Science of Living: Lesson-1 by Acharya Mahapragya
Jain Vishva Bharati
Problems of Modern Life-Style
To specify the task of "SCIENCE OF LIVING" first of all let us identify the basic and burning problems of modern style of living all the world over. The Science of Living is evolved in such a way that everyone who would learn or master it will be able to accept the challenges met with in his individual as well as social life, national or international affairs. We may enlist them here in brief
(1) TENSION - Physical, mental, emotional
(2) HEALTH PROBLEMS - Physical, mental and emotional diseases (including psychosomatic disorders)
(3) ECOLOGICAL POLLUTION/RUPTURE IN OZONE LAYER
(4) DISTURBED FAMILY RELATIONS
(5) VIOLENCE AND CRUELTY
(6) CORRUPTION / DISHONESTY / IMMORALITY
(8) NEGLECT OF LAW & ORDER AND ETHICAL, MORAL AND SOCIAL DISCIPLINE
(9) ARMAMENTS/NUCLEAR WEAPONS (MILITARISM)
Lest the list become endless, we shall confine ourselves only to the acute/major problems besetting the human race.
After identification of these problems, we have to reflect on their causes. The following seem to be the main culprits in creating these problems :
(a) Degeneration of faith in basic values of life.
(b) Utter materialistic outlook.
(c) Excessive proclivity for ease and comfort.
(d) Hedonistic tendencies / Neo-culture sensualisrn.
(e) Unbridled desires / cravings / ambitions.
(f) Lack of compassion and spirit of service.
(g) Lack of self-discipline / self-control.
(h) Excessive greed / Possessiveness / Acquisitiveness Money-mindedness.
(i) Utter selfishness.
(m) Over-busy life (time-stress).
There are some fundamental causes responsible for the above :
(1) Distortion of neuro-endocrine system.
(2) Lack of value-education.
(3) Unbalanced educational system; input is incomplete; there is merely preaching-oriented education (without the practical technique for attitudinal change and behavioural modification).
(4) Enfeebling of innate vital force (Prana), resulting in the weakening of will-power and tolerance.
Science of Living is a solution to all these problems. It is a happy blending of ancient and modern sciences, or, in other words, the synthesis of the ancient wisdom and the modern scientific knowledge for developing an integrated personality through attitudinal change and behavioural modification. It is a positive resolve for creating a healthy human society - healthy in all respects physically, mentally and emotionally. It is a technique of training people from al1 walks of life in awakening of innate powers. It is useful for various departments of public administration including all government agencies. The widest application of the Science of Living is in the field of education, both formal and informal. Here we shall discuss the Science of Living as an innovation in the field of education hitherto unconcieved.
It is obvious that the main purpose of education should be character-development, mental equilibrium and peace of mind. Alas, this purpose has been entirely ignored by the educationists. The present system of education does possess elements which are efficient enough to develop the intellect and talent potential. If this was not so, how could it have produced scientists, engineers and doctors? But, inspite of becoming an expert in one's respective field by education, one does suffer from enormous mental tensions, because he has not been taught how to relax. A very learned person may be full of psychological distortions such as cruelty, retaliation etc. We may be surprised when a talented scientist commits suicide, say under the unbearable stress of jealousy or despondency. We would be justified in asking: Did this highly educated person not learn to maintain emotional equilibrium during stress condition ? Does our educational system contribute anything at all to prepare the future citizen to learn to relax and maintain mental equilibrium and peace under the present stressful conditions ? It is abundantly clear that we shall have to supplement and enrich the present system with such training that can reinforce the student's reasoning mind, increase his capacity for bearing stress instead of buckling down, and help him to subdue fear, hatred, jealousy and lust.
Man's mental attitude is the base for his behavioural pattern. All attitudes can be grouped under two categories - positive and negative. Modern psychology has analysed various attitudes and the following table gives both types of attitudinal activators with their corresponding results :