The keenness to identify the cause of human failure to measure up to the miracles of man’s own creation in the field of science and technology and also to find out why many of the gurus are failing to effect necessary attitudinal change among their followers caused restlessness among some young talents including activists an even the highest political leadership. They wanted to initiate some collective action to change the situation. Vivekananda Nidhi is the outcome. Founded by Late Swami Yuktananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna order, the Nidhi initiated Value Orientation activities in early 1981, with its first seminar on Value Orientation in Human Problem Solving, when the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi delivered the keynote address.
The objective is to create change agents, and influence the thinking process to achieve desirable quality change in our people. Since its inception the Nidhi has been organizing seminars, symposia, workshops, conducting research, running residential courses for Students & Teachers on Value Orientation, Environmental Awareness and Ecological Ethics, and publishing journals, monographs and relevant books. The Nidhi is run by Govt. support both Central & State,as well as public donations. Nidhi enjoyed the recognition by the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research Organization and has applied for the continuance of the recognition. In one of the workshop organized by the Nidhi, in 1982, late Smt Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, in her message of good wishes wrote: The latter part of the twentieth century will go down in history as a period of two great movements: the movement to preserve the values of peace and human brotherhood, and the movement to conserve the environment. The two are interconnected.
The Nidhi in a humble way is trying to propagate the concept among youth, students, teachers, corporate and general people.
This distortion of value-vision has occurred in modern Indian society because during the last few hundred years, Indian life has been dominated by a way of thinking influenced by science and spread by modern technology. As the western way of life came to dominate the world, it brought with it certain concepts and attitudes which had their roots in Greek thought but owned their development and strength to the seventeenth century thinkers like Descartes and Newton. The world was divided into two separate compartment—mind and matter or spirit and matter—thus in some way identifying the human mind with the spirit. But matter was dead. Material things were like the parts of a machine working together. Over this mechanistic universe, but separate from it, there ruled God who exercised His divine will through laws that He imposed upon the world.
According to the mechanistic world-view, when a human being believes that he is separate from others and the universe, he feels free to exploit and cheat, to rob and kill. Instead of the noble, aspiring person that every individual has the potential to be, he becomes selfish, cruel and violent. It is thus that modern India paradoxically presents a tragic picture of appalling inequities and an inferior level of thought and behaviour
This simple fact is the key to understanding the present degenerate condition of Indian society. Although those values that are by nature broad and universal exist, they have now been distorted. The individual converts his values into channels of advantage for himself. The average Indian has, in fact, lost all consciousness of belonging to the world as a whole and can see nothing beyond his own narrow environment. He looks through the wrong end of the telescope and sees not the broad universe, but his own very small world.
The separatist view of life, which India has adopted by incorporating all things western, does not belong to our country and is an alien concept. Although able to shake off the foreign yoke physically, India is yet to shed the mental yoke which she wears unconsciously. The Indian view of life is based on the scientific principle of the spiritual oneness of all beings. Life is seen as an interrelated, interconnected whole, where a person cannot harm another without hurting himself. This view is the only practical and scientific way of life and the true foundation of a democratic and enlightened society.
Now is the time to bring forth the Indian view of life to the rescue of modern India. A national campaign for Indian values would be welcome at every level of society and would be effective if it flooded every village, town and city, every home, school and college, every office and factory; if it flooded the whole of India with her universal, scientific and spiritual view of life.
The varied cultures of India must now be given a rallying point, a common platform, which will truly integrate them into a democratic and enlightened society. The findings of modern physics have completely changed the views of scientists. The theory of a mechanistic universe, with its separate parts and its mind-matter dualism, no longer holds water. In its place, quantum physics presents a universe that is an organic whole in which the parts are all interconnected, interrelated and interdependent. The true scientist, we are told, regards the world as a network of relations between the various parts of a united whole; within this network all phenomenon are harmoniously interrelated. Thus science now offers a holistic view of the world, replacing the former divided or fragmented view. The ancient Indian view of life can be expressed in scientific and modern terms now. Whether the source is quantum physics, ecological ethics or the Upanishads—the world is an organic whole in which the parts are interconnected, interrelated and interdependent. Human beings are not apart from but a part of the web of life.
The aim of the Nidhi is to resuscitate society by reflecting life’s basic values in actions and behaviour. It offers an opportunity to all those willing to work and participate in this effort and extend this endeavor to a national and international movement which will restore to India and the world the human values that have been temporarily eclipsed.