Expansion simply means enlargement or augmentation. Nations, businesses, organisations, the universe and even humans expand.
Stephen Hawking writes ,” If the rate in one second after the Big Bang had been small by one part in a hundred thousand million million, it would have re collapsed before its present size. On the other hand, if it had been greater by a part in a million, the universe would have expanded so rapidly for stars and planets to form”.
The mysteries of universe keep unravelling and humans launching space ships (both manned and unmanned) to investigate as to what is transpiring in the bosom of the universe. Recent researches are on ancient and futuristic aliens, who also are exploring the frontiers of universe.
Nations encroach upon territories to expand their sphere of influence. “Ancient Rome was as confident of the immutability of its world and the continual expansion and improvement of the human lot as we are today” wrote Arthur Erickson.
Business organisations and entrepreneurs keep acquiring companies to expand its base and increase its equity and net worth. Charles M Schwab writes,” There is no limit possible to the expansion of each one of us.”
I reckon this is a natural human tendency to increase the size. But in jest, humans should not become obese as that would lead to a different set of problems.
Expansion in Sanskrit means Prasarna. Buddha prior to attaining enlightenment was Siddhartha , and like any Kshatriya he was assisting his father Suddhodana a Sakya king in various battles and wars to protect their territories against marauding encroaching kings. Siddhartha’s heart was not in the campaigns though he did perform his Kshatriya Dharma.
The Kalinga war had inflicted colossal damage and destruction, which transformed King Ashoka . The remorseful king then embraced Buddhism.
Today our environment is being destroyed by human acquisitiveness. The rapacious intent to seize anything and everything are denuding our forests with cataclysmic consequences.
But this is not true expansion of the self. It is only in a state of peace, equanimity, equilibrium and equipoise that humans can be truly contented and happy.
Our evolution or in Sanskrit called Vridhi is always taking place. It is either in the physical sphere or at a metaphysical state. But if the material or spiritual progress is on account of lack ( Abhava in Sanskrit) it will lead to threatening consequences.
Expansion, whether within or without has to make man and humanity at large happy and peaceful. There should not be an element of feverish desire or aggrandisement in launching such an expansion.
The realisation that everything decays ( Kshaya in Sanskrit) should dawn on humans. Matter does decay. Stars decay, asteroids strike stars and planets which undergo destruction, humans fight wars and destroy one another, and our thoughts keep decaying every moment. The cells in our body, our blood keeps changing. Humans perish and new life takes form. Knowledge decays overtime with new discoveries and fresh skills and understanding emerges.
So nothing is permanent. The only permanent thing is the impermanent as said by Buddha. This is the quintessential truth.
Around all this expansion is contraction. Contraction in Sanskrit means Akunchana. Contraction is a feeling of shrinkage within our bodies, minds and us. There is a feeling of great discomfort in such a situation. We are not at peace with ourselves.
Contraction makes a person restless and angry. The energy is destructive and there is a propensity to cause injury or harm to the self or the society.
Nations, companies or organisation feeling contracted and depleted from within and experiencing a lack embark on acquisitions. Appearing to be powerful (though from within the entity is fearful) try to overpower the weak.
This process does not arise from contentment but the feeling generates from discontent. We are not happy in such a state.
“Suffer no anxiety, for he who is a sufferer of anxiety becomes regardless of enjoyment of the world and the spirit, and the contraction happens to his body and soul” wrote Zoroaster
Therefore the cycle of expansion, contraction and decay is a continuous cycle and only a wise enlightened soul can discriminate between these processes.
But only in pursuit of true happiness can we break the bondage and attain bliss and state of happiness.
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