Spirituality is the only key for Human Survival; Part 2
Part 1 of the article can be accessed at this link:
Religion and Violence
Many people heard that “Religion is the cause of wars,” “Religion caused holocaust,” “Religion caused bloodshed,” and so on, and in fact religion caused all kinds of violence. To quote just one contemporary author, Matteo Ricci Professor of Theology as Georgetown University Leo D. Lefebure, a scholar who has dedicated his academiccareer to interreligious understanding and the pursuit of peace:
“The brutal facts of the history of religions impose the stark realization of the intertwining of religion and violence: violence, clothed in religious garb, has repeatedly cast a spell over religion and culture, luring countless ‘decent’ people—from unlettered peasants to learned priests, preachers and professors—into its destructive dance.” (Revelation, the Religions, and Violence; Maryknoll: Orbis, 2000). Religion continues to be used as a deadly weapon to dominate the counties by ruthless and used to motivate and justify horrific acts of unspeakable brutality.
Valerie Tarico in her article “God as the Original Terrorist” says, “By one count, the Quran has only 532 cruel or violent passages, while the Bible has 1,321. Christians respond that the Bible is longer, so the cruel, violent passages make up a smaller percent of the whole.” ISIS terrorists find enough passages in Quran to justify for jihad, executions, sex slavery, and forces conversions. Similarly, Christians find in Bible enough passages to endorse terrorism, savagery, crusade, inquisitions, slavery and executions.
Islam caused more bloodshed in India than any other religion anywhere. According to historian Will Durant, "The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history". By the estimate of Koenraad Elst the population of Indian subcontinent reduced by almost 80 million between 1000 and 1525. In course of their conquests and rule in India, the number of Muslims in India increased through Immigration and Conversion. The Ancient Indian Kingdoms in Afghanistan and Pakistan became Muslim majority areas, as did the Eastern Part of Bengal. This would ultimately lead to the Partition of India in 1947 after the end of British rule.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama appeals to our common humanity, advocatingspirituality rather than religionand an ethic based on compassion and the realization of our profound interrelatedness, in a move to get beyond exclusionary understandings of religionand conflicting metaphysics, dogma, etc.He goes so far as to say, “We can do without religion but not without spirituality.”Archbishop Tutu in his bookGod is Not a Christian, says “Some of the ghastliest atrocities have happened in the name of religion. It need not be so if we can learn the obvious: that no religion can hope to have a monopoly on God, on goodness and virtue and truth.”
Why European and American Christians are leaving Church?
Disappointed with the message of the Bible coupled with their inability to quench their thirst for spiritual needs and scientific explanations, percentage of Christians who are members of a Church or synagogue is steadily declining from 70 percent in 1992 and 63 percent in to 2009 to 59 percent in 2014, as per Gallup. Younger generation born between 1990-1996 call themselves as Christians. "Christianity in the United States hasn't done a good job of engaging serious Christian reflection with young people, in ways that would be relevant to their lives." Church is unable to address the spiritual need of the members of their congregation. It is insulated from the reality and isolated from the members. Church is more interested in controlling the mind set of their members rather than addressing the nothingness they experience in their heart. Bible teachings look hallow and unable to justify the absurdities, inconsistencies and inaccuracies; Church authorities and the Christian ministers do not reflect the true message of the Bible. For their own hegemony, they distort the Bible to exercise their authority over the congregation. Church is narrow minded; unbending on their moral standings. Salvation to haven is only for those who follow the Bible and the ministers, and who are fearful of the God. This kind of approach limited the number of people who can enter the gate of heaven. The church goers feel that the Christianity is not about self-fulfillment and self-realization but it is only about sinners and how they can be saved. Any infraction from the Bible can lead one into hell.
Ryan Sheehan reports that “There is an ongoing silent migration away from the church of an estimated 3,500 individuals each and every day. A 2014 study indicated that over 1.2 million people will leave the church in the next year.” It was estimated that over 10,000 churches would have been closed in 2015. That means an average of 100 church goers would be left without any place of worship to go. In fact, about 80 percent of 14-33 year olds reported that church was not important in their life. (The Christian Post, May 27, 2015)
Organized Religion denies Spirituality
Organized religions are partly responsible for the many Christians to flee their churches. Religion and spirituality are two related yet distinct entities associated with faith. Religion denotes "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, usually involving devotional and ritualobservances and a moral code." (www.dictionary.com). Many things that are attributed to religion are true to organized religions such as Islam and Christianity. They exert considerable influence on their followers in instilling morality, condemning other religions, waging wars, killing non-believers, and converting forcefully. Religion develops dogmatic and unquestionable rules for follower to adhere to; threatens and terrorizes; speaks of sinners; creates divisions, talks of eternal hell, makes one dependent, and feeds fear and insecurity. On the other hand, spirituality instills confidence, embraces freedom, promotes individuality, infuses consciousness, recognizes divine nature, inspires inner peace, allows exploration, makes you independent, encourages discussion, and stimulates questioning. In general, religion controls while spirituality frees. Religion is given and spirituality is chosen. Religion is external; spirituality is internal.
Deepak Chopra says that the “the custodians of organized religion have frequently ended up with destructive behaviors — power mongering, cronyism, control, corruption, and influence peddling. As a result, organized religion has frequently become quarrelsome, divisive, and led to conflict. No organized religion has been immune to this unfortunate tendency. So, we have had the crusades and witch-hunts of Christianity, the Jihads of Islam, the violent communal riots instigated by fundamentalist Hindus and the persecution of minorities and ethnic cleansing all in the name of God.”
According to Austin Cline, “Religion is an institution established by man for various reasons. Exert control, instill morality, stroke egos, or whatever it does. Organized, structured religions all but remove god from the equation. You confess your sins to a clergy member, go to elaborate churches to worship, told what to pray and when to pray it. All those factors remove you from god. Spirituality is born in a person and develops in the person. It may be kick started by a religion, or it may be kick started by a revelation. Spirituality extends to all facets of a person’s life. Spirituality is chosen while religion is often times forced. Being spiritual to me is more important and better than being religious.”
On the other hand, spirituality allows you reach higher conscious level as to who you are, why you are here and how you are connected to the Super soul; leading one to develop moral and ethical compass. It is through the engagement of meditation, personal prayers, self-inquiry, selfless service, full devotion and practice yamas and niyamas, spirituality is allowed to flower.
India to Conquer the World Spiritually
August 15th is the birthday of free India. It is also Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. On this day in 1947 Sri Aurobindo gave a message to the nation on the All India Radio. Sri Aurobindo outlined in the message his prophetic vision for India, for the globe and for humanity.
“August 15th is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But it has significance not only for us, but for Asia and the whole world, for it signifies the entry into the comity of nations of a new power with untold potentialities which has a great part to play in determining the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity. . . “
Sri Aurobindo foresaw that India’s spiritual teaching will enter the West in an ever increasing measure.
“The spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India’s spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice.”
Swami Vivekananda: “Up, India, and conquer the world with your spirituality! Aye, as has been declared on this soil first, love must conquer hatred, hatred cannot conquer itself. Materialism and all its miseries can never be conquered by materialism. Armies when they attempt to conquer armies only multiply and make brutes of humanity. Spirituality must conquer the West. Slowly they are finding out that what they want is spirituality to preserve them as nations. They are waiting for it; they are eager for it. Where is the supply to come from? Where are the men ready to go out to every country in the world with the message of the great sages of India? Where are the men who are ready to sacrifice everything, so that this message shall reach every corner of the world? Such heroic souls are wanted to help the spread of truth.”
He further stated that India’s greatness did not come from the military conquest of other countries. It greatness consisted in the very lack dominance and conquest. “We must conquer the world or die. There is no alternative. The sign of life is expansion; we must go out and expand, show life or degrade, fester and die. There is no other alternative. Take either of these, either live or die… India must conquer the world and nothing less than that is my idea. You have to expand or perish. That is the law of life.” He also said that it was his dream to tell the story of the noble Emperor Ashoka who used religion and spirituality as the central theme of his Kingdom. “We must go out, we must conquer the world through our spirituality and philosophy. The only condition of our national life of awakened and vigorous national lifer, is the conquest of the world by Indian thought.”
Approaches to arouse Spirituality
Advaita Vedanta, states Eliot Deutsch, "has been and continues to be the most widely accepted system of thought among philosophers in India, and it is, we believe, one of the greatest philosophical achievements to be found in the East or the West"
The Vedantic explanation is that man’s ultimate nature is divine and it is Spiritual: eternal existence, eternal knowledge, and eternal bliss. It is through yoga and meditation, the soul is purified, and mind is put to rest. Through its all the obstacles within me are removed until no thought remaining in the mind. Then the true nature and eternal bliss of the Atman, the true self, manifests itself.
Happiness, satisfaction, peace of mind, and gratification are the essential nature of human beings. All the material acquisitions and limitless desires are the cause of human misery, dissatisfaction and turmoil. One may get temporary satisfaction in acquisition of certain material objects, they are not the cause of internal and immanent peace of mind. Peace of mind comes from within not from outside to mean through the material objects or preconceived notions. Romain Rolland, French Nobel Laureate, observed, “The true Vedantic spirit does not start out with a system of preconceived ideas…. each man has been entirely free to search wherever he pleased for the spiritual explanation of the spectacle of the universe."
Individual soul is the source of all experience and wisdom. Ancient Rishis experienced the Brahman that is innate divinity, infinitude, luminosity and blissfulness of the soul. Max Muller in his Three Lectures on the Vedanta Philosophy, gives his opinion as to why supreme wisdom about healthy human living was not available to the Greeks, or to the medieval or modern philosophers:
But if it seems strange to you that the old Indian philosophers should have known more about the soul than the Greek or Mediaeval or modern philosophers, let us remember that however much the telescopes for observing the stars of heaven have been improved, the observatories of the soul remained much the same .... The rest and peace which are required for deep thought or for accurate observation of the movements of the soul, were more easily found in the silent forests of India than in the noisy streets of our so-called centres of civilization. (Max Muller, Three Lectures on the Vedanta Philosophy [London: Longmans, Green, and Co.: 1894], pp. 7-8.
Guru Gita talks about the great importance and significant role a Guru can play in directing the disciple into the path of spiritual journey through his enlightened state. Guru has already attained the self-illumination and self-mastery over the sense objects. A Sadguru has seen the God and is soaked in the divine consciousness. As Guru Gita states that guru can dispel the ignorance and show the path to undertake inward journey to attain the perfection and truth; and the real nature of human existence.
As human beings we are all roaming in the darkness, swimming in the ocean of samsara, stumbling in the day to day hurdles, chasing the mirage of material objects, and failing to experience the real happiness. We are unable to realize who we are and what we are and what this journey is all about. The awakened Guru is the only one that can awaken the divinity in his disciples. It is through his touch, speech and looks he can awaken the God hidden within his disciple. He knows his disciple better than disciple himself. A guru is described as a father, mother teacher, friend, and son all in one. He knows what is good for his disciple. The relationship between a Guru and a disciple is unlike any other relationship. His love, compassion and mercy are unmatched. There is no selfish motive in awakening the divine within. He can be gentle, soft, tender, merciless and hard to cop off the layers to chop off the ignorance layer by layer to realize the true nature of man.
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji stated that a real guru has reached competence and who has reached perfection. He is the beacon light of the suffering humanity. He comes to the level of the disciple recognizing that he is merged in ignorance and he preaches him the knowledge to find the light within and to experience the eternal bliss by winning over the worldly entanglement and by taming the ego. Guru encourages his disciples to dive deep into the chamber of heart to find light that removes the ignorance. “The inner light is shining constantly. It reveals through the mirror called the mind. The defects in the mind blurs the light within, but actually that light remains ever unaffected by the modifications of the mind. Man should ignore the limitations of the mind and should get fixed on the inner light. The inner light is God. To seek Him should be the aim of man.”
The modern world is pushing the interests of the people to chase for material accumulation, strive for ruthless capitalistic enterprise to satisfy the ego, compete with the fellow human beings to exceed in the display of conspicuous consumption and get trapped in the vicious circle of “more is better.” With all the stresses of the modern world, constant mental agony, restlessness, egoism, helplessness, mental strain, anxiety, excessive pressures in the work force, and agitation, society is experiencing severe health problems, family problems and problems in the world of work. It is taxing the mind to the extend where people rely on medications to suppress the mental problems.
Over the years that people have been looking for alternative to experience relative peace of mind, happiness and harmony. Yoga and meditation are providing the needed help in pursuing spiritual path to calm the restive mind. Many movie actors, directors, singers, football players, basketball players, golfers, politicians, university faculty and students, artists, TV personalities, musician and ordinary people are practicing yoga and meditation to experience the Vedantic concept Sachidananda. Realization that material wealth, fame and ego would not bring happiness, many people across the globe turn to yoga to embark on a spiritual journey to find peace of mind and to strike a balance between the material and spiritual paths.
Yoga tradition was started by a spiritual teacher by the name Patanjali more than 2000 years ago culling all the experiences of great ages of India into a book called The Yoga Sutras. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras have become a roadmap for the journey into self-discovery. Just one phrase “yoagas chitta vritti nirodaha” revolutionized the spiritual journey across the globe. It says that the essential teaching of yoga is to retrain the mind. Yoga means to “to join”. There is a realization that the individual soul is a facet of Super soul. Yoga is a means to join the Jivatma with Paramatma.
Yoga is the only method that can unite the body, mind, soul and breath. Mind is like a monkey jumping back and forth constantly, oscillates between past and present, causing worry, restlessness, fear, aversion and dissatisfaction. To restore to the very nature of human nature that is peace and happiness, mind has to be brought back to the present leaving all the baggage behind. Mind should be transported to the concept ‘be here now.” Yoga cleanses the body and purifies the mind. Yoga directs one to look for truth about ourselves as to who we are, why we are here and what is the purpose of life.
Meditation connects us to our deeper spiritual nature allowing us to tap our senses, feelings, beliefs and inner most thoughts. Meditation peels off our negative tendencies, erratic behaviors, violent tendencies and restlessness. In The Places That Scare You, Pema Chodron describes the basis of Buddhist sitting meditation in this way: “Sitting meditation cultivates loving-kindness and compassion. . . . It gives us a way to move closer to our thoughts and emotions and to get in touch with our bodies. It is a method of cultivating unconditional friendliness toward ourselves and for parting the curtain of indifference that distances us from the suffering of others. It is our vehicle for learning to be a truly loving person.”
Lord Shiva’s the third eye (also known as the inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight. In certain dharmic spiritual traditions such as Hinduism, the third eye refers to the ajna, or brow, chakra. The third eye is referred to the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. In New Age spirituality, the third eye often symbolizes a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply personal spiritual or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with religious visions, clairvoyance, the ability to observe chakras and auras, precognition, and out-of-body experiences. People who are claimed to have the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers.
The third eye is considered inner eye and also known as Ajna Chakra, which is located between the eye brows It is also referred to eye of knowledge. It is a commanding center for all decision making process. It will enable a man to get connected to inner world. It is though meditation the third eye can be activated to see inside yourself and its connection to beyond. At certain stage of mediation, one can establish connection with pineal gland and pituitary gland enabling one to experience peace of mind and happiness. As long as one cannot tap this inner eye, he is said to be in spiritual darkness.
The third eye is the eye of vision to see the light inside. It is by opening the third eye, you can achieve deeper penetration. The third eye means your perception has gone beyond the dualities of life. You are able to see the true nature of self, the potential for enlightenment and its connectivity with the Super Soul. All the dualities disappear at that level.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker, and dozens of others, mostly young Unitarian ministers have left us a great legacy of spiritualism. Most Unitarian Universalists(UUs) know vaguely of the Transcendentalists, their alleged pantheism, their love of Nature, their intellectual and literary power. But what is the "spiritual achievement" the Transcendentalists have bequeathed to us? During early 19th century, many writers were preaching about outward things and not enough about inward pious life.
Many transcendentalists in those days practiced a number of activities to practice spirituality. They concentrated on the stillness of the nature; contemplation, prayer and meditation; reading sacred books; writing and journal keeping; conversations/discussions; setting aside sacred space and sacred time; and expressed their ideas through art. In nature, the Transcendentalists saw the presence of the divine. In his journal, Henry David Thoreau wrote, "My profession is always to be on the alert to find God in nature, to know his lurking places, to attend all the oratories, the operas in nature. To watch for, describe, all the divine features which I detect in Nature."
For many transcendentalist Meditation and Contemplation was a vehicle for mindfully and thoughtfully experiencing our own divinity. Emerson preached on prayer: "It is not only when we audibly and in form, address our petitions to the Deity, that we pray. We pray without ceasing. Every secret wish is a prayer. Every desire of the human mind is a prayer uttered to God and registered in heaven." For Emerson, "true prayers are the daily, hourly, momentary desires, that come without impediment, without fear, into the soul."
They showed great interest in reading different books not just for the sake information but for inspiration and for new ideas. They read widely other worldly religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Ralph Waldo Emerson, following the death of his wife, resigned as a Minister of Church claiming that he was unable to preach the gospel he no longer believed. His inquiring mind was not satiated. He found refuge in the spiritual and idealism of Hinduism. He read extensively the Indian scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and others. He said this about the BhagavadGita:"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."
Disgusted by the increasing materialism of the West, Emerson turned to India for solace:
"The Indian teaching, through its clouds of legends, has yet a simple and grand religion, like a queenly countenance seen through a rich veil. It teaches to speak truth, love others, and to dispose trifles. The East is grand - and makes Europe appear the land of trifles. ...all is soul and the soul is Vishnu.
They realized that everybody should some sacred time and sacred space for themselves in solitude to grow spiritually.Henry Thoreau wrote: "This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no Sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work." Rather than observing the Sabbath as an obligation, they believed that it was important to take time away from the regularity of our daily lives.
Ralph Emerson also recognized the importance of sacred space for meditation, prayer and reflection. He advised all his listeners to set aside a sacred place in their houses. "In your arrangements for your residence see that you have a chamber to yourself, though you sell your coat and wear a blanket." It was important for the Transcendentalists to consecrate time and space for the mindful practice of spirituality.
Health and spiritual benefits
Mayo Clinic asks a question, “is yoga right for you?” It says, “It is if you want to fight stress, get fit and stay healthy”. Numerous studies have well documented the wealth of information on the health and spiritual benefits of yoga. Yoga credited with the reduction of stress and anxiety while at the same time it enhanced the mood and overall well-being. It helped reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart diseases and high blood pressure, alleviated chronic conditions such as depression, pain and insomnia. It is attributed to improved balance, flexibility in mind and body, range of emotions and strength. Benefits also include muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality, weight reduction, improved athletic performance and increased blood flow.
The study conducted by Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin revealed that consistent yoga practice led to a significant increase in the serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. He also reported that the left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function. More dramatic left-sided activation was found in dedicated, long-term practitioners.
Yoga will help find who you are and how to achieve of mind by concentrating on the divine within.
It will help you to understand the world around you better and also appreciate your own life. It will help you find stillness and silence within you and it enable you enjoy life with more contentment and happiness as you develop discriminatory wisdom to tap what is essential in life and the true nature of human existence. The things that were stressful, frustrating and nerve wrecking lose their importance as you keep practicing yoga that allows to focus on the divinity. Many yoga practitioners feel the connection between mind, body and spirit and finally they are able to feel the “oneness” within themselves.
According to 2016 study conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, the number of yoga practitioners has increased to more than 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012. Also, thirty-four percent of Americans or 80 million people say they are likely to try yoga for the first time in the next 12 months.“What's fascinating is the data shows that those who practice and teach yoga have measurably better perceptions of their individual strength, balance, dexterity, and mental clarity versus non-practitioners," said Yoga Alliance Executive Director and COO,Barbara Dobberthien.
How Sanyasi defeated the Alexander the Great
When Alexander- the Great, visited India after conquering all the other countries in the world that were known to him, he wanted to see the strange Indians of whom he had been hearing so much. He was just led to a monk/sanyasi or priest on the bank of the Indus river. The monk lay there on the sands, bare-footed, naked, wearing no clothes and not knowing where from his tomorrow's food was to come, just lying there and basking in the sun. Meditating for the enhancement of the self and for the well-being of the Universe.
Alexander, the Great, with his crown shining, dazzling with the brilliant diamonds and gems that he had got from Persia, stood beside him in all his glory. Beside him was the monk with no clothes on -what a contrast, what a contrast! The riches of the whole world represented by the body of Alexander on one side, and all the outward poverty represented by the saint on the other side! But you have simply to look at their faces to be convinced of the poverty or riches of their true souls. The Fakir was seating fearlessly infront of the world conqueror.
Look at the beaming countenance of the saint, the happy, joyful face of the saint. Alexander, the Great was struck by his appearance. He fell in love with him, and just asked the saint to come with him to Athence (Greece). The saint laughed, and his answer was: "The world is in Me(Soham...!!!!)." The world cannot contain Me. The universe is in Me. I cannot be confined in the Universe. Greece, Rome and Persia are in Me. The suns and stars rise and set in Me."
Alexander, the Great, not being used to this kind of language, was surprised. He said," I will give you riches and wealth. I will just flood you with worldly pleasures and amenities. All sort of things that people desire, all sorts of things which captivate and charm people will be in wild profusion at your service. Please accompany me to Greece."
The saint laughed, laughed at his reply and said, "There is not a diamond, there is not a sun or star which shines, but to Me is due its luster. To Me is, due the glory of all the heavenly bodies. To Me is due all the attractive nature, all the charms of the things desired. It would be beneath my dignity, it would be degrading on my part, first, to lend the glory and charm to these objects, and then go about seeking them, to go begging at the door of worldly riches, to go begging at the door of flesh and animal desires to receive pleasure, happiness. It is below my dignity. I can never stoop to that level. No I can never go begging at theirs.
This astonished Alexander, the Great. He just drew his sword and was going to strike off the head of that saint. And again the saint laughed a hearty laugh and said, "0 Alexander! never in your life did you speak such a falsehood, such an abominable lie. Kill Me, kill Me!
Where is the sword that can kill Me? Where is the weapon that can wound Me? Where is the calamity that can mar my cheerfulness? Where is the sorrow that can tamper with my Happiness? Everlasting, the same yesterday, today and forever, pure and holy of holies, the Master of the Universe, that I am.
Even in your hands I am the power that makes them move, 0 Alexander! If this body dies, there I remain, the power that makes your hand move. I am the power that makes your muscles move." The sword fell down from the hands of Alexander. He totally surrendered at the feet of the Master.The Great conqueror of the world was lying near to feet of the Sanyasi(Monk). The sword,which has claimed thousands life,was kissing the dust of the Sanyasi feet.Sanyasi said to Alexander the Great,O king awake,arise and leave tis violence,embrace love and affection.You will become universe conqueror!!!!!!! leave aside the mirage of the world Conqueror.Alexander,touched the feet of Sanyasi and ordered the retreat of his Army from the Indus.
With so much violence, terror and deception reigning entire globe, it is absolutely essential to adopt the way of spirituality if the humanity is spared from continuous terror, bloodshed, brutality and incessant killing. As Arnold Toynbee said that we need to adopt the India way that is ahimsa if we have to stop the self-destruction. Strive and drive toward spiritual experience where by self is allowed to shed the state of alienation, anxiety, egoism and dominance. With constant bombings and killings by ISIS and other terrorist organizations, the mankind is yearning for global peace and international brotherhood and love. Spirituality may not totally shield us from these dangers but it will have impact on the environment and the mind-set of the people. It will give courage and fearlessness to influence the negative elements. It may even transform the ruthless leaders and blood thirsty organizations allowing spirituality to flourish and peace to flower.
Hindus scriptures talk about Vasudaiva kutumbam – the whole world is a family. Oneness is emphasized. Every being is a reflection of divinity and ananda is the essential nature of human beings. In all prayers Hindus talk about peace and prosperity which is reflected in this invocation:
Om sarve bhavantu sukhinah. Sarve santu niraamayaah.
Sarve bhadraani pashyantu. Maa kaschid dukhbhaag bhavet.
May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy.
May all beings experience prosperity. May none in the world suffer.
Its aim is global peace irrespective of religion, nationality, sex or age.
Dr Zakir Husain, the third President of India expressed his anguish at the communal violence preceding the Partition: “The raging fire of our mutual hatred has vitiated the atmosphere that our work of garden tending seemed a mad pursuit. This fire will scorch the earth and wipe out humanity and civility … “For God’s sake, unite to introspect to extinguish the fire. Fire is on, put it down. It is not the question of survival of this or the other community, it is the time to choose between civilized way of life or of a jungle rule.”
The only solution to avoid the human catastrophe is the Hindu way because of its pluralism, tolerance, accommodation, peaceful existence, open dialogue, respect for life, and human dignity. Dinesh Chandra captured the essence of Hindu ethos when he stated, “Hinduism, thus, is the only progressive religion, nay the only way of life that has to be adopted by the world if it has to survive the tumultuous chaos it has landed itself in. Sanity demands that people need to be granted freedom of thought and to live the way they desire as long as they do not interfere with others. That is the crux of Hinduism.” (Hinduism: Dawn of Civilization; 2008)
For centuries India is known for both material plane and spiritual plane. It excelled in almost every conceivable field of study. They have not left out any subject unexplored. But India is primarily known as a spiritual leader of the world. It emphasized the churning of the soul rather than waging war that lead to the human destruction. It believes that once the country is strong spiritually it would reflect in all other areas such as political, economic, social, religious, scientific and cultural dimensions. Hence every Indian should take up the challenge to recognize the potential of spirituality, study it, digest it, and disseminate to the rest of the world.Let us heed the words of Arnold Toynbee and give humanity
a chance to live in peaceful coexistence through the spiritual plane. “So now we turn to India. This spiritual gift, that makes a man human, is still alive in Indian souls. Go on giving the world Indian examples of it. Nothing else can do so much to help mankind to save itself from destruction.”
Swami Vivekananda summed up the role of India in promoting the world peace, harmony and love to conquer the world. “India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the spirit; not with the flag of destruction, but with the flag of peace and love … One vision I see clear as life before me: that the ancient Mother has awakened once more, sitting on Her throne rejuvenated, more glorious than ever. Proclaim Her to all the world with the voice of peace and benediction.” (CW IV 352-353).
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Prakasarao Velagapudi PhD, (601-918-7111 cell), (601-856-4783 home); Prasad Yalamanchi (630-832-2665; 630-359-5041); Satya Dosapati (732-939-2060); Satya Nemana (732-762-7104); Sekhar Reddy (954-895-1947); Vinay Boppana (248-842-6964); Tulasichand Tummala (408-786-8357); Raju Polavaram, MD (919-959-6141); Nandini Velagapudi, PhD (601-942-2248); Rama Kasibhatla (678-570-1151); Shankar Adusumilli MD (919-961-9584); Sireesha Muppalla (631-421-8686); Prasad Garimella MD (770-595-8033); Raghavendra Prasad MD (214-325-1969); Murali Alloju MD (703-953-1122); Veeraiah Choudary Perni MD (330-646-8004); Vishnu Kalidindi MD; Srivas Chebrolu MD; Avadesh Agarwal; Sudheer Gurram MD; Rajendrarao Gavini MD; Srinath Vattam MD, Ravi Gandhi, Ramadevi Vadali, Kishore Kancharla, Ranjith Kumar Rikkala; Satish Kodeboyina; and Dr. Ghazal Srinivas, Honorary Brand Ambassador.
GHHF Dallas Core Group
Mahesh Rao Choppa (732-429-5217); ); Srinivas Pamidimukkala (832-444-6460); Gopal Ponangi (214-868-7538); Ram Yalamanchili (214-663-6363); Ravi Pattisam (617-304-3577); Krishna Athota (214-912-3724); Sesharao Boddu (972-489-6949}; P. Viswanadham, PhD (972-355-7107); I V Rao (214-284-6227); Rajesh Veerapaneni (773-704-0405); Sunil T Patel (214-293-4740); Vijay Kollapaneni (818-325-9576); Ghanashyam Kakadia (469-583-1682); R K Panditi (972-516-8325); Viswas Mudigonda (972-814-5961); Srikanth Akula (952-334-9990); Kalyan Jarajapu (972-896-8352); Sitaram Panchagnula (714-322-3430); Vasanth Suri (408-239-3436); Phani Aduri (214-774-2139); Konda Srikanth (214-500-5890); Siva Agnoor (214-542-661).