‘Aparigraha’

By Dr. K S Radhakrishnan on 25-09-2017

We are living in a ‘Market culture’. It influences us in many ways. It says that it is the routine matter to offer something as an incentive to buy something. Even if we are not in need of that particular thing which is being offered by the market, we have the habit of acquiring all those ‘free gifts’ as a part of our routine life.

How far are we being justified morally in these free gifts accumulation? The Indian System of thought says that accepting anything which is not essential for our existence is wrong. This concept is technically called ‘aparigraha’. ‘Aparigraha’ literally means to abstain from receiving anything which is not essential to ensure our existence, i.e. the basic needs like food, shelter etc. are to be minimized to ensure a fact that we are not taking anything which is not our due. We are warned to practise ‘aparigraha’ because the Nature is sure to provideeverything to meet the need of all but nothing to satisfy the greed of even one. So if we take anything that is not essential to us, no matter how small it is, we are taking something which could have been the share of someone else. This act amounts to theft.

So what is necessary in the present context is to check the influence of the market by oneself. Market really tempts us to accumulate the maximum but ‘aparigraha’ reminds that there is nothing to satisfy the maximum of a single person. Therefore we have to accept a simple fact that our greed also is responsible for the famine in Bosnia and other countries. Is it that difficult to sort out our needs from our wants?

About The Author

Dr. K S Radhakrishnan

Dr. K S Radhakrishnan (formerly Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sankaracharya University and Chairman, Kerala Public Service Commission) is a learned scholar who has been earnestly trying to revive the ancient knowledge in Indian culture. He worked as a lecturer early in his life and now lives an eloquent advocate of social and cultural causes.