THINKING & RATIONALISM
Before I say anything, I request all of you present here, not to believe in my words as such and not to get down to act on my words at once. But you should seriously reflect on what I say and consider what is wrong or right in my words. You should accept only those things that appear right in your consideration and get into action on only those things. You should not accept anything because we said it or I said it.
Why should you Think?
I explain first why I emphasize it. We are those who strive to make all the people rationalists through our rationalist propaganda. What is the meaning of our saying, “listen to us” ? We are not the propagators of superstitions. We do not propagate like those who talk about god, religion, sastras, traditions, son of god, incarnation, divine messenger and so on. We say what our intelligence an perceive. You also have the same intelligence. Does it occur to your intelligence? Does it seem right? Think it over. If such a realisation had occurred to the people, nothing else would have been necessary.
One’s own Intelligence
You did not have any opportunity to use your own thinking faculty because the religious propagators have been cheating you, saying “god told me”, or “I am god’s incarnation” or “I should be god”, thereby preventing you from exercising your own intelligence. They inflicted their own thoughts forcefully on you and deprived you totally of any chance of using your own intelligene. This has been the practice, not started today or yesterday but over 2000 or 5000 years ago. Man is endowed with a lovely intelligence. Such a man has been relegated today to the condition of being told to use his intelligence. Today the Rationalist Association starts. It means that man’s Association starts. Today it is explained how human beings should conduct themselves.
Man and Animal
Those who never reason out are named animals. Why? The being without reason is animal; and with reason is man. Of the six senses that are there, one-sensed beings are the grass and plants. They are aware of nothing; they just have to eat. Worms and insects are said to be three sensed creatures.
Some beings with a little modification are said to be four-sensed or five sensed. But the six-sensed being is only man who can think and act. He alone is capable of performing wonderful acts with his six senses. Some beings are capable of what man can not do. An ant can smell what we can not. A bird can fly which we can not.
A monkey can jump and climb which we can not. A lion can kill an elephant. The other beings can do what man can not do. But man alone can think, and take up all necessary actions to fashion his progress. No other being is capable of this.
The man who lost his senses
Such a man lost his senses. He happened to leave it unused. Therefore he did not progress for a long time. Man, as far as our country is concerned, did not bother about even his self-respect. Usually we are rationalistic. We have also known about this world. We have not changed inspite of so much of progress.
Are we Sudras?
We are Sudras which means, we are the sons of a Brahmin’s concubine. It is according to Sastras! It was said by some one, means, it is god. We have wasted all our honour and pride. We gave priority only to our living. This habit belongs only to animals. We have been following only this way of the animals.
Thinking and Rationalism
No one in this country has ever spoken about rationalism till today. If any one has spoken, it is 3000, 2000 years ago and that too the rationalism of those days. Today no one follows it properly. No one else has ever thought of it. It is so because, they are against rationalism. God created everything; he alone is powerful, he said so; he did so! His son said so. His messenger said so.
His incarnation said so. Man’s intelligence was blunted by repetitions of such superstitions. They have said everything and it is enough to act according to them. Therefore there was no scope at all for the growth of man’s intelligence. You may ask me how. How much have those who used rationalism progressed? Today the people of other countries have launched satellites to a height of 2,30,000 miles into the orbit and made one of them land on the moon. They fly at a speed of 5000 or 6000 miles per hour. What have our people achieved on any one of them?
Rishis, Mullas and Padres
There are thousands of rishis, mullas, padres and pandara Sannidhigals who claim to be our friends, advisers and leaders. What have we benefitted from religions? But those men are benefitted. Nothing was achieved. How many years since man appeared on this planet? We cannot calculate. A researcher somewhere calculates it.
One says it is one lakh years; another says 18 lakh years. “Man appeared before this; when the earth appeared”, says another. He says god created it. What is the result, till now? How much world has changed within say, 100 or 105 years? How much tools of progress have appeared in our own country? If such a progress is achieved within the span of 100 years, how much progress should have been achieved in the stretch of one lakh years or so? Why has enough progress not been achieved? Which god does our country lack? There are thousands of gods. Are there not great men?
There are plenty of great men (Mahans). Anyone is a priest; anyone is a Mahathma. (great soul). Any one is a follower of various kinds. We could not boast of anything as our own achievement, inspite of such a host of religious men!
Incarnations (Avatars) and wonders
The wonderful things that we enjoy today are because of the efforts and inventions of others. Your son of god was born; your messenger was born; a cartload of incarnations (avatars) of god were born. Rishis who could instantly curse, and who could instantly throw mountains on mountains, all appeared here. Even then, nothing wonderful ever happened.
The greatness of knowledge
Could we have got even a match stick, if the English had not come to our country? We would have languished only in darkness. We could have solely depended on flint stones. To him, who rode on oxen, now the aeroplanes have come. How did it all come? By praying? Through yagas? Or by uttering the name of god? Therefore man must remain man, reaping the benefits of his efforts, and actions, instead of going on speaking about god, religion, sastras, vedas, dharma (charity), great men, mahans and such foolishness, whereby we still remain animals. You may ask me how.
Superstition and obstructions
The comrades who spoke before me wondered if they have senses. For everything and anything, they always cited the sastras (principles laid down by religions) tradition, said by the forefathers, or said in vedas, but never care to examine who said it and for what. He will stop proceeding and will act, because, a cat crossed his way, explaining that the sagunam (sign or omen) was not right.
He will keep seated even at the crowing of a crow. He will say that he can go out after a bath. He will not touch anyone precariously. He will bathe, his dhoti on. Is he who does all these, a man or a buffalow? He says that this day or that day is not good or this time or that time is not good. What category does this belief belong to? There is no one to speak about knowledge. No one has got the guts to speak about the efficacy of knowledge or its use. This is a huge land of barbarians. We remain the same. What else can I say?
‘Thinkin and Rationalism’ periyar Metupalayam public meeting speach