Asst. Prof. Department of Chemistry, St. Joseph’s College, Jakhama
Science is a systematized body of knowledge and the western thinkers made a singular contribution to the world by way of thinking in a scientific way. Logic is the basis of science. We can reach correct conclusions by pursuing our intellectual endeavour in a scientific way. It all goes out on the hard platform of logic. Experimentation is the very basis of science. Renaissance in social life in India was inaugurated by drawing inspiration from the western science.
Even Mahatma Gandhi’s thought has drawn inspiration from western scientific thinking. At present also, there is need to develop scientific ways of thought, study and action. Only then shall it be possible for us to come out of the age-old aberrations of vague lines of thought and action.
In the nineteenth century we have two main thinkers who had revolutionary ideas viz., Darwin and Karl Marx. Darwin propounded the theory of survival of the fittest and established animal ancestry of man. Karl Marx propounded the theory of dialectical materialism and said emphatically that man lived by bread alone.
There was a sharp reaction to these ideas both in the eastern and western worlds and revolutionary ideas were put forward.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the first to initiate new cultural and social ideas. Many other put forth the ideas that man did not live by bread alone. He needed something more and this something more was more important. They also said that mind was not the ultimate reality. There was something more beyond. This gave a man a spiritual character and established divine hood of man. These ideas completely revolutionized the thought of the modern man and they began seeking new horizons in the spiritual realm.
It will not be out of place to mention that Dr. Hindell and William Crooks had worked against Darwin’s theory of animal ancestry and propounded the theory of mutation. This gave a new impetus to the idea of man’s divinity. Man was seen in a new perspective. His free hands gave him great opportunities to work great things and this made him great. One special thing about man was discovered that he was the only creature who did things for the good of others. This strengthened the spiritual character of man. It was man alone who constructed buildings and made things of permanent value.
The man developed aesthetic sense and worked creativity, such as scientific inventions and discoveries and works of art. On the top of it was literature which revolutionized the man’s thinking and feeling. Man now looked himself in a new image and felt that he could soar very high in the metaphysical world. This confirmed that man could reach planes, higher than mind. It may be mentioned that the poets and critics of the age talked of the soul region in this connection and man was recognized a spiritual creature even by scientists.
Further studies of man revealed that man was not a part of crowd but an individual. He was born with an individuality, that is, every person had some idiosyncrasies since birth. This made him to adjust his life in the society, that is, he had to round up angularities of his personality to adjust and adapt with others. Those who could do this became popular and earned name and fame.
While working in the field of study of individuality. Psychologist had pointed out that man had virtually two aspects of his divine soul, viz., the animal soul and human soul. This means every man lived two lives. To be a perfect man the man had to get over his animal soul, that is, animal like habits.
In view of the above studies it was established that man’s problems were neither social nor economic, nor psychological; they simply concerned the development of the individual.
This led the modern thinkers to believe that is the individual had no problem then the society will have no problem. Bertrand Russel, Mahatma Gandhi and others like them preached ways of individual development. They all emphasize that the individual must choose his path and proceed towards higher wisdom. This would give a new turn to social conditions and modes of living. It may be mentioned here that Swami Tulsidas had written that “the world of your creation was your greatest enemy. He also gave a charter of conduct to win over this enemy.”
Our young readers would do well to make study of their new ideas and try to prepare themselves to meet new challenges of life.