COMPLETE WORKS | VOLUME 5 | SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
|| SECTION 3 | NOTES FROM LECTURES & DISCOURSES ||
|| THE EVILS OF ADHIKARIVADA ||
In one of Swamiji's question classes the talk drifted on to the Adhikarivada , or the doctrine of special rights and privileges , and Swamiji , in pointing out vehemently the evils that have resulted from it , spoke to the following effect :
With all my respects for the Rishis of yore , I cannot but denounce their method in instructing the people . They always enjoined upon them to do certain things but took care never to explain to them the reason for it .
This method was pernicious to the very core ; and instead of enabling people to attain the end , it laid upon their shoulders a mass of meaningless nonsense .
Their excuse for keeping the end hidden from view was that the people could not have understood their real meaning even if they had presented it to them , not being worthy recipients .
The Adhikarivada is the outcome of pure selfishness . They knew that by this enlightenment on their special subject they would lose their superior position of instructors to the people . Hence their endeavour to support this theory .
If you consider a person too weak to receive these lessons , you should try the more to teach and educate that person ; you should give that person the advantage of more teaching , instead of less , to train up that intellect , so as to enable one to comprehend the more subtle problems .
These advocates of Adhikarivada ignored the tremendous fact of the infinite possibilities of the human soul .
Every one is capable of receiving knowledge if it is imparted in one's own language .
A teacher who cannot convince others should weep on account of that teacher's own inability to teach the people in their own language , instead of cursing them and dooming them to live in ignorance and superstition , setting up the plea that the higher knowledge is not for them .
Speak out the truth boldly , without any fear that it will puzzle the weak .
People are selfish ; they do not want others to come up to the same level of their knowledge , for fear of losing their own privilege and prestige over others .
Their contention is that the knowledge of the highest spiritual truths will bring about confusion in the understanding of the weak-minded people , and so the Shloka goes :
na buddhi-bhedam janayed ajnanam karma-sanginam
josayet sarva-karmani vidvan yuktah samacaran
— " One should not unsettle the understanding of the ignorant , attached to action ( by teaching them Jnana ) : the wise one , oneself steadily acting , should engage the ignorant in all work . " ( Bhagavad Gita , III . 26 )
I cannot believe in the self-contradictory statement that light brings greater darkness . It is like losing life in the ocean of Sachchidananda , in the ocean of Absolute Existence and Immortality . How absurd !
Knowledge means freedom from the errors which ignorance leads to . Knowledge paving the way to error ! Enlightenment leading to confusion ! Is it possible ?
People are not bold enough to speak out broad truths , for fear of losing the respect of the people .
They try to make a compromise between the real , eternal truths and the nonsensical prejudices of the people , and thus set up the doctrine that Lokchras ( customs of the people ) and Deshchras ( customs of the country ) must be adhered to .
No compromise ! No whitewashing !
No covering of corpses beneath flowers !
Throw away such texts as , " Tathapi Lokacharah — Yet the customs of the people have to be followed " .
The result of this sort of compromise is that the grand truths are soon buried under heaps of rubbish , and the latter are eagerly held as real truths .
Even the grand truths of the Gita , so boldly preached by Shri Krishna , received the gloss of compromise in the hands of future generations of disciples , and the result is that the grandest scripture of the world is now made to yield many things which lead people astray .
This attempt at compromise proceeds from arrant downright cowardice .
Be bold ! My children should be brave , above all .
Not the least compromise on any account .
Preach the highest truths broadcast .
Do not fear losing your respect or causing unhappy friction .
Rest assured that if you serve truth in spite of temptations to forsake it , you will attain a heavenly strength in the face of which people will quail to speak before you things which you do not believe to be true .
People will be convinced of what you will say to them if you can strictly serve truth for fourteen years continually , without swerving from it .
Thus you will confer the greatest blessing on the masses , unshackle their bandages , and uplift the whole nation .
( NOTE: * Adhikari-vada : The doctrine upholding the necessity of prescribing a distinct course of discipline for each spiritual aspirant according to the aspirant's capacity . )
SOURCE | SATYAVEDISM.COM