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Interfaith Dialogue (18 Aug 2014 NewAgeIslam.Com)


One World, One Vision

 

 

By Dada J.P. Vaswani

No matter what our backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, faiths and histories, we are involved in the future of the world together. Unless everyone achieves the desired goals, there can be no lasting peace and security. Every missed opportunity, every failed goal would be a root cause of global insecurity. When we achieve the goal of universal peace, as well as the more specific developmental goals, we would be eliminating the 20th century concept of ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ world countries. There will be just a single 21st century world in which all of us will have shared hopes and shared responsibilities.

One World; One Vision

This is the hope that sustains enlightened thinkers and progressive organizations. It is not just a dream any more—it has already become an economic and commercial reality, with the WTO opening up boundaries, and once secluded nations like China and Russia emerging from behind the Iron Curtain to enter into economic collaboration with the rest of us. But this cannot stop at just the commercial levels. We have to move onward, forward. After all, we share one world; we live on the same planet. Is it not our responsibility to make this world a better place to live in, for ourselves and our children, and our generations unborn?

One is the world—and the only one we have. Isn’t it time we took care of it and its resources? And shouldn’t we begin by taking care of one another? How can we take care of one another if we are constantly quarrelling, constantly bickering and waging wars with one another? It was a very wise soul who said, “The world can only be as good as the people in it.” So let us resolve to be good—to get better, so that this world can benefit with our efforts.

True, we need to change, we need to develop; we need to make progress. But the change must be for the better—not for the worse. The progress and development must be for everybody’s benefit, not for the privileged few alone. The daunting problems of violence and strife in our world have to be tackled on a war-footing—if I may use such a contrary metaphor! The need for achieving world peace is fundamental. No extrinsic attempts to achieve it are likely to be crowned with success. The pity of it is that all our plans and schemes till now consider only the political and economic aspects of the problem, and ignore its spiritual dimensions. And it is my humble opinion that politics and economics, unaided by spiritual ethics, only cause confusion worse confounded.

The outer is always an expression of the inner, and world peace cannot be achieved unless we have first established unity in the hearts of men. Politics, after all, sweeps only on the surface of life, and cannot touch men’s hearts. On the other hand, religion goes to the very root and transforms the lives of individuals, their thinking, their morals, their conduct and character. Politics is the product of the mind and the intellect—and these are often instruments of division. True religion is born of intuition and higher understanding—and these are essentially punitive. This is why I affirm that we need a new punitive vision of the spirit. We must turn our attention from the machines and money to the soul of humanity. The great historian Toynbee, surveying the situation of civilization in the twentieth century, pointed out that the world’s hope is not in love of money and power, but in the spiritual qualities of justice, tolerance, sympathy and self-offering to the Eternal.

In the past, religions, too, stood impeached at the Bar of Eternal Justice. For the pages of world history are stained with the blood of innocents who have been mercilessly slaughtered in the name of one religion or another. Fanatical crusades drained Europe of men and money, without really improving her civilization. In our own time, we have seen rivers of True, we need to change, we need to develop; we need to make progress. But the change must be for the better—not for the worse.

The progress and development must be for everybody’s benefit, not for the privileged few alone. The daunting problems of violence and strife in our world have to be tackled on a war-footing—if I may use such a contrary metaphor! The need for achieving world peace is fundamental. No extrinsic attempts to achieve it are likely to be crowned with success. The pity of it is that all our plans and schemes till now consider only the political and economic aspects of the problem, and ignore its spiritual dimensions. And it is my humble opinion that politics and economics, unaided by spiritual ethics, only cause confusion worse confounded.

The outer is always an expression of the inner, and world peace cannot be achieved unless we have first established unity in the hearts of men. Politics, after all, sweeps only on the surface of life, and cannot touch men’s hearts. On the other hand, religion goes to the very root and transforms the lives of individuals, their thinking, their morals, their conduct and character. Politics is the product of the mind and the intellect—and these are often instruments of division. True religion is born of intuition and higher understanding—and these are essentially punitive. This is why I affirm that we need a new punitive vision of the spirit. We must turn our attention from the machines and money to the soul of humanity. The great historian Toynbee, surveying the situation of civilization in the twentieth century, pointed out that the world’s hope is not in love of money and power, but in the spiritual qualities of justice, tolerance, sympathy and self-offering to the Eternal.

In the past, religions, too, stood impeached at the Bar of Eternal Justice. For the pages of world history are stained with the blood of innocents who have been mercilessly slaughtered in the name of one religion or another. Fanatical crusades drained Europe of men and money, without really improving her civilization. In our own time, we have seen rivers of

blood flowing in India and Ireland, Indonesia and Iraq due to sectarian strife and violence.

But is it religion that is to be blamed? Or is it that our lives lack the true religious spirit-which is the spirit of sympathy and service, of peace and fellowship? I think we lack religion in its truest sense. If the great religions of the world could be reconciled and their cumulative powers harnessed to the task of harmonising different races and nationalities, world peace would indeed become a reality.

Sadhu Vaswani taught me that the various creeds and religions of humanity are but different ways of attaining one goal. Different religions are but branches of one religion-the Religion of the Spirit. No matter how widely they may differ in their externals, they are all born out of one common and universal spiritual need-the need to unite the entire world in a spiritual brotherhood of man. For this the vision that should inspire us; the vision that will move us onward, forward, Godward!

Dada J.P. Vaswani is one of the leading spiritual luminaries of India. He is spiritual Head of Sadhu Vaswani Mission, an international, non-profit, social welfare and service organisation with its headquarters in Pune, India and active centres all over the world including London. A towering educationist, he believes the frontiers of knowledge must be saturated, with values and ideals. Fifteen schools and colleges are run under his aegis, focusing on character-building education. A gifted writer, he has authored over 150 books, many of which have been translated into several languages. For more details, see:

Source: http://www.dadavaswanisbooks.in

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/dada-jp-vaswani/one-world,-one-vision/d/98599

 




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