There are a few things that hinder the progress of an individual, a relation, a group, a community, a religion and even a nation.
Ego - The all powerful yet tremendously deceptive 'I' ... USA for the collective 'I' and its blatant racism and human atrocities
Arrogance - The BJP's fall this hustings is one great example.
Selfishness/Isolation - The frog in a well attitude - as I realize everyday of my monotonous, routine life ...
Languor - getting lazy to take on something head on - postponing things indefinitely.
Attitude - Very difficult to keep up the right attitude all the time - the wrong attiude can trigger a downfall.
Jealousy/Narrowmindedness - Can harm your interaction with people and always make you crave for more.
And as usual the other aspects of Anger, Desire ... are the catalysts on the path to doom.
The areas are greying out becoming all very mixed up - people care only for money. Those who have it can create the right culture. Culture has become a handywork of a few rich and this stinks, and reeks of the wealthy and famous.
The corporate culture, the internet culture, the pop-culture, the disco and rock culture you name it you see it. We are all participants in this and its terrifying at times - some times I feel an almost unputdownable desire to leave everything and go off to the serene himalayas, only to realize it would only be escapism on my side - what am I contributing to the society then ?
There are people who are so poverty struck that they cannot get 2 square meals - we had a recent almost flame war, no actually a lively discussion on the foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi - and one of my friends, ex-college mate during the email conversation said that the more demanding issue was to provide the needful to the needy and not foreign origin.
To hell with your cool culture is what the masses are saying - people are not fools - they too want a better standard of living - but the dangerous trends is to do anything to be cool.
But no - people are more interested in looking flashy and cool - the in thing is cool - as I was reading in the recent article the cinemas that are true mirrors of the society too talk of cool and looking good and being in the US and the old ideas of garibi hatao and morals and family are all being cast aside. The mandate may be one befitting reply to the consumerist culture that is creeping in.
Murli Manohar Joshi was not an idiot as he is made out to be; as the numerous blogs of students from IIMs would want you to believe. As a educated man (mind you he is a physics professor) and rooted in the Indian culture, he was just getting frustrated at the western culture and the economic disparities creeping in and a handful being able to monopolize all the riches. He made the mistake of putting everyone in the same light and in the anguish lost track of the fact that the admissions are purely based on merits - but what is wrong if the cost of education is brought down is that a crime?
This certainly needs serious debate - we are surely going down the western line of 'colonize thy mind' - everything smells of western concepts and look at what the US is doing in Iraq in the name of liberation and freedom - talk of HUMAN RIGHTS ...
There are people among the rich also who care but its more like a scorecard, for the charity they have done, more like a certificate that I am great.
Straight Talk on Realization, Learning, and the Individual by Swami Vivekananda
Excerpt from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. Churches, ceremonies, and symbols are good for children, but when the child is grown, he must burst the church or himself.
We must not remain children for ever. It is like trying to fit one coat to all sizes and growths. I do not deprecate the existence of sects in the world. Would to God there were twenty millions more, for the more there are, there will be a greater field for selection. What I do object to is trying to fit one religion to every case.
Though all religions are essentially the same, they must have the varieties of form produced by dissimilar circumstances among different nations. We must each have our own individual religion, individual so far as the externals of it go.
Many years ago, I visited a great sage of our own country, a very holy man. We talked of our revealed book, the Vedas, of your Bible, of the Koran, and of revealed books in general. At the close of our talk, this good man asked me to go to the table and take up a book; it was a book which, among other things, contained a forecast of the rainfall during the year. The sage said, "Read that." And I read out the quantity of rain that was to fall. He said, "Now take the book and squeeze it." I did so and he said, "Why, my boy, not a drop of water comes out.
Until the water comes out, it is all book, book. So until your religion makes you realize God, it is useless. He who only studies books for religion reminds one of the fable of the ass which carried a heavy load of sugar on its back, but did not know the sweetness of it."
The man at whose feet I sat all my life--and it is only a few ideas of his that I try to teach--could [hardly] write his name at all. All my life I have not seen another man like that, and I have traveled all over the world. When I think of that man, I feel like a fool, because I want to read books and he never did. He never wanted to lick the plates after other people had eaten. That is why he was his own book.
You have to realize truth and work it out for yourself according to your own nature. ... All must struggle to be individuals--strong, standing on your own feet, thinking your own thoughts, realizing your own Self. No use swallowing doctrines others pass on--standing up together like soldiers in jail, sitting down together, all eating the same food, all nodding their heads at the same time. Variation is the sign of life. Sameness is the sign of death.
Once I was in an Indian city, and an old man came to me. He said, "Swami, teach me the way." I saw that that man was as dead as this table before me. Mentally and spiritually he was really dead. I said, "Will you do what I ask you to do? Can you steal? Can you drink wine? Can you eat meat?"
The man [exclaimed], "What are you teaching!"
I said to him, "Did this wall ever steal? Did the wall ever drink wine?"
Man steals, and he drinks wine, and becomes God. "I know you are not the wall, my friend. Do something! Do something!" I saw that if that man stole, his soul would be on the way to salvation.
How do I know that you are individuals--all saying the same thing, all standing up and sitting down together? That is the road to death! Do something for your souls! Do wrong if you please, but do something! You will understand me by and by, if you do not just now. Old age has come upon the soul, as it were. If has become rusty. The rust must be [rubbed off], and then we go on. Now you understand why there is evil in the world. Go home and think of that, just to take off that rustiness!