the basis of the modern scientific worldview. An important quote in this regard from a remarkable book Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy by the late Dr Richard L Thompson who pioneered the postulation of a new cosmology that integrated scientific and Vedic insights: ‘Radical extensions of our theoretical perspective have taken place repeatedly in the history of science. A striking example of this is provided by the revolution in the science of physics that occurred in the twenties and thirties of this century. At the end of the nineteenth century, physicists were almost universally convinced that classical physics provided a final and complete theory of nature. However, a few years later, classical physics was replaced by a new theory, called quantum mechanics, which is based on fundamentally different principles. The most interesting feature of this development is that classical physics turns out to be compatible with quantum mechanics in the domain of observation in which it was originally applied. The differences between the two theories become significant only in the new atomic domain opened up by the quantum theory. Likewise, our proposed new cosmology would agree with existing theories in its predictions of gross sensory observations, but it would open an entirely new world of higher-dimensional travel.

== Higher Dimensional cosmology ==
At one level, Vedic cosmology is compatible with modern cosmology, as seen from the above agreement in astronomical measurements. At another level, Vedic cosmology is more complete than modern cosmology, because of its ability to account for higher-dimensional cosmic realms, higher living beings and ultimately the higher purpose of life.

Vedic cosmology is innately theistic and spiritual. It is based on the understanding that that we are souls, spiritual beings, temporarily residing in our material bodies. We are all astronauts on a long multi-life cosmic journey through many, many bodies in many different parts of the cosmos. We are the beloved children of the Supreme Being, originally residing in loving harmony with Him in His abode. When we desired to enjoy separate from Him, we were sent to this material cosmos for experimentation and rectification.

The cosmos, the Vedas explain, is created and controlled by God, with the help of numerous assistants called demigods. The demigods are beings much more powerful than us, who reside in the higher regions of the cosmos. Soma, the presiding deity of the moon, is one of the demigods.

The principle of humility is vital in approaching the magnificent works of God like the cosmos. We cannot expect to conquer the cosmos with our intellect and dominate it for our ends. Such an attitude implies that we are trying to become all-knowing and usurp God. This vain attitude will lead only to bafflement, as has happened to many scholars who had a non-devotional approach in their study of Vedic cosmology. A good example of a devotional attitude to cosmic research is the following quote of Johannes Kepler: ”I have endeavored to gain for human reason, aided by geometrical calculation, an insight into His way of creation; may the Creator of the heavens themselves, the father of all reason, to whom our mortal senses owe their existence, may He who is Himself immortal… keep me in His grace and guard me from reporting anything about His work which cannot be justified before His magnificence or which may misguide our powers of reason, and may He cause us to aspire to the perfection of His works of creation by the dedication of our lives.”

==The Ultimate cosmic flight==
Vedic culture is not against cosmic travel, in fact, the perfection of life, according to the Vedic scriptures, is the ultimate cosmic flight; Vedic culture trains us to become transcendental cosmonauts and fly beyond the moon, beyond the sun, beyond the entire material universe, to the spiritual world, which is our eternal home.

== References ==
#Near Death Experience, Out of Body Experience, Reincarnation etc
#A noted vedic scholar and authority in 20th century.

Compiled by [[Absolute_Truth:Authors#ysrahul|Rahul Mishra]] from the original article by [[Absolute_Truth:Authors#ccdas|Chaitanya Charan Das]].

Bharat or India, what’s in the name?

== Bharat versus India ==
You might know that India is sometimes referred by a lesser known name ”Bharat”.Is there any difference in how we call the country. How does it make a difference anyway? Lets examine the etymology of these words.

According to Bhagavatha Purana, this country became to be known as Bharat because it was ruled by an illustrious king ”Bharata” the son of Maharaj Rishabha. King Bharata ruled the entire ”Bharata varsha” which in vedic connotation refers to the entire world inhabited by humans. And the word ”India” is an anglicised corruption of the word Hindustan meaning ”The place of Hindus”.

Its intriguing when you compare these two names because one signifies the entire world and other a contemporary place inhabited by ”Hindus” but shrunk in size by the history. The word ”Bharat” signifies a rich culture and heritage patronised by a lineage of great kings like ”Bharata”. Its also interesting to note that the word ”Hindu” is not a native word either, it’s a persian corruption of the word Indu better known as ”Indus” the river. The persians and arabs referred the people on the other side of the river Indus as Hindus. So as you see it makes a lot of difference. When we refer the country as Bharat we refer to a great civilization with a great culture and heritage and when we refer it as India it implicitly signifies a country enslaved, colonized and bruised by invasions on cultural and intellectual spheres. Lets analyse more of the contrasting qualities of the India then and now.

==India: Then and Now.==
Murder in school, Suicides due to depression, increasing divorce rates!!!!! these are the common readings in the daily newspapers these days. How did these social ailments seep into Indian society which was for ages known as an emblem of peace, wisdom, prosperity and all such auspicious attributes?

It is high time for Indians to look back into their rich culture of yesteryears and investigate into the cause of today’s self destructive proclivities and put an end to this mad march towards self-destruction before these evil forces consume our great nation.

===Living conditions and health===
In traditional India people lived in a very healthy environment. Clean breathing air, pure and clean water, nourishing fresh foods brimming with life. Life was never stressed out due to excessive work and deadlines. Trust on each other both in personal and financial dealings were common. Regularly reading sacred Vedic Scriptures and a lifestyle based on simple living and high thinking. A highly evolved and scientific branches of learning in the vedic gurukula system being the hallmark.

Today with the advance in science and technology, Indians breathe polluted air, drink contaminated water and eat toxic junk food. Physically and physiologically we are emaciated. Exploit or be exploited seems to be the thumb rule of business. Dealings based on faith have been replaced by complex laws with loop holes favouring the rich and strong. Indians rarely have time to spend on their spiritual and intellectual well being.But they happily gulp down their throat the pseudo scientific knowledge and manipulated history left down by the then imperialist west in their schools and universities.

And what that education has produced is a confused and myopic population who can’t see what is in real good for them. They copy lavish western traits and try to retrofit in their impoverished Indian surroundings. This has led to large scale complexities widening the divide of have and havenots. And most of the times such influence are self destructive when applied beyond limits. A very good example of this is the pop icon Micheal Jackson who in spite of being blessed with immense talents and fortune had to undergo enormous stress and eventually succumbed to host of illness at an early age all because he had to maintain his status as the pop icon. And the result being he had to die a horrible death. All these problems were virtually non – existent in India even fifty years ago. The present day social menaces such as divorce, suicides in huge numbers, cultural degradation, adultery, drug addiction and murders etc amongst youngsters were unheard of.

=== Sustainable life style in Bharat ===
Previously the necessities of life such as food, shelter, clothing, utilities were taken from nature. [[Cow_ protection|Cow Protection]], Cultivation of land and commerce mostly by barter system were the main functions of the vaishyas (productive class of the society). Since the people lived as per the Holy Scriptures, there were abundant rains. There was enough nutritious food for the whole society. Previously a person was considered wealthy if he had grains and gold. ”dhaanyavan dhanavan” as compared to the paper currency which as such has no value on its own.

People travelled in a simple way by bullock carts or horse carriages as they didn’t have a need to travel at monstrous speeds although they had the [[vimanas|technology]] for it. There was no question of air, water and land pollution leading to so many diseases and ailments. And an economy based on non-renewable energy resources and un-sustainable infrastructure.

Now with the introduction of paper currency and manipulated economy, a small section of society is amassing wealth at the cost of starving millions. Previously there was no such thing as economic recession, large scale layoffs etc. People worked hard, ate sumptuously and lived happily with whatever they had.

=== Bharat a center of learning and innovation ===
Our ancestors have left behind a great treasure of knowledge in the fields of mathematics, architecture, astronomy, medical sciences etc. If we explore into this treasure, we can benefit immensely from all that knowledge. Below are a few drops from the vast ocean of the wisdom of India. Here is a list of [[Indian_scientific_contributions|contributions]].

Now with the inclusion of modern education, Indians are gradually becoming aliens in their own culture, they have accepted the anthropological hoax stories such as Darwin’s theory of evolution of human beings from apes.

==Root cause analysis.==
Although in one sense this degradation of culture is pre-destined and [ predicted] in the scriptures. The factors that influenced the degradation are two. The first being the cultural invasion from the west, a seed successfully sown by the the British that the west is always the best through its education system. In fact just after the independence there was an opportunity to set things right which was squandered by pro-western administrators like Nehru who have ruled India for most of the time. The second being the lack of any curriculum in the education system on their own culture and heritage due to the ”undue” stress on neeed to be secular in Indian democracy. There was a void created in the intellectual space which was duly filled in by the western intelligentsia. And as the interaction of Indians with the outside world has increased, Indians are becoming more and more fascinated and enamored by the western culture which is based on the principle of optimal sense indulgence such as intoxication, free mixing of men and women, merciless killing of mother cow, abortion of human fetus etc. without any consideration of what is permitted and what is prohibited for cultured human society.

==The Vedic Culture in the heart of Bharat==
The vedic culture was centered around leading a happy and meaningful life. The Vedic literatures gives a comprehensive sustainable forumula for ”dharma” (regulated life), ”artha” (economic development), ”kama” (fulfillment of desires) and ultimately ”moksha” (fulfilling the purpose of life). We would be happier, healthier, wiser and ultimately make progressive advancement towards achieving the ultimate goal of live (salvation) if we value and live by the principles of Sanatana dharma which is ”Simple living and High thinking’ centered on cultivation of spiritual knowledge of sacred scriptures such as Srimad Bhagavad-Gita and living by the principles taught therein.

In fact the argument that all these principles donot hold good in this social situation is incorrect because even to this day the Amish community have been maintaining their traditional orthodox social setup.

Hoping that the grass is green on the other side, Indians are giving up their own rich heritage and adopting the western ways of living. But this has only led to so much of misery and chaos both individually and collectively.

Human being is blessed with higher intelligence which should be employed to inquire into higher truths of life. The humans must inquire about the source of creation, maintenance and annihilation of this cosmic manifestation and put forward question such as who am I? Who is God? What is the purpose of my life? How to end the miseries of life such as repeated birth, death, old age and disease (janma, mrityu, jara and vyadhi) etc?

The Santana dharma or what is called the traditional Vedic Indian life was designed in such a way that people could lead a peaceful, happy life with God in the center while they are living and simultaneously prepare themselves for the journey of the soul (who is the actual person) after the death of the temporary and mortal body.

What India should do is to strike a balance between the traditional values and modern techniques and chalk its own path in its quest for advancement.
[[Absolute_Truth:Authors#mgdasa|Chandrasekar Gani]]
[[Absolute_Truth:Authors#lndasa|L Narasimha Rao]]