Doubts have a prominent role in shaping the life of individuals, hence society and nations. It is only individuals with never ending doubts and their doubt-clearing gurus that have expanded the frontiers of knowledge thus far. But for them the extent of Science would have remained a few minor islets in the surrounding expanse of unknown and ideologies about God. Dredging of the ocean of ignorance to expand the islets of scientific knowledge is a permanent process powered by the doubts of billions of humans. The process continues and it will go on till the end of our present time. But doubts have a negative side too. If the doubter chooses to remain a permanent one with no attempt being made to clear his or her doubts, it can turn out to be counter-productive. It can weaken their own selves and collectively their society and their nation. The present condition of a large number of 'educated' Hindus in India is one such pitiable state of self-defeating doubts leading to shameful indifference and slow death.
Anyone who is interested in Indian affairs is invariably intrigued about the unlimited and unfathomable doubt clearing capacity of our ancient Rishis. Without any hitherto known resources for physical exploration, the amount of knowledge they could so correctly depict in their literary works about the natural symmetry of universe from electrons revolving around nucleus, planets around suns and galaxies around whatnot is amazing if not astonishing. They had crystal clear concepts about the omnipresent and omnipotent energy of God. But they never (mis)led any of their fellow beings by posing as the only knower of God or the latest or last prophet. Though incoherent in the first reading, the entire gamut of ancient literature in India presents a unified picture about Brahman which encompasses everything and anything that we can think of. Yet many Indians, especially Hindus, are opting to be in constant darkness of doubts. They need to look no further than the well known transformation of a Doubting Naren to Swami Vivekananda to salvage themselves and this great nation.
Naren to Vivekananda
Experience & belief are like chicken & egg in the science of God. Without an experience, it is difficult to firm up one's beliefs and without firm beliefs it is difficult to get any experience of God. This syndrome which is a sure recipe for disaster is being 'effectively' used in India's education sector by the secular mafia that is ruling India for the last one thousand years. In an open society like India, the role of education was always for a free and unhindered pursuit of the eternal truth. But the situation changed when organized faiths (or 'political religions' as more appropriately called) came in. First the Mughals manipulated education to impose their own beliefs and then the British (followed now by their remnants) used it to establish their rule. The net result has been a set of deranged people who neither know anything about God nor about their own identity.
Narendra Nath (Naren) is the best such example we can pick up from India's recent history and listen to his own words when he pestered an ascetic like Ramakrishna about feeling God.
This world is in chains of superstition.
I pity the oppressed,
whether man or woman,
and I pity more the oppressors.
'The touch at once gave rise to a unique experience within me. With my eyes open I saw the walls and everything in the room whirl rapidly and vanish into naught, and the whole universe together with my individuality was about to merge in an all-encompassing mysterious void. I was terribly frightened and thought I was facing death....Unable to control myself, I cried out, What is this that you are doing to me? I have my parents at home. He laughed aloud at this and stroking my back said, All right, let it rest now. Everything will come in time. The wonder of it was that no sooner had he said this than that strange experience of mine vanished. I was myself again and found everything within and without the room as it had been before'.
Naren was not an ordinary and na've individual who could be fooled. And Ramakrishna was not an educated and sophisticated trainer who could fool others. We know that Naren went on to become Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna become immortal as a Paramahamsa. Yet very few among us are learning our lessons from such incidents and getting cleared of our doubts.
Snobbishness to Wisdom
One of the most regrettable signs of our secular education is the extent of snobbishness that is prevalent among our middle class. Education in a foreign language right from an young age of three can never refine our children. If at all it does anything it is only by way of silent indoctrination of subservience that also promotes snobbishness as a balancing force. Middle class Indians quoting more from Socrates and Shakespeare than from Kautilya and Kalidasa is proof enough for this snobbishness, perhaps even unknown to such individuals. India's current education system has no Indian content of any value and we are deliberately taught nothing about India that we can feel proud about. The secular framework ensures that we are told more about the atrocious caste discrimination than about its scientific basis which is inevitable in any human society which is at least ten thousand years old. There seems to be hidden agenda behind this deliberate attempt to promote self-pity among Indians in a free India. Most of the 'best' schools in India that has produced our current rulers are owned by Christian institutions is a very significant point to be noted.
In the absence of any determined action by the state to promote true wisdom, the only option open is for the enlightened non-governmental institutions to intervene. Only a nation with its children full of self-respect can ensure a better tomorrow. Instead of telling our children that we were slaves for one thousand years, we should tell them that we were leading the world (and never ruling others) for thousands of years before that. India is so much full of untapped wealth that finding resources for any such genuine attempts to promote true Hindu wisdom among our children can easily succeed. Those who want to make an attempt must remember that we Indians have gone through much tougher times earlier. The dharmic concepts of India's ancient wisdom are indestructible. Like a human liver it can always blossom into a fulsome from even one fragment. Even if all our souls get harvested, Sanatana Dharma will come back with its full authenticity and authority. All that we need is a genuine concern to evolve from being doubting Narens to enlightened Vivekanandans.
So what is that simple wisdom that is sadly lacking in many Indians in today's world? It is the simple understanding that nothing is to be assumed or taken for granted in the pursuit of knowledge for the eternal truth. So many times it has been revealed to us that God can manifest in the least expected of place and time. Our much desired self-realization can take place due to the least significant incident in our life triggered by the least sophisticated man or woman we know of. All that we need to do is to shed our snobbish ego and repose faith in the goodness of fellow humans. For each and every doubting Naren among us there is a simple unsophisticated and perhaps uneducated but realized soul (like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) who can guide us to the ultimate truth. All that is needed is the willingness to seek the vehicle without any pre-conceived notions and accept wisdom to reach our destination.