So what really does stand at the root of Integral Humanism?
'Dharma' itself stands at the root of Integral Humanism. Dharma, as an unifying all-explaining concept, stands at the root of Integral Humanism And since Dharma is a blanket term, which is open to all sorts of subjective interpretations and manipulations, one has to define the meaning of Dharma first. And since the main body of Integral Humanism is based on the concept of Dharma, a definition of Dharma is imperative within it.
Let us see Upadhyaya's formalizations...
"...this fact that by nature a person is truthful is a law that is discovered. Many other principles of ethics are similarly discovered. They are not arbitrarily framed by someone. In Bharat these principles are termed "Dharma", laws of life."
In other words, Upadhyaya is saying that Dharma is a system of ethics. He then goes on to say that...
"...Dharma helps in restraining the natural tendencies of man, whereby he is able to determine what is beneficial to him apart from what is pleasurable. Hence Dharma is given the foremost place in our culture. "
Now this is a little difficult. When he is saying-'natural tendencies', I presume that he means desire for sex, drive for food, accumulation of wealth, use of force and the like in an unethical fashion
. Agreed. A system of ethics (Dharma, in this context) must be in place for any meaningful interactions between men.
All of a sudden, Upadhyaya is found saying...
" Independence is Dharma of every nation. To
preserve independence, and to strive for regaining it when lost is the duty of every citizens."
"...decision concerning Dharma cannot be made by plebiscite. This type of a decision has already been taken by the nature. Elections and majority can only decide as to who will form the government (not what constitutes Dharma)."
Dharma has now transcended the realm of ethics.
Upadhyaya also says...
"...When the state-acquires all powers, both political and economic, the result is a decline of Dharma."
Thus we can see from the previous chapter and the above examples that the use of Dharma, at points referring to a system of ethics, at points referring to system of logic, at points referring to metaphysical facts destroys the very meaning of using a single word for denoting a single concept. Dharma, at once can stand for many defined, undefined and unknown concepts. It can be any interrelated entity when being referred to. The term Dharma is therefore a prime candidate for Upadhyaya's manipulations based on his interpretations of the actual concepts which Dharma seems to stand for, all at once.
What is the net result? What conclusion have we reached from this discourse? What can we derive out of Upadhyaya's interpretations of Dharma? The answer-nothing. Since Upadhyaya only gives examples, but doesn't exactly specify the actual meaning of Dharma and more importantly, the need for such a thing as Dharma, we cannot hope to benefit in any way from his discourse on Dharma. And since Upadhyaya himself failed to ask these questions and search for answers thereon, we cannot hope to gain anything worthwhile from Integral Humanism.
Upadhyaya himself states...
"...we have thus considered the life of an individual in a through and integrated manner. We have set the aim of developing body, mind intellect as well as soul in a balanced way."
Once again we see the central theme of Integral Humanism-a consideration of the all attributes of a entity automatically confers upon oneself an integrated view of that entity. If Upadhyaya has indeed discovered fundamental truths, did he go on from there and define with clarity the idea of an individual? No. This is exactly where Integral Humanism falls flat. If a man chose to live by Dharma as espoused by Integral Humanism, he would be up against many principles propounded in it. Some of them would be:
- Food is man's birthright.
- No, it isn't. Food has to created first, and it 'belongs' to those who create it.
- Everyone who eats must get work.
- Since eating is a birthright, working also automatically becomes a birthright, by this statement!
Who then will create the opportunities for the workers to work? Who will build the factories? How is it that if workers are laboring away in a factory, they are exploited and if the factory buys machines to reduce workload, they are exploited? How is it, when workers are at work in the factories, the factory is exploiting them and profiteering and when they are out of work, they are the unemployed youth who are draining the national exchequer? What are workers supposed to do then? If they work in factories they will helping capitalists make profits and thus abetting evil-doers and if they are not working for those factories, they will a national burden.
The truth of the matter is that nobody will want your work if it is of no use.
- Capitalism holds restriction and regulations on trade unjust, save the brake of competition.
- Since Integral Humanism rules Darwin's Law of "Survival of the Fittest" to be a falsehood, a general principle which holds only in the realm of animals-the jungle, competition has no useful meaning in man's realm-society. I request Upadhyaya to reconsider his premises again. When Darwin said; 'Survival of the Fittest', he obviously didn't mean 'survival of the strongest'. It only seems that 'the law of the jungle' conjures up a vision of a lion devouring a meek deer in the mind of Upadhyaya. There is more than brute strength in the play of life in the jungles, even in the basic need of an animal(or a species) to just survive. It is not conflict that sustains life, it is competition, with others and with oneself, to do the best.
- In a society even those who do not earn must have food.
- Only in society led by Integral Humanism will the non-earning people be given food. This whole business of providing food, even to the undeserving is ugly, to say the least. Why should the undeserving be fed at the cost of the man who creates the wealth and the food? And as far as feeding the old and infirm and caring for the sick goes, it finally boils down to a matter of individual choice. Let me make this point clear. A basic level of healthcare and insurance is a requirement of any society, American or Indian. If Upadhyaya thinks that the old people of India are better off than the old people of America, I can only ask him to go around the country and LOOK. The abuse of the old and infirm is as flagrant and vulgar as he makes it out to be in America. If a man wants to look after his Grandfather and take care of him, it is his choice.
- To educate a child is in the interest of the Society itself.
- To educate a child for a sum of money is wrong because that amounts to fixing a price for the 'education' that the child has gained. Rather make him study in a GuruKul for free so that you have a claim on the fruits of his labor as long as he lives.
- ...the machine became the competitor of the human being.
- Machines do not compete with humans because they cannot. By Upadhyaya's own admission machines only "reduce the content of physical labor in production and...increase the productivity of the worker". How can machines then be detrimental to the worker if they are only a tool for increasing productivity? Machines liberate man's hands from the yoke of manual labor. Machines give man time, the precious commodity which he can use in his desired way,to produce more or in leisure. It was the machine which enabled the growth of art, philosophy and science itself. Machines are but complex and dynamic tools which makes things easy. They remove the limitations of physical strength on our goals. Now show me a plumber who feels threatened by a monkey-wrench, a carpenter who is scared of a hammer, and a surgeon who is feels threatened in using a new type of scalpel and and I will agree with the premise that machines are a threat to the workers. If thousand workers are thrown out of a factory one day, replaced by machines, well and good for them. They can go and devote their efforts to something useful elsewhere. Why should they continue to do what a machine can do?
- For this economic man, five rupees are always more than four rupees
- Yes, it works that way.
A trap of his own making
Thus we see, multitudinous contradictions arise inside Integral Humanism. Why all this? Because, even though Upadhyaya waxes eloquent about Dharma, he fails to understand the true meaning and the limitations of the term-Dharma. So Upadhyaya falls into a trap of his own making. Unwilling to make a concrete formalization of Dharma for the fear of inadvertently 'leaving out important attributes' to Dharma, he leaves the definition open to subjective interpretations. Thus when he finds the idea that every human being who is born should have something to eat in accordance with Dharma, it doesn't strike him that that food should come from someone who has rightfully earned it is Adharma. Thus, he says that an unemployed man is a burden on the society and also says that he should be fed anyway.
Thus we see him sympathizing with the rest of humankind against capitalism when he says
"...for this economic man, five rupees are always more than four rupees."
when Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha or even God can't make four rupees greater than five rupees.