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Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Time management and concept of ‘Sanatan Dharma’


“Life and time are world’s two teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of time, while time teaches us the value of life,”

“Fight for meaning in life. That’s the only way to make time an ally, not an enemy.” Paulo Coelho.

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints.”

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.” George Carlin (‘O Tempora, O Mores’)

     “I will this day try to live a simple, sincere and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking, cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, the habit of holy silence, exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation……” Bishop John H. Vincent

Introduction – Stephen Tromley says, “Philosophy is an endless task; even a lifetime’s reading would give us an incomplete account of it.”

Respect For ‘Time’ – Indian philosophy has always believed in value and respect for ‘Time’ – one’s own as well as of others. Everything in life can come back but Time. Punctuality enables people to maintain a proper balance between work-life and personal life in present fast-paced life.  utilize their time properly.

Planning for spending Time in positive way – Nature has given to every human being a very limited time to live. In present-day materialistic world, people have more conveniences, but less time. Within that limited time-span in  in one life, it is very difficult to perform thousands and one activities, and fulfil unlimited desires and responsibilities in different areas at different phases of time. Success in life depends on spending time in a positive way.

For enjoying life fully and aging gracefully and performing different duties in different points of time, the whole life span of a human life can divided broadly into four stages –

(a) Young-age before marriage – This is the most creative and energetic phase of human life. This time should be spend in learning, acquiring skills/knowledge/mannerism and disciplining the life-style.

(b) Young age after marriage – enjoying life fully, while raising family and taking care of all dependent on a person as householder;

(c) delegation of authority to next generation and spending time in contemplation; and

(d) after fulfilling familial liabilities, complete detachment and renunciation of worldly pleasures. Detachment frees an individual from the fear of birth and death.

Issue –  In present materialistic world, under the influence of negative emotions like greed and unbridled desires like lust, anger, greed, attachment or ego, people are not able to think rationally, organize their life properly and utilize the time available to them in a proper way. Acute shortage of time due to mismanagement makes them unhappy. They fail to spend their time in a balanced way, which causes unhappiness. Lust for money, power or comfort makes a person selfish and blurred clarity, sensitivity, love and uprightness. Anger makes a person unable to think rationally and react violently. Negative mindset can push them towards unrighteous and corrupt practices and make them unhappy, fearful, dishonest and irresponsible.

Unhealthy Life-style – In today’s world, shrinking families, un-healthy lifestyle, liking for  junk food, shortage of time to relax and enjoy life, virtually no time to pay attention to proper upbringing of toddlers and  inculcate in them good values causing many social problems. More and more people are facing health hazards like cardiovascular function, blood pressure, diabetes , depression, obesity etc. Such problems make them unfit to enjoy life fully mentally, physically and financially.

People are seen complaining  about  not getting enough time to do what society or nation expect them to do. They find time, whenever possible, to do only what they want to do or what pleases them. One of the most basic and urgent issue at present is to tell people about time-management – how to utilize one’s valuable time properly and purposefully without putting any strain on their mind. How it can be utilized effectively, constructively and productively? A life goes waste if one does not utilize the time rationally in right perspective.

 Utilize every moment in life – By organizing ones life-style in this way, one could utilize every moment of life in a positive way and spend every moment of it purposefully. Every day will then offer new beginnings, new opportunities and new achievements. One, who wastes time is in a way waste life. Procrastination, idleness and aimless drifting can proves to be very costly for human beings.

Why utilization of time necessary? – Disciplined life-style makes a person efficient and organized in life. Positive thoughts reinforces understanding and wisdom and negative ones releases unwanted traits which influence one’s thinking and behavior. It is important to synchronize thoughts and actions. Duality of thoughts and actions gives way to negativity.

True purpose of life – Most of the time, people waste their valuable time and energy in pursuit of short time gains or pleasures, worldly objects in the form of wealth, status, authority and power. It makes them insensitive too. They have failed to realize the true purpose of life. Then, at the end of the day or at the end of their life, they regret/repent about wasting their time and about missing opportunities to enjoy the life. Once people are trapped in a whirlpool of material pleasures, it becomes very difficult for them to come out of it and plan their course of action rationally. One must avoid, as far as possible, self-obsession, self-glorification, and violence in thought, word or deed.

Role of knowledge and intellect in life –  Nature has bestowed capacity to see, hear, touch or eat and fulfil the basic needs of the body to all living creatures be it  an animal, bird or mammal. But to humans, in addition to power of fulfilling the basic needs of body, nature has given a mind too, to think, speech to express one’s thoughts, intellect to improve, logic (analytical/reasoning power), skills and talent – both inherited and honed by self-learnt practiced habits as well as by association, education, following society’s norms, culture and sensitivity. Thus, a human being becomes an entity of body-mind complex. Intellect helps an individual to withdraw the mind from negativity and channelize the mind to think and act positively.

Mind is the central of every human thinking and actions. It creates its own realities and universe for itself. Traditional Indian wisdom gives importance to exercise control over one’s mind and save oneself as much as possible from 10 basic emotions that tempt one towards wrong path – attachment, anger, over-ambition, pride, selfishness, fear, jealousy, passion, lure for comfortable life, escape from responsibilities.

Knowledge and intellect help to keep purity of mind intact. Understanding of distinction between eternal and perishable sharpens the intellect. It helps to control negative thought-process or attitude like jealousy, anger, ego etc., which is based on illusion and self-deception.

Planning about future – Tomorrow is only a vision. Well organized life-style makes  today happy, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow, a vision of hope.   Most of the time and energy gets wasted in anticipating and planning/preparing for the future – making it more secure and comfortable. In the process, they spend  their time irrationally in doing acts which pleases their whims and fancies. Whatever appears to them more attractive and important in different phases of their life, they do.

Concept of Time-Management developed in India

If people could manage their time in rationally and be in consonance with nature, they  can enjoy the life in a better way  and from move forward physically, mentally and spiritually. And at the end of their life, they could be more satisfied.

A complete compact program of time-management – After a deep thinking, a complete compact program of Sanatan Dharma’s time-management, for different phases of human life, has been developed by Indian philosophers, learned sages and intellectuals, belonging to different generations and communities. Even today, it is still as relevant and applicable as it was earlier, because it is based on the experiences of many generations and their analysis of natural instincts of human beings, attitudes, aptitudes and capacities of human beings at different stages in life.  It tells people how to manage their time at different stages in life gainfully. Suggestions, systems and theories propounded by Sanatan Dharma are eternal.

  • Objective – Its main objective is to suggest people to adopt  a  “disciplined  and balanced life-style”, at each stage of life to give to each one according to his needs and from each contribution to society according to his/her age and capacity, to teaches self-discipline, live and let others live and to consider  the whole world as one’s own family “Vasudhaiv kutumbakam”.
  • According to Hindu Philosophy, primary goals of a human life are Dharma (adherence to an ethical way of life), Artha (earning money), Kama (fulfilling desires) and Moksha (preparing oneself for life after life and seeking enlightenment and salvation from the cycle of birth). Wealth and desires lead to worldly pleasures and Dharma and moksha to liberation. Sanatan Dharma tells in general how to keep a balance between the physical and mental needs and keeping both in view at what point of time in life, where one should focus the attention.
  • Applicable to all – The program of eternal values is relevant at all the phases of human life. It can be practiced easily by  all the people living anywhere in the world. Its norms are nothing but general norms of conduct, which are universal, eternal, applicable to all human beings and is beyond race, caste or creed.
  • Nurtures over nature – As said earlier, Sanatan Dharma nurtures over natural basic human instincts. It assigns duties and jobs to be done at various stages of human life and defines how to do it. It saves people from confusion and guides them to do their tasks without difficulty. It leads towards a quality of life and ultimately facilitates achievement of “Sachchidanand” (Bliss, consciousness and knowledge).
  • Gives purpose to human life – “Sanatan Dharma” sows seeds of empathy, compassion, and encouragement and guards humans against selfishness greed and egoism. It gives purpose to each stage of human life.Sanatan Dharma?

Earlier, when human life was not so complicated and men were closer to nature, people could follow the principles of Sanatan Dharma without much difficulty. With the erosion of moral and social values, as life has become more complex, it has become difficult for people to practice it.

‘Sanatan Dharma’ a  gold mine of Indian philosophy – ‘Sanatan Dharma and Vedic philosophy’ are the gold mine of Indian philosophy. Its principles can be found in Indian scriptures i.e. in ‘Vedas’, ‘Smritis’ ‘Sutras’, and ‘Upanishad’. These scriptures are not only revered scriptures of Hinduism or religious books, but hold in itself a vast reservoir of knowledge and experiences of great Indian scholars called Rishies, who had devoted their life in search of knowledge. Sanatan Dharma is a perfect guide of time-management and art of living a quality of life.

“Ocean of knowledge in a jar”- According to Basham, these Epics contains “an ocean of knowledge in a jar.” (Wonder, That Was India). Vedic literature is a vast reservoir of knowledge. It presents a magnificent example of scientific division and orderly arrangement of rules, in a few words, in different branches of human knowledge, covering almost all the aspects of life, be it phonetics, arts, literature, medicine, polity, metrics, law, philosophy, astrology or astronomy.

Perfect guide to art of livingVedic literature is a perfect guide to art of living. It speaks of everything- on staying healthy, social values, improving concentration and tenets of behavior, which are relevant till today. Its rituals are techniques for leading a harmonious life.

Self-restraint and self-discipline – In the past, culture of India had encouraged Indians to adopt a self-restraint and self-disciplined life-style; be in tune with the forces of nature; live harmoniously and peacefully with their fellow beings; practice non-violence in thought, action and speech and not cause pain to anyone including oneself. It advised people to lead a self-disciplined life, to do one’s own work sincerely, not to interfere in other’s work and escape from apathy or indifference. It taught people to be self-observant and try to mend one’s own mannerism rather than telling others behave.

Focuses on contentment – It has advised to be contented, to be self sufficient and to be satisfied with what one can earn honestly, but not to be greedy, jealous or too competitive; not to hoard or accumulate beyond one’s need; not to steal, beg, borrow or snatch belongings of others with or without their knowledge. According to Hindu philosophy, nature has provided enough for everybody’s need, but not enough for even one person’s greed.

No destructive activity – It has advised people not to waste energy or over-indulge oneself in wasteful and destructive activity. People should be honest and willing to help others; observe austerity, simplicity and discipline in life; maintain cleanliness of diet, body and mind. In short, it advised people always to try to rise above the animal instincts hidden inside human-beings.Work is worship – Principle of Karma teaches people that

Work is Worship” – In modern world, when people are so conscious about ‘blue colored or white colored jobs’ and asserts their rights, pay scant attention to their duties, the faith in ‘Principle of Karma’ can inspires common man to do their duties sincerely. It teaches that any kind of work is worth pursuing and respectable. Any work done in its true spirit could never be derogatory or a waste. They should try for action par excellence. A work should not be valued so much for its external reward, as for the intrinsic satisfaction towards realization of Swadharma.

No Revenge or putting blame on others – No human has any control over taking birth in a family of one’s choice. Very few are born with silver spoon in their mouth. Everybody else has to make efforts for a better future. Principle of Karma also offers a convincing explanation for inequality, affluence, poverty and happiness. It prevents people from being revengeful or putting blame on others for their own failures, miseries. Everybody has to face the inexorable consequences of one’s doings. It teaches people that they are not the slaves of circumstances/environment, over which they do not have any control. Principle of Karma teaches common man to keep on making efforts for better future. None of their effort goes waste.

Hopes for better tomorrow – Nobody knows ‘when one is going to hook a fish’. Principle of Karma gives hope to people not to get disappointed by their present unfavorable circumstances. One should constantly make efforts to improve situation by performing one’s own duties well. By channelizing efforts, energies and capacities in proper direction and working hard, one can specialize in his specific area of work, strengthen character, improve economic status and contribute in social/national reconstruction.

Different Phases of life according to Sanatan Dharama

Nature is an indispensable part of human nature. Based on the natural instincts of a human-being at different stages of life, the philosophy of Sanatan Dharma nurtures the nature. According to Sanatan Dharma, there is one pre-stage followed by four stages in human life. These stages are: –

Pre-Stage – Childhood (Age of innocence) – This is the most charming and creative stage of human life both for the parents as well as the toddler. Society through family contributes.

  • A child’s time is spent in learning first lessons in human values and relationships within a family. During this period, toddlers need full-time attention, love and care of their parents.
  • Good values in toddlers are inculcated at home, within the family and society under the loving care of parents. They are learned by living and practicing, not by preaching or teaching or through text books. It can not be tested by written examinations.
  • During their growing up years, constant and close interaction with parents, neighbors and other family members teach children how to deal with different people and maintain good relationship with other human beings in the society.
  • Parents’ duty at this stage is to create a suitable atmosphere for learning and motivating children to develop their faculties in full. It is a very precious gift of nature to the parents to enjoy the growing up process of their own creation.
  • Each and every activity of a toddler gives immense pleasure to parents and makes their life very enjoyable. Also, it gives parents an opportunity to shape the personality of their off-spring according to their dreams.
  • As far as toddler is concerned, his/her personality and capabilities are developed for entering into life under the loving care and supervision of the parents.

Stage One, Time of learning (Brahmachayya Ashram) – First stage of active life starts with the task of learning and acquisition of knowledge.

  • Individual is a recipient and has no obligation towards anybody at this stage of life. Society is giver, which rears, protects and gives its best as heritage to an individual.
  • It is the time to cultivate of social values in growing up children and adolescents. Their task at this stage is only to devote all their time and energy in learning and acquiring knowledge. They are advised to lead a simple without bothering for worldly pleasures/comforts. It is a time in a person’s life to live in strict discipline. Obedience is expected from learners.
  • The task of parents/elders/teachers is to guide them to control their senses, sharpen mind and intellect, so that they could get adjusted in a better way to real life’s environment in future.
  • They are expected to impart knowledge, shape the attitudes, cultivate in them skills and build the work habits to youngsters. Both the mental and moral faculties of growing up children need to be developed in order to build strongly their personality and character.

Stage II – Tasks and time-management for adults (Grihasthashram) – In this phase of life, an individual is a contributor, a trustee and a manager of social estate and society is the recipient.

  • After completing the stage of learning, a human being enters into active life.
  • Indian philosophers and Epic writers gave maximum importance to this phase of life.
  • Of all the phases of life, youth is the most energetic, enjoyable and honorable period of an individual’s life.
  • It offers opportunities to a person to practice, whatever one has learnt so far. It is also a stage for practicing social values. It is the time when a person gets a real ground to earn and fulfill one’s dreams and ambitions in life.
  • A person is advised to lead a married life and enjoy it fully. One can to spend time and energies to utilize fully ones intellectual and physical capabilities.
  • But they own heavy responsibilities also. An individual is in direct contact with the whole society.
  • Youth are supposed to make direct contribution to the society consistent with the dictates of their own knowledge, capacity and conscience. They are supposed to support and give protection to all the family members and dependents – meaning elders, children, members of extended family and strangers in need of help.
  • Besides, responsibility of looking after the management and fulfillment of the needs (like finances, security and safety) of all social and educational institutions falls upon youth, directly or indirectly.

Stage III (Vanaprastha Ashram or Retired life) –  This is the time in an individual’s life, when an elderly person can retire from active life-style and work in an advisory capacity. One can spare time, opt for a relaxed life style, fulfill ones unfulfilled dreams and lead a retired life.

  • Both society and individuals are the givers and recipients at this stage of life. Society can get benefitted by the experiences and knowledge of the elderly people. And elderly people get the support of youth.
  • It is the bonus time for a human being to enjoy life. One is free from familial liabilities. Now material gains are not the aim.
  • The best part is that at this juncture of life, elderly persons have nothing to loose or worry. Most of the reasons of their stress and worry regarding career, finances and familial liabilities are over by now. Most of the desires got fulfilled by the time, they attained the age around 50-55. One can feel satisfied during this period.
  • Life gives a second chance to an individual at this stage to pursue ones interests without worry. The task of an elderly person at this stage is to give the benefits of his/her experiences to younger generation and to provide extended care or help to them.
  • Elders can help youth of the day in taking decisions, if asked. Elderly people are supposed to maintain discipline within the family and in the society. They are advised to do good deeds, get involved less in family matters (because householders are mature enough to take care of themselves) and more on social service. They can take care of and help weak and helpless persons like poor, widows or destitute within their surrounding areas.
  • Old persons become physically weak. Therefore, traditional culture and values guide youth to take care of aging parents and give physical help or any other kind of help to their elders, in whatever manner, they can. Elders have already given to younger generation their youth and now is the time for the old people to enjoy life and be carefree and for youth to give them physical, emotional or if required financial support. It is a great cause and gives one a great feeling.

Final stage, Last of life (Sanyas) – It is the time for practicing detatchment and renunciation – withdrawing themselves from material world.

  • Human beings are advised to try for complete withdrawal, resignation and renunciation. One should prepare oneself for life after life by loosening earthly bonds. Realization of spirituality and wisdom is the aim.
  • At this stage a person is completely free from any obligation. Youth meaning sons and daughters are supposed to take care of senior citizens like they take care of their own children.
  • It is said in India that behavior, needs and attitude of a child because of his innocence and an old person because of his physical incapacity is the same. Therefore, old persons of a family also need same amount of love, care and attention of youths in order to get a feeling of being ‘loved and wanted’ by their family members.

Sanatan Dharma and modern times – During agricultural societies, when human beings were closer to nature, it was easier for human beings to channelize their life style according to the dictates of Sanatan Dharma. Modernization of social institutions and value system has changed the scenario.

Modernity and compact program of Sanatan Dharma After industrialization and technological developments, human life has become complex with full of tensions and challenges in almost every walk of life for all sections of society. Managing time to fulfil the liabilities of different phases of life and at the same time enjoy life to one’s fullest satisfaction has become very difficult.

In an attempt to overcome nature by human beings, simplicity in thinking, in work-style, in living day to day life or even in maintaining harmonious relations with fellow-beings has become difficult, almost impossible. It has become difficult for a person to keep thoughts and actions free from greed or ego. There would be confusion, rise to desire, anger, delusion, loss of wisdom and spread of indiscipline in society. Rising number of all kinds of crimes is a sign of societal lawlessness.

The more people drift away from nature, more stressful, feeble and strenuous their life becomes having no internal harmony or peace of mind. There is chaos every where. One witnesses a severe crisis of Character. There is lust for glamour, power and position. Rivalries are increasing to attain and retain power and position through position, wealth or muscle power.

Riches, success and achievements may bring name, fame and pride, but do not bring happiness and satisfaction. If lack of money and success create sorrow and suffering, its possession does not bring happiness either. One need not abandon the pursuits of riches or success.

Men of character, learning and scholarship no longer enjoy the respect of society. Instead of deserving candidates, the power seekers find special place in power echelons.

Weakening of self-control systems are to some extent responsible for mismanagement of time and centralization of control systems in the hands of a few persons. Scientific progress has now endowed human beings with tremendous power both to preserve and destroy, but at slightest provocation, he does not hesitate to unleash destructive powers accessible to him.

Many problems of managing time properly in modern times are: –

“Home, sweet home” – In modern age, erosion of traditional value system is breaking down familial bonds. Family, making “Home, sweet home” and last port of emotional refuge for centuries, is no longer remained a cushion for many. Today heroism, glamour and self-gratification is taking prevalence over social responsibilities. It is putting permanent impression on children’s mind.

Only Self matters – A disoriented form of urban professionalism has developed where nothing else but only self matters. People are in a hurry to attain their goals and end seems to justify means. This has led to a situation, where nobody wants to give up or sacrifice anything for anybody be it ones own children or parents.

Culture of ‘inclusiveness’ –The erosion of family values and decay of ‘social value systems’ has been a matter of concern in USA and the Western countries, where people and leaders regularly call for the restoration of traditional family norms. Many Indians families are greatly influenced by the life style of Western countries. While following their footsteps, there started a lack of stimulation at home in many Indian families as well. Modern families in India still intend to develop the culture of ‘inclusiveness’ and not that of ‘’exclusiveness’ in children, as has been invariably seen in Western societies.

First casualty is child care – Child-care has become a big dilemma now during the stages of pre-birth, infancy, childhood and adolescence. Usually even after marriage, most of the time of both the parents is spent in offices in the hope to earn more and more money, power and authority and to move forward in their career. It has become difficult for a modern woman initially to conceive and then take proper care of her baby in the womb continuously for nine months because of overstrain.

More stress on physical needs – Usually, when a baby is born, thinking of meeting their child’s physical needs, parents tend to gloss over their psychological ones. In nucleus families, both the parents remain too busy, working 24×7 workdays.

Barring a few stray cases, life is very difficult and strenuous for young parents having babies/toddlers to take care of. Their problems relate to time-management. They are over-burdened throughout the day. They work a bit here and a bit there, while fulfilling the responsibilities of both at home and of workplace.

Support systems – Many couples seek the support of their elders. In that situation, usually lots of tensions arise in the lives of both the young couple and their elders become difficult. Old people could hardly do justice to the tasks of rearing up the small kids and performing day today household chores because of their failing energies.

If young parent depend on servants, they are expensive, unreliable, untrained and do not stay around for long. Nanny, crèche or day care centres are usually overcrowded and are run more on commercial basis rather than paying attention required for proper upbringing of children. Most of them lack capability or inclination to do the job sincerely.

Enjoy life – It seems as if modern youth have been caught in a mirage. In the hope of making the future of their family more secure, comfortable and happy, they have made life very complicated. They can hardly do justice with the task of proper upbringing of infants and toddlers within the limited time of twenty four hour a day.

Neither they find time to enjoy small pleasures of life and watching their child grow, nor they get enough time or pay attention for proper rearing up of their own children, that too at that point of life, when their children need them the most. As a result, parents get disconnected with children’s world, habits and mannerism.

Problems of Stage I

Can modern parents spare enough time to do full justice to the task of youngsters learning? Once schooling of children starts, parents depend heavily on educational institutions. They leave the task of preparing the youngsters to face the challenges real world on authorities of educational institutions.

Over-pampering of children – They believe more in pampering their children in order to save their skin from crankiness and tantrums of youngsters. They allow their sons and daughters to do whatever they like. Easy availability of and access to money tempts children to bad habits. It usually breeds in growing-up children intolerance, makes them self-willed and tempts them to adopt undisciplined life style. On the other hand, dictatorial handling of children during their tender age also does not work.

During adolescent period, lack of time, lack of parental loving care and attention at home, tense relationships within family, because of both the parents being overloaded with work and responsibilities, leave undesirable effect on child’s psyche. Usually children develop the feeling of alienation and revolting indulgence. Easy availability of and access to money tempts them to bad habits.

Anti-establishment feeling – Generally dictatorial handling of adolescents and youngsters develop the feeling of alienation and revolting indulgence. Many of them not only become uncommitted to values of their parents or the ‘establishment’ but at the same time, but get confused about their own values and sense of identity. Some of them become victim of drug addiction (an evil, which has come across as shockingly and poignantly) in order to escape from problems that may be real or imaginary.

Capacity of educational institutions to give direction to growing-up children – If families and communities could not find time to inculcate good value systems in future citizens of India, how can they expect from educational institutions- outside agencies – to perform the job well? In the absence of families taking up this responsibility, this responsibility shifted to educational institutions/schools. These are supposed to become places, where discipline and good values are supposed to be inculcated.

From schools required values are expected to be reinserted into society. For inculcation of desirable value-systems, modern society should not totally depend on formal educational institutions. Teachers are also over-burdened because of knowledge growing at a very fast speed in this electronic age and increasing numbers of students. They can not pay personal attention to all the students in the class-room.

Emotionally broken – The net result is that youngsters educated even in best educational institutions of world could become capable to stand on their own feet with confidence. They can become politically and economically independent. But quite often, they end up in life “Bowling Alone (in sociologist Robert Putnam’s memorable phrase)”. They remain unhappy most of the time in their life.

Stage II

Erosion of family value-systems -Earlier the times were different. In modern times traditional way of thinking and living has been changed in a big way. Erosion of family value-systems and ‘community life’ has been a cause of worry in modern world. Intelligentsia and leaders, allover the world, regularly call for its restoration.  It has been felt that its depletion in economically advanced countries is a significant reason why people in those countries are not happier even when they are richer.

Too busy – A modern youth remains too much involved and busy one can say up-to the age of 55 or so in facing ruthless competition to achieve success and achieve high status in society. Most of ones time is spent in meeting the challenges of life, facing ups and downs of career and married life, and worries about future.

Unable to pay attention to growing up children – Both the parents opting for a career have no time/no check/no interaction virtually with their growing up children. Both the parents leave the homes in the morning to work leaving their children behind at home for the whole day either with old parents or child-minder.

Aggressive youth – Lack of parental loving care and attention at home, tense atmosphere at home due to too much of work and easy availability of and access to money tempts them to bad habits. Most of the time, they develop the feeling of alienation and revolting indulgence. Later on, many adolescents resent aggressively dictatorial handling of their parents.

Anti establishment attitude – At many places and in many families, adult but dependent sons or daughters become uncommitted to values of their parents/elders or the ‘establishment.’ Some of them get confused about their own values and sense of identity. Some become the victim of drug addiction (an evil, which has come across as shockingly and poignantly) in order to escape from problems that may be real or imaginary.

Stages III and IV

No respect or understanding for old – There is no respect for old or understanding about their problems in modern society. Younger generation does not have time to spare for the already spent force. Elderly people especially those living alone are the soft targets for criminals.

Gross neglect by their own relatives and friends – Usually old people suffer from poor health and gross neglect by their own relatives and friends. They become victims of exploitation, verbal abuse, assault, foul/neglected behavior by their own kith and kin. Government also makes tall claims for providing security and conveniences to elderly people, but all remains in paper. The fact remains that very little has been done.

Erosion of the authority of elders within family – Usually in modern families, the authority or influence of elders of the family has been completely eroded. They have no say in guiding the future course of growing up children. Their advice usually irritates both the young parents and children. A well knit family feeling of interdependence amongst all family members including elders and a feeling of being wanted and being loved should be promoted.

Economic compulsions – Elderly people have to remain on their feet till the end. That involves lots of money and efforts. This is one of the reasons that even after fulfilling all their familial responsibilities, old people are forced to remain in active life till end and desire to earn more money to meet their medical and physical requirements especially because of the devaluation of rupee and rising prices.

Instead of working in advisory capacity, they remain actively involved, even in social, economic and political activities of the nation, where development work requires the energy of youth. Many times it leads them to greed, lure for worldly pleasures, or desire to pursue authority, power, position and wealth. Instead of making space for energetic young people, they themselves click to seats of power till end by hook or crook.

Age longevity – Age longevity and different kinds of new medical researches have aggravated the problems of this stage. Because of fading energies, it compels an old person to become more and more dependent on their sons or daughters. Also they become puppets at the hands of doctors and spend most of this time in hospitalization.

Way out

One should always be hopeful for better future. Time heals everything. To prevent such harmful evils from spreading in the society, it is necessary that:

• Parents shall have enough time for their children to provide them with secure and stable home environment.

• Parents should devote sufficient time on their growing-up sons and daughters, guide them properly and provide to them a secure and stable home environment.

• A well knit family, feeling of inter-dependence and a feeling of being wanted and being loved should be promoted.

• Families have to share equally the responsibility to guide properly the youth of the day.

• Adolescents must be kept busy with sports, hobbies and other useful activities that could slant them away from evil outlets.

• Elderly persons should not indulge themselves in self-pity. Financial security is of course most important at this juncture of life.

• Key to lead a fruitful retired life rests on good health, financial independence and positive attitude towards life.

• Good planning for old age gives a person once more an opportunity to pursue their hobbies and do whatever they like but could not do so far, as they could not spare time for it.

• Senior citizens need to be economically independent and make their own efforts and arrangements in order to live honorably, peacefully and safely.

• They can certainly fulfill their necessities and solve the problems of help and security.

• Good schemes of insurance, health care, communication, transport can be provided to them by the government to give them some physical relief.

• But nothing can replace or make elderly people happy or satisfied except for love and close ties and day today interactions with kith and kin. Residing at an accessible distance from their sons and daughters homes would give them moral courage, psychological strength and help in emergencies.

• Conscious non-interference in the life and family affairs of their sons and daughters could provide them peace of mind.

• Loneliness may be there, but by cultivating hobbies like reading, gardening, listening music, meditating, visiting places, one can prepare oneself to handle time positively and will give happiness to them.

Winding up

It has been seen that generally in childhood there prevails peer pressure on an individual. In twenties, one is busy in establishing one’s identity. In thirties, one has to make efforts to balance work at home and at workplace. In forties one feels settled and enjoys success, freedom, happiness and opportunity to live life on their own terms. In fifties one start planning for retired life. Life is like that.

Happiness in an individual at all the stages of life and prosperity of the society and nation as a whole need the advantages of both dynamism of youth and experiences of elderly people.

i Manusmriti VI 4,5,6,14,16,26 and Yajur III 45,46,51,54.

Latasinha's Weblog



Nature has given to a human being a very limited time to live. Within that time-span, one has to perform thousands and one activities and fulfill all responsibilities in different areas at different phases of time in one life.

One of the most basic and urgent problems of twenty-first century is to understand about time-management – how to utilize one’s valuable time properly and purposefully. How it can be utilized effectively, constructively and productively?

A human being is an entity of body-mind complex. In addition to capacity to see, hear, touch or eat, which animals birds mammal etc. also possess, nature has given the power to speak, mind to think, intellect, logic (analytical/reasoning power), skills and talent. It is both inherited and honed by self-learnt practiced habits by association, education, society’s norms and culture and sensitivity. Human birth/life goes waste if one does not utilize valuable time in…

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November 3, 2014 - Posted by | Social and political values and systems | , ,

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