Bhagavagd Gita - Session 14- Track 1412

The predominance of the development of bodily existence is first of all stressed in history, since man is an animal basically. So you can say that his animality has to be first of all securely established. If humanity can do that first then you can say that the first basic thing has been done. In history therefore in the beginning mankind was basically stressing this element, although other elements also were present, -- vital element, mental element, spiritual element, all element were to be found right from early history. Even the early history shows that man was religious, some kind of religion was present, so some kind of spirituality was present. Even in the early times you find that not only religious element even a great spirituality developed, if the Vedas were the works of the great spiritual knowledge and wisdom then it is certainly true that in ancient times spiritual development took place in a very large scale and on a very lofty level. This is historical evidence, so spiritual development was also given a great place in the early times. But still history was interested first to establish the physical of man, so even when the physicality was being established, other elements were not neglected, they were also developed. But they were developed for the time being in an insecure manner, until the lower base is sufficiently secured, even if we build on the higher plane something great, it doesn’t remains secure and that is the reason why the edifice of the spiritual knowledge either went into oblivion or some kind of incomprehension or even a loss. As Sri Krishna says Himself that this great knowledge of Karmayoga was given by Me first to Vivasvan, and then to Manu and then to Ishvaku and then it went on as a tradition and ultimately it got lost. Why did it get lost? The reason is that the intention of nature is not merely to develop spiritual knowledge but also secure the development of the totality and in the beginning the preponderant attention of nature is to establish the base. All the civilisations that you study in history were first concerned with the physical security of man. You may call him a barbarian; history certainly shows a large scale barbarianism. But what was the barbarian doing, the primitive man was trying to get food, clothing, shelter on a secure basis that was his fundamental concern. Whether it is Egyptian civilisation or the Chinese civilisation, or Persian civilisation, or Babylonian civilisation, or Indian civilisation; of which we have got some kinds of records. The earliest occupation of man was to establish physically the human being on the earth. Even the human survival in the beginning was difficult, because there were so many jungles, so many beasts, so many animals, so many risks, so much ignorance, obscurity, quarrels, battles, so the ancient civilisation’s history is nothing but quarrels and battles of various kinds, resulting in what is called civilisation. What is the meaning of civilisation? The word civilisation comes from the word civil, a stage where civil life gets secured is called civilisation. What is civil life? Civil life is the life in which law and order and some kind of physical facilities, so that physical life is not detoured and some kind of modicum of comfort; if any historical epoch establishes this much, we can say it is a civilisation. Earliest civilisations continued to establish the physical, as yet not fully but greatly. One might say that the history of mankind at least shows that civil life began to be developed, and even if one civilisation broke down, it was not so difficult to build up another civilisation; much more quickly than the first civilisation, the speed with which a new civilisation developed even after the breakage gives you the measure of progress. So we can say that mankind has made this much progress. In recent times for example, after the 2nd World War there was devastation; Germany particularly was devastated, Japan was devastated and yet within a short time they have been built up. That shows that humankind has a possibility, a capacity of quickness with which a civilisation can be built up, that capacity man possesses today. So let us say that is one progress on that one line, what humankind has achieved. Then the next step of human civilisation may be marked by the establishment of vital energy. What is the vital interested in? When you can say that the vital is sufficiently developed, sufficiently established in the world? The main urges of the vital being are acquisition, possession, influencing, enjoyment, aggrandisement, domination; these are the basic urges of the vital. Human history has to give sufficient space where these urges are allowed to manifest before you can establish, they should at least be allowed to manifest. That is why large chunks of history was spent in allowing these urges to manifest. One of the great examples of the vital urge is Chengis Khan. When human civilisation was sufficiently quiet and quite developed and there was prosperity physically there was a sufficient base, suddenly this great man trode on the earth and devastated things. Devastated for what reason? Just for the sake of the manifestation of the vital energy, domination, acquisition. I must possess not only this much land but much more land, i must be the greatest. Established things should be all thrown out because I want a new energy, new development, new creativity. Chengis Khan is only one example but a number of them arose in history. So you might say that the 2nd level of history was spent in allowing this kind of tendency to come out, to have its own experience and to learn from it. One of the last ones was Hitler in this direction. For no reason he wanted Germany to expand. No reason means, that he had his own reasons. But from a rational point of view we find that there was no point. He wanted Poland, he wanted some other neighbouring lands and then he began to dream of the whole world to be Germanised, what for? From a certain point you can say that there was no reason for it, but it is this desire to expand. What was in Hitler was as it were one of the last vestiges of this vital period of history. But prior to Hitler there were many others even much more dangerous, much greater. Sri Aurobindo calls Hitler basically a dwarf, compared to Napoleon. Napoleon had a hunger, a big appetite; he ran over the whole of Europe and conquered land after land. That is why when we read history, we only find that great people have come on the scene and they begin to quarrel, they begin to have wars.