for The Eight Petal on Dec. 3, 2010
After a long gap, I visited my village, Deviapur, near Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, India. As I got down from the train everything was a surprise. Earlier we used to go to the house from the railway station either on bicycle or bullock cart (as kids we preferred the latter option), but now smoke bellowing car and motorcycles were there to receive us.
As my cousins kept showing us our green fields, I could see that there was hardly any bullock seen pulling the cart or tilling the land even in a distance. There was this demoniac huffing and puffing tractor. Its very appearance was detestable, though it was a symbol of high status and wealth in the village.
Where have the cows and bulls vanished? The correlation between the dwindling number of cows and bulls in the village and increasing number of slaughterhouses in India is not so difficult to understand.
We live in the age of ‘utility theory’ where utility is the defining factor of what is the creature’s ‘validity’ to live. An object is respected as long as it is of economic utility to other human beings!
In the Vedic age or even 20 years ago there was no concept of ‘Old age homes’, but now there are a lot of them, simply because there are no longer joint families and also when the old people are no longer considered economically productive by the younger generation, they are thrown out, if not exposed to slow death.
When people`s own children are considered to be a potential burden, they are murdered (aborted) even before they are born, in the name of development. When a wife cannot be employed to bring in some easy cash, she can be burnt alive, in the name of dowry. When the mother cow is aged and cannot be milked, she is sent to a slaughterhouse. Since the bull has been replaced by a tractor and is now unemployed (rendered economically unproductive), he is also sold to the butcher. When a living being is unemployed and is thus rendered economically unproductive, the only solution to that is getting rid of that creature. ...What a civilized society we live in!
So what is this unemployment, which has doomed our society? Let us look back to understand it better.
The false modern education model has totally devastated our spiritual roots and produced only ‘shudras’ – this is first violation of ‘varnasrama dharma’. The brahmanas, kshatriyas, and vaishyas are independent in nature. It is only shudras who are dependent. The newly ‘educated’ shudras can no longer continue their traditional occupations - second violation. Agriculture is left behind with the parents as they leave in search for job for cities - another violation. One violation leads to series of violations.
The laws of nature punish the violators. From being independent they are dependent in the cities. Despite the bitterness, this trend is so rampant that mass exodus of youth from villages have left the elderly parents with no hands to help them in agriculture and in other traditional occupations. They are either selling their lands off to industrialists, or employing machines to till the land and other works, as agriculture is fundamentally labor-intensive.
As if this was not enough, it results in unemployment of not just human beings, but also of animals like bulls, cows, horses, dooming their future – creating a slaughterhouse civilization. Villages are no longer able to support, as they have dearth of working hands, while cities cannot support simply because they are founded on a wrong model. They have only broken families, nuclear set ups, polluted air, criminal activities, artificial surrounding, gene-modified food, unhygienic water, noise, blaring sirens and unemployment to offer.
However, Indians love to chase the ‘American dream’. In our desire to support modern city life, are we not killing the villages? Are we not creating more unemployment for both animals and men alike and thus not becoming murderers?
In a daivi varnasrama set up, it is noteworthy that the Lord is at the center of all activities. In the Vedic age, one must work to have just enough to keep the body and soul together so that the precious life could be utilized for spiritual pursuit.
Wasn’t life beautiful earlier? The arrival of the morning was declared by the mooing sound of cows instead of mechanical alarm. One took bath in the stream instead of sitting next to a commode, one took pleasure in climbing on the trees and feasting on fresh fruits instead of fridge-stored polythene wrapped gene-modified fruit. So much we have lost already!
The description of village life in Vrindavan will make anybody go nostalgic. The problems emerge when we want to move the Lord from the center and want ourselves to be the enjoyer. We want to imitate Him, and even become Him. This results in our violation of His order and material life.
As we violate our natural set up (which is of village), the nature wreaks its vengeance in several forms - disease, famine, calamities etc. While on the other hand, when we try to make an effort to live in the manner in which the Lord desired us to be (in a Daivi Varnasrama set up) the nature is there so facilitate it.
Returning to our roots is not as difficult as we think. The tenuous bond with land, cow, and Krishna has to be revived and we need to make a more natural and scientific choice - make vrindavan villages.