om asato mā sadgamaya
tamaso mā jyotirgamaya
mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya
om śhānti śhānti śhānti – Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣada 1.3.28
Lead Us From the Unreal To the Real,
Lead Us From Darkness To Light,
Lead Us From Death To Immortality,
Let There Be Peace Peace Peace. – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28.
Today is the tenth anniversary of the savage attack on the World Trade Center in the USA !
Precious lives were lost due to the violence perpetrated by the forces of Darkness. When the human mind is captured by Darkness, it causes mindless destruction only. All past aggressions have the same history-civilized societies devastated or totally destroyed by the untold and unimagined violence of the aggressor. 9/11 is so much more painful only because it was never dreamt even in the dreams that the world’s number 1 Super Power could be targeted in such a manner or that civilian aircraft could be used as missiles or the generosity of a civilized society could be abused to such an extent! But it happened. It happens exactly this way under the influence of Darkness. It happened when the sword was used for this purpose for the first time; it happened when the gun powder was used for the first time; it happened when the atom bomb was used for the first time; it will happen again when star wars become real. It is a reply by technology to technology- no technological invention can guarantee foolproof security. No technological advancement can ever insulate any super power from use of that same technology to harm it. If employed for unethical gains only, technology is bound to prove self destroying. Like Evil, technology is also self-consuming.
The story of 9/11 is a pointer to another reality of life: even the well armed have been defeated by the poorly armed, but ethically strong. Almost all societies have an abundance of such stories. India has many in the Panchatantra and Hitopdesh. The only conclusion one can draw from such stories is that arms howsoever advanced they may be, have their own limitations and it is enlightenment that is a winner ultimately. The fight has been between the forces of Darkness and the forces of Light. Both exist. They have always existed. They shall continue to exist. That is the Nature of Creation! Societies that achieve great heights of civilization are bound to come under attack from their opposite societies, which will march to civilization once they score a victory through violent means over their opponents. The attackers of 9/11 acted under the delusion of grandeur of their own “civilization” under the notion that the western way of living was decadent. They were sold the idea of belonging to a society of high “morals” targeting another of ‘moral decadence”. This is no new war: it has been there for long between the “temporal” and the “religious”. Though packed as “spiritual”, it is only religious in reality. It is a war of a well entrenched religious bureaucracy and ruling class. In some societies they have even exercised executive and judicial powers also in the name of religion. They have ruled over their followers and enjoyed all the pleasures that power is capable of giving one. They can’t see their power being snatched away by ideas of modernity, science, democracy or any other New Age thought process! Hence they will ensure that the war goes on.
The world can never be peaceful only all the time, even if all the societies genuinely agree to it. Conflict is in the nature of creation. It gives energy to change,which we record in terms of past, present & future, whereas there is nothing called past, present or future. Time is constant. It suffers no change. What suffers change is called the Creation. That which has been created must also be destroyed. The cycle has to run. It is a beautifully automated cycle. Hence, human societies have to understand the limitations imposed by this cycle of change on us human beings and agree to live in peaceful co-existence. It is futile to attempt to impose one’s will on others; much less by violent means. Weapons will never achieve anything for ever. We don’t even remember who fought the first war and for what. In the recent past that was witness to the World War-I, what were the issues? Are they relevant today? Was it ethical to drop atomic bombs on civilian populations in the WW-II? How many innocent lives were lost in those bombings? Are the figures of loss of innocent lives in the WTC comparable at all? Both were unexpected, unimagined acts of unprecedented violence. Such violence acts as a turning point in the long life of civilizational history of the human race.
The Modern Age has to take some blame for the current environment of frightening violence prevalent all over the world. Ten years since the WTC attack, it still sends shivers down the spine! It is so because nobody can guarantee that such violence will not be repeated. The entire world is on alert 24×7 to watch out against another attempt to do so. The Captains of Darkness make their presence felt regularly and give proof of their dark capabilities. They are everywhere-they are there in India too! They have tried to terrorize Delhi by blasting a Bomb right at the high security Delhi High Court premises! Unless they understand the futility of their violence and opt for non-violence, these Captains of Darkness will be living in total darkness and try ceaselessly to spread darkness. They are afraid of brightness. They fear light. They are afraid of non-violence!
Human mind can easily be diverted to bad behavior. It takes lot of efforts to make it learn good behavior. It needs nurture, education, bringing up and training to learn all the traits of good behavior. But it is worth. There is nothing better in life than good behavior and recognition by other fellow beings of being a good person. I have quoted in the beginning a few lines from a treatise of great value. It is an invocation to God to inspire and lead us to good behaviour (from bad behaviour), from darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge. It is enlightenment. Only the enlightened ones can score victory over death. Death is a surety but getting over the fear of death is emancipation. In reference to the cycle of change, both life and death are mere illusions. Once that reality sinks, one becomes enlightened. For the Truth is He alone. Beauty is He alone. Grace is He alone! If these thoughts are imbibed, violence can be reduced in the world. Repetition of acts of violence can be checked. Democracy promotes a lot of negativity, as the opposition must always find faults with the government and for this to happen it invents new and more violent words. The violence of words is more deadly than the violence of the weapons. A civilized society has to constantly strive to move consciously from bad to good behaviour and darkness to light to enjoy the Heaven on Earth.
Let us all pray today to be led from Darkness to Light, from the un-good to Good behaviour. Let us pray for peace on us!