From the Desk of Coordinator, Bioinformatics Centre

India at Crossroads

Economic Globalization Vs. Spiritual Globalization


Our knowledge of science has already outstripped our capacity to control  it. We have many men of science, too few men of God… Man is stumbling blindly through spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of Life and Death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience.”

     Omar N Bradley


            Indians in general are spiritual and live on ‘hope for better future’ as observed by the presence of slum dwellers living in inhuman conditions for generations, around 5- star hotels, posh localities and city’s railway tracts. Our faith in philosophy of past karma makes us insensitive and blind to the miserable living conditions of unfortunate brothers and sisters. Politicians exploit the misery of the poor for their own power games at the cost of economic development. After independence, we embraced communism with cosmetic changes and five year plans in the name of socialism but never critically monitoring the goals achieved. Poor people still live and die with hope. I recall visiting Russia behind iron curtain in 1981 to attend a Workshop. In the period of about 40 years, communism could provide a comfortable living condition for all the people irrespective of rich or poor, though unfortunately behind fear of ‘secret agent’ and loss of freedom. I do remember telling our Director, Dr. Sushila Nayar that Gandhian trusteeship is really in practice in Russia. She did not appreciate saying that it is implemented by force.  As Marxist ideology was diluted with time, corruption and selfishness became rampant, people could not tolerate and revolted when the moment arrived.

Now we have started embracing commerce driven capitalism and consumerism at the cost of spirituality without least inkling, where it will lead our country with vast population. When will we use our ancient wisdom to devise means and conditions for universal well being, with ‘Live and let live’ policy in place of competitive exploitation of one another. India is truly at cross roads to accept either economic globalization or spiritual globalization. Where as the economic globalization serves the interests of western industrialized countries, the spiritual globalization represented by New Age is truly for universal benefit.

            Deepak Chopra suggests that to survive, the human species must move from information and knowledge-based culture to a wisdom-based culture. Wisdom is knowledge and information that could heal the eco-system, resolve conflicts, bring about economic empowerment of the poor, and through leadership, training and empowerment of women, drastically reduce the incidence of diseases like AIDS. Chopra asks whether India is ready to lead the world into a wisdom-based civilization? Everything we need, we already have: Technology, education, cultural diversity, a collective imagination from a vibrant living mythology and a historical context which has drawn upon every possible spiritual and religious tradition – Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity.. the list is endless. These are the raw materials and ingredients for the perfect recipe for a wisdom-based society (TOI, Feb 2006).               

            Dr. Pranav Pandya, Vice Chancellor, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya sees in the young graduates, crusaders for spread of the message of Hope, Harmony, Happiness and Peace amongst all humanity and says that the Time Spirit has decreed that India will have to play a very significant role in the ushering of the New Era. I realize this truth when I see the new generation of youth abroad saturated with affluence and consumerism, looking for a new direction, enthusiastically involving in Satsangh and social service activities of Spiritual Gurus Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Swaminarayan, Athawale, Chinmaya, Saibaba, Sri Ravishankar, Sri Goenka, Amritamayi inspired organizations and many more.

            Under guidance of Dr. Nagendra, Vice Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana has been doing excellent research on Yoga – The science of holistic living for better health and in disease management in collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Johns Hopkins Univ. and Harvard University, USA. Recently held 15th International Conference on ‘Frontiers in Yoga Research and Its Applications’ at VYASA, Bangalore and World Conference on ‘Expanding Paradigms: Science, Consciousness and Spirituality’ at AIIMS, New Delhi are good examples of excellent research being done in India and abroad on Sudarshan kriya, Yoga, Pranayam and Consciousness with active participation of number of scientists from well known institutions. J. Watumull Global Hospital & Research Centre, Mount Abu in collaboration with DIPAS and MDN Institute of Yoga showed Coronary Artery Disease Regression through Life Style changes and Rajyoga meditation. Vipassana or Yognidra under the name of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) is being used in management of stress related health problems at Massachusetts Medical Centre, USA. Swami Ramdev is teaching and doing research on pranayam and has become 5 am family physician bringing change in life style of millions of people watching TV every morning.

            Quantum Physicists have started enlarging the scope of modern science by using consciousness-based approach, the essence of yoga, in contrast to the existing matter based approach. Our research funding agencies are more enthusiastic to look westward and support high tech driven research. It is time to look inwards and support projects related  to Spiritual science with India’s strong knowledge base and Spiritual Gurus with mass support. Let us not wait to welcome consultants from abroad to teach us yoga, meditation, pranayam under different names.

            Based on the ancient wisdom, let India define, practise and propagate the Art of simple living in harmony with nature and concern to the whole humanity replacing Star culture and consumerism dished out by aggressive marketing. It is the last opportunity to survive from the trap of economic slavery for next 50 years. Millions of people throughout the world are practising yoga and holistic living. The trio Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Nagendra and Dr. Pranav Pandya may take the initiative to bring all the noble people preaching yoga, pranayam and meditation on one platform to mobilize masses to bring transformation in the country to embrace and lead the World in Spiritual globalization.           



                                                                                                          Prof. B. C. Harinath