Author Topic: What progress mankind made so far?  (Read 2078 times)

ramana_maharshi

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What progress mankind made so far?
« on: January 28, 2010, 05:13:53 PM »
A dog went to the cremation ground. It picked up a sharp piece of bone from which the flesh had been completely burnt off and started munching it. The sharp edges of the bone pierced the dog’s mouth in many places and there was bleeding. The dog dropped it, but seeing blood smeared all over it, it thought that the blood was coming from the bone because of its ravenous munching. It licked the blood and again started chewing the bone even more ravenously, with the result that there were more wounds in its mouth and more bleeding. The foolish dog went on repeating this process of dropping the bone, licking the blood and again chewing the bone. Little did that foolish dog realize that in fact the blood came from its own mouth and not from the bone!

“A foolish dog picked up a bone,
Bereft of flesh because ‘twas burnt,
Masticated many a round
Till its mouth was filled with wounds,
Licked end praised the blood, its own,
‘No thing on earth equals this bone’,
-- ‘Guru Vachaka Kovai’, verse 585

Similarly, when a man enjoys external objects, he only experiences a little of the happiness that is already within him. But, on account of ignorance, he thinks that the happiness comes from the external objects, and thus he behaves like the dog in the story. Exactly like the dog that munched the bone again and again, throughout his life man repeatedly searches for and accumulates external objects. What is the result of all this? Alas ! Untold heaps of misery, with a few iotas of pleasure in between – that is all! Indeed, all this is ignorance, otherwise called maya!

All the researches and efforts of mankind, from the stone age to the modern atomic age, in different fields of endeavour, be they intellectual, scientific or social – are they not all similar to the efforts of the dog which untiringly munches the bone? Do not feel offended by this statement, which may seem to be a sweeping one, for when told without reserve, this is the plain truth! Tell me, what indeed has mankind done in the name of progress so far, other than improving and accumulating external objects for the satisfaction of the five senses? All the aforesaid human efforts are based upon nothing but the wrong assumption that happiness comes from external objects. Is there any difference between the dog which thinks that more blood will come out of the dry bone the more it is munched, and the man who thinks that humanity will be made increasingly happy by accumulating more and more external objects through the improvements of scientific and industrial progress? Certainly not!

Thus, not knowing the right path for obtaining everlasting happiness, humanity has gone too far and is racing still further in the wrong direction! There is no wrong in man’s love for happiness. It is his birthright. It is in fact the birthright of all living beings. Thus happiness should be obtained and should never be suppressed! But do not toil to achieve objects of worldly pleasure, which give only an iota of fleeting happiness. Direct all your efforts only to towards obtaining happiness in full. By desiring petty external objects you get only a transient and limited happiness. Therefore, be not a person of petty desire! Be a person of full desire! Until perfect happiness is obtained, do not give up your efforts. Know the way to experience always and uninterruptedly that happiness (ananda) which is you,and which exists (sat) and shines (chit) within you as your real nature. This is the goal supreme (purushartha), the very purpose for which you were born.

Source: The Path of Sri Ramana Part 1 book by Sadhu Om