An amusing obsession of leftists is to scorn lifestyles and practices of the past for apparent abuse towards dependents such as women, children, the poor and the underprivileged. Meanwhile, an equally unproductive hobby of modern traditionalists is to condemn the present and exaggerate glories of yore. A critical analysis of ancient and current times is rarely undertaken by any of these groups before they defend or flatter a particular era.
Naturally, every time-period has a good and bad side. A civilization that has only brought forth abuse or only prosperity, has never existed. However, fueled by sheer arrogance and influenced by Western Indologists, modernists, especially Indian modernists sneer at their own antiquity.
Shady propagandas are modern civilization’s sophisticated lies. A popular means of spreading such fabrications is to continuously slander history while boasting of contemporary inventions and progress. Undeniably there is progress, but with pricy unmentioned consequences and unwarranted vanity. Furthermore, it is vital for today’s honest and impartial people to offer justice to the gifts of bygone epochs and contradict elitists set out to ruthlessly discard the past.
Moreover, many fail to acknowledge the various vices of modern society that lead to broken families, air-water-soil pollution and even degradation of human consciousness. To illustrate, “refined” people proudly boast of today’s increased life expectancy, yet they strategically avoid topics of the simultaneously heightening occurrences of killing babies in the womb. China alone, has killed over 400 million children in the last 40 years – what to speak of the rest of the globe?
Even mental diseases are more rampant today than ever before. An advanced country like the United States has more than 90 deaths daily, due to overdoses on painkillers! Are these people trying to escape physical or mental pain? Additionally, pertaining to health, cancer is quite the contribution of contemporary science. Chemically mutated food is the culprit behind excruciatingly painful deaths that also economically destroys families.
These are just a few examples of a never-ending list. A lesson to learn is to keep the good of the past, fresh in our hearts for inspiration and to remember the ugly as sobering instructions.
Dharmik writings advise impartiality and to rise beyond defamation or praise, because every era has dual characteristics of positives and negatives. To illustrate, the Pandavas, despite Krpacharya’s fully supporting the Kurus during the war and directly involved in supporting Ashwathama’s slaughtering of their sleeping sons, appointed him as their adviser. The Pandavas’ governmental decisions may be attributed to simple kinship; Krpacharya was closely connected to their family since the generation of Shantanu, Bhisma’s father. However, an equally likely motive is that Krpacharya was a reservoir of knowledge from the past. He was a resource of helpful wisdom and sobering warnings.
Dharmik traditions are ready to offer a panoramic view of what works and what does not; are the arrogant elitists willing to observe?