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Here they find the key to a wonderful new world, where life is worth living.

Saturday, February 7th, 2004

Kolkata, India

Another World

Beyond exploitation and renunciation

Darwin had it right: survival of the fittest. The Vedas (long before Darwin) expressed this as jivo jivasya jivanam: one living entity (literally and figuratively) is food for another. What great danger we are in!

We are living in a world of exploitation. We must exploit other living entities in order not to be exploited ourselves — we must do unto others before they do unto us! We seek knowledge because we must be powerful to survive, and knowledge is power (scientia est potentia). Our very survival depends on our being able to exploit others and the environment. What a terrible world to live in!

We know that every action has a reaction. By exploiting nature we incur a loan that must be repaid to the penny, with interest. Those who understand this and wish to avoid such a karmic debt gravitate to the other extreme: renunciation.

But renunciation is not the answer: renunciation is the antithesis of exploitation. According to Hegel's dialectical process, a new and higher level of truth is arrived at by a combination of thesis and antithesis. That synthesis is devotion.

Those bibliophiles who serendipitously step into our Math bookstall on this penultimate day of the Kolkata Book Fair, are given the unique opportunity, by exposure to the books of our gurudevas, to leave these worlds of exploitation and renunciation and enter into a world of dedication.

Our books show them how, with the least amount of exploitation, they can utilize their time and energy to get out of this world. Here they find the key to a wonderful new world — the world of devotion — where life is worth living.

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Layout by imonk — February 7th, 2004.