Brahma Kumar Jagdish Chander
Building a Value-Based, Peaceful and Prosperous Society
(Fragments of Harmony)
Brahma Kumar Jagdish Chander
First Edition: 3000
Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya
Plots Nos. 1&2
Delhi - 110 009
© Copyright by:
Prajapita Brahma Kumaris
Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya
Mount Abu - 307 501
Om Shanti Press
Gyanamrit Bhawan, Shantivan,
Abu Road - 307 510
This book can be had from:
Mount Abu - 307 501 (Rajasthan), India
Spirituality transforms society and solves personal and global problems
Within the confines of the title pages of this book are the articles, keynote papers and draft documents by the author. A perusal of these would give the readers an idea of how spirituality does not only bring spiritual solace to the individual souls, who are disturbed by the inner troubles and turmoil or deep craving for the final liberation but it also transforms the society as ours that has gravely digressed from the path of purity and peace.
The articles, the keynote papers and the draft documents or Action Plans in this compilation touch all dimensions and sections of society collectively and also separately. These have something for all - the politicians, the administrators, the educationists, the media persons, the industrialists and businessmen, the youth, the women, the religious leaders, the health scientists, the environmentalists, the social service institutions and others. It deals with problems of almost every nature that our society is facing - Poverty, Over-population, danger of a nuclear war, extreme environmental degradation, moral degeneration, mental tension, etc. It places these problems in their real perspective and shows with clarity, in a simple language, as to how these problems are rooted in lack or degeneration of moral values that cannot be re-established without spiritual empowerment. In this context, it talks of Meditation, basic moral values, spiritual wisdom and a successful resource institution, namely the Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa-Vidyalaya.
It seems that the writings of the author have worked as precursor to other such writings by other authors or use of such titles and new phrases by them. Let us give a few examples. The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the year 2000 as the International Year of the Culture of Peace and UNESCO was designated to implement this project. A group of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates were requested to suggest the core values of Culture of Peace. They suggested six values and these together were named as ‘Manifesto 2000’. Efforts were made to collect signatures on this. What we want to be noted in this connection is that the author of this book also had designated a document as Peace Manifesto’ way back in the year 1984 and delegates from about forty countries had supported that Manifesto. That Manifesto laid emphasis on the need to inculcate moral values and it mentioned many other essential things also for all those together would form the warp and woof of culture.
Likewise, the author wrote a treatise, titled ‘Spiritual Solutions to World Problems’. We have been noticing the trend of more and more people veering round the view that the real solution to world problems lies in spirituality. Even such a materialistic world body such as the World Bank is now adopting this view and is trying to utilize the services of religious leaders in promoting Spirituality so that poverty can be reduced.
In the late sixties or early seventies, a book was written by the author to emphasise, in very simple language, the necessity of adopting moral values. The book was titled: “Moral Values, Attitudes and Moods”. In those days, it was not fashionable to write books on such themes. It was thus a bold initiative. Over the years, we have been noticing the increase in this trend.
His various writings also contended that moral values were not only to be made a part of education in schools and colleges but also it was necessary to inspire all age-groups and all professions or sections of the society to internalise moral values, for without that it would be almost impossible to educate successfully the children and the youth in values or to end the moral rot in the society, for the print-media, the electronic media and the corruption among the bureaucracy, the businesses and others would spoil the effort. This view is now being expressed increasingly by the intellectuals.
The author gave the title ‘Peace Charter’ to a document drafted by him. This became popular and was adopted by many, including the black Mayors of California, particularly Los Angeles. Ever since this document was named thus, we have been hearing the use of the word ‘Charter’ by various fora.
Similarly, the author had used the phrase ‘Mental Pollution’ in the year 1971-72 and this was published also in some magazines in Jamaica, Manila, Hongkong, Pnom Penh, etc. and, thereafter, we have been hearing this phrase being used by many religious leaders and institutions and opinion leaders.
The readers should not get the impression that there is an impulse to indulge and revel in vainglory. No. The author feels that it was God’s inspiration. He has given these examples to express his sense of amazement at the fact that powerful thoughts or ideas travel to places in all directions and are unknowingly picked up by others, or certain ideas emerge somewhere and similar ideas emerge also at many other places without the persons or the institutions knowing each others. Whatever may be the true cause, one feels happy to note that ideas cross man-made borders of territory. And, we mention all this with the hope that the ideas expressed in the book will spread world wide. The author also hopes that the readers will take deep interest in these articles, etc., for these dwell on important topics.
Now a word about the title of this book. The author wishes it to be clear that the way to usher in a new era or to build a new society is to bring about moral regeneration and spiritual empowerment of all sections of society and to make individuals ready to take the responsibility for their own personal moral development. Let us remember that the world would change when each individual will make sincere efforts for self-transformation. Let everyone understand it well that the way to build a new, happy and healthy world is through purity. Purity is the mother of Peace. Prosperity without Peace is like golden chains. So, this book is about building a new society of purity, peace and prosperity - all the three together - through spirituality.
Plot No. 1&2, Derawal Nagar,
Delhi - 110009
18 January, 2001
B.K. Jagdish Chander,
Table of Contents
Chapter # 1
Universal Peace and Harmony
1. Universal Peace … 3
2. The Question of World Peace and World War … 12
3. Problem of Nuclear War and Peacelessness … 25
4. Holistic Harmony … 28
5. Universal Harmony … 42
Chapter # 2
Spirituality and Moral Values in the Service of all sections of Society
6. Peace and Health through Positive Thinking, Soul-Consciousness and Meditation … 57
7. The Path to Peace … 67
8. Spiritual Solution to the Problem of Poverty … 74
9. The Problem of Overpopulation … 85
10. Problem of Mental Tension and Mental Pollution … 87
11. Industrial Peace and the Idea of Trusteeship … 96
12. The Role of Mass Media And Motion Pictures in establishing Moral Values And Universal Peace … 107
13. Press Code … 118
14. Role of Radio, T.V. and Motion Pictures in maintaining peace … 122
15. Youth-The Instruments of Social Change through Self-transformation … 126
16. Responsibility of Youth in establishing Harmony … 132
17. Youth Charter for Universal Peace … 137
18. The Role of Women in establishing Universal Harmony … 142
19. The Role, Responsibilities and Empowerment of Women … 150
20. Need for Religious Harmony … 156
21. Building Better Inter-fatih Relations … 160
22. Principles to be observed for Religious Harmony and Emotional Integration … 164
23. Politics based on Principles and Values … 167
24. Politics and Politicians-Their Role and Responsibilities … 179
25. Religion, Spirituality and Politics in a Secular Democracy … 183
26. Panch Sheel for Harmony or Six-point Formula for Reconciliation … 187
27. Administration that functions well and without tensions … 193
28. Complementarity of Science and Spirituality for Better Life … 205
29. Socio-economic dynamics of Environmental Degradation and its nexus with ethical values … 218
30 Values as the Foundation of a Civilised Society … 229
31. New Turn in Law and Justice Based on Socio-Spiritual Dialectics … 234
32. Jurisprudence and Spiritual Prudence … 250
33. The Oath, The Truth and The Justice … 254
34. Judicial Activism of a Different Kind … 260
35. Value Education … 271
36. Ushering in a Better Society through Education in Values … 279
37. Value-Education and Harmony in Society - A missing link … 293
38. Education in Values by Brahma Kumaris … 301
39. Health: Handle life with care and Prevent Violence and Negligence … 314
40. Full-fledged Role of Nurses and Hospitals … 321
41. Business and industry based on Human and Moral Values … 335
42. Towards a Better World through Self-transformation - In the context of Business & Industry - … 353
Chapter # 3
Resolution of conflicts and establishment of harmony
43. Resolution through moral & Spiritual values of conflicts, solution of problems and Action Plan for World Peace … 369
44. Harmonious Personality and Peace of Mind … 375
45. Values for a World of Love, Peace and Prosperity … 380
46. Spiritual Response to some Current Problems … 412
47. Examples of Spiritual Response to Some Current Problems … 416
48. What is Spiritual Wisdom and why is it needed in the present times of stress and strain? … 434
49. Spiritual Wisdom for Changing Times … 442
50. Integrated Personality is a precondition to Peace … 465
51. Twelve Wonder Values for a Better World … 475
Chapter # 4
Spiritual and Moral Empowerment
52. Degeneration in Spirituality and effort for Spiritual Empowerment … 491
53. Restoration of Morality Tolerance and Humility … 494
54. Spiritual Empowerment and Message of the Time … 499
Chapter # 5
Peace Manifesto and Peace Charter giving golden principles of the Time
55. Introduction to Universal Peace Documents … 511
56. Preamble … 513
57. Right Beliefs for Peace … 515
58. Positive attitudes, essential for peace … 517
59. Ten Universal Principles for Universal Peace … 519
60. Universal Peace Charter … 521
61. Principles to be observed for Peace in International Relations … 524
62. Guiding Principles for the Ethical Code for Professionals … 527
63. Guiding Principles for Peace in Personal Life … 530
64. Universal Peace Documents -A Critique … 533
65. Moral and Spiritual Development and Establishment of a Value-based Society … 543
Chapter # 6
A unique institution for establishing Values and new world-order
66. Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual university - A university with a difference … 547
67. Unique Methods of Education … 563
68. A new kind of university for giving new knowledge for ushering in a new world-order … 569
69. This university is not a religious institution in the current negative connotation of the term … 571
70. A university that brings Unity and Integration … 576
71. Method of assessment) evaluation, examination and certification … 578
72. Global recognition given to its teachings … 584
73. The reasons for not fixing any fees or accepting any donations … 589
74. Rationally valid and experientially verifiable Revealed Knowledge … 592
75. Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa-Vidalaya, Rajyoga Education & Research Foundation and Brahma Kumaris Academy for a Better World and Their Multifarious Activities … 594
Chapter # 1
Universal Peace and Harmony
Today, harmony is on the top of the nation’s agenda. All fora, all institutions, all platforms echo, with one voice, the demand for harmony between various communities, castes and regional, linguistic and other interest groups. Since the last some decades, especially after the recent communal flares, there has been a heightened awareness that, in the absence of harmony, all energy, money and attention is wasted either on efforts to prevent worsening of relations between various antagonistic groups or much efforts have to be made to bring to normalcy the conditions of law and order even after a brief episode of disturbance in relations between various communities or groups has occurred. In fact, the aftermath of such uncivilised and inhuman events is beset with so many and so complicated problems that the governments, the intelligentsia and the well-wishers consider it a time-consuming and very hard task to give a healing touch to the wounds, scars or chasms left on the minds of the people by the ugly events.
One thing, which has clearly emerged on the world-scene, after all the variety of human experience, is that, at some places, it may be the political or economic factor and, at others, it may be the ethnic, racial, social, cultural or communal factor that leads or contributes to disharmony, but disturbance in one field disturbs the whole society. The society, as it is constituted, today, is so clearly knit that a disturbance caused by one factor in one sector, sets waves of disturbance in other sectors of the society also. The society is one whole, even if we divide it into parts in order to understand how they work. An act of disharmony, wrought by science, technology, education, art or religious worship, in fact by any aspect of a society’s life, can upset harmony and let loose the forces of disturbance in all or most other fields as well. Disharmony in the form of environmental degradation is an example. It is, therefore, essential that all types of institutions and all aspects of an organised society should work in unison to create holistic harmony, else incongruous step by one or a de-synchronised tune by another can disturb the total harmony or break the rhythm of the total system. Let us have a quick tour of our society and survey briefly what its various organisations, systems or institutions should do in order to maintain at least a minimum level of harmony.
1. Jurisprudence or law & Justice
There is no gainsaying the fact that if there is no social, economic, political, distributive or legal justice, people will be a dissatisfied lot and they would either take law in their own hands and create situations of grave lawlessness and disorder or the state would march towards a state of anarchy and become very weak. If there is discrimination between citizens on the basis of caste, cult, community, race, ethnicity, religion, language, region, culture, etc., there cannot be a state of harmony because, by their very nature, these factors will give rise to hatred, enmity, violence, etc. Harmony requires love, co-operation and friendliness in relations and lack of justice strides at the root of these so, while other kinds of justices are the major concern of the economic, political and such other institutions, at last the law and justice Department, the judiciary and all jurists, in general, are responsible for juridic or legal justice.
But if justice is delayed and the legal system caters to the needs of those who can comfortably afford its rising costs, or if the path of justice is so labyrinthine that one gets lost, then ‘justice’ is not the appropriate term for this process. If the process of justice empties one’s pockets, robs a person of his self-respect, creates more bitterness in the litigants and required visits to the court-room lasting over months and years, necessitating the bread-earner’s frequent absence from his job or urgent family duties, then such a justice is a ‘moth-eaten’ thing; it is not fit for consumption, for it causes illness to one’s heart and sickness to one’ mind and makes the justice seeker either a ‘passive criminal’ or causes him to frown at the very utterance of the word justice If the judges are under pressure from those in whose hands their promotions or future prospects lie, or of those who threaten their life with dire consequences, or of those who want to purchase them or be obliged by them, how can then justice maintain it!
If therefore, the jurists facilitate the process of justice and deliver it expeditiously and without any prejudices, partiality, malafide intentions, or by bending the law in favour of some parties, then they will be making a worthwhile and valuable contribution to restoring people’s faith in justice and will thereby, be restoring a feeling of satisfaction in the public mind, thus facilitating the forces of harmony.
This is easily possible if, in the very first instance, those to whom society has entrusted with this great service, consider justice as a divine and sacred thing and if they sit on judgment of others after judging whether their own mind, at that time is free from all kinds of pollutions and disturbances, and if they are also aware that there is a court higher than the highest anywhere on earth which finally administers pure and distilled justice and it is to this final Arbiter of Justice that the Justices-on earth also would be finally responsible for retribution or reward, strictures or encomiums. The Lords on earth have a Lord-on High to whom they should look for divine guidance or enlightenment while taking into account the language, construction syntax and semantics of the clauses of law.
Indeed by doing “fair and timely justice”, the jurists-all officers assisting the process of the court included-will be making their contribution to reducing the conflicts in the society. If the justice is not only done but appears to have been done, then the citizens will have the satisfaction of having at least someone whom they can approach for justice.
2. Administrative system
A civilised society is an organised society. It has many organisations, institutions and constituted bodies that work for fulfilling various needs of the society It has educational, developmental, cultural, economic, social service and other type of institutions that promote the well-being of society and make scope for many meaningful activities. All these are run or led by administrators, managers, organisers, directors or executives. These persons co-ordinate the functions of various sections, departments or workers and facilitate their march, as a team, to their goal. Their work requires not only thorough knowledge of the work of the institution, organisation, department or office and its set targets but they have also to be conversant with the nature of the personnel involved in that work and have to use their managerial skill and their organisational abilities to achieve the goal with excellence and on time and within the contemplated or budgeted costs in spite of various difficulties.
In this work, knowledge of human nature is essential but, perhaps, the most important thing is control over one’s own nature. How can one have a long-time co-operation of the staff and the workers if one’s own mind and intellect, or emotions and will, or head, heart and hands, do not co-operate with each other? one cannot expect to have control over others if one cannot have control over one’s own sense organs, thoughts and emotions. If one is of a volatile nature, whose hatred and anger easily flare up or who makes ugly gestures or postures when disturbed or agitated, one cannot occupy this seat of responsibility for long, for one’s relationships with others do not rest on an even keel. The tempestuous nature, the frequent outbursts, the use of provocative words and threats and the undignified mannerism makes one an abhorred boss. If one does not do justice and does not tolerate even very small lapses on the part of workers who are from a different cultural and family strata, how can one administer?
But, to have control over one’s thoughts, sense-organs and emotions and to do things with ease and without feeling tense, and without creating tense situations, one himself requires a special kind of consciousness-training that smoothens the ruffles of his mind and gives him easy self-control. It is this training and practice, which creates harmony at work place. This is possible only through proper alignment of one’s own identity with the identity of others and by working as a trustee and by leading a life of self-respect and behaving with others with a sense of human dignity. This is what comes from spirituality, from observance of values and from practice of meditation. It is these, which give an administrator a harmonious personality so that he can do his hob successfully without having heart attack and peptic ulcers.
3. Political Harmony
Today, we find honourable members of one same political party engaged in a political tug-of-war. We also see different parties, vying with each other, in an effort to unseat the one, which is controlling the levers of power. We find that Disharmony in political parties is one major factor, which is creating disharmony in the society. The media make all their inter-party political fights public and present the leaders in their true colours. So, the leaders now do not inspire people for national unity; communal harmony, social justice or for making sacrifices for a national cause. ‘When the people see the political leaders favouring, somehow or the other, their own kith and kin, they get disenchanted and they have no longer any rallying point. They have no one who should lead them to the fulfillment of national aspirations. on the other hand, they see leaders busy with regional fights and inter-party or intraparty squabbles.
So, the first requisite in the present situation is the emergence of such leaders who can rise above narrow interests and have proven integrity and a strong sense of justice besides having strong roots in amity and reconciliation. If anyone does not himself have an integrated or harmonious personality; how can he bring about national integration or harmony in the society?
What is, therefore, necessary is that politics he based on values and the leaders must scrupulously observe those values and maintain harmony in their own mind. This, as we have said earlier, cannot happen unless they have given up lust for power or money and have the spirit of service and consider themselves as humble instruments for serving the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low in the best manner they can. These qualities come when a person deeply cultivates spirituality and thinks that one is responsible to the supreme power.
4. Business and Industry
Business and Industry provide essential goods and also articles of daily use and comforts for life. They are thus a very important activity that bring prosperity, provide employment and supply commodities. They also contribute to the welfare institutions and run many charitable organisations. In fact, there is no article, which we use but which has not passed through the hands of a businessman at one point or another. Thus, Business is a major activity of the society from which the government, the institutions, the public and the individuals gain or meet their requirements. It is as necessary as blood circulation in a living human body.
But what happens if the blood gets poisoned? The person gets diseased and he suffers in various ways. The same thing happens with the society if Business and Industry indulge either in exploitations of the workers or the consumers or they rob the government of its dues or they embark on dishonesty. The whole economy gets vitiated and the society becomes corrupt if Business and Industry lose their integrity. All suffer because of the foul methods adopted by some among the whole community. The government officials, the bureaucrats, the public service institutions, even many religious institutions fall a prey to the corruptive influence of those who have no principle, no sanctity of means and no moral norms. Loss of integrity leads ultimately to disintegration of the whole nation. If balance sheets are manipulated, the whole society loses its balance. If harmony between the workers and the proprietors or managers and the labour is disturbed, it leads to disharmony in the whole society.
So, Business and Industry can contribute to the harmony of the society if they treat the producers or the labour with human dignity and justice and treat consumers with all fairness and integrity and, while they make profits, they give up greed and keep in mind that social good is also one of their concerns.
Also, they should employ such methods of production so that these do not lead to environmental pollution and do not disturb man’s harmony with nature.
5. Media and means of mass-communication
The print media, the electronic media and films have the potential to change the world. They are no longer any means of reporting the events or reflecting the present state of society; they are now setting the national agenda. They are leading the leaders and creating news, institutions and values. They may put lime-light on some persons and totally neglect or relegate others into the background. They propagate new life styles, generate new norms and may demolish and destroy the reputation of some institutions and individuals.
Thus, with this great potential, they can make or mar the future of the society by right or wrong comments on, and interpretations of, events and focus on or neglect certain values and institutions. If they indulge in skull-drudgery, character-assassination, vilification-campaigns, biased news and distorted versions, they can darken the future and if, on the other hand, they are fair in their comments, truthful in reporting, balanced and discreet in interpretations and feature-writing and do justice and observe dignity and restraint, then they are promoting well-being of the society If the media display, day in and day out, that the society is on fire and that there is social or communal upheaval and anarchy, then all will get panicky and throw up their hands and if, on the other hand, they maintain the grace and are fair in criticism and commendation, and give a proper lead towards the national goals, then the society will march from success to greater success.
It would, therefore, be in the fitness of things if the media use their zeal for upholding values, for pre-mediating, pre-empting and preventing unsocial acts, helping to reduce crime and communal frenzy and creating greater awareness for keeping the physical, social, political and economic environment clean. This will be their great contribution for the cause of social, political, communal and environmental harmony.
6. Science and Technology
Whereas Science and Technology have given innumerable benefits to the society in the form of development and in terms of consumer goods and better understanding of phenomena of Matter, Nature and Cosmos, it has also had some negative influences on the environment and on urban development and expansion. Not only has it promoted consumerism and commercialism and strengthened the attitude of materialism but also it has made life too fast and little more dependent on machines and has given to some people a kind of addiction of doing more and morethings mechanically rather than manually. It has, no doubt, given scientific temper and improved sanitation, but technology has also led to pollution of air, water, land and the environment in many ways either through the increasing use of radioactive materials, high consumption of petroleum products and energy or by dumping industrial wastes without taking necessary or utmost precautions.
One noticeable impact of Science and Technology has been that, because of man’s increasing association with the machine-culture, man himself has become more like a machine, devoid of the noble feelings of love, sympathy, kindness, compassion and kinship. His relationship with fellow beings has become almost mechanical.
Also, even though Science has definitely developed man’s rational and analytical aspects it has, at the same time, dealt a severe blow to faith and trust. By laying over-emphasis on ‘Doubt’, it has given rise to perpetual tendency to doubt even when there are factors, which should lead to genuine faith. This has caused a set-back to the sacred and sentimental aspect of human relationship and has disturbed the apple- cart of kinship and friendly ties which prompt the natural flow of kindness and voluntary and willing co-operation. In the net result, the use of scientific know-how without referring to social and human values, over-dependence on machines, the consumerist attitude, over-stress on the value of doubt, and the lack of love and care for the preservation of environment have led to disequilibrium and disharmony. ‘What is, therefore, required, under the circumstances, is orientation of Science with Spirituality, or giving to science a value-system so that it can have a clear-out social direction. This will develop evermore the qualities of humility and the spirit of service and will activate, in scientists, the springs of spiritual love and compassion and these would create an atmosphere of harmony among human beings and their harmony with Nature.
7. Health Science and Health Services
When there is pollution in the environment and disharmony with Nature and man leads his life with the attitude of a consumerist and in a rush-rush manner, he is likely to fall a prey to new kinds of diseases. Particularly, when man is constantly under situations of stress and is often tense due to lack of love and co-operation in the family and the society, he is liable to have a variety of psychosomatic diseases. Also, when the articles of food have chemical preservatives and are not fresh and in a natural stage, there is fear of attack by other kinds of diseases. Added to all this, if one’s life-style has deviated enormously from what is natural, the possibility or having diseases increases, and, people who are sick physically or mentally do not have psycho-physical harmony.
But. In such a situation, if they are given only medicine and hospitalisation without, at some stage, and in some way, being made aware of the principles of health and hygiene and the way to build positive attitudes and lead a happy and contented life, and do their work or duties in a comparatively relaxed manner, how can they have their physical and mental system restored to harmony? Further, if a man is not happy with himself, how can he, as a dissatisfied and tense person, maintain harmony in the society?
It is, therefore, necessary that people are given such knowledge as should enable them to have love and harmony in relationships, build positive attitudes and outlook and have a sattwic life-style rather than depend only on Anti-biotics, sleeping pills, pain-killers and the like.
8. Educational system
In order to create a healthy and happy society, in which there is social, political, and economic justice and harmony, Education must enlighten the educands on the need to inculcate human values and divine qualities in their life. Presently, this element in education is neglected. The result is that even many highly educated people do not know how to live a peaceful life and how to face their problems without much mental tension. It is found that the present system of education does not cultivate the qualities of tolerance, self-control, humility, service, co-operation, concern for the wellbeing of society, and responsibility for one’s own actions.
Also, students are not given a clear knowledge of the value of simplicity, honesty, justice, non-violence and fair play. The result is that even after spending so many years in a school and college or at the university, there is often lack of gentleness, nobility, sincerity and humanism, and an inspiring goal is missing in life. The society, therefore, may have a high percentage of literates or educated people and yet there may be commotion in legislative bodies, disobedience to orders of the highest court of the land, total disregard for law, criminal tendencies, and unsocial habits. one does not need lengthy explanation, to understand that it is the afore-said factors that create disharmony. Education would, therefore fulfil its noble objective if it imparts teaching in such values that create harmonious personality and helps to maintain harmony in the society and man’s harmony with Nature, with the environment and with the self.
About 50% of the society is constituted of women. So if they are exploited and are not given a proper place in society, how can there be harmony in the society? Not only are women considered as second- rate citizens in many communities and families but are insulted and treated as bonded labour or slaves. They are looked upon as another kind of consumer goods and are treated as mere machines for child- production and for providing all comforts and necessities to man who, in some communities or castes, is expected to be considered as a deity or even as God to his spouse. In fact, from the time of seeing the light of the day, a daughter is considered inferior to a male child and is treated even as a monetary burden in the future.
There is need of this awareness in women that there are ‘tender qualities’, namely the kindness. Motherly love, self-sacrificing nature for the sake of family-members, which are the need of the hour. Unitedly, women, by virtue of these tender qualities can efface violence and cruelty from the world if they decide to stop man from indulging in bloodshed and wars. Also, they can stop bribery and, corruption if each woman refuses to permit any such earnings of her spouse entry into the house and use for their sustenance.
Woman, being the first teacher of man, can impart the first lesson to the child to live a life of mutual love, co-operation, kindness, justice and harmony. If these qualities are imparted to a child at that stage, there is hardly any reason why a grown-up person should indulge in acts of hatred, violence and injustice.
It is a pity that, sometimes, women themselves break harmony in the family. Sometimes, the mother-in-law herself makes demand on her daughter-in-law to bring more things from her parents or the daughter-in-law pays little respect to the mother-in-law. If these small number of women at home present a better picture of love, justice and kindness, then women, as a united force, could exert their moral influence on men to be more tolerant, loving, just and these are the qualities that are required for harmony.
10. Social Service
Social Service is the need of the time because a large number of people are suffering from diseases, poverty; unemployment, illiteracy, injustice and cruelty of the more privileged classes. Considered in this light, opening and running of Hospitals, schools, orphanages, relief homes, homes for the aged and the handicapped, and providing consultation and help to those who are not cared for and are in distress, is, no doubt, Social Service. It is indeed noble work, done on humanitarian grounds.
But, considered within the framework of a long-term perspective and in a detached and more analytical manner, one comes to the conclusion that most of our miseries or sufferings are the result of violation of some laws, infringement of some values or some negative actions on our part in this or in our previous life. So, while ad-hoc measures of social help are essential for immediate and short-term relief, it cannot be denied that, for our final redemption from all kinds of sufferings, we have to stand on our own feet and have also to correct our outlook and attitudes, be more positive in our thoughts and acts and to cultivate moral and human qualities. We have to work for the eradication of the causes that have led to our present predicament and have to root out those causes so as to cut asunder or bondages.
If this view is agreed upon, one would not shirk from yet another higher step in social service, namely, of building self-confidence and attitude of self-reliance in those whom we serve and also making them more spiritualised so that they can rise higher and higher towards their goal which is not confined to their physical welfare or monetary help only.
So, while providing immediate help, we have also to look beyond that. In other words, spiritual social service should play a complementary and supplementary role in order to give the needy more contentment, more happiness, strong will and noble character. We may give them articles of food and also provide them monetary help but let us build up in them spirituality and let us give them prosperity in virtues and wealth of nobility and increase their inner richness as well.
The youth today, is under many pressures. on one side, in these fast changing times, there are many demands on him. He has to work hard for his studies and yet it is not certain whether he would get a gainful employment and have job-satisfaction. The family, the political parties, the teachers, the seniors or elders, all want him to meet their expectations. In this confusing situation, in which there are many factors exerting their pull on him, hardly does he find anyone who should inspire him self-lessly to a noble goal. He has his own ambitions but he wishes to dedicate to noble causes and lofty aims provided he finds a leadership that itself is head and heart involved in that goal and has character that can infuse zest into the life of others. This, however, is very much missing. Values are changing and he is not able to decide which system is better because he sees that those who talk of certain values do no themselves practise it!
The youth have a high spirit that can accept responsibilities, challenging tasks and even heavy burdens. They are willing to do or die for a cause provided they see that is worth dying for. But they see only selfishness around. only vested interests are at play. So, they throw up their hands and, in this state of despondence, depression, frustration of broken dreams, they may even take to drugs or bad ways of life.
What is therefore, required, under these circumstances, is such distilled spirituality that can intoxicate them more than the drugs and can create in them enthusiasm for creativity, with a deep sense of humility. There is need, at this hour of sincere, dedicated, deeply spiritualised persons whose own life is a model, unto others, of sincerity, service, compassion, dedication and simplicity. This would serve as a key to open, in them the locked potential for social good and holistic harmony.
Some have said that Art is for art sake. Others have emphasised that art is for life; if it does not give enjoyment, entertainment and inspiration to life, it is not Art. Still others have said that Art is for society; it should work for social good. If it does not reflect the feelings and true state of the society and does not inspire people to liberate themselves from political, economic or social slavery or from injustice and inhumanity, it does not serve its purpose.
But, one thing is clear. If Art deviates or gets divorced from the Art of happy and meaningful life, what use is that art? If it does not take one’s imagination to its aspired high goal, if its aesthetic elements are not in alignment with its ultimate good, if it does not establish a rapport of human mind with the Higher Mind and, while portraying Nature and its exquisite beauty, if it does not lead man to spiritual ecstasy and inner refinement, then such an Art does not yet touch its aspired heights.
Art may soar high without being tied by any ropes but it would not be faithful to its true character if, in the process, instead of uplifting the human spirit, it becomes demeaning and breaks the lofty norms of refinement of human character. It seems that the creative effort of a sublime artist culminates in the high flights of the spirit to the realms of spiritual bliss and ennoblement of character. If there is no union between Art and spirituality, then the former may become vulgar, obscene, depraving and degrading and such a creation comes from a mind that is highly disturbed. It may have harmony of colours or musical notes but it cannot create harmony in the society.
Decidedly, therefore, Art has role to play. It has to develop one’s aesthetic sense, feed its tender tastes, entertain him with beauty and yet not to go astray and away from its important purpose of establishing harmony in the family, the society and, first of all, in the human mind.
In the light of the above, it would be natural to conclude that if Art, Science, Education, Social Service and various groups and institutions strike blows to values and disturb inner, interpersonal, national, communal or environmental harmony, they do disservice to man. Their efforts, however rewarding they may appear at present, are in reality, far behind the ultimate goal of human happiness. We have seen that, for establishing harmony, it is indeed necessary to observe moral and human values and to cultivate divine qualities in life and these require spiritual culture for their growth. It is, therefore, essential to have spiritual education and to practise meditation and tapasya in order that there may be inner harmony between our mind and intellect or mind and emotions. We must, therefore, first, know our real identity and our basic relationship with fellow beings so that we can have spiritual love and can have concern for the well-being of others. We must also realise that we have a responsibility for our actions and that the quality of our actions can be raised by tapasya. These are some steps, which can help us to restore holistic harmony.
One thing, which has clearly emerged on the world-scene, after all the variety of human experience, is that, at some places, it may be the political or economic factor and, at others, it may be the ethnic, racial, social, cultural or communal factor that leads or contributes to disharmony, but disturbance in one field disturbs the whole society The society, as it is constituted, today, is so clearly knit that a disturbance caused by one factor in one sector, sets waves of disturbance in other sectors of the society also.
It is, therefore, essential that all types of institutions and all aspects of an organised society should work in unison to create holistic harmony, else incongruous step by one or a de-synchronised tune by another can disturb the total harmony or break the rhythm of the total system.
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Chapter # 1
Universal Peace and Harmony
Much of the turmoil and suffering in our world is, and has been, due to one or the other kind of disharmony. Some feel tormented because of disharmony between their emotions and intellect, desires and judgment beliefs and behaviour, or views and values. Because of this inner disharmony, they suffer from sleepless nights, restless moods or constant stress and fatigue and the consequent psychic disorders or psycho-somatic diseases. Others suffer mental agony because of disharmony in the relationships of family members-father and son, husband and wife, bride and in laws, brothers and sisters or cousins and kins. Even one single member, because of some ill-will, negative motives, bad habits or unfair dealings may create havoc in the whole family and may, ultimately, bring a split. This disharmony in the family also may cause peptic ulcers, high blood-pressure and even cancer to some member where as others may feel that life is a burden; it is not worth living. Disharmony among neighbours or between tenants and their landlord may make one’s life difficult and joyless and give a person constant headache. Disharmony in the relations between students and teachers may spoil the educational atmosphere and may lead to indiscipline and unruly behaviour on the part of the students. Similarly, lack of harmony in an Administration may lead to lack of co-ordination, nonco-operation delay, inefficiency and many other maladies. Disharmony at workplace may kill the team-spirit and may cause emotional turmoil and make job a mill-stone round one’s neck and lead to outbursts.
Disharmony may manifest in the form of communal discord and strife and maylead to riots, arson and destruction. It may leave seething scars or simmering sores on the mind of the members of the two communities. It may keep the law & order situation in many towns and cities severely tense and may put the whole legislative, governmental administrative and judicial machinery under great strain and may give a strong feeling of insecurity to the citizens. It may even lead to disintegration and endless hostilities.
Disharmony at the international level may also find expression in the form of suspicion and fear or anger and vengeance between two countries or two power-blocks and may lead to manufacture and stockpiling of deadly weapons of mass-scale destruction or to cold or hot war. The use of these weapons may bring doom to the whole world. And, until then, it may cost trillions of dollars every year and may keep millions of able-bodied youth and thousands of top- class scientists busy with preparations for weapons and wars.
In the field of politics, it may cause in-fights and split in a political party or constant confrontation, battle-like situation or bitterness and hostility among various parties and may thus result in political instability; absence of a stable government and a state of deterioration in law and order. It may make a nation weak, torn by internal strife, and may make it vulnerable to external aggression or internal criminal elements.
Disharmony may also raise its ugly head in the form of racial feuds, gender-discrimination, caste-conflict or class-conflagration and may thus generate a state of constant social upheavals. Social disharmony may rip apart various constituents in a society and cause a situation of constant conflict.
In a nation’s economy, disharmony in growth and living-standards of various States, communities or tribes may cause great disparities between various sections and may result in vast cleavages, imbalances, disequilibrium, commotion, grave injustice and its consequences, In the field of business or industrial management, it may result in loss of many working days and in closure of a factory; Disharmony between the rich and the poor or the ‘haves” and ‘have-nots’ or the bourgeois and the working class may lead to serious repercussions of various kinds, including loss of human rights and basic freedom.
When man leads a life in disharmony with Nature and with other forms of life, then the result is ecological imbalance and environmental
Pollution. Disharmony with Nature and with living beings of different kinds may lead to a great catastrophe of unknown dimensions. Man ruins or ravages the environment, the environment rebounds on him with full furry so as to return to its state of harmony and, in this process, there is a devastation, deluge and destruction on a global scale.
Unbearable strain on society because of disharmony
We have given above examples of only some few forms of disharmony and that too in a very simplistic manner. The simple words, used above, in explaining them may, perhaps, make disharmony appear less dangerous, less harmful and less problematic than it actually is. But the fact remains that trillions of dollars are lost in the world everyday over preparations for war or for controlling various kinds of confrontations or crimes or for meeting the demands of litigation, law- enforcement or treatment of psychic disorders or psycho-physical diseases, caused by disharmony of one or the other kind. In many homes, the situation is that of a trauma and in many parts of the world, it is that of a holocaust due to ethnic, racial, regional, linguistic, territorial, communal, political, social or economic disharmony and all this is costing mankind very dearly in terms of life and property or health, wealth and happiness.
Harmony is the Prime Value
In the present situation, the world is faced with many problems and each one of these is considered to emanate from the loss of some moral, human, social or spiritual value. So, from that point of view all values are important. But from what has been said above, it should be amply clear that harmony, as a value, stands distinct from all the rest at this juncture of history, for due to its absence, even the whole human civilization may be lost either due to a nuclear catastrophe or through world-wide environmental calamities or through recall, ethnic regional linguistic or other kinds or strife and these, as has been explained earlier, are due to disharmony in inter-national and inter- communal relations or in man’s relation with Nature and ecosphere. So, harmony becomes the first priority because the very existence of human kind is threatened by forces of disharmony. The present situation may be compared to the critical condition of a patient who is suffering from various diseases. The patient has been admitted for a surgery but he has high blood pressure and blood sugar and certain other ailments, some of which need more urgent attention as compared to surgery because those other ailments threaten the very survival of the patient. Similarly, even if harmony is not the most fundamental or most important value, it is presently to be given a high priority because, without it, the human- kind is in danger of being lost.
It should further be seen that though Harmony seems to be one single value, yet, in truth, it is the group name or corporate name given to a set of values, For, ‘Harmony’ has love, unity, concord, amicability, sociability, friendliness, spirit of co-existence and reconciliation, proper communication, openness of mind self-control, non-violence, sweetness, tolerance, consensus, etc. as its essential components. Without these values, there cannot be an enduring and holistic harmony.
Harmony does not imply absence of diversity
The word ‘harmony’ implies concordance, agreeability and a pleasing blend of diverse colours, diverse musical notes or diverse designs; it does not imply negation of diversity. All the colours of a rainbow are different and yet their pattern is harmonious. In an orchestra, different musical instruments are used and yet a happy blend of the tunes and tones of all creates a concordant tune and has the harmonious effect of music. Similarly, there may be flowers of different kinds and colours in a garden and yet their arrangement in the garden may create a harmonious and beautiful design. Similarly, people may live in different parts of the globe, have different colours of their skin and different facial features, yet they can live with a spirit of amity and in a state of harmony. There may be certain kinds of diversity, which create discord but all kinds of diversity are not inimical to harmony. So, harmony in human relations in the present-day world is possible to a great extent if the basic components of harmony, namely, love, goodwill, proper communication spirit of co-existence, tolerance, sweetness, etc., are there.
The causes of disharmony
Above, we have said that the essential components of harmony are goodwill, love, unit friendliness, spirit of co-operation, tolerance, non-violence, etc. Naturally, it implies that the negative forces that cause disharmony, discord or conflict are hatred, anger, enmity, intolerance, greed, selfishness etc. But the question is what gives rise to these negative tendencies or harmful attitudes?
A close look at the problems, facing us to-day, would show that their different names give us the wrong impression that they are of different nature or have different names give us the wrong impression that they are of different nature or have a different origin or they are the result of a different kind of disharmony. The truth, however, is that they are like branches of one and the same tree and therefore, their roots are the same.
The root cause of all kinds of disharmony, or of negative forces that give rise to various kinds of disharmony, is that man, is ignorant of his real identify and his basic relationship with others. Presently, he identifies himself with his race, region, language, etc. It means that he considers himself a body, for these former are the epithets that are based on various particulars of the body. The truth, however, is that the self is not a body; the self is an ‘embodied’ being; the self is a soul in a body. As is the difference between a house and its occupant, or a chariot and its charioteer, even so is the difference between the body and the soul. There is another, more fundamental difference between the two. The body, in its very nature, is material or physical. So, the laws of physics and chemistry apply to it. It is an organic whole and functions as a physiological organism. Therefore, the laws of physiology and biology apply to it. But the self, which uses this organism is of the nature of ‘consciousness’ to which laws of chemistry; physics or biology do not apply. No doubt, the self manifests through this organism and its existence is inferred or known mainly, though indirectly, through this organism but as an entity, it is altogether of a different class, gender and nature. It is not material or physical or even terrestrial; it is metaphysical, super mundane and transcendental. So laws of natural or biological sciences do not apply to ‘thought’, which is one of the manifestations of Consciousness. In this essential nature, namely, consciousness, awareness, or as moral beings, our identity is known as ‘souls’, ‘the beings of light’‘the eternal and immortal selves’, the divine or spiritual entities which are subtler than the subtlest form of matter or energy and are conscient.’ If man knew this real identity of his, as distinguished from the identity of his body, then the distinctions of race, region, caste, country, etc., would become only superficial, for the body is the carnal form where as the self is a soul that incarnates. The differences based on body are as differences between outer dresses of persons and the persons themselves or between houses and the citizens or between cars and their owners.
How to re-establish Harmony?
So, if man did not suffer from this basic ignorance or amnesia as to his real identity; then all things would appear in their true light. The delusion, confusion or illusion about the self is the start of all our troubles. This spiritual illiteracy has deprived us of harmony and of many rewards and joys of life, If we knew or if we did not forget that we are souls and, as such, we are divine children of the Immortal and are conscient stars of light, then our attitudes, outlook, tendencies, behavioural patterns and lifestyles would be different. Then our relationships would be of love, for we, as souls are spiritual brothers; we are denizens of the same world-of-light namely the Soul World. Then we will transcend the mundane differences of racial colours and contours, etc., for we, in our real nature, are light and might; we are neither flesh nor bodies, neither skins nor skeletons. Our, this divine awareness would transform us into gods who give rather than demons who grab; we would live as lights or angels rather than as shadows or devils. Harmony would be the natural result of our this kind of life and life-style because, as brother angels love, kindness, goodness and co-operation would then become our natural traits. It is only when we consider ourselves as shadows that the negative tendencies of hatred, anger and their dark habits become manifest.
Secondly we have to recognise and to understand that whatever exists in this world, has a purpose and whatever happens has a cause. We, out of our stark ignorance, begin to hate certain things and certain events for we d0 not realise that there is the basic law of Karma operative in this world and, according to this, we reap as we sow; We have more to blame ourselves for our karmas rather than blame others, It is the bondage of our negative Karmas that has brought some negative reactions from our neighbours’ adversaries or relatives in response to our acts. Or, if then cause us insult or injury not as a reaction to our karma but because of their own spoiled nature, then the law of Karma will take its own course and we must, therefore, observe patience and not behave in the manner in which we do not wish others to behave with us. on the other hand, we must bear in mind that it is love, which eliminates hate; it is kindness that kills cruelty it is compassion which down one’s passion, it is cooperation that brings help and draws out love and when we bow, then only we bend others. These are the factors that create harmony.
Thirdly, we must clearly understand and firmly believe that when we change then only things around us begin to change. As long as we remain slaves to our circumstances and wait for others to change, that long we remain to be slaves and waiters-on-others only. When we become independent of others in our efforts and in our process of change, then only we have real independence; then we see that change starts taking place in others as well. If I do not move my hand, how can I move my table? If I do not press the button, how can I effect even remote control? So, the button of change is in my hands. Let me first have my mental harmony and this internal harmony will start the process of external harmony. If I myself am not in order, what authority or credentials I have to call others to order? only a moving thing can move others. So, first of all, let me move to move others. First, I should fill my mind with love for all and have goodwill towards all, then these thought-waves will resonate in others. Like tuning forks, the minds of others also will become in tune with goodwill in my mind. Let us understand that all things in this world are interconnected in more than one way and there is some kind of a resonance there in all things of the cosmos.
Inter-connectedness of all things
If we have a close look at the cosmic order, we find that there is some inter-relatedness between various systems and also between various phenomena. If any change takes place in one system, the other systems also cannot remain totally unaffected; there are at least some minimal corresponding changes in other systems as well even as one cogwheel moves another into which its cogs are fitted. Nothing in this cosmic order exists absolutely isolated from all the rest so that it could remain totally un-influenced by changes in others. on the other hand, it seems that the very existence and function of one entity or phenomenon has linkages with others so much so that, in order to understand one, we have to understand at least something about the others. Scientific probes or explorations, by various disciplines, lead us to the conclusion that even a slight disturbance at one place, and in one system, causes at least some spin off in other systems not withstanding the astronomical distances between the two.
So, one basic truth about the cosmic order is that there is some kind of a bind some kind of a symbiotic arrangement, some sort of synchronization, some essential inter-connectedness between any two systems. This connectedness is not merely at work in the phenomena of Nature or in the inter-planetary or cosmic order but there is also an intimate connection between the astronomical, ecological, environmental, social, economic, political, religious, emotional, cultural and aesthetic aspects of life of a community or a nation. one of these may be termed ecological, the other biological, the third geographical, the fourth meteorological, the fifth racial and the sixth cultural aspects of human existence but all are interwoven into a network. Various systems in cosmos are like various instruments of an orchestra, each making a note that is, or was, in harmony with the notes of other instruments. If one of these is in discord, then it creates disharmony in the total. So, universal harmony, in this context, means harmony between all systems.
Further, we observe that there relatedness between various existences and between various phenomena can be of different kinds. This relation may be in the form of dependence of one on another, or of emergence of one from the other or of one supporting the other or one keeping in check the other or one suppressing or even devouring the other. They may strengthen each other, delimit each other, neutralise each other, balance each other or live or stay together for each other’s benefit. But, whatever be the form and nature of their relationship, their existence has a meaning; it is for a purpose or it is indicative of the disease or dying state of a system. This gives us another basic truth that anything-even a straw-or any event, however small, has a meaning and a place in the scheme of things or in this drama of life. Anything and everything. as it is and where it is - has a place and a role in the world drama. What have now come to be known as ‘bio-diversity’ and ‘ecological balance’ are indicative of only part of the truth. There is harmony in many other spheres and that too has not be disturbed. There are living beings which have a role in this World Drama and we have not to indulge in a killing spree because we, out of our ignorance think that they have no justification to live. on the other hand, we should have goodwill towards all, Our own goodness and harmony will begin to tune in all the satellites and sphere and all beings in this world through the mysterious phenomenon of inter-connectedness-call it ‘resonance’ if you will- and all things will, one day, begin to reverberate with love, unity; kindness, co-operation, concord and amity.
This interconnectedness is in more ways than one. For example not only does the sun give light and heat but it also cleans the atmosphere and is responsible for rains, for change of weather and for photo-synthesis and so on. Similarly, not only do plants and flowers supply food and medicine and colour, beauty and fragrance but, through photosynthesis, they absorb carbon-di-oxide and give oxygen which is very essential for life.
On the other hand, the oxides of carbon and sulphur that emanate from fossil fuels or form diesel and petrol for engines may lead to acid rains or greenhouse effect.
As is now known, the sun and the plants are made up basically of material energy; These various forms and patterns of material energy act and react in response to one another and all this happens in a complex and, ultimately, a mysterious way inspire of enormous distances between two objects. There is some kind of a telekinesis. We had also given the example of the effect of hydro-fluro-carbons on the ozone layer, which is ‘at a great distance. Now, as these material forms of energy influence things and the atmosphere even so does the ‘thought energy’ influence things and the atmosphere.
Of all human actions, ‘thought’ is the basis. And in Meditation it is the packet of thought-energy, which, like laser rays, are released to purify and pacify the atmosphere and to restore law & order and universal harmony. This also happens in a mysterious way. This power is known as the yoga power or the power of mental purity and inner harmony. It is the power of positive thoughts, which is energy of a different kind but which sets new patterns as a magnetic force does with the iron files. It develops into a field of spiritual energy; the outreach and influence of this field is tremendous.
So, let us realise the significance of our actions and thoughts. As entities, we are smaller than even the smallest; we are infinitesimal. ‘We are just tiny tots or small specks in the vast or infinite space. Yet the space of our mind can embrace the whole outer infinite space. True to the scientific concept which says that ‘when you move your little finger, you move the stars’, we can change the world by changing ourselves who are little dots. This adage has two meanings. The first of these is that ever since we lost our inner harmony, we began to lose harmony among the celestial spheres and the terrestrial beings. As the harmony of our emotions with our mind and our intellect deteriorated, the harmony in Nature, in the environment and among the living species also began to degenerate in quality and quantity.
The second implication of this is that if we now change, the whole cosmos will change because of this interconnectedness. We may not yet know how this cosmic change will take place. Yet we can say that this will take place, because all systems have linkages and a change in one, in turn, produces a change in others.
The original stage was of harmony
It should not be difficult to understand that the original stage of the cosmos and the society was of health and harmony. The number of human beings was small and neither were millions of diesel or petrol vehicles nor factories, billowing out tons of smoke, nor were there waste affluents from the industries that flowed into rivers and changed them into gutters or sewers. Neither were any hydro-fluro-carbons used nor was any deforestation and fossil fuel used on such a gigantic scale as now. So, there could be any acid rains or greenhouse effect. Man mainly used the clean solar energy. He lived close to Nature. He was not over-consumptive and greedy. He was not blinded by selfishness; so he did not commit any acts of devastation of the nature. But, as time passed and the population increased and man’s greed and gluttony grew, exploitation of the natural resources started in such a way that there was ‘grave damage’ caused to the environment.
Also, as the humankind spread over different countries and continents, different races, languages, cultures and creeds came into existence and there began disputes and conflicts, based on these factors or on the country of a person’s origin. Distances and distensions led to conflicts, misunderstandings and clashes. All these factors of disharmony are only later phenomena. Population increased because growth-rate went up due to sex-lust. Violence and wars came up because hatred, anger and thoughts of confrontation and vengeance increased. And, all these arose because man became more and more body-conscious and he identified himself with his body. He mistreated others and made many slaves and created an atmosphere of distrust and fear.
It should thus be realised that it is the loss of knowledge of real identity that has led to the present crisis. Even since man identified himself with his body, he became materialist and consumerist. A conflict started between his material desires-cum-pursuits and his moral conscience. Sometimes, he felt more drawn towards Mammon and things made of matter-material comforts, and sensual pleasures while at other times, he felt a strong pull towards God and goodness. He opted for God at one moment and gold at another. He aspired to be a yogi on some occasions and a bhogi (carnal-minded person) rest of the time. Thus his mind was torn into two halves-one half for God and the other half for Mammon. Later, he surrendered himself to Mammon who sometimes permitted him to pray to God for things, which are of this world. There was thus a paradigm-shift. His set of values changed. His vision of reality and the goals that inspired him changed as well. The place of peace was captured by preparedness for war. Tolerance was pushed aside and the policy of tit-for-tat took its seat. Love and Tranquility were asked to surrender their credentials and resign their posts and hatred and Anger were asked to take charge of their portfolios. There was thus a coup-de-palace and the guards or captains of Harmony gradually retreated into oblivion,, giving place to the forces of disharmony. Greed and Gluttony, Sex and Violence, Jealousy and Jingoism took hold and Goodwill and Co-operation, Sweetness and Service receded into the background. As a result, we see Global Disharmony today where once ruled the Universal Harmony.
So, in order that Universal Harmony may return to its lawful throne after this long period of banishment or neglect, we have first to have a vision of the coming world order which will have perfect harmony of all kinds and we have to welcome or to reinstate and re-install the set of values that are the harbingers or founders of Universal harmony. For re-invigorating those auspicious values, we must first re-establish ourselves firmly in our real identity; which is that we are souls-the eternal points-of-light and might, and purity and peace. In order to be able to do this successfully, we must establish our love-link with God who is the Being-of-Light that never loses his inner harmony. When we establish a mental link with Him by practising constant awareness of Him as our Most Beloved Mother, Father and Infallible Guide and Sincerest and Dearest Friend, then our emotions become perfectly clean and balanced and perfect harmony between our Mind and Intellect gets established. This spiritual effort of establishing a conscious love-bond with Him or of having a mental rapport with Him or of installing a line of communication with Him by means of cognitive awareness is called Meditation. This special type of Meditation is known as Easy Raj Yoga that leads to Sahaj Samãdhi - the easy and natural stage of equilibrium and stability. The rhythm, the harmony, the tranquility thus attained are so powerful that they influence not only the practitioner but others also through Him. They set in motion the process of establishing worldwide harmony or ‘Universal Harmony’ at an increasing momentum.. Let us practise this Yoga Tapasyã, silent meditation, this deep Sãdhanã, this Sahaj Samãdhi and spiritual self-renewal. Let us be born-again through this effort, which changes all other work into effortless effort.
Divine Qualities that bring Harmony
Also, one should practise the internalisation of such divine qualities as love, humility, sweetness, compassion, service, etc., for these are conducive to harmony. Most important of all is positive thinking. Positive thoughts are the remote control devices that restore harmony. Let us understand the value of positive thoughts. If radio-waves can travel over great distances, positive thoughts also can and can establish harmony which is their basic quality. These values and Rajyoga Meditation alone can bring about Universal Harmony for Meditation produces such thoughts-waves.
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Chapter # 2
Spirituality and Moral Values in the Service of all sections of Society
Responsibility of Youth in establishing Harmony
It is said of very old or ancient times that there was harmony of man with Nature and harmony in the relation of living beings so much so that war was unknown and the lion and the goat sipped water side by side from the same lake. Some sceptics say it is merely a myth but many others say that it was a reality; which is recorded in ancient books and has been passed on to us by Tradition and folklore. Even if the sceptics were true and the saying represented not the reality but a dream, it is a beautiful dream and a cherished vision, which everyone would like to see realised. World-wide efforts, now being made to restore environmental harmony, to preserve wild life and the vanishing species, to have national and international reconciliation and to end the cold war and the hot wars for ever, indicate that this is the true ambition of the people of all climes and that it is considered possible to have such a state of universal harmony. only people at the borderline of lunacy or madness would like to create disharmony and disorder. The sane people, of course, would like love, peace and harmony.
But the question is: “How can that harmony of the Golden Age be re-established? Have we to turn the wheels of history backwards? Presently, we are living at the end of the twentieth century, which is a hi-tec Age and has its own peculiarities. How can we now have an age of harmony as we had in the olden times?
Self-change is required for the world-change
Let us remember that, as wars are born in the minds of men, so also disharmony is born in the minds of men and it is there that the firm foundations of harmony have to be laid again. We have to bring Golden Age to our minds, turning out from there the ideological trash and moral junk or rust of the Iron Age. Also, we have to remember that we have come from Golden Age to Iron Age through downward change and we have to think whither do we go from here? Undeniably, after Iron Age has to come no other Age but the Golden Age and, so, we have to work our way again to the Golden Age, i.e. the Age of Harmony, via change.
Change is a process, which no one can totally stop. Change is a fundamental law of Nature and it is inherent in the very nature of things. “The old order changeth”, they say, “giving place to new”. So, as golden day begins to dawn after the darkest hour of night, the Golden Age has to down after this darkest period when people who are now in deep slumber about the true nature of the self, the world and God, spiritually and morally awaken and open the Third Eye to see the light of truth.
New ideas will bring the New Age of Harmony
People generally call the present Age as the New Age. Every Age, as compared to the past, is New Age but, actually, the present is the old Age or the Iron Age at its climax, and we have now to co-operate to establish the Golden Age, which, in real terms, is New Age, for it is the First Age in the world cycle.
How can that new Age, the Age of Harmony, or the Golden Age, be established again? Can it become a reality through use of old ideas and old knowledge? No, certainly not! Our old ideas, old concepts of human identity and reality have brought us to our present predicament. We will have to have new ideas. For bringing about Golden Age, we require golden and revolutionary ideas, which are very different from what we know now. We have to change from the old to the new. We have to be reborn. Change in ideas will change the world. A world of harmony can be established by ideas that have seeds of harmony.
Golden chance especially for the Youth
Now though everyone has the chance to learn these new ideas and to change the attitudes and outlook and to usher in that new Age, the Youth, in particular, are better suited for it because that is the age when one has more open mindedness, learner’s attitude, zest for study, the stamina and energy to do experiments, and to have the courage of conviction. Those, in whose mind old ideas are deeply ingrained, or who have lost the enthusiasm and the energy, they either resist change or, if they accept the ideas and the change, they lack the courage to stand for the idea in the face of special storms, public outcry or their own mental lethargy And, this is what precisely denotes the importance of the role of the youth and places a great responsibility on their strong shoulders. The youth have to accept the challenge of effecting a change in the social, economic and political atmosphere through new and powerful ideas and higher moral and spiritual standards and practices. They have to work for self-transformation and, through it, for world- transformation and, have to carry this message across to others so that the transformation may become world wide in its expanse.
A world in which there is harmony here and disharmony there cannot be called a world of harmony nor can harmony be a lasting and unmolested feature of that world. Harmony cannot be piecemeal. So, world-change has to be brought about through new ideas, leaving no one unaffected by it. This enormous task, which required strong will, onward march, unfaltering steps and a deep involvement and firm commitment, can be done zealously by the youth. We have seen this in the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and have self-experience too. The old and the young, all are working for self-transformation but it is the youth, who have comparatively, in larger numbers, accepted the challenge and worked with crusader’s spirit to spread the message far and wide.
Speaking of Youth of the world in general, it could be said that, up to now they have totally or mainly depended on what the old people decided for them. It is the old people who have been formulating the plans, deciding the policies and setting the goals for the future of the youth and all others, and the youth have been merely implementing them or been making efforts to fulfil those goals. The youth were very little involved in the process of deciding their future. They had very little say in setting even the goals for themselves, for it was thought that the youth were yet immature and inexperienced and, therefore, could not decide for themselves so as to realise their own vision.
A new beginning has to be made
But now the situation is a changed one because the knowledge and the practices which are being revealed, are totally new, and it is new even for the old people as it is new for the young. So, new beginnings have to be made. What is old has, in fact, to be shed off because, otherwise, it will not allow totally new set up to take place. The old or the aged people also have to replace their old wares for these new ones, for a new World is to be built up with no sign left behind of the old and the rotten world which has the stink of castism, the slush of communalism, the muck of racism, the darkness of materialism, the dingy pits of atheism, the false pride of wavering wealth or empty scholasticism, the crookedness of mind, utter selfishness in behaviour, the hypocrisy in manners and the fits of violence in thoughts, speech or actions and many kinds of syndromes that signify moral turpitude and spiritual bankruptcy We have now to become our natural and real selves and forget all false learning, and rubbish acquisitions and boorish recollections.
Perhaps, the aged people would find it more difficult because, in the first instance, what they have learnt at great costs and pains to themselves will appear valuable to them even though, in reality it be merely a burden of trash on their minds, and so, they will love to retain it rather than throw away the whole lot of it. In these shackles of gold, they will see gold, artificial though it be, and not shackles, and, if they agree to free themselves from these chains, they will have to exert themselves a lot to break these off them and they may find that they lack the strength and the persistence. But there may be old men and women who have young minds and can do all this. So, it would be the responsibility of all but of the youth in particular to liberate the planet of its slavery to the negativities of many kinds. The youth have comparatively fresh mind and less mental fatigue and less conditioning.
Responsibility of the youth
In that vision of working .for universal harmony and freedom from negativities, the first responsibility of the youth would be to learn this totally new knowledge which will wash away all traces of disharmony and negativities, by giving them the firm basis for self-identity as souls. This re-discovered identity will establish a loveful relationship, among all souls, as of beloved brothers. They would have to learn new lessons, which liberate them from all forms of selfishness and distinctions of caste, class, religion, etc., and cultivate, in themselves, such values as should root out corruption, nepotism, drug-addiction, hatred, violence, etc. and, in their place, establish sense of human dignity, co-operation, etc.
Presently, it is thought that the youth indulge in acts of indiscipline, violence, destruction of property and disobedience to their parents and teachers and are taking to drugs. This common image of the youth, which belongs to the old world order, will have now to be totally erased by bringing up the new image of youth who are very energetic and yet self-controlled and disciplined, physically well-built and strong and yet constructive and peaceful and men and women of strong character who do not swerve from their path of righteousness due either to the allurements of money or to threats by those who are in power and who, instead, march steadfastly towards their noble goal of service in all humility.
The responsibility of youth now is to have the awareness that the nation has high hopes in them and they are not to belie those hopes. The elders and seniors with them to be paragons of moral and human values and to have full development of all the dimension of their personality and, so they will not betray their these well-well-wishers. They will work day and night to create love, amity and harmony. Never will they even dream of a communal riot, a regional violence or acts of arson and destruction. Instead, they will know and realize the self, cultivate great spiritual values and practice deep Meditation so that there is perfect harmony in their own mind, their family and in the whole society. The youth have far too long been used in warfare and as brute force or for demonstrations and strikes and such other acts of disharmony by various vested interests, but now they will not allow themselves to be used for acts of violence, rifts, and hatred. Instead, they will work for creating harmony and for friendship and for co-operation in constructive activities so as to usher in the Golden Age. only this will be considered by them as their responsibility.
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Chapter # 2
Spirituality and Moral Values in the Service of all sections of Society
The Role of Women in establishing Universal Harmony
We can clearly see that man’s ways of living have created disharmony not only in his relations with Nature or Environment but have caused social, political ethnic, racial and communal disharmony as well. There is, therefore, pollution not only in the environment now but another kind of pollution also has penetrated into all aspects or fields of life. The cases of arson and killings that occurred due to outbreak of communal discord in the recent past, and the turmoil between various racial, ethnic, communal, regional or cultural groups else where in the world, are clear reminders of the truth that the disharmony is spreading. Today, the human relations have deteriorated to such an extent that it has become extremely difficult to maintain law and order in many countries. It is, therefore, being felt that it is very essential to take some urgent steps to restore harmony, for otherwise, the very existence of society would be endangered.
One could discuss the question of harmony from many angles and in its many aspects, but it would be appropriate to discuss the question of harmony in human relations first, because, once the harmony in human relations is established, other problems can be solved by unity; love and mutual co-operation.
If we agree on this point, then we should take the question of harmony in our family first because family is the basic unit of society; Moreover, it is during childhood, in family life, that the foundations of a person’s future are laid. And undeniably, women have a very important role in that regard and at that formative age of their children.
A little contemplation would lead us to the understanding that there are mainly six positive qualities or moral and human values which are essential for restoring and sustaining harmony. It would be proper to discuss, first, those six values in the context of family-life.
1. Love, Affection and Goodwill
Life, without love, is a burden. As sugarcane, without juice, is merely sapless cane, so is life without love tasteless and without essence. It is, therefore, essential that one should learn, in one’s early childhood, how to lead a life of love and affection with one’s sisters and brothers and other family members. If a person does not allow hatred, enmity; bickerings and quarrelsome habits to enter his life-style at that early age, he will find that, in the later period of his life also, he will be helped by his this positive attitude. If, on the other hand, jealousy and habits of getting things done by creating fear, giving threats and adopting dominating and obstinate attitude, get set at that age, or one gets spoiled by too much of fondling, then such a one would continue to live in an unsocial way and would be a problem to the society.
2. Justice, Honesty and Sensitivity
Justice is another factor that sustains harmony. If someone feels that people intentionally continue to be unjust to him he will one day, decide to confront them, take law in his own hands and will throw to winds all discipline and norms and traditions. If then people allege that he does not observe discipline and does not give regard to his seniors, then they will be speaking only half the truth because they too have been unfair and unjust to him. If, therefore, one gets training, since an early age, of being fair to others, with transparent sincerity and honesty; and if the atmosphere at home, is of justice and impartiality towards all, without any bias towards one and favour towards another, then a person who has been brought up in such an atmosphere will be fair to all and will honour the rights of others later also in life. He will never think of being dishonest or of grabbing what belongs to others. on the other hand, he will have sensitivity for the needs of others and so, there will be no cause for confrontation and quarrel, obviously in this task of training at an early age, women, as mothers, have a very important role.
3. Co-operations and Sympathy
Co-operation and Sympathy are other important factors that contribute to unity and harmony. If one feels jealous and puts obstacles in the ways of others, then feeling of animosity and the inclination to quarrel will get a fillip. If on the other hand every one follows the principle of giving and having co-operation, then life will run smoothly. A quarrelsome person, who puts hurdles in the ways of others, will always work for putting obstruction into others’ smooth sailings. If the seed of the qualities of co-operation and sympathy are sown in one’s early childhood, these will, grow strong, bare fruit and work well in later life. And, obviously, mothers have an eminent role in this.
4. Service and Simplicity
To feel concerned for the wellbeing of others is a great thing. To think of merely one’s own wellbeing is selfishness where as thinking of the ways of doing good to others is service. If one practices this noble quality since early period of one’s life, then this good nature of his will be an asset to him and to the society. Then he would never sit idle when he sees others suffering. If the mother cultivates this attitude in her children so that it gets set into their minds that it is the sacred duty of a human being to serve others, especially when they are in distress, then this will work well in bringing unity and harmony. If the citizens of a country are narrow-minded and selfish, each serving his own ends, then such a country remains backward and its people, fighting always among themselves for small odds, waste away their efforts and energy. So, it is necessary to cultivate the qualities of service and simplicity because simplicity helps to save something from your needs and when you save, then only you have something to serve others with. A greedy person, on the other hand, hardly feels motivated to serve others.
5. Co-existence and Adjustment
One finds that, at times, views of members of a family differ. Their habits and their sanskãrs also, generally, differ. But, the family- members try to adjust and accommodate and maintain family unity and coherence, rejecting any negative idea of getting separated. So, if, during the early years, a habit is formed of giving a helping hand to others and of co-existence even in the face of differences, then this, in due course, serves to maintain and promote harmony in the society, If the policy, enunciated by the phrase ‘live and let live’ gets rooted strongly in one’s mind since early times, then there would not be any cause for fights in the future, It is evident that people have different life-styles, ideologies, languages, dresses and cultural backgrounds. But that is no reason for any hatred or clash. These differences are like the difference in colours and fragrance of various flower-beds in a garden and this variety is beauty rather than a cause for bitterness.
So, it is necessary to learn this lesson from the very beginning that there are two kinds of families - one is constituted of our close relatives or kith and kin and the other is the wide family of human kind; and the smaller family is the training ground for the success of the society - the bigger family, then this will lead to constant and lasting harmony in the world. So, it has to be explained to the children that we all are the progeny of Brahma and Saraswati, also called Adam and Eve or Adam and Hauva and, we therefore, belong to one same great family, for the Father of our these progenitors is one, God, the Supreme. So we all should live in the spirit of love, co-operation, sympathy and co-existence.
6. Tolerance and Good-will
If the members of a family differ among themselves or if some members shout at others or misbehave, then others, thinking that they belong to one same family, tolerate this and forgive and forget it. Knowing each other’s sanskãrs and nature, they close that chapter and march forward, helping each other and living happily again. They do not cease to have good wishes and good-will towards each other.
Likewise, there is a vast variety of people in this world in respect of their life-styles and cultural background. We have to tolerate if there is anything not entirely to our taste and we have to march happily together.
Lack of realisation of the importance of their role
We have seen how important is the role of women in preparing children for the future years in the society but it is found that many women have not yet awakened to that kind of responsibility. They pay little attention to such responsibilIties. Perhaps, they think that a child would naturally pick up these from his exposure to T.V., Radio, School, College, etc. Hardly do they fully realise the truth in the saying, viz. “Mother is the first teacher or preceptor of a child.” It is not understood properly that if the child does not get any love at home, then he will not learn to live in peace with others and, so, at college also, he will indulge in acts of destruction or will fall a prey to cigarettes or alcoholic drinking and may even become human victim of AIDs, etc.
Likewise, if there is no justice and dignity at home, then, he will break discipline at college and will also manifest his anger there in full.
But it is regrettable that, instead of creating such a congenial atmosphere at home in which children can have proper moral and spiritual growth, some of the woman as mothers-in-law and daughters - in-law lead a cat and dog life. The mother-in-law, instead of considering her daughter-in-law as Lakshmi, makes heavy demands of dowry or asks her to bring more money or goods from parents. The result of this kind of fightings, is that there are cases of bride-burning. It is clear from such unfortunate happenings that the place of love has been captured by money, and justice has been replaced by considerations of one’s family background or of one’s high or low social and economic status. This then shows that if women play well their important role in the sphere of the family, then many of the problems, which our society faces today and much of the struggle we see around us would not arise at all.
The importance of women’s role in creating harmony in the society
After having discussed briefly women’s role in creating harmony in the family, let us now see how important women’s role is in bringing harmony to the society
Someone has truly said that, hidden in every girl, is a mother. And every mother, of course, is a mother. Every mother is a mother because she has motherly love and affection. She cannot see the children crying in pain. She cannot sleep or rest if a child is restless. She would sacrifice her own comforts, rest and happiness for the sake of her children. She would do anything and everything to wipe dry the tears of her children. She has such slender feelings as keep the family united and sustain harmony in the home. Her this unique role is because of her awareness, denoted by the words: “I am a mother.”
In the same manner, if now this awareness dawns on her; “Jam the mother of the world she would be able to play the important role of creating and sustaining harmony in the society. About 50 percent of the world- population is constituted of women and girls. So, as a mother stops quarrel among children at home, if women of the world unite and resolve that they would not allow man to take missiles or weapons in their hands to fight, then would communal riots be possible? Would there be any act of destruction by the use of cannons or tanks or bombardment? But it is pity that, instead of stopping men from building up militaries and waging wars, they have now themselves started getting commissioned into the fighting forces!
Women can successfully teach lesson in non-violence
Women are, generally, kind-hearted and full of motherly love; how can then women give help and co-operation to killers or war- mongers? When a brother is indulging in acts of bloodshed of a brother, can a woman, i.e. a mother, aid or abet such a crime? No, never, for she is full of kindness and affection and loves all as she loves her children. Thus, women, because of their this natural quality, can be very successful in teaching the lesson f non-violence or non-killing. But their success in this role depends upon the awareness encoded in the words: “I am the mother of the world; love is my natural quality, kindness and tenderness are in my very blood.”
If women sustain this awareness then they can do what all the founders of religions have not been able to do because they did not take their help. Women Also, in this male-dominated world, have been dancing to the tune of men and playing as puppets in their hands. But now, if they unite for this noble cause, they can wipe out violence from the face of the earth and can restore harmony in human relationships. Will it not be a great step towards harmony?
End of Disharmony - based on injustice, corruption etc?
Today, there is high-rise in corruption and crime and man is bogged down in drug-addiction and in use of alcohol. . If, in such a situation, women unitedly resolve that they would certainly not allow the poison of ill-earned money into their homes even if that means heavily cutting down their budgets, then they would be able to achieve, in course of time, what the government, the police, the courts, etc., have conjointly not been able to achieve. They would be able to end corruption, crime and addiction.
Actually, it is the ill-earned money, which is being used in drug- traffic and on purchase of weapons by the criminals. No one would say that the weapons are being purchased from honest earnings, So, if women now decide that their role is not merely to keep the floors in their homes clean but also they have a role to play in cleaning the society of bribery and all these evils, and to wash clean the minds of men by use of spiritual knowledge and to burn the social evils with the fire of their Tapasys, then all these killings and crimes and the disharmony would ultimately end.
Let, therefore, women now give to the world these slogans: -
1)“Break the bottle of wine: have a cup of knowledge divine”.
2)“Throw all the drugs down in drain; let only spiritual intoxication remain
3)“Let all the weapons of war be burnt: let lesson of pure love be clearly learnt.”
Harmony with Nature and Environment
Everyone is, today, worried about environmental pollution. All are stressing on the need to establish harmony with Nature and Environment. But let us realise that this is possible only if nuclear tests are totally stopped and no atomic weapons are made and we cut down heavily our burning of petroleum, diesel, etc. This is possible if we lead a life of friendship and also of economy and simplicity If we do not do that, and instead, go on adding to our population and to the consumption of these polluting sources, then we will either live with heavy pollution in lungs and our breathing canal, coughing all the time or we will die of suffocation or asphyxia. If we still do not change our attitudes and lifestyle, we will lose ‘money’ and have only ‘harm’ out of ‘Harmony’. So, if women decide that they are not machines for child-production but are human beings who have some aims to fulfil and they cannot see their children dying of asphyxia then you will see that harmony with Nature will be restored. Nature does not permit population to grow and cars to be added at such a rate. Nature would be at its best if there are very many gardens and orchards and there is only a small population of good human beings who live in peace, harmony and love.
So, what is required is that we understand our role and cease to have a very narrow view as of a frog in a well and, instead, to see things in a wider perspective and take a broader world-view and make an action plan to educate so that they learn to live with love, no-violence, coexistence and simplicity These are the values that would definitely lead to universal harmony, provided people, first, see these in our practical life. Our own purity and love will end this Age of Disharmony, i.e. Kalzyuga and bring the age of Universal Harmony; i.e. Satyuga. This is the will of God which will certainly be fulfilled through our self awakening.
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Chapter # 2
Spirituality and Moral Values in the Service of all sections of Society
Need for Religious Harmony
Human species is the superior-most of all, possessed with the faculty of intellect and finer psychological sensitivities. A human being should, therefore, be ‘humane’. He should be kind and compassionate to his fellow beings. This dictum forms the bedrock of religion. This precept is common to all religions. Every religious preceptor has ordained that love is supreme. ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ is the Commandment. You cannot have true love for the Creator if you do not love the creation. Religion begins with love of man for man.
During the times when the major religions were founded in different parts of the world, travel and transport were difficult proposition. This equally applied to travel of ideas and philosophies. There were hardly any means of mass communication except personal contact. Thus, each religion flourished around its place of origin and influenced populations in surrounding areas. Consequently, ‘kindness and love for your fellow-beings’ virtually meant the expression of these virtues among followers of the same religion. This homogeneity, resulting from geographical factors, led to a natural state of intra-religious harmony during the early history of these religions.
In the course of time, everything changed. As the means of transport and communication improved, religions too crossed their initial geographical boundaries and spread to other parts of the world resulting in ethnic co-existence and exposure.
Further growth of religions led to different interpretations of original tenets and their consequent dilution giving birth to sub-divisions and sects. The confusion that ensued was thoroughly exploited by those who took up religion more as a profession than service, and by those with political ambition. This bred religious fanaticism and exploitation, which produced hatred, violence, conflicts and the so-called’ holy wars’.
In time, the original religious concept of “Love your fellow- beings”, got replaced by “Love your fellow-travellers!” Today, a follower of a particular religion would invariably express love and compassion for his camp-followers only. Then, there are those activists - the fanatics - who actually hate all those who do not belong to their faith. This phenomenon is the outcome, partly at least, of the fact that religion is a matter of personal faith, and the follower of a particular religious ideology tends to believe that only his religion is the best of all.
All this is manifest in the form of religious disharmony, conflict and violence that we see all around us today. Patently irreligious deeds are being done and sought to be justified in the name of religion. The noble religious doctrine “Right is Might” is being substituted by the purely materialistic dictum “Might is Right, which is reflected in the form of involuntary religious conversions, communal riots and terrorism.
And yet, in spite of all the degradation and downfall in values, religion is still a mighty force to reckon with. The paramount need of our present troubled times is to pool the scattered religious might so that it could be channelised for making this world of ours a better place to live in. Happily, in recent times, there is the growing realization among religious leaders about the utmost need for both inter-religious and inter-religious goodwill and co-operation.
Co-operation Expected of Religious Leaders
Religious Leaders are the conscience keepers of their community or their followers. Their day-to-day life is expected to be the practical demonstration of the moral values enshrined in their respective scriptures. In fact, they are expected to be the guardians of the standard of their followers’ morality and the custodians of their spiritual welfare. If, therefore, the religious leaders do not maintain their moral heights, who shall lead the lay people or the un-initiated laity look up to? It has rightly been said that if the salt loseth its savour wherewith shall the things be salted? Likewise, if the religious leaders lose their moral conscience, wherewith will the people match their conscience?
Again, religion is considered to be a theory and practice of being holy and religious leaders are considered as holy men. The first thing expected of any religion is that it would give to its believers a high sense of purpose and a high goal that inspires for a holy life. So, the first and the natural thing that religious leaders can contribute to the work of societal good is that they inspire their followers to practise a system of holy living. They can successfully do this by their own practical example more than by mere precept.
Secondly, within the framework of one’s religion, one is supposed to find a satisfactory basis from which to relate to people of other faiths. So, religious leaders should enable the religious followers to have the experience of their own faiths and to have satisfaction and solace that should hold them from getting intolerant and violent in their dealings with other religions. If religious leaders enable their followers to experience peace to live in peace, there is no reason why there should be communal clashes and riots.
It would be desirable that religious leaders have frequent interfaith dialogues so as to have better understanding of other faiths. This would help to avoid confrontation with other religions based on difference in beliefs. Other religions are, in fact, varied flowers in the same garden. They can help considerably to maintain religious harmony, which would go to strengthen national integration and to have unity, based on ethics even if beliefs are different.
In fact, all religions are based on the belief that each living being is an embodied soul. If religious and spiritual leaders can give grounding to their followers in soul-consciousness, then most of the problems will be solved. Religious leaders may, therefore, consider that their major service lies in raising the awareness of the people to enlightened soul- consciousness. If every individual knows and realises his real identity, then the task of social transformation would be much easier because many problems arise from the loss of identity or from identity crisis.
If religious leaders can work towards the eradication of superstitions, totem, sorcery and irrational doctrines, they would be doing a signal service to their community, Besides, it is time that religious leaders re-interpret their myths to be meaningful in the present context and they have to impart such new meaning to different castes or classes as are not based on birth and as do not create hatred and conflict.
If religious people can teach and encourage the practice of Spiritual Meditation that enables the practitioners to come closer to their real self, to have freedom from the negativity of their mind, to have communion with God and to have experience of peace and bliss, that would, perhaps, be their greatest service, for it would eliminate tension and bring peace, happiness and health to the society.
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Chapter # 2
Spirituality and Moral Values in the Service of all sections of Society
Principles to be observed for Religious Harmony and Emotional Integration
In order to have unity among people of various religions and faiths, the following code of conduct has been charted out and adopted at the Universal Peace Conference - 1984, held at Mount Abu India. It is hoped that if this code is observed, it will build up good-will and will lead to emotional integration. Since communal disharmony or friction is a major cause of peacelessness and, if inflamed, can create great upheavals, a code for preachers and followers of religions has great relevance to the present world-conditions.
1.We will consider all human beings, to whichever religion they might belong as souls, and, as such, our brothers, and will, thus consider mankind as a family and will, therefore, maintain our relations on the basis of spiritual love, sympathy and cooperation.
2.We will give Supreme importance to non-violence, tolerance and forgiveness in our inter-religious relationship and will respect other religions as we wish our own religion to be respected.
3.We will not discuss sensitive points or sore spots of any religion publically, especially in gatherings in which persons belonging to that religion are present, and never will we discuss them in a manner or in language or with the intention to inflame the feelings of others against that point.
4.We believe that everyone has the right to have a comparative study of religions, including our own, and has also the right to be critical, but in sympathy, politeness, and fairness in order to evaluate and assess its merits and demerits but no one has the right to condemn, calumniate, belittle, or use abusive language for beliefs, tenets, practices, symbols, holy places, revered prophets and saints of any religion, including his own, or to spread hatred against them.
This, however, does not preclude one’s right to denounce the acts of such persons in history who, in the name of religion, whatever be its name, perpetrated cruelties, invaded countries, persecuted others or committed inhuman crimes, and we will consider these as enemies of humankind and against true spirit of religion, even if they professed to belong to our religion. However, even this act of condemnation will not be directed against any religion or founder of religion.
5.We will not support or participate in, or have sympathy for any act of forcible conversion, or of proselytisation of illiterate and uneducated people by alluring them with any worldly reward, or for building a place of worship supplanting the one which belonged to another religion, nor will we compete with building activity or religious acts of others in a manner as is likely to create suspicion, bitterness, hatred or hostility, but, instead, we will always offer voluntary co-operation for a humanitarian cause.
In keeping with the spirit of the above, and with due regard for public law and order and the common good, we will co-operate with the government and the civil authorities to take out our processions, and hold our gatherings and celebrate our special occasions, taking precautions that these do not create ill-will, or tension, or public nuisance, or disturbance nor do they foreseeably hurt the feelings of followers of other faiths, and, if these processions, celebrations, etc., are by a group belonging to a religion other than our own, we will not create any hindrances but will maintain an atmosphere of harmony and good-will.
6.If some people, professing our religion, indulge in violence, arson, loot -or commit acts or spreading hatred against other religions, we will not hide them or give them shelter in our sacred places nor will we try to justify their acts, for killing a man, to whichsover religion he or she might belong, or committing other, fore-mentioned act, is committing sin and is downgrading religion and is revolting against kind, just, loving and compassionate God, Who is God of people, irrespective of their religious affiliations.
7.We will consider religion as a moral purifying and peace-giving force and will use our religious spirit to help politics to have moral values and be free from corruptive influences, and we would like everyone to know that we are against mixing dirty politics with religion and we are also against exploiting religion as a vote-catching device, or for satisfying someone’s lust for power, or for anti-national activity of any sort, or influencing person in power to give someone certain benefits illegally, nor will we use violence against other people, for we believe that war, under any name, is an evil.
8.We will consider religion as a means of self-purification, inner transformation and purification, elevating spiritual experience and self-illumination and will, therefore, consider it as one’s right to choose or build a religion which in record with this and also suits one’s conscience, and we will practise religion with the aim of raising ourselves morally and spiritually and will inspire others towards this aim of religion rather than to performing meaningless rituals.
9.We will not encourage divisive tendencies on the basis of castes, cults or creeds nor will we consider persons engaged in certain unclean professions as “Shudrãs or low caste people, nor will we debar them, or followers of any other religion, from gaining access to religious places, scriptures, etc., if they maintain reasonable personal cleanliness and are genuine seekers of truth.
10.We recognise women as of equal social status and will treat them as such and will look upon them as an important and useful part of society and will consider disparaging and derogatory comments on the role and status of women in certain old scriptures as defunct and unfair and will not mind sincere and polite philosophical evaluation of the role of women in any religion, or society including our own.
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Chapter # 2
Spirituality and Moral Values in the Service of all sections of Society
Panch Sheel for Harmony or Six-point Formula for Reconciliation
(This is the text of the speech by the Author)
Hon’ble the Prime Minister, Your Excellency the Governor of Rajasthan, Revered Raj Yogini Dadi Janki ji, Revered Raj Yogini Dadi Prakashmani ji, beloved sisters and brothers,
I think that the question of Harmony in our society has now acquired prime importance in the context of our present world-situation because most of the problems we face today arise from conflict in human relations. There was a time when the Cold War and the Nuclear Weapons Race topped the International Agenda. Afterwards, when the Cold War ended, ‘Environment’ occupied the first place among global issues. But, after the Earth Summit in Rio, the question of Harmony occupies the centre-stage. Particularly, in the context of the recent happenings in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Somalia, some Republics of what formerly was the USSR, Iraq, Occupied territories of Palestine, South Africa, Cambodia, Turkey, North Korea and South Korea, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka, etc., and in our own country in some States, this issue has become the focus of world-wide attention and discussions at various levels. In our own country India, after the events, actuated by communal disharmony, during the past two months of December to January, it is being said that any further loss in our social, political and communal harmony would result in the loss of whatever valuable has been collectively built in the past half a century, particularly what we gained after making great sacrifices for our freedom.
Now, this question of harmony, which is so crucial to the very security of our nation and to peace in the world, needs to be discussed in its various aspects. But, due to the constraint of time, I will deal here with only one of its aspect, namely the human elations and, in order that this discussion may be meaningful and fruitful, I would like to invite your valuable attention to the fact that there are five basic values, the observance of which is crucial to the question of harmony.
Panchseel for Harmony
I think that you will agree with me if I say that the five major or basic values, which promote and sustain harmony are: (1) Love and Good-will (I combine these two because where there is love, there is goodwill and I suggest that if one does not have love, one must at least have good-will); (2) Justice and Fairplay (I combine these two also because Justice should include observance of the rules of the game and, even in competition, there should be fairplay); (3) Regard for the dignity of the human individual and Human Rights. (4) Tolerance and (5) Firm commitment to non-violence.
It is these basic values, which give birth to other values, which are essential to harmony. For example, Love’ leads to adjustment, accommodating others and to the spirit of reconciliation and coexistence. ‘Regard for dignity of the human individual and for the rights of others’ leads to regard for religion and faith of others, which is what the essence of Secularism is. Even Democracy is included in this because, in Democracy you have regard for the views of others. Similarly, ‘Commitment to non-violence’ leads to resolution of all conflicts through peaceful methods of negotiation, adjudication, arbitration, etc. ‘Justice’ and all the other four values together lead to ‘the rule of law’, which is very essential to harmony. ‘Justice’ naturally implies upholding the Constitution. And, if a fellow being or a community does some wrong, then observance of Tolerance by the other and winning the former through LOVE and lawful means, restores harmony. So, the five values which I have enunciated are the “Panch Sheel” for harmony at all levels of human relationships. These five principles can be counted on five fingers and it is said that there is the blessing of Parmeshwar where there are benign five.
Six-Point Formula for National and International Reconciliation
Or, if you like to add one more, add the sixth value (call it the “sixth sense” if you please): (6) It is: ‘Concern for the well-being of others’. It means: placing others before the self. This will eliminate selfishness, which now pervades all levels of life today. This will also imply justice to others I thought that you might like to mention it separately, for this brings to awareness of our duty to help the weaker sections of society So, you may call it a “Six-point formula for National and International Reconciliation. In fact “love” includes ‘the Concern for the well-being of others and, so, you may call it The Panch Sheel. I leave this to you, sir, to choose between the two.
I would, therefore, like to suggest humbly that, like The Panch Sheel, adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement in April, 1955 at Bandung, we may adopt a new kind of Panch Sheel, comprising these five principles for harmony in our political, religious, social, economic and all other activities whether they be at the national, international, interpersonal or family level. Beloved Prime Minister, Sir, I would humbly suggest that our Government ask all political parties and leaders of religious communities, etc., to declare their stand on this Panch Sheel. That would give us a frame-work within which we should maintain harmony and resolve all our conflicts amicably.
But, our respected Prime Minister, Sir, mere profession of one’s faith in these five principles is not enough. These principles should become part of our daily life and the matrices for or the springboard of all our actions. And, for that purpose, we must have a spiritual orientation. Take, for example, the first value, namely Love. “Love” here means: “love based on the belief that the whole humankind is our family and we all are brothers and God is our Mother-Father and Brahmã-Saraswati or Adam and Eve or Ãdam and Havva were our progenitors”. Also, in order that love and other values may become part of our nature, we must practise Meditation, which will relieve us of all tensions and make us more loving and peaceful.
Unique characteristics of Brahma Kumans World Spiritual University
Ladies and Gentlemen: sisters and brothers, it is these teachings, which Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is imparting through its two thousand and five hundred centres and sub-centres, spread in about seventy countries on the globe.
Hon’ble Prime Minister, Sir, I am sure that you know that this world-wide Institution is unique in many ways. It is, perhaps the only Institution of its kind, which has seven special characteristics simultaneously.
·One: It is mainly sisters who teach here the knowledge revealed by God Shiva through human medium of Prajãpita Brahmã.
·Two: It is mainly the sisters who run its administration lovefully and with a spirit of dedication, service and humility. Its chief also is a sister. Revered Dadi Prakashmani ji is among us.
·Three: This Institution gives spiritual teachings or, let me say, spiritual wisdom and meditation, which is universal in its nature and, so, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists and people of all castes, creeds, languages, races and classes follow these.
·Four: This Institution is affiliated, as an NGO to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and to the UNICEF, and its teachings are of relevance and of benefit to people of all disciplines, professions and religions, even to atheists, and to all nations and governments. Therefore, people of all nationalities, races and ethnic origins flock to this Institution without feeling any kind of a barrier.
·Five: It is a global organisation with a large network, working devotedly for the cause of Peace. The U.N. recognising its work in the area of Peace, has awarded to it a Peace Medal and five Peace Messenger Awards and some people like to call this institution “a Mini U.N.”
·Six: It is an Institution, which is firmly committed to the trio of Non-violence, Purity and Meditation.
·Seven: This Institution is non-political but has the affection or can have the affection of all political parties because it is dedicated to the nation.
Sir, with this background, may I humbly suggest that the service of this Institution, which has a daily attendance of about 250,000 people and which is above all narrow consideration and has a beautiful world- view to which it is totally dedicated, be availed of in the work of reestablishing harmony and national integration, either by including it in the National Integration Council or in any other suitable way or if it so pleases your Hon’ble self, you may declare it the National University for Peace or National Institute for Peace Studies.
Suggestions to hold a meeting of Political and Religious Leaders and Intellectuals at Mount Abu
May I also humbly suggest that the Government under your able and benign guidance hold a meeting or two of all political and religious leaders and intellectuals for an agreement, accord or concord on the Panch Sheel, which has just been enunciated. This Institution will be happy to host such a meet and will serve all sisters and brothers with purely Sattwic vegetarian food and a good retreat of Meditation also so that Harmony will become a fact. Let us have some kind of a National Pact in this peaceful atmosphere of the lake city of Mount Abu and in Madhuban, and avail the loving co-operation of these spiritual sisters in this task of national importance. I very much hope that His Excellency, our worthy Governor of Rajasthan will also give a thought to this and support this idea. Hon’ble the Prime Minister, His Excellency the Governor and dear sisters and brothers, if we can have such a pact of peace in our own country; Bharat will inspire other nations. Even now all eyes are set on the spiritual heritage of Bharat and there are wide expectations of guidance from this country.
Sir, the year 1993 is the 25th year of the Spiritual Ascension of Pita-Shri Brahmã. He left his mortal coil on 18th January 1969 and is now the guiding angel for the work of Universal Harmony. Sir, God Shiva, the World Father, is giving light from above and from the back, (Sir, will you please see here!). Brahmã Babã is on your right and Mateshwari Saraswati is on your left. May their blessings be on you. May their blessing be on all the audience.
With these words, may I request Revered Brahma Kumari Dadi Janki ji, the Additional Administrative Head of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University to present to you, Sir, a frame of the Six-Point Formula for Harmony and Reconciliation so as to be a reminder to you to think over it and make use of it in the best possible manner.
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Chapter # 2
Spirituality and Moral Values in the Service of all sections of Society
Value-Education and Harmony in Society - A missing link
Our society, today is faced with the grave problems of mental tensions, disintegration, violence, crime, environmental degradation, nuclear catastrophe, population explosion and increasing number of conflicts. It is in a state of social, economic, political, racial and communal disharmony.
It is felt that these problems are not only due to illiteracy but also, to lack of such ingredients in education that should counter the effects of a technological age and urbanisation and the changed socioeconomic and political environment. It is, therefore, being rightly emphasised that our educational system must have such contents as broaden our world-view, give us the outlook of considering the whole humankind as our great family and ourselves as its honourable members. It must assure the dignity of the individual, impart practical moral sense to the citizens and teach them to lead a life of self-discipline, creativity and social, economic and political justice.
We find that the spirit of national cohesion in our country, has been under great strain because of various factors such as divisive communal affinities, regional identities, cultural strings and other narrow loyalties. So, Education must immunise people against the force of disintegration by strengthening the values of world-brotherhood, love, non-violence, tolerance, cooperation and reconciliation.
Also, it must promote environmental cleanliness, mental purity, spiritual continence and divine qualities.
Universal Harmony as the prime value
In the prevailing situation, what is immediate important is that Education must promote harmony as the basic or the primary value.
For, without harmony, there would be conflict and clashes and violence will rip out our nation and destroy all the fruits of development at one stroke. It will keep frittering away your attention and resources on patching up together and putting our differences under the carpet and will, in the process, be a constant strain on our nerves, a fear in our mind, a burden on our exchequer and a hurdle in our way. We must learn to solve our differences in a rational way and with a spirit of reconciliation and co-operation. Life without harmony is a burden. If there is internal and external harmony, other qualities will accompany or follow it. So, let all our emphasis be on universal harmony. Else, there can neither be national integration nor cultural cohesion. For this, we must introduce necessary Value-Education.
Introduction of Moral Education
In fact, all Education Commissions have strongly recommended the introduction of moral education in schools and colleges. The members of those Commissions and other thoughtful people have always expressed that they feel highly disturbed by erosion or loss of values and the resultant corruption, violence and crime in society. Everyone whose age is fifty years or more would say that, though there has been sizable progress in Science and Technology and in the related fields, there has been retrogression or degeneration in the moral sphere during the last about fifty years. More and more people have become less and less moral. The place of law and order has almost been captured by lawlessness and disorder.
So, it is urgent that we realise the gravity of the situation and introduce Value-Education at any cost. But we find that, with great expansion in knowledge, subjects of Science, Mathematics and Technology have been given more and more importance and attention and the subjects of arts, culture and humanities have been receding into the background, with, perhaps, the exception of commerce and economics. And, education in moral and spiritual values is the most neglected subject mostly because of over-emphasis on science.
Education without Value-content is imbalanced
It is not being properly realised that, by teaching all other subjects, except moral values, we may produce great scientists, engineers, doctors, scholars, management experts, litterateurs, etc., comparable with the best anywhere in the world but if these great professionals do not have peace of mind and qualities of love and kindness, what kind of society we will have? Teaching of science has its own advantages, for it trains one’s mind in scientific method and enhances one’s analytical faculties, abilities of keen observation, formulation of hypothesis and its objective verification, and looking at events in their cause and effect relationship. But this is only left-brain education. It is promotion of only one’s critical and rational faculties. ‘What about educating the other half of the brain?
Life without morals
Would not education bring about an imbalanced and lop-sided development if it does not train one’s emotions and finer sensitivities? Would not we be gaining material prosperity but impoverishing our soul? Would it not be our slow spiritual death and moral mortification or immolation? Would life be qualitatively and emotionally worth living if we load people’s mind with facts and the society does not have any cherished values, noble traditions and worthy customs? Would we be happy with politics without principles, business without honesty, science without scruples, money without morals and families without love and co-operation?
Science, divorced from Values and Spirituality may lead to a Catastrophe
Science can give us gadgets but not satisfaction. We may have lot of consumer and luxury goods and yet be uncomfortable. It may provide us with easy, effective and quick means of communication and yet we may not be in communication with our neighbour or even with our own better selves. Science may greatly reduce distances and yet the mental distances between two brothers or the emotional distance between husband and wife may increase. Science may build weapons of mass destruction, carried over great distances by rockets and, so, it may bring about a nuclear catastrophe if we have not learnt to have goodwill towards all and better relations with everyone. The industries built by science and technology may produce large quantities of goods and flood our markets with a great variety of them but these very factories may pollute our environment, and effluents from them may turn our rivers into sewers or gutters and may endanger our lives in many ways if our environmental awareness has not been developed by civic sense and our utter selfish attitudes have not been replaced by our concern for the well-being of the society; So, let not value-education be pushed aside by factual knowledge or knowledge of science. Let us bear in mind that knowledge of facts enhances our power to realise our material goals and objectives but it does not give us standards of behaviour and attitudes towards society by which to select our goals or reject some of our intentions. Knowledge of science does not enable us to discriminate among competing value-systems. For the latter, education in values is needed.
We must understand that the forces of disintegration are due to our wrong identification with our body, race, region, community; etc. All our conflicts arise from our ignorance about the real identity of the self and our relationship with the fellow beings. This, in fact, is the missing link.
So, each one of us must ask ourselves the question: “Who am I?” What is consciousness? “Who is it that uses the pronoun ‘I’ in first person and singular number?” Without understanding the answer to this basic question about our own real identity, we will miss peace of mind and will not be able to understand our goal and role. So, let spiritual and moral education go side by side with the study of secular subjects.
Let us not confuse it with religious education
We must also bear in mind that, if, by confusing moral education with religious education or with indoctrination, we do not give moral education, then we are taking very great risks, for then the students will have an indoctrination of antireligious elements or they will grow as people without any moral principles or without sound moral judgement and, therefore, their behaviour would be chaotic and unpredictable. Moral dimension is an important aspect of our personality and we can neglect it at our own peril. We cannot keep a perfect vacuum in this part of our personality. If we do not internalise moral values in this, then negative forces will enter into it and fill it.
Cautious but not touchy
Further, even if sometimes teaching of some religious beliefs along with values becomes utterly necessary and altogether unavoidable for explaining their background or source or significance, then what is the harm? Even otherwise also, many students belong to one or the other religious groups and they learn a bit about other religions through various sources and, therefore, it would be better if they learn in proper setting. Of course, we have to avoid going farther into religion, that is, utmost necessary but it does not mean that we should consider religion as a banned item or as contraband goods. We need to be cautious about religious indoctrination but we need not be touchy about Dharmã. We should use only the universal aspect or common core of all religions.
If we do not give the students the right type of education in values due to our baseless and unnecessary fear lest something about religion also should be taught along with the values, then we will not only be neglecting their education for a better character but also will be allowing them to be influenced by low grade novels, low quality stories and entertainment material in periodicals and cinema and video-films, many of which are full of sex-stories and violence. If we do not tell them good things from the life of some great people, then they will have their heroes and idols or ideals shown on cine film and television screen.
Scarcity of Teachers
It is often said that we cannot introduce this subject because of scarcity of teachers. If that is the case, then we must start this subject in Teachers’ Training Courses by giving our trainees the exposure to guest-lectures and visiting professors of repute whose’ own character is unblemished. We can also start with the best person from the existing staff to take up this responsibility in our schools, colleges or teachers training institution because the personal impact of a characterful teacher is the best method of teaching this subject.
There was a time when our country had scarcity of teachers of science but it did not wait to introduce science in the curriculum, because the planners of education clearly understood that science teachers could not be had without introducing the subject of science.
Contents of Teaching
Sometimes, it is said that we do not have much material to teach this subject. This is not true. In this subject, we can also discuss various kinds of karmas, the impact of our karmas on the society and the atmosphere at large and how we can develop a positive, altruistic and integrated personality.
i.The subject should also include various virtues (Divya Gun) and happy balance or blend of certain qualities, such as of ‘love and law’, or ‘humility and self-respect’, of ‘being busy and easy’, ‘careful and cheerful’, ‘flexible and firm’, etc., etc.
ii.One often feels that one’s values are always under test due to adverse circumstances or problems, posed by fellow beings; so it needs be discussed how one can be steadfast and successful in the face of trying situations.
iii.In this subject, one can discuss various value-systems and their relative merits. one can also study some meaningful and relevant portions of lives of great men and also go through illuminating excerpts from the old legends, mythology and stories, which have a very sublime effect on one’s conscience.
iv.It can also be discussed as to which political, economic and social theories and policies have more merits morally and ethically.
v.We can also have story-telling, songs and dramas in which no teacher is involved as a teacher of this subject but the students get their lessons through this.
vi.Also, sports, debates, songs and cultural items are a useful tool which bring about a transformation if properly used.
vii.But, of course, the practical life of the teacher and the appropriate situations are the best source of inspiration for value-education.
Moral Orientation of other subjects
We should understand that moral orientation of other subjects is also a good way but this alone would not do now because the situation has deteriorated to its extreme. There was a time when people objected to physics and some other science or art subjects as full-fledged, separate subjects. The same attitude now prevails in regard to teaching the subjects of Values! Some are saying that we already have a large number of books of other subjects and any more subjects would be an additional burden. Those who put forward these arguments do not realise the benefits of this subject and are under-rating its importance. They have always been adding to the syllabi of various subjects due to on-going expansion of knowledge but when the question of moral education comes, they plead against it, little realising that dishonesty, corruption, extremism, violence, lawlessness, crime, selfishness, lack of social concern and such other negative traits would nullify all the benefits of science and other subjects if we do not introduce Moral Education in our educational institutions.
Lack of funds
Some others say that our educational institutions are already short of funds and introduction of this new subject would be an extra financial burden. They fail to realise that Human Resource Development, through education in values, has a multiplier effect on our society because, through it, we ultimately gain in our economic development, reduction of expenditure in crime, maintenance of law and order, health- care, family planning and so on, and, with the increase in our personal and national income and, also savings, our schools, and colleges would also get monetary benefit.
Expenditure on Education is the best investment
Let us never forget that expenditure of time and money on education is the most useful and productive investment. It is investment on development and on removal of social disparities and social evils. It must be recognised that every act of nation-building inevitably carries a price-tag with it. And, so far as education in general and moral education in particular is concerned, there is no alternative to this education. The alternative to it is a society of morally illiterate, spiritually crippled, habitually deformed, emotionally imbecile and compulsively criminal people. Expenditure on human resource development and character building has the highest rate of return in terms of social, economic and political benefits. Shirking or shying away from incurring this comparatively little expenditure is leading the nation to moral disaster and crises of character, leading also to social tensions, economic upheavals and a man-made catastrophe of huge dimensions.
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Chapter # 3
Resolution of conflicts and establishment of harmony
Harmonious Personality and Peace of Mind
Peace is a state of being. In this state, man’s mind is in harmony. It has no conflict with the intellect. Man’s volition, desire, will or intent is in consonance with his judgement. Such a mental state and such a personality are essential to peace.
In order to understand clearly the role of harmonisation, which is a sure sign of mental health; let us take the analogy of physical health. If, in the body of an individual, all the organs are working in complete isolation from each other and without any mutual co-ordination, the lungs breathing hard irrespective of the heart pumping rapidly and the muscles getting tense in disregard to man feeling fatigued and wanting to sleep, - the person will become physically sick. If the body is to be healthy, each of its parts and organs has to discharge its individual function in harmony with the other, considering the body to be one functional unit.
The same principle is applicable to human personality also. Various units of personality, such as impulses, motives, attitudes, inborn and acquired traits, inner urges, potentialities, etc. should work in harmony. If different potentialities of man work towards different goals and in disregard to the rest of the personality-traits, then there will be disharmony, resulting in mental disorders and disturbance, causing ultimately, break down of personality and mental illness. For example, if one mental trait urges the person to earn and amass lot of wealth and the other gives him fear, checking him from investing money and a third trait forces him to lie down lazily in rest and comfort and the fourth gives him rage so that he cannot behave calmly and sweetly with his colleagues, customers or clients, the result will be frustration, caused by non-attainment of goals, mental disturbance due to rage and dissatisfaction with the self and with others and there will be mental conflict and illness. If, on the other hand, his urge for money works in coordination with his potentiality for work and also with his rational sense that asks to observe moderation, then his personality will be known as a harmonious and health personality One, who has a harmonious personality, has Peace of Mind. He has no tension and almost no symptoms of mental ill-health.
Harmony and Adjustment
But, in this connection, it should be understood that mental harmony and co-ordination has not to be merely among one’s own urges, impulses, potentialities, rational sense, etc. but with the realities of the situations also. We often observe that when a man seeks to satisfy his needs or fulfil his desires, he is confronted with certain obstacles, thwarting situations, awaiting failures, or resulting disappointments. These are likely to create disturbance in man’s mind. One has, therefore, to adjust his goals or harmonise his urges or to face the situation squarely. This kind of adjustment and harmonisation with the reality and with life’s situations also is essential to have mental health and to avoid conflicts; else the person will become maladjusted.
Harmony of one’s personality with the situations and environments, either by having control and mastery over them or by re-adjustment of his goals, his desires and his endeavours, or by developing the trait of satisfaction and contentment in all circumstances, brings peace to man’s mind. This kind of harmony results from the integration and co-ordination of one’s (1) thinking, (2) feeling and (3) striving with one’s potentialities and character-traits. If one thinks of achieving a particular high goal, strives only little, does not use his potentialities and has other tendencies pulling in other directions and feels frustrated, he does not have a harmonious Mind or a harmonised, properly adjusted personality. Deep thinking would reveal that Purity brings both kinds of harmony, for it does not make us over-ambitious so that we think, with a sense of balance, of only such morally approved high goals which we can attain; it removes our laziness and lethargy; so that we strive hard for success, it gives us good tendencies so that we can have sympathy, co-operation, help and good-will of others and can, in the final result, feel satisfaction and if at all our goals are not fully achieved or there are failures, Purity keeps us from feeling tense or frustrated and from worrying because we have knowledge of Destiny or Drama. Also Purity gives us the power to persevere, to tolerate and to remain calm and balanced. So, Dadi Janki’s ‘Harmonious Mind’ or ‘Peaceful Personality’, as certified by experimentators in their scientific laboratories, is due to her Purity and proper adjustment. the knowledge of World Drama and Karma Philosophy as revealed by Shiva Baba through Brahma Baba.
Wholesome and Healthy Personality
But it should be known, in this context, that Harmony is only one aspect of personality though it is a very important aspect. Another important aspect of Personality Development or Mental Health is ‘Full Expression of one’s potentialities’ and native urges. If one’s inner urges are repressed and not fully expressed, one does not have a developed great, magnanimous or royal personality. on the other hand, one has an undeveloped, crippled or deformed personality. The individual who represses his drives and urges becomes weak-willed and has feeble character. He develops psycho-neurotic conditions, abnormalities of behaviour and many mental and physical ailments. However, a person who has Purity, need not repress his inner urges because he would not have fear. one who is honest, truthful and righteous (Sach), he would dance (Nach), with joy, as his potentialities need not be much inhibited. He will have wider field of service and people will provide him with great opportunities because he is great, honest, sincere and trustworthy and this will provide him with more and more chances of expression and manifestation of full potentialities and development of total personality. Thus, he will be able to build a wholesome and healthy psychophysical personality.
For having Healthy Personality or Mental Health, another important thing is to have a Common End or Unified Goal. For, the harmonisation of various potentialities into a unified whole is not possible if one does not direct his potentialities towards a Common End or single goal. If there are different aims or purposes, which are in conflict with each other, then harmonisation will not be possible to be achieved. For example, if a person has, on the one hand, the urge to help others to have spiritual elevation and, on the other, wants his own elevation to be higher than the former’s at any cost, then jealousy will come in place of spirituality and there will be conflict in his mind, resulting in tension, peacelessness and maladjustment with the situation. But if, on the contrary, his unified goal is the greatest well-being of all, submerging his own with that of the society as a whole, he will have goodwill, good intentions (Shubh Bhãvanã) and good wishes (Shubh Kãmnã) and he will have no conflict within his own mind or with the persons and the result will be full and fair expression of his own potentialities.
However, there is, before the common man, the problem of choosing the right end or goal. There are some goals or aims, which are more capable of drawing out and directing man’s potentialities than others are. There are some aims, which are good; there are others, which are not. For example, the end, which relates to excessive acquisition of wealth even by foul means or to combat evils in others by criticising them, showing anger or offence at others’ faults is undesirable as it engages man’s energies not for higher goals and nobler aims. It cannot result in harmonisation of personality. If, on the other hand, one chooses the goal of Godly Service, human welfare and of guiding people to build up character and to have peace, the pursuit of this wider, benign and higher goal will give to man the sense of greatest fulfilment, completeness, harmony and happiness to the “personality as a whole”. Since the aim of motivating every organism is the urge for completeness; the ideals, aims and purposes in life are essential to mental health so that if the ideal we have set before us has completeness, we will strive for achieving completeness. So, it is a point worthy of high appreciation that Baba has given to us the goal of attaining deity status, which has completeness and perfection, and has given us the path of Godly Service which helps us to express our potentialities to the maximum. In fact, the whole system of education, consisting of four main subjects, is directed towards achieving completeness or perfection in the form of Jeevan Mukti by attaining perfect mental health in this life, i.e. harmonising all traits with one another and by directing these to one unified noble goal.
Mental Health and Harmony
It should be easy, with the above background knowledge, to understand why the scientists who tested Dadi Janki in San Francisco, said that their findings had shown that she was healthy. Since Dadi does not have perfect physical health, some Brahma Kumari Sisters and Brahma Kumar brothers were surprised at the above pronouncement of the results of tests on her. But if we keep in mind the fact that what the doctors had said was expressed after monitoring her Personality parameters and her brain waves, there will be no cause for surprise because she had no tension of mind or muscle and no neurotic or abnormal symptoms. She had peace and happiness and was relaxed. She had no mental conflicts and maladjustment but, had, rather, a harmonious mind. She gave signs of development of most or many of her potentialities, had the unified goal of world-welfare, had social and moral efficiency and had a satisfied and contented mind. She was therefore; adjusted as a mentally healthy person who had a harmonious mind. Further, since she had a healthy and peaceful Mind, those physical systems, which have come to be associated in the Western Medical Sciences, with the psyche - such as respiration, heart beat, blood lactate, etc. might have, possibly, given to the tester the symptoms of a physically healthy person.