(This is an edited version of previous post “Property and Territory.”)
There are two types of self which everyone has and displays, one is real and another is assumed. Most of us live in the later. Ones assumed self-comprises of ego and the things he possesses, which is called property. Property is a phenomenon which is only obvious in Human world thanks to our ability to imagine. This is an only ability which distinguishes us with animals; thanks to it we can imagine the worst scenario as well as prosperous and can prepare accordingly.
Since we are 99% animals, we also display territorial instincts and seek survival. Human have the notion of Property and animals territory due to lack of imagination, they display highly territorial behavior because if they do not, their survival is at stake. But when humans display the same for property, does it make them human or animal?
We see in the World of Animals that they can do anything to retain their territory; these kinds of acts are now visible in human’s society too, because our imagination is decaying and assumed survival instincts are growing, the kind of skills which Ravan used to possess. He coveted what Kuber has, what Ram has, He wanted everything what others have. In a way every living species in the world is seeking survival but it differs from one to another especially in humans, we do not know when our survival needs turn into property and gradually to greed. Territory is mortal so does property but due to our negligence we assume that it will outlive oneself. One’s name, achievements, goodness and generosity may outlive him but not property. It is a great delusion we have made and are building our social life around it; things like generosity, kindness, honesty and understanding are no more valued. Our measuring scale only measures others (~Ravan’s) property and respect’s them accordingly; isn’t it? What ram’s stands for has no more value.
We see in both Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata that property is at the heart of dispute. Kaikaiya’s desire to make her son king caused the exile of Rama whereas in Mahabharata Dhritrashtra’s excessive attachment to his sons caused turbulence for Pandavas. Kaikaiya was certain that if the potential candidate stays her son Bharat would not be crowned. Hence she demands his exile, But both Rama and Bharat were wise set of brothers unlike Ravan and Kuber, Ram easily accepted exile and Bharat rejected the crown because both of them knew that kingdom~Property has nothing to do with their real self. It may make difference to someone’s assumed self but they know “who they are, has nothing to do with what they possess or have.” Hence they were easily able to give it up.
In Mahabharata, we see that The kingdom of Hastinapur, which Kaurava’s were not willing to share even a point of needle with their cousins were ruthlessly eradicated by them. Kaurava’s were valuing themselves with the kingdom and according to their assumption if they share it, their value will decrease. They were in the assumed self, hence on the path of trouble. On the other hand we see that Pandavas who won the battle and kingdom easily give-up the kingdom because they know that real self is what they are not what they possess, hence they renounced everything materially and went on journey to achieve the ultimate.
Compare to humans, animals are innocent, they do not take greater than their survival needs. And humans are ready to trespass any moral lesson to get the worldly object because of our assumptions that it will describe oneself best or provide eternal happiness. That’s why we now have innumerable clothing lines, beauty Parlors to make our external world more beautiful and validated + and increasing crime rate too. Don’t be unaccustomed of this fact, increasing crime rate is the derivative our own measuring scale. We are as much responsible for this as much as the doer. The only difference is that manmade law does not punish for this.
The reason is that we worship people who possess worldly objects such as BMW, Amrapali apartment, Arrow/Blackberry clothing lines and the ones who pay 10 times greater price for food, and eat with fork. These are the specific traits to become worshipable. It doesn’t matter how you got all this. Today we are better defined by what we have, not what one is. A car, bungalow, beautiful girlfriend, killer jeans better expresses who we are. People without these possessions are considered dehaitees/Pichhada Varg(to be precise).
I am Mr. X and I am also what I possess. Today we pay more attention to later which is the root cause of every problem we face today.