5. IMPACT OF POLITICS AND SOCIAL REFORM
The 'peace' that prevails today is the peace of fear and the peace of preparation. Ignoring the sincere advice of men of wisdom, the great nations of the world are intent upon demonstrating their destructive strength. That way lies war, not peace.
No political 'ism can ever solve the problem and bring about peace. All 'isms are only different hoods of the hydra-headed monster of selfishness-cum-egoism. When autocratic monarchs ruled over the nations, people thought that democracy would shower peace, plenty and prosperity upon earth. They dethroned the kings. Democracy also failed to yield the fruit of peace. Some people tried totalitarianism, socialism, communism - so many 'isms. Each man thought that his solution alone was best for the world ! And each new 'ism created only more problems and more quarrels.
Many are working today for the promotion of world peace, without having peace in themselves. Their loud propaganda, big talk, and lectures cause more confusion, conflict, and discord.
All over the world, great conferences are held for bringing about universal peace, universal brotherhood, and universal religion. It is the vanity of man that goads him to reform society without first reforming himself. Vanity rules the world. When two vain people meet, there is friction and quarrel.
So also is the case of social reform. Self-styled enlightened men started interfering with the customs and manners of people, in an effort to civilize them. The people lost their old moorings, and the reformers could not offer new, sound ones. Masses of people drifted away into chaos. How can blind men lead other blind men ? You must first acquire the Supreme Knowledge of the Reality. Then, and then alone, can you lead another in the right path.
You can elevate others only if you have elevated yourself. This world can be saved only by those who have already saved themselves. A prisoner cannot liberate other prisoners. One realized sage can do more for the promotion of peace than a thousand missionaries preaching and disputing, day in and day out.
Politics has its basis in sociology; sociology has its basis in individual personal development; individual personal development is governed by the philosophy and the religion that each man follows. The philosophy of the East considers man as the unit. Man is asked to perfect himself.
To be continued ...