Foundation of humanity is embedded in the pursuit of balance integration of humans and its surroundings. Human societies in various cultures and geographies have offered paths to this very integration, for the co-existence and mutual dependence of forms of lives on each other. The material (Bhautik) basis of integration demonstrates a fundamental part in achieving the goal of mutual dependence; however, the spiritual integration helps us achieve the understanding of the co-existence of the smallest to the grandest, all forms, and of all nature, char aur achar (animate and inanimate). Both, the material and spiritual integration combined, results into a balance functioning of world. Hence, it contributes to the wholistic wellbeing of the individual, and the communities.
Communities, societies, and nations have developed localise methods in their respective living traditions – a reason for living, for the purpose, and meaning of life for the well-being of the people. Some of the examples include the nature-connect relation of tribal societies across the world, the Japanese way of Ikigai, Bhutan’s Gross National happiness, and the Nordic nations exceptional way of balancing welfare state generosity and cohesion amongst different income and social groups.
In India, many traditions depicting “way of life”, “finding meaning and purpose of life”, such traditions allude to India’s diversity and plurality of its nature of seeking. Ancient Indian philosophical and practice traditions have influenced the recent development of methods and approach of holistic well-being. During the freedom movement and post independent India, some of the key terms that emerge during this discussion include Sarvodaya, Swarajya, Swadeshi, Trusteeship, Ram-Rajya, Integral Education, Man-Making Education, Gram-Rajya, Antoyadaya, Ekatma Manav darshan. These terms hold significant importance in shaping the practical implementation of material and spiritual integration of human and its environment in contemporary India.
Progress of Humanity is rooted in the philosophy of integration, mutual dependence, and co-existence. The material basis of integration provides the necessary support for achieving the goal of mutual dependence, while spiritual integration keeping the realm of creation and the creator linked throughout.
Acknowledgement: The short writing piece is result of the Integral Humanism Initiative Project Team discussion at the Centre of Human Sciences, Rishihood University.
– Abhishek Tripathi and Neelabh Sharma Research Associates, Integral Humanism Initiative, Centre for Human Science, Rishihood University,