Chapter 9: Freedom from the Past
Here in India children were married at such an early age that the husband and the wife grew up together like brother and sister. The sanskrit word bhagini is ancient. It has two meanings: both “the wife” and “the sister.” It’s a lovely word. It is indicative of the fact that the marriages used to take place at such an early age that the couple were not even aware that there is something like the relationship of a husband and wife - at the most, brother and sister. Just as there were other brothers and sisters in the house, one more sister had joined the family. They would grow up together, they would grow into youth together. There was never the chance to go to the beach or down the lovers’ lanes, because this sister was a permanent beach or lovers’ lane - tied to you. There were other brothers as well at this “beach,” but they had their own sisters with them.
For thousands of years we did not allow youth to happen. And along with this, when the boy was six, seven or eight years of age, he would join the parents in their profession. He would start going to the fields with the parents, start helping in their carpentry, in their shoemaking, he would start sitting in their shop. He would just do some little things, helping the parents. He wouldn’t even notice that any period of youth came or went. Between his childhood and his old age there was no place, no room for any youth.
Youth is the outcome of the modern education that came from the West. And it is good that it came, because it gave birth to a new class - the youth - and it gave birth to new colors and new forms of this youth. The games of youth will be their own, the literature of youth will be their own, the movies of youth will be their own, the songs of youth will be their own. A whole new dimension has opened up that is altogether new. And just because it has come from the West and we have nothing parallel to it before, don’t think that it has suppressed anything. It has suppressed nothing. A vacuum has been created and into that vacuum has come that which was only available from the West.
For example, we have never made any scientific discoveries in this country. Whatever science comes, it is coming from the West. Whatever is good or bad and accompanies that science will also come from the West. Don’t say that it has come after suppressing something of yours. We simply didn’t have anything - in the realms of “science” we were empty and vacant. Science comes from the West.
And everything has two sides: a good side and a bad side.
For example, birth control came from the West, meaning that a couple can have a child if they want one or not. Now its positive outcome can be that we can reduce the population of the country and increase prosperity. And the other outcome may be that we can fill the whole country with prostitutes and destroy the whole moral order of the country, because now you cannot find out if your wife has been intimate with the neighbor, now you cannot simply confirm that this son is, in fact, yours.
All this is in our hands. Science in itself is neutral - how we make use of it will depend on us.
These games are also neutral - how we use them will also depend on us. And we should develop the approach of making a right use of everything. Everything can be used in such a way that the innermost soul of this country, that is suppressed under the rubbish of thousands of years, can be washed clean.