Social Gatheka Number 15
There has been a great upset in the world commencing
from the time of the Reformation and culminating at the
time of the war. It seems there is a continual unrest in
every direction of life; in different departments of life
there seems to be a great turmoil. In spite of all the progress
which has been made in the last years, civilization seems
not to have succeeded. The difficulty, that there has been,
is the adjustment of the new idea; the idea of democracy
to the foundation of aristocracy on which it was based.
The outcome of the same is felt, now, after the war, more
than ever before. There seems to be confusion and chaos
rather than the understanding of living life to the best
advantage. The reason is that the character of aristocracy
and democracy is not understood by all men from the point
of view of the mystic. And as long as the lack of understanding
of this secret remains, a thousand democracies or aristocracies
will always fail in the end.
When we study nature, we find the model of life made
before us as a design to follow. The interdependence of
the stars and planets, and how they are sustained in heaven
by each other's magnetism. How the light of the sun functions
in the moon and how the light of the sun is reflected by
all the different planets, and at the same time, how the
different planets differ in their light and character –
and how every planet in the universe fulfills the scheme
of nature. Call it aristocracy or call it democracy, there
is a model of life that nature has produced before us.
The word aristocracy, very often, when not understood,
becomes unpleasant to the ears of some. But the real aristocracy
is not necessarily the picture of its abuse, its degeneration.
And what is democracy? Democracy is the fulfillment of aristocracy;
in other words, democracy means complete aristocracy. But
when aristocracy has not been understood and democracy is
sought after, then democracy is not understood fully, it
is not complete. Man is born in this world ignorant of the
kingdom which is within himself and to attain to that kingdom
which is within him is the true aristocracy.
that kingdom in another person is aristocracy and to see
the possibility of that kingdom in oneself and to try to
fulfill that ideal in life is true democracy. Aristocracy
means one king; democracy means all kings. But when a person
does not know one king, he does not know all kings. What
I mean by this is to understand that the object of life
is not in revolt against someone who is more advanced than
we and by this revolt to pull him down to one's own level;
that is not democracy. Democracy is to see the possibility
of advancing as the other; and trusting in that possibility,
trying to advance to the same level, is the real democracy.
The question of the day must be studied by all sections
of humanity and by all classes of humanity. It seems that,
being absorbed in a more comfortable life, many have neglected
their part in all different works of life, at home and outside,
and there are certain different works of life, at home and
outside, and there are certain classes who are unaware of
certain works that life demands at home and in the world,
and the time is coming and has come, when they meet with
difficulties, because they find themselves more dependent
on certain work which they have neglected in their lives,
and they have always shown unwillingness to do certain things
which seemed beneath their idea of dignity.
Now the time
is coming when humanity is being upset and what has happened
is that one class is going under the other class and the
place of the one class is taken by the other class, and
in this way, not more comfort, but chaos is being manifested.
And the way out of it would be to imitate some of the ideas
of the old, and if they are not imitated, perhaps life will
become settled in a certain way, but the home life will
become a hotel life and there will no more be that joy and
pleasure of experiencing what is called home life. The difficulties
will bring about that situation before long when in every
district there will be a kind of hotel arrangement and in
that way that individualistic progress, culture and joy
will become hampered. Man's individual choice will be sacrificed
to the mechanism of living.
The method, of which I was saying, that it may be followed,
is a method which was used in the ancient times by the Hindus,
and even till now, some of the method exists. Among the
community of Brahmans, the Brahman may be in a very high
position and very rich, but he knows how to cook himself.
The women in the household, in the home of a prime minister,
attend to the kitchen themselves. There is nothing in the
home which they do not like to do. They were trained in
the ancient times to sew, to knit, to weave and to cook,
keeping the house neat, decorating it, cleaning it, painting
it, all these things were accomplished by every person.
No one possessed a house who did not know at that time everything
about taking care of the house, independently of the housekeeper.
The perfection of life is perfecting oneself not only spiritually
but in all different aspects of life.
The man who is not capable of attending to all life's
needs is certainly ignorant of the true freedom of life. The more we shall study the problem of the day, the more
we shall realize that it is the division of work, which
is so distinctly made at the present time, that has made
people helpless. What is most necessary today is to introduce
in education the spirit of providing for oneself all that
one needs and arranging for oneself all that is necessary
in one's everyday life. The mechanical life today, though
it shows a progress, yet is not a complete progress. Imagine
a person being from morning to evening in a factory and
making only needles. Perhaps he does this for twenty years
and what does he know of life? Only how to make a needle.
Perhaps the benefit goes to the head of the factory. But
what benefit goes to this man who has perhaps all his life
been making needles?
The secret ideal of life and its progress is to become
self-sufficient; the key to the secret of democracy is self-sufficiency.
No doubt it is a vast subject and difficult to explain in
all its aspects in a few words, but at the same time, spiritual
perfection is the second step and the one who has first
made himself self-sufficient is entitled to the spiritual
perfection in the end.