Realistic Solution for Diverse Humanity

by His Divine Grace Sreela Bhakti Dayita Madhav Gosvami Maharaja

The following speech was delivered at a " Spiritual Summit Conference" held by The Congress of World Religions. The conference took place from October 22 to October 26, 1968 at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture in Calcutta, India. This conference was organized by Sh. B.K. Birla and his wife Smt. Sarla Devi This Spritual Summit Conference was sponsored by the Temple of Understanding. (Washington D.C. U.S.A).

Representatives of the different religious faiths of the world, namely- Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Bahais, Jews, Confucians, Zoroastrians, etc. were invited to this summit.

Mr. Findly P. Dun, Secretary of the Conference came to invite Sreela Bhakt Dayita Madhav Gosvami Maharaja, and requested him to represent the Hindus. At the conference, Prof. Amiya Chakraborty of the New York State University, Dr. Houston Smith and other dignitaries had a detailed discussion with Him.

"I heartily welcome the organizers of this symposium in their attempt to explore an impartial and liberal approach to different views of religious faiths in this world and to find out how world-fellowship of different religions or a unity of hearts amongst human beings can be promoted. There are two ways of approach. (1) The sincere, real and practical approach having relation to the actual state of conditions and nature of human beings and, (2) An idealistic approach having little or no practical value merely indulging in the luxury of high-sounding words. If we sincerely want to obtain real and abiding effect, we should face facts boldly. The fact is that there exists no 100 per cent identity amongst individuals as they are conscious units having independence of thinking, feeling and willing, individuals, as a result of their different actions, achieve separate environments and paraphernalia. Every individual has his peculiar nature distinct form any other. So, obviously individuals will vary in their opinions and tastes and this is quite natural. It is an unnatural thing to attempt forcibly to encage individuals into one fold, faith or particular ideology. Accordingly cultivation of tolerance of others' views is essential for world-peace and unity. Indian sponsors of religion appeared to have got that insight and tolerance, hence many independent views have cropped up in India and have flourished simultaneously. Want of tolerance makes us sectarian and that spirit motivates us for forcible conversion of others which brings turmoil and unrest in the world. Religion should give equal scope to all the individuals for their respective spiritual development according to their attributes.

Indian saints have classified the nature of human beings in three broad groups-'Sattvika', 'Rajasika' and 'Tamasika'. Sattvika people are wise, sincere, generous and non violent. As such they have an altruistic mentality and render disinterested (*non-motivated) service. Rajasika people are egoists. However they are active and do good to others with the motive of getting a return of their actions for self-aggrandizement. They won't tolerate harm to themselves. They have got the spirit of taking revenge. 'Tamasika' people are indolent, out and out egoists and of violent temper. They are indiscriminate in their pursuit of enjoyment, they completely disregard the interest of others and will do anything to fulfill their selfish desires. So ,"Sattvika", 'Rajasika" and 'Tamasika' people vary in their tastes, habits and nature. Three forms of teaching religion have been prescribed for the three groups according to their eligibility, giving them scope for gradual elevation. These three modes of teaching are related to the apparent self, as such changeable. There are still higher and higher thoughts of religious existence which transcend those three qualities and relates to the eternal natural function of the real-self. If we want quantity, we must sacrifice quality and if we want quality, evidently we shall have to sacrifice quantity. Both cannot be achieved at one time.. However, the primary point to be noted here is that there should be tolerance amongst sponsors of different religious views and respect for other's views, as well as equal scope should be given to all for their spiritual upliftment from the respective status. Another point to be noted here is that we should have the patience to understand the underlying spirit of different religious faiths and not merely indulge in disputes in regard to the ritualistic aspects of religions which will certainly vary in different parts of the world in accordance with the change of climate conditions and environments.

Now-a-days, we find lack of discipline rampant in every sphere of human life-political, social, economical and even in educational. Student-unrest (youth-unrest) is one of the most serious problems of the day. It is extremely diffcult to proceed with the constructive work when people are prone to indiscipline. To fight against disruptive tendencies and indiscipline, a radical treatment of minds of the people is required. Here we feel the necessity of moral and spiritual values in human life. There are two ways of treating diseases-pathological and symptomatic. In pathological treatment root-cause of the disease is ascertained first and then the remedy is prescribed. The process of symptomatic treatment by be easier but it does not have a lasting effect, it may give temporary relief, while treatment through the pathological process brings about permanent relief.

To determine the root-cause of unrest we ought first to determine the meaning of the self. I strongly believe, that ignorance of our real-self is the cause of unrest, discord and anxiety. The real-self is not the physical tabernacle. It is something other than the gross and subtle bodies. We consider the body to be the person, as long as we observe consciousness in it. The moment the body is bereft of consciousness, it loses its personality. 'I' am 'I' when the conscious entity, i.e. the entity that thinks, feels and wills is present in me and 'I' am 'not-I' when it is absent in me. Hence the entity whose presence and absence makes me, 'me' and 'not-me' respectively, must be the person. The conscious entity (Soul) is designated as 'Atman' in Indian scriptures. 'Atman' is indestructible, it has no origin and no end. If we plunge deep into the matter, we can trace our existence with the Absolute Conscious Principle, whom we call Godhead, the Fountain Source of innumerable conscious units. Godhead is termed Sat-Chit-Ananda i.e., He is All-Existence, All-Knowledge and All-Bliss. Individuals are points of rays emanating from Him and as such one of His external co-existing potencies. Individuals cannot live independently. They are all interconnected and co-existing though retaining their own individual characteristics.

It has already been stated that differences in the individuals are unavoidable as they are conscious units. Now the problem is to find a common ground and interest for the solution of these differences. A sense of common interest can be fostered among individuals, if they know that they are inter-connected, are parts of one Organic System and are the sons and daughters of one Father. Here is the task of all religions; to teach people that all beings of the world are closely inter-related. Although steadfastness or firm belief in God (Nistha) according to some particular faith and eligibility of the individual is congenial for healthy spiritual growth of every individual, religious bigotry which begets enmity is condemnable, as it is against the real interest of the individual and society. Real religion teaches love for one another.

Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu propagated the cult of all-embracing Divine Love which brings universal brotherhood on a transcendental plane. According to Him forgetfulness of our eternal relation with the Supreme Godhead, Sri Krishna, is the root-cause of all afflictions. Sri Krishna is God of all gods, Supreme Persona having All-Existence, All-Knowledge and All-Bliss, Beginningless yet the Beginning of all and Prime Cause of all causes. The word "KRISHNA" means One Who attracts all and pleases all by His Wonderful Enchanting Beauty, Majesty, Munificence and Supremacy and this denotes the highest conception of Godhead with all perfections. He is the Object of All-love. So, remembrance of Sri Krishna or God is the Divine Panacea of all evils. The easiest and most effective way of remembering God is chanting the Holy name which can be practiced by all, irrespective of caste, creed, age, health, economic, social and educational status at any place or time.

In the Vedic Cult we find the theory of the cycle of time within the period of infinite time, which has go four stages in accordance with the predominance of religiousness and irreligiousness. The four ages are designated as Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali. In Satya Yuga (The first age of the cycle or time) wisdom predominated in men an as such they were aware of the painful and transitory nature of the world and thereby were not fascinated by it; concentration without interruption was possible and meditation (Dhyanam) was prescribed as the common religion suitable for all. In 'Treta Yoga' (next spiritually degraded age of the cycle of time) when the slirit of activity predominated and people were attached to worldly objects, Yajna (sacrifice) i.e. offering of the things of attachment to the Lord, was prescribed as the common religion to divert the attention of the people form material objects of attachment and turn their minds towards Him. In 'Dwapara Yga" (next and more degraded age) when people were addicted to worldly objects and sensualism, 'Archana' ( worship of Deities) was prescribed as the common religion for gradual attainment of concentration of the mind by directing all the senses and objects of attachment to His service. In the present age 'Kali Yuga' ( the last and spiritually most degraded age of the cycle of time), when people are firmly attached to wordly objects, are too much given to sensualism and always diseases, they are incapable of performing 'Dhyanam' {Meditation), 'Yajna' (Sacrifice) and 'Archana (Worship of the Deities) rightly and as such chanting of the Holy Name of God is prescribed for them.

Today the world is taking tremendous scientific strides. Modern scientists are performing wonders. But I spite of their marvelous accomplishments and despite their pride in Twentieth Century civilization, it is puzzling to see that science is so much engaged in inventing destructive weapons like atom-bombs, etc. and thereby imperiling the whole human race. Any moment there may be a conflagration and the whole world may perish. Saints are deeply concerned as to how to avert such a calamity. Mere material scientific accomplishments are unable to save the world from such a danger. Of course, scientific inventions or achievements as such are not condemnable. Everything depends on the proper use of things. Science may be used for the god of humanity and also may be misused for the destruction of human civilization. It is imperative to consider the problem and diagnose the disease of conflicts and mutual distrust amongst nations and individuals. So long as nations and individuals have separate centers of interest, tension is inevitable. Nobody can avoid it.

This world is limited. When there are many claimants for one limited object, disputes amongst claimants are unavoidable. It is because of this that Indian saints differ from the leaders of the west or from the westernized leaders of our country in their manner of tackling the problem of peace.. In fact, the genuine saints of the world are wise enough to see the fundamental defect in the attempt of the so-called best brains to achieve world-peace. They assert with great emphasis that a practical solution of the problems is not possible so long as the individuals do not change their present craving for sensuous enjoyment and greediness for mundane wealth and direct their attention towards 'the Unlimited', the 'Infinite, 'the Absolute'. The heads of different religious groups should clearly and emphatically point out and teach their followers the painful and perishable character of worldly objects and the futility of sensuous enjoyment. They should create interest in man for the worship of God which brings about real happiness.

Unless and until the eternal relationship of the people is known to them and they realize that they cannot exist and be happy without the Godhead, Who is All-Bliss, they natural inclination of the people towards the Godhead and diversion of their attention from the material aspects of life cannot be effected. As long as people have the conviction that their only interest lies in material prosperity and sensuous enjoyment, discord cannot be avoided. Mere belief in the existence of God will be of great benefit to humanity be restraining people from committing sins and teaching man to do good to others. They will have fear of punishment for misdeeds and encouragement to seek reward for good deeds. Want of patience and tolerance originates from lust. Any activity which leads to the satisfaction of one's own gross and subtle senses is termed lust. Hindrance to the fulfillment of lust breeds anger and that brings conflict, and malice amongst individuals and nations.

So long as people do not understand that they are inseparably connected, and until the activities of the people are God-centered, mere sentimentalism or fictitious ideas will not be able to foster real love amongst individuals.

If we know that the infliction of harm to other animate beings is detrimental to our own interest and will bring harm in return, we will not be encouraged to harm any individual, nay even any sentient being of the world.

If we can love the Absolute Whole, I mean the Godhead, we cannot have the impetus to injure any of His parts. So, according to me or the teaching of Lord Gauranga, Divine Love is the best solution of all the problems of the worlds.


All Glory to Sree Guru and Gouranga

On July 3rd, 1962, seventeen professors from different universities, on behalf of the Cultural Mission of the United States of America of America, visited the Southern Zonal Office of the Sree Chaitanya Gaudya Matha in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. India. They discussed the relevant of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's message of divine love in the modern world. The names of the professors who attended the conference are:

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