The bane of being “modern”

Yesterday was an interesting day of reading. I read two important articles. One was on Dharmakshetra and SelfWorth. The other was the story of how two women were allegedly held captive at Isha Yoga Center.

I come from a brahmin family, with “brahminical values”. I’ve heard stories from my grandfather about how “Liberation” is the highest ideal in this culture. Yet, have been trapped in conditioning of economic success, social compulsions of employment, earnings & designations.

When I meet bharmacharis at Isha Yoga Center, they represent the longing I can see within myself combined with the commitment I’m yet to muster. I have immense respect for their choice to make their longing for liberation or search for truth, the most important goal in their life. I respect them for truly upholding true “brahminical values” of scientific quest for the truth.

The Dharmakshetra article by Raghu put me in touch with how I and we have become slaves to western thinking where economic success is the highest aspiration. A sign of adoption of this thinking is to denouncing of monastic life, once held in high reverence in this part of the world. I got in touch with the parents’ shame to claim that their daughters were on a spiritual path, as if that is worse compared to “BTech & Mtech”.

We have concluded that being “modern” is virtuous. And equated “modern” with adopting ways of the west: university education, corporate careers, lavish living (not to mention contempt for feminine, disregard for the planet etc). And we are ashamed of our culture and our ethos.

I’m surprised to see how headlines read “professor” rather than father, as if that were more credible. I’m surprised that “BTech & MTech” are mentioned to show their intellectual capability instead of their age 31 years & 34 years. These are the same journalists claiming to bear the torch of human wellbeing.

As a seeker, I hold in high regard the decision of these women to take sanyas. I see them as inspiration for the many following the immortal path of seeking the truth. The same path that created a Gautama Buddha and a Vivekananda, those who the “modern” Indian desperately wants to owe lineage to.

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