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Prana Dharma

Prana Dharma

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Shrii Shrii Anandamurti on Prana Dharma - the sine qua non of human existence: Ranchi, Feb. 16th 1967
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti on Prana Dharma - the sine qua non of human existence: Ranchi, Feb. 16th 1967

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Published by: Dr. Hans-Joachim Rudolph on May 23, 2010
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PRA'N'A DHARMA - the Sine Qua Non of Human Existenceby Shrii Shrii AnandamurtiIn this universe there are people whose thoughts, character andbehaviour are similar -- similar but not identical. Differences in humancharacter and mentality, which are reflected in external human conduct,are due to varying propensities and tendencies. This is what accounts forthe differences between people. Just as individual human beings havetheir distinctive characteristics, similarly, groups of people brought up invarious geographical environments, historical eras, or culturalatmospheres, acquire their own group characteristics, too. Later thosecharacteristics inherent in a particular group get mixed with the internalthoughts and ideas of other groups within a society. This leads to thedevelopment of national characteristics. In this way an entire nationalpsychology -- its external behaviour, its social outlook, and its philosophyof life -- is developed. This process produces different national outlookswhich distinguish one nation from another. It is also in this way thatdifferent human groups have developed different viewpoints towards lifeand the world. These differences are internal rather than external.Through proper education and well integrated social living in theindividual and collective strata, internal qualities can be properlydeveloped. Internal discipline in the psychic sphere of individual life iswhat we may call the Pra'na Dharma' of individual life. When the nationalcharacteristics are expressed in a particular vein, we may call it thePra'na Dharma' of the nation. Although Italy, France, England andAmerica are part of the western world, their national characteristics arenot uniform. There are considerable differences in the mental thought-processes and external conduct of the East and the West. The thoughtsand ideals of India are quite different from the other countries in theEast. Since ancient times, India has been adhering to her distinct Pra'naDharma'. Regarding life and the world, the Indian people are certainlyspiritually inclined. they look upon each and every thought and deed aspart of their spiritual practice. The reason is that in ancient India,children studied from the age of five till the age of twenty-five. Theylived virtuous, disciplined and holy lives and received extensive trainingin spiritual knowledge as well as some degree of mundane knowledge. Atthe conclusion of their student careers, they returned home to adopt thelife of householders. As householders they continued to cultivate bothspiritual knowledge (para) and mundane knowledge (apara). When theyreached the age of fifty, having met all their family commitments, theywould adopt the life of a Vanaprastha and retire to a forest toconcentrate on the cultivation of spiritual knowledge. Thus all aspects of Indian life were based on spirituality. This subjective approach to lifebecame the Pra'na Dharma' of Indians. Spirituality has penetrated sodeeply into Indian social life that even the toughest and most notorious
 
robbers offer something to the goddess Ka'li before committing theft.They pray to mother Ka'li and make pledges to her to ensure theirsuccess. The ancient Indian system of education was based on thisoriginal Pra'na' Dharma'. Consequently, the Indian students developed areverential, humble and noble trait in their conduct. The subtle way toundermine an individual or a nation is to divert them from their originalPra'na Dharma', sometimes by forcibly snatching away their right topursue it. This will sap them of their inherent strength and capabilitiescausing them to become increasingly weak. Just as a bird divested of itsright to fly freely gradually becomes reduced to the status of a biped,similarly, human beings when deprived of their Pra'na Dharma' lose theirelevated stance.Moghul Rule and Indian Pra'na Dharma'.During the Moghul period India was subjected to severe political torture.The Pathan and Moghul rulers tried to inflict a blow to the Indian Pra'naDharma' indirectly. However, by holding out allurements of high posts orby using other methods, they could not do much harm to the IndianPra'na Dharma'. The reason was that the inner vitality of Islamic societyitself was considerably weakened after assimilating the conflictingthought waves of Egypt, Siberia and Persia. Thus, though the IslamicPra'na Dharma' existed alongside the Indian Pra'na Dharma' it could notcause much damage.The British Rule and Indian Pra'na Dharma'.The British rulers were very clever. Instead of attacking the Indian Pra'naDharma' directly, they resorted to the path of diplomacy. They believedtat to maintain British rule in India they would have to create a group of native supporters who would remain Indian by birth and complexion butEuropean in manners, customs, education, taste and culture. So theyintroduced a system of education based on their own British system. Thiswas an obvious attempt to strike a blow at Indian Pra'na Dharma'. As aresult, the people of India forgot their distinctive national characteristicsand developed a completely Western outlook. The moral, spiritual andsocial qualities that were developed through the Indian system of education were ignored. Rather, Indian youth, under the influence of materialistic Western civilisation, grew cynical, materialistic andatheistic. A class of educated persons was created who were neitherEnglish nor Indians. Many of them were employed in the Indian CivilService. A certain scholar once remarked that the Indian Civil Service "isneither Indian, nor civil, nor service." These people became alienatedfrom the mainstream of Indian social life because their conduct,behaviour, customs, manners, thoughts and ideals were different fromthose of other Indians. This neo-class of people with modern education
 
could not regard the simple, innocent masses of rural India as their own.The clever English rulers trained them in such a subtle way that theylooked upon the British as being nearer to them than the Indians. Theimperialistic British purpose was served: colonial rule was firmlyestablished.The British Rule and Chinese Pra'na Dharma'The British also tried to destroy the natural Pra'na Dharma' of theChinese people. Prior to Kuomintang rule, Chinese people were simple,peace-loving, energetic and spiritually inclined. But the British importeda huge amount of cheap opium into China and made the energetic andpious people idle and indolent. Thus the Chinese race deviated from theiroriginal Pra'na Dharma'. As a result, it was easy to mislead them ontothe path of communism. The British were responsible for the annihilationof the Chinese Pra'na Dharma'. The communists completely destroyedthe ancient Chinese religion and finished the unfinished task of theBritish.Capitalism in Indian Pra'n'a Dharma'Although capitalism does not directly oppose Pra'na Dharma', the all-devouring exploitation of capitalism robs the people of their possessionsand drives them into the street as beggars. For such people it becomesvirtually impossible to properly follow their Pra'na Dharma'. Even thefeudalistic exploitation in Indian social life did not run counter to theoriginal Pra'na Dharma'. But the present capitalistic (Vaeshyan)exploitation has financially ruined the Indian people. Hence, it isimpossible for the people to follow their Pra'na Dharma'. At this period of crisis in Indian Pra'na Dharma' the materialistic philosophies are gettingscope to rear their heads.The socio-economic philosophy of Ananda Marga calls for the eliminationof capitalism. It clearly emphasizes the need to fulfill minimum economicneeds and create an ideal congenial social environment in which therewill be maximum utilization of collective wealth and the rationaldistribution of resources to solve all economic problems. Every humanbeing will get ample opportunity to follow Pra'na Dharma'. Communismand Indian Pra'na Dharma'Materialism can never be the base of human life in any country becauseit is detrimental to the all-round development of human beings.Materialism is the philosophical base of communism. Communists actagainst human Dharma by propagating the defective philosophy of materialism. Communism is diametrically opposed to Indian Pra'naDharma. Although they raise high-sounding slogans of human

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