Alok Pandey

Man has buried himself under the superstructure of “civilization” that he has built by his very own body and brain. This mind has played with mud and unleashed out of it a power of matter whose potency has become a threat to himself. Or else, he lies encrusted under the arches of a toy-city, feeling himself safe and comfortable till some giant hand smashes it to the ground throws him under the rubbles and ruins of his own works. In spite of all his “perfection”, in spite of all his pride and the arrogance of his ignorance, death, disease, disaster continue to strike him at will, through one means or another, through one route or another. Nay, paradoxically enough, the very forces he has roused and chained for his service turn against him. He becomes, as if trapped, within the cocoon of his own perfection. Sitting inside his air-conditioned rooms, he sweats with unknown fears. His safe castles are haunted by unseen ghosts that hold him at ransom within his own house. His comfort zones have become his prison-houses. The fetters that bind him are those he has built with great care with his own hands. In a way man’s mind has built an empire that he cannot manage ampuore. Each new knowledge leaves the previous one a doubt and a guess. Each new discovery smashes the neat old world and its paradigm like a house of cards. So where are we heading through all this? A “civilization” buried under its own weight or a humanity struggling to break free from its own inner limits? But the limits are within us and not outside. The heaping of more and more external superstructures in the name of development is like the caterpillar swelling in its size due to the cocoon he has built around itself. To heap more and more of it externally is to bury itself more and more. Yet this pressure, this constriction, this state of tension generated by a life growing increasingly mechanical is only making us aware, as if by a contrast, our inner smallness. Till something in us… breaks free… tearing the shelter of its cocoon and the neat boundaries of its dimensional world,… it spreads beautiful wings and courts with the boundless and sports with the timeless.

But for this he has to discover other locked energies than what his limited matter bound mind can conquer. Not only the material energies but also the energies of life and the powers of mind that man has just begun to discover, cannot eventually set him free. The wings of life and the power of thought can no doubt carry him beyond what the steeds and engines of material energy can even dream of, yet these are not enough. For there lies, sleeping inside the very bodily house of man, an infinite source of energy, an illimitable potency of will and action, a power and force that only his soul can arouse and command. It is to this that man must turn his gaze, now, to this inner empire of which he is presently hardly even aware and yet it is this which determines in the end how much he will actually possess and enjoy his outer empire. Swaraj before Samrajya (conquest over the world outside) is the word given by the wise ones. The inner conquest must proceed the outer. Man must first find and know and master himself before he can find, master and enjoy the world in a lasting and true way.