Sermons of survival for the weak
Reviewed by M.M. Goel

Lessons in Spiritual Economics from the Bhagavad-gita. 
By Dhanesvara Dass. Published by the author. Pages 320. Rs 450

The fact that economics is a necessary subject for everyone as consumer, producer, distributor and trader to learn and comprehend, hardly needs any justification. Is it really a queen of social sciences as conceptualised by Noble Laureate Paul Samuelson? Or has reduced its stature because of the human behaviour on which it is based? The present economic crisis compelled us to believe that economics is not sufficient to solve all the problems of the people. To make economics sufficient, we have to look around our epics, particularly the Bhagavad Gita, which is an ‘ism-neutral’, ‘religion-free’ treatises on management and welfare economics.

To solve the basic economic problem of providing food, clothing and shelter is still the question to be answered by the economists. Do we know to share and care the people around us? The so- called progressive cultures have divided people into persons for themselves. It has been treated as a civilised affair to take unfair advantage of the productive efforts of the others. The ability to create and control wealth is the nature of the materialistic society.

A close perusal of the book developed in eight chapters gives the opportunity to the reviewer to understand the concept of spiritual economics, the functions of the economy based on social relations of rights and duties as voluntary personal commitment based on the principles given by God in our epics.

To understand economic man, the writer has dissected the economic question into human beings as sinner and the saint, hateful and loving, greedy and generous and their economic activities based on dual materialistic and spiritual nature in chapter one. We can get the answer to the question why one behaves either as a divine or a demonic personality. Other aspects of human nature such as lust, envy and greed, figure in the economic behaviour, with the origins falls in the domain of chapter two.

The writer has examined the material energies of goodness affecting economic behaviour in the third chapter, resulting in all-inclusive egalitarian societies which has become history now. The influences of the modern age eroding the values have been mentioned therein. The modern era has been characterised as passion to have more and more of everything, leading to replace cooperation with competition with negative influences on people, society and the environment in chapter four.

It is the influence of ignorance that inspires profit from suffering, chaos and death. Excessive greed, profiteering at the expense of others, exploitation of the earth, animals and the people are the symptoms of the influence of the quality of ignorance explained in chapter five.

The writer examined the economics of atheism, the illusions on which it is based in chapter six. The deliberate destruction and death for economic gain is the destructible behaviour also known as demonic. The writer has examined the two major types of consciousness the divine and demonic in chapter seven.

To fix the economic problems, all of them, and create an economics that is beneficial to all flows from time-tested Vedas is the subject matter of the last chapter.

Spiritual economics is a joyous process for living a life that brings prosperity, peace and progress for all. Let us understand, analyse, interpret and adopt spiritual economics as a way of life. It focuses on economics with a completely new theory based upon the principles of consciousness. The reviewer being a humble teacher of economics
finds it worth using in teaching students of modern world of consumerism and commercialisation.

Spiritually guided materialism strategy flows from our epics and is the need of the day for solving all economic as well as non-economic problems. The rate of progress in spiritualism is faster than the rate of progress in materialism, therefore, there is need of accepting spiritually guided materialism as a solution to various problems.

The book is useful to all of us as it truly provides sermons of survival for the weak and meek but unique in the present times of competition wherein survival of the fittest is the mantra which is practically the law of jungle.