The glory and the inestimable value of the Kadambari has certainly been enhanced by the Sukanasopadesa. The teachings of Sukanasa can benefit all those, that are equipped with discretion. Any one who undertake the study of this short section of Kadambari in a dilettant fashion will find the solutions of problems such as how can we, maintain a balance in this highly material, arbitrary and uncertain world. The text addresses important questions about the character of our ethical lives.
In despair, we watch both teachers, the moral guides, held always in high esteem and political figures who are supposed to uphold the law and address the problems of masses as opposed to the pupils and breakers of law. In today's political professions, gross abuse of power has become a routine affair. Polioticians, especially those who inherited power and patronisation, the young heirs were visible also in ancient Indian political system. They are still ruling the roost but not only they inherit the power, but also the frailties from their patrons and fathers. Due to being initiated and grown in an unethical environment, they fail to have good moral traits and fall prey to eternal sickness and unhealthy competitiveness which distract young political heirs very far from political corerrectness. The teachings of Banabhatta can benefit all such nascent rulers a lot. The careful reader will find in the Suknasopadesa the solutions of such baffling problems of life and politics. Every line of the text demands profound thinking before it can be understood and appreciated. The teachings of Banabhatta apply to our practical everyday life.
The list of friends, colleagues is so long as to embarass us. Nevertheless we should mention with gratitude always helpful encouragement of our old friends. Above all, we can not adequately express our deep sense of indebtedness to our collegues Shri Saroj Kumar, Dr. Saba Agwani and Shri Shankar lal Dholi for their help, advice and support.
The present exposition of Sukanasopadesa, though prepeared in 2011, had gone in hibernation due to other engagements and could not have seen the light of day had Shri J.P. Yadav of J.P. Publishing house not tried and inspired the present authors.
We offer our Pranamas to our parents and Guruji late Professor Vachaspati Upadhyaya at whose adorable feet we learnt our first lesson to express ourselves.
We close the foreword with the following respectful obeisance.
Crippled Education System and Deepening Value-Crises.
Moral failure pervades our public life. In India education is spreading, reaching the doors of the 'last man' but the quality of education has lessened. In present scenario, our society is facing an array of conflicts, instability and crisis. It is mainly due to lessening moral values and clearty reflects the gross failure of modern western materialistic pattern of education. Education must instil and inculcate human ethical values. All the reports suggest that there is a compelling need to overhaul the whole system of education. Right to education has aroused new hopes but the primary experiences show only the spread of education and not any increase in the quality of education. The new education policy, 2020 envisages 'to develop good human beings capable of rational thought and action, possessing compassion and empathy, and creative imagination, with sound ethical moorings and values.'
Teachers, once revered as gurus and moral guides are standing opposed to disciples, political leaders, who had the duty to uphold the law, have emerged as the lawbreakers. The abuse of power is a routine matter in the largest democracy, and the entire political class has united in order to prevent political reforms, electoral reforms and very recently, the ‘Jan-lokpal’ . It is really amazing to see the country turning middle class alongside the most appalling governance. In the midst of a booming private economy, Indians despair over the delivery of the simplest public goods. Social scientists think of governance failures as a problem of institutions, and the solution, they say, lies in changing the structure of incentives to enhance accountability. True, but these failings also have a moral dimension.
This is the face of deepening value crisis in the contemporary Indian Society casting its evil shadow in all walks of life. It is a challenge from which there is no escape as the value crisis has pervaded all spheres of our life on individual, societal, intellectual or cultural levels. Today worldly success is measured totally in material terms and manifest itself in forms of acquisition of money, power and prestige. Indian middle class or elite class has tuned its mind to single-track persuit of career-growth and material acquisition. Unrestricted enjoyment of sensuous pleasures and fulfilment of unlimited disires are the yardsticks of good life (quality life). Globalization and liberalization characterized by sheer consumerism have proved that higher the quantity of consuption, better the quality of life. The modern value crisis is mainly due to the excessive overplaying of the importance of material values and downplaying of other life values like the moral, spiritual or aesthetic. Pavan Varma has expressed this irony in a very emphatic manner :
"For all the achievements of the Indian state in the last fifty years, there is, for its middle and elite classes, a crippling ideological barrenness which threatens to convert India into vastly unethical and insensitive aggregation of wants". (The Great Indian Middle Class, p. xii,Viking -Penguin, N. Delhi, 1998 )
Today's youth is trained to develop his skills merely for personal advancements. His self-seeking, careerist ambitions are encouraged and admired by professionals as the desirable virtues of motivation, competitive spirit or goal-orientation. This selfish individualism clearly indicates to deepening value crisis in our society. Youths today are right-conscious with lessening duty-consciousness. We are under the grip of double standards of value judgement. It has resulted in the marshalling of stunned and fractured personalities.
Apart form it, lack of social consciousness and cohesiveness also indicates to the value crisis. The people in the society have turned rudely insensitive to malaises viz. poverty, injustice, exploilation, discriminations. People lack in emotional identification with the society which results in the decreasement of social virtues of care and concern.
The concept of culture and civilization subsumes the values as Professor N.K. Devaraja observes : 'All values pursued by man are comprehensible under terms culture and civilization'. (Philosophy, Religion and Culture, M.L.B.D., New Delhi, 1974, p. 21-22)
So, this deepening value crisis, pervading our life and society, is virtually the cultural crisis that reflects in confusing, ambivalent attitude of educated Indians towards their culture. This is the result of their false notion regarding modernity. The so-called modern youth takes the age-old Indian tradition as a burden, a regressive and redundant element. In their view, west has progressed and achieved the standards of 'good life' due to assimilating modern science and technologies along with pragmatic and utilitarian socio-political ideologies. For this generation, Indian culture is suited to be preserved in museums so that they may attract tourists and generate foreign exchange. Such a viewpoint is largely due to not understanding the real purport of modernity which is least concerned with acquisition of worldly riches or technological advancements. Modernity is an attitude as observes Dipankar Gupta :
`All that happens today need not necessarily be modern. India is changing rapidly, industrialization and urbanisation are growing exponentially, and yet our distinctly unmodern attitude still conditions our social relations'.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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