Reviewing The Ancient Codes for Resolving The Dilemma of Sustainability and Individual Aspirations
The concept of sustainable development has got a prominent spot in contemporary discourse but it is still a developing concept, yet to reach its full potential. It started with focus on environment and now culture is included as fourth pillar, along with economic and social dimensions. It took about 14 years from Brundtland report 1987 to reach Rio 2001. Still it can’t be said that these four pillars are good enough to carry the canopy of sustainable development. One can easily observe that this discourse on sustainability has emerged as a counter-reaction to the problems faced due to onslaught of irrational development process that started with the dawn of industrial revolution. However, the debate surrounding sustainability does not take into consideration the vicious fault line spread between the issue of sustainability and individual aspirations. Probably a fifth pillar, that of individual behavior and aspirations is urgently needed. To this end we can find clues in the ancient Indian code of social conduct comprising of social action and individual behavior. It is a strong case as the Indian culture is the oldest, time tested, living and thriving socio-cultural system that achieved a compatibility of material aspirations and sustainability through its value system. Individual aspiration should be included as fourth dimension of sustainability issue with environmental, economic, social and cultural. To this end we can find clues in the ancient Indian code of social conduct.
Key Words- sustainable development, aparigrah(non accumulation), dharmashastra/smirities