Positive Mind Workshop - Swami Chidanandaji hosted by Rotary District 3140, Mumbai
With science and technology galloping ahead, young people are obviously living in a ‘digitally distracted’ world today. On one hand they enjoy a much higher standard of living as compared with previous generations but on the other they find little time to ponder over the quality of (human) relationships. (They are more tech-savvy and therefore know their relationships with machines better!)
The Upanishads have supplied to us the ‘hierarchy’ of existence by saying: the world of objects is, no doubt, mighty and marvellous; the inner world of senses, mind, intellect and finally the Spirit, is actually a thousand-fold mightier and more fascinating. (indriyebhyah paraa arthaah etc. - Katha Upanishad 1.3.10) This profound literature of hoary past has been cautioning humanity for ages to exercise discretion over the two options – Shreya (the good) and Preya (the pleasant) – that frequently put one on the horns of a dilemma.
What is right? What is wrong? How do I choose correctly? These questions have haunted us from time immemorial. To know engineering, medicine, arts, law or commerce will be utterly incomplete if we do not know the nuances morality. What are those fundamental criteria for discerning the good from the bad? And in this matter of ethics or morality, is it more an inner war or a battle with the society?
We must involve the energetic youth of today in a debate by first whetting their appetite for a deeper understanding of living. Experts, charismatic speakers, people with persuasive skills may be invited to engage college students in a brainstorm after placing before them great questions and stimulating ideas.
1 Why do bad things happen to good people?
2 Do ideals have any place at all in today’s world where there is so much hypocrisy?
3 Is all this talk of values meant to protect vested interests by suppressing rebellion?
4 What are the most basic values that apply anywhere in the world?
5 How do we approach emerging controversies like human cloning, homosexual weddings or right to die (euthanasia)?
6 In times such as these, individualistic thinking is getting very strong. How do we look at more and more ‘senior centres or old age homes’ coming up?
7 Is ‘enjoying life’ opposed to ‘righteous living’?