Why does India need spirituality in this IT age?

by Chaitanya Charan dasOctober 18, 2011

Question: India has proven its mettle by its remarkable contributions in IT (Information Technology). Why does India need spirituality in this IT age?

Answer: The IT boom over the last decade has made India a global power to reckon with. But therecent global recession has raised a hard question: In spite of our knowledge of global markets and how to manipulate them, why did we have to reel under a global market crash that our IT systems could not predict and had to struggle to cope with? It’s because IT has some fundamental limitations that are often overlooked.

Information is not insight: Information dazzles us with facts and figures, while distracting us from deeper truths that illuminate and enrich, truths about our origin, identity, value and purpose.

Technology debilitates our spirit: Technology makes us so fascinated and dependent on external gadgetry that we forget to develop ourselves, to realize our mental and spiritual potentials.

These limitations of IT have become even more critical in our times for IT is being used by the consumerist society to aggravate people’s greed for materialistic pleasures and possessions. For example, human greed caused the US sub-prime crisis, but the global IT networks expanded that crisis into a worldwide economic meltdown. Sadly but predictably, IT has ended up consolidating an exploitative, selfish world order, which inflicts poverty and scarcity on millions, rapes mother nature and robs future generations of their rightful natural resources.

To wisely use IT, we need another IT – Inner Transformation. What the world needs especially today is not improved information technology, but effective inner transformation technology that will enable people to use IT constructively. India has a rich, unparalleled tradition of time-honored spiritual practices like mantra meditation that can bring about inner transformation, thus empowering people to experience spiritual happiness and freeing them from greed.

Noble Laureate Chemist Dr Richard Ernst points this out, “I am convinced that India could become once again the cradle of a new school of though that may significantly influence the fate of the globe in the third millennium. Perhaps the contributions of India to nuclear power technology and space science will turn out to be irrelevant, but the contributions towards a new ethical foundation could be turning the wheel of history in the proper (balanced) way.”

In the same spirit, more than three decades before Ernst’s observation, Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, went toUSA, and boldly announced his mission: “I have not come here to beg for money or technology like many Indian political leaders to. I have come here to give, not beg.” If more of us Indians could imbibe this spirit, and assimilate and disseminate our national spiritual legacy, India could lead the world in taking IT to the next level.

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Chaitanya Charan das

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