His Holiness Swastishree Karmayogi
* Charukirti Bhattaraka Maha Swamiji
Lord Jaina Bean, Shravanabelgola
His-Holiness Shri Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji, the presiding Pontif of Shri Jaina Matha, Shravanabelgola since sixteen years, is one of the chief propagators of world peace. With a deep sense of understanding and clear vision of the maladies and evils of the world, His-Holiness believes in constructive solution for the problems and dedication for the cause of promoting the ethical standard of human society, Swamiji, a foremost thinker and reformer of our times is a philosopher and a man of action in one.
In these days of academic rivalries between philosophers and scientists, Swamijiï¿½s approach to the burning problems of society is one of synoptic vision and catholic attitude. This could have been possible only for Swamiji, who could rightly view things in the light of real truth and translate what he says in action. The greatest dictum that the greatest saint is not the man who does extraordinary things, but does ordinary things extraordinarily, has been realised in the life of Swamiji.ï¿½
We stand on an isthumus of time hopefully reviewing the changeful features of chaotic world, which destructive forces have carried away a long way to a near disaster. Many thoughtful minds all the world over despair of lasting peace and already talk of world war third. They feel no series of peace conferences and not merely external tinkering with league machinery and international committees can do anything positive to world peace. They feel perhaps vaguely that the Common Consciousness of the nations must be inspired from within, that unless the soul of man is aroused, political leadership will do little more than reflen. conflicting interests and confused thoughts of the day.
Religion and World Peace:
So Einstein says ï¿½ We stand at the parting of the ways. It is for us to find the way of peace or as an alternative to continue along that path of brutal force which is unworthy of our civilization. On the one side, there beckons to us the freedom of the individual, and the security of common wealthï¿½s, on the other the servitude of individuals, and the collapse of our civilization. Our fate will be as we deserve.
Many thoughtful observers believe that they see the doom of our mechanised civilization in the repeated failures of disarmament conferences and the ill-starred performance of the League of Nations. These are indeed discouraging set backs to the cause of the World Peace. Especially so, since the peace movement is so closely associated with the fortunes of League of Nations. However, disappointments need not be fatal if we learn the lessons of the past. It is evident that Peace cannot be had for the mere asking and that we cannot risk another World-war. Peace can neither ho bought nor sold because its price is Peace, and that is our Goal. So also human dignity and religion are the essentials of any sane society. What Kant wrote in his treatise on ï¿½ Perpetual Peaceï¿½ is significant at this hour. ï¿½ No treaty of peace shall be regarded as valid, if-made with the secret reservation of material for a future warï¿½. The rights of men as citizens of the world should be respected and universal hospitality extended to all with no discrimination of caste, creed, colour with dignity and respect.
There is kind of peace advocated by some philosophers which is beyond good and evil and the moral struggles of the world. Morality is a perpetual fight against evil and this state of our experience though very valuable, cannot bring peace. At the level of morality we are still in the world fighting against evil. It is only religion that can give us peace, that surpasseth the understanding. It is for this reason that great founders, Darshanas of the philosophical systems sought for peace as the highest value of the realised soul. International peace and well – being, like national peace and well -being can be secured only through self-elevating institutions. capable of life and growth such as religious institutions. If religious institutions bring spiritual values of life, economic institutions bring Food, Shelter, Clothing etc., with dignity and respect in any nation.
Pitrim Sorokin the famous American Social Philosopher classifies world cultures into,
2. Ideational and
3. Idealistic types.
Each culture represents a well marked practice of Social life. Each again is based on a major premise which serves the fundamental principle for outlook on life arid its values.
The people brought up in a sensate culture do not believe in any truth beyond the senses. Their needs and ends are mainly Physical. The scientist is their ideal man and epicureanism is their ideal life. For such people neither religion, peace nor human dignity is understandable.
The people who are brought up in an Ideational Culture too believe that truth is beyond the senses. Their needs and ends are mainly spiritual. They reject normal pleasures of life and retire into solitude. The ascetic or the solitary man is their ideal man and Stoicism is their ideal life. One who gives up this world and lives in a transcendental state does nothing to humanity except remaining in an imaginary ideal.
The people who are brought up in an Idealistic Culture too believe that truth is beyond the senses, but that it is very creative and dynamic and expresses itself in the form of the universe. The needs and ends of people in an Idealistic Culture are organised into a balanced harmony of spiritual and material activities. They do not reject sense pleasures but at the same time they do not overact their place in human life. The benevolent Saint is their ideal man and creative social work is their ideal life. When man finds thus the fundamental truth, peace, security and human dignity with the help of self realisation is possible. This we can achieve when the objectives of the convention are as follows:
1. To invite the leaders of different religions of the world to discuss the fundamental unity underlying the apparent diversities, various faiths, to discover a sure foundation for establishing, understanding and fellowship among men and women professing different faiths and to suggest ways by which the religions of the world can help 1n bringing about inner fulfillment and strengthening spiritually the process of national and international peace.
2. To invite the leaders of the religious groups belonging to various faiths to evolve a universal form of spiritual practice which is not harmful to any system of theology or any form of worship. So that all people seeking transformation of their consciousness and behaviour can come together to establish a relationship of give and take on a spiritual level.
3. To invite theologians, philosophers, thinkers to elaborate a spiritual way of life and international relations, the religions of the world can promote individual and collective peace and fulfillment, suggest relationship for happiness and welfare of all living beings and set forth the principles of a spiritual civilization that can cover the whole world for establishment of peace.
4. To invite distinguished preachers, philosophers, artists, scientists, statesman and Economists to discuss the problem of World Peace, so that world unity can be conceived on the basis of reconciliation on a spiritual foundation and a desirable social system ensuring the secular and spiritual happiness and fulfillment can be universally advocated.
5. To invite thinkers who are specially interested in ethical transformation of the world, to present comprehensively the principle of non-violence from the standpoint of different faiths, to discuss the forms for the application of the principle to all individual and collective pursuits, to show the bearing of the principle on achieving world peace, and to clarify the contributions of the achievement for total disarmament in this nuclear age.
To achieve the above aims these ideas have to be developed.
1. The fundamental unity of faiths lies in tranquility which brings inner freedom and peace; unity with mankind all forms of life and all forms of existence, fellowship with all, and service in various forms. These must be free from all doctrines and dogmas and can ensure spiritual fulfillment to all, no matter whether they are believers or non-believers.
2. To make the people realise and practise self culture with a feeling of fellowship and dedication to serve and respect all living creatures acceptable to the followers of the faiths.
3. Realisation of the fundamental unity of all faiths can enable us to remain true to our own faiths and at the same time to be respectful to all other faiths and the common spiritual principles can elaborate a spiritual way of fife and develop a spiritual civilization throughout the world. We can feel ourselves in others and realise ourselves in all and all in ourselves which is the highest dignity that any one enjoys in such a spiritual culture. This ideal will transform the social, political and economic life and international relations.
4. Peaceful co-existence of the nations will become easy in this nuclear age for the security of mankind and there may not be any class conflict or exploitation. In such an atmosphere there will be true understanding, trust and total disarmament will be an accomplished fact. The arms race will cease and all money and resourses now misspent will be used for common welfare and world peace.
5. If this noble idea! is achieved men and women may follow their own faiths, but at the same time feel at one with all other faiths. The unspiritual emotions of racialism, aggressive nationalism, class snobbery, apartheid, ethnic problems, and religious fanaticism responsible for most troubles in the modern world will be transformed by the ideal of human unity that all faiths preach.
So in this nuclear age non-violence which is the message of every faith has to be accepted both as a policy and a principle. The non-violent way is the way of moral and spiritual persuasion with readiness to conscious selfsuffering. !t is desirable that this religious means is applied to all problems at the national and international level. To practise non-violence in daily life, the principle of eliminating every form of avoidable and necessary cruelty and killing has to be kept before us.
1. To share the common fundamental principles of all faiths and feel that the great faiths are the manifestations of the wonderful spiritual potentialities of human conscious ness and this universal legacy must be properly made known to all the people.
2. International peace through religions is the spontaneous expression of universal brotherhood and love of all faiths.
Hinduism : Do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.
Jainism : A man should treat all beings as he himself would be treated.
Buddhism : Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
Sikkism : As thou deemest thyself so deem others.
Jesus : Whatsoever you would have men do to you, do you also to them.
Judaism : What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellowmen.
Mohammed : No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Confucius : Do not unto others what you would not they should do unto you.
Laotse : Regard your neighbourï¿½s gain as your own gain, and your neighbourï¿½s loss as your own loss.
Shintoism : The suffering of others is my suffering; the good of others is my good.
( Collected by the Late Rev. Meyer-Klugel and Mrs. Meyer-Klugel of Exeter )