THE VALUE OF APPLIED SPIRITUALITY
By Shri. Datta Swami
Special Article Contributed to the 1st World Parliament on Spirituality 17-21st December 2012
Evil Effects of Modern Amenities
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Modern people think that most of the government funds must be spent on the development and applications of technical education, which supports the basic needs of materialistic life. Obviously, the government also thinks on the same lines. These people criticize the ancient governments [of righteous kings], which have spent lots of funds on 'useless' spiritual education, which does not contribute anything to material life. Modern people think that spiritual knowledge is just theoretical tautology, which has no practical application to society, unlike other practical subjects such as science and technology. Such a conclusion is erroneous since the application of this theoretical spiritual knowledge is tremendously important for maintaining perfect order in society. Today, order in society is totally absent and society is in a state of terrible chaos.
With the help of science and technology, you have provided extraordinary amenities in the lives of people. But unfortunately it has resulted in environmental pollution and damage, which is likely to lead to the total destruction of humanity on this earth. Science and technology have also created the ambition in the mind of humans to acquire these dangerous and foolish amenities, which not only result in global destruction, but also adversely affect the individual's health. Therefore, the direction of progress of modern education is totally negative. I agree that the ancient kings never concentrated on science and technology, but that in fact is not a defect. Instead, it should be treated as a merit, since they avoided the above-mentioned negative effects! On the other hand, their concentrating on spiritual education, which you treat as defect, is actually a tremendous merit. You will realize this if you have the capacity to do proper analysis and understand properly.
Spiritual Education Controls Ambition
The spiritual education given to the public in ancient times, established their faith in the unimaginable God. This faith led to the fear of committing sin. No separate controlling systems like the judiciary or the police were needed to arrest sin. Thus, sin was eradicated even before it was born! Today corruption, which is an unimaginable sin, is the sole reason for the chaos in society. This corruption cannot be controlled even by the most powerful machinery since the machinery itself is infected and corroded by the same corruption!
I agree that the subject of God is pure theoretical logic, but its practical application is unbelievably important!God is unimaginable since He is beyond any spatial dimensions. Hence, in the subject of God, there is not even a trace of the provision for an experimental science and technology. Science and technology only deal with imaginable items that exist within spatial boundaries. So what is the harm if such is the nature of the subject? Do you remove all other theoretical subjects like literature, history, politics, economics etc., from the present education system? No, these subjects are valid due to their practical applications. But the practical applications of these arts subjects are almost nothing compared to the practical application of spiritual knowledge! The reason is that the application of spiritual knowledge brings an automatic control on sin and the present chaos in society. The ancient governments gave a lot of stress on spiritual knowledge for this highly important overall value in its application. Now we should decide who is foolish, we or they?
Spiritual education accommodates the normal growth of science and technology, which is the basic requirement for employment. It only resists the undue and uncontrolled growth of science and technology, which results in global destruction and the destruction of individual health. Spiritual knowledge, by its very inherent nature, controls the ambition for acquiring unnecessary and dangerous amenities. It is this uncontrolled ambition for acquiring more and more, which is responsible for the cancer of corruption. The unimaginable boundary of the universe is a practical proof for the existence of the unimaginable God. Once this basic concept is established, not just theists but even atheists will be afraid of committing sin. Atheists have to accept at least a 50:50 probability for the existence of God. Then to avoid the risk of punishment in hell, they will have to give the benefit of the doubt to the theists and err on the safe side of not committing sin. In the absence of spiritual knowledge, everybody will become atheistic. Their fear of committing sins will be limited only to avoiding being caught by the police and the courts. But as the infection of corruption spreads and people develop several clever techniques to escape from the law, the police and the courts will become ineffective. The little fear that people have for the law will also vanish and society will end up in a state of chaos as in present times.