Despite rapid strides in knowledge, nothing has really changed for the better. Bertrand Russell (the British logician, best known for his mathematical logic and analytic philosophy) has rightly said in his book, Impact of Science on Society, "we are in the middle of a race between human skill as to the means and human folly as to the end". He had further added, "Unless men increase in wisdom as much as in knowledge, increase of knowledge will be increase of sorrow". This great message has obviously gone unheeded.
Amidst the chaotic conditions the world over, we have saner voices of visionaries who instil hope and faith through their ardent messages. These ardent voices profusely speak of spirituality as the only salve for distraught humanity.
In India, we had Mahatma Gandhi, who showed to the world, the effectiveness of non-violence and had declared that every worthy object can be achieved by non-violent means. He used satya graha and declared it to be the greatest force to rid society of all evils. Likewise, the world also witnessed another champion of human dignity in Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice". The concern of such pious souls is evident in their work and struggles for human rights. They were indeed great social reformers and elevated human minds. Their concern and contribution for the well being of society deserves utmost admiration. Hats off to patience, perseverance and persistence exhibited by these souls.
Recorded history testifies that peace and harmony is one ideal that humanity has collectively cherished. In ancient times, we had chanting of peace hymns by Vedic seers. Hindus have been vociferously advocating establishing a Ram Rajya – the Kingdom of Ram. Christianity gave to the world manifesto of heaven on earth. Plato and his contemporaries established the criteria for the ideal society, built on the four pillars of courage, wisdom, temperance, and justice. In more recent times, we have had a large number of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), working for the establishment of peace. There have always been efforts for peace that ensures justice, equality, freedom and prosperity. Apostles of peace all along endeavored for submergence of self interest for the greater good of mankind.
Granting full credit to the individuals and organizations working for peace and harmony today, we need unhesitatingly admit that despite stupendous efforts, the desired results are not forthcoming. The answer is simple. Ram Rajya cannot be established without the inner knowledge of Ram, Christianity’s heaven on earth manifesto will not materialize without the inner knowledge of Christ and Plato’s ideal society will not emerge from the broken bits of today’s society until that universal ideal is manifested from within. Global peace sans divinity is well nigh impossible. The need is to apply the eternal methodology for a lasting solution. Verbal talk of spirituality and divinity is not adequate. Spirituality needs to be taught as a science of experience. It essentially calls for manifestation of inherent divinity. The Vedic prescription for peace speaks of this technique.
The Vedic Prescription To the Vedantists, spirituality denotes inner freedom. It is with inner freedom, we can become truly religious. This calls for knowledge of self - the eternal knowledge that transcends body/mind consciousness. It is on attaining inner freedom, our vision truly expands and we are able to see beyond ourselves, caste, community, race, sect and even national outlook. We, then, acquire a global vision.
In similar fashion, Swami Vivekananda advocated teaching of spirituality as a science of experience. Being science of the soul, it has to be practically manifested and revealed to the aspirant. Verbal lectures aimed at explaining the concept of spirituality can never produce the desired results. It is only when a person is practically made to perceive and experience soul within that he or she truly understands the common divine cord that binds us all. Spirituality, when taught as a science of experience enables us to comprehend the cosmic process, the indestructibility of soul and the sameness of the activating force that permeates through all. The futility and frivolity of distinctions and differences that we have thrust upon ourselves become self evident.
Albeit Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and others of their ilk derive authority of their philosophy from Vedas (the earliest known literature on philosophy of life), the Vedas were not written by humans but were revealed by God Almighty Himself to the sages of ancient times. The acceptance of the authority of the Vedas by them was not based on verbal knowledge but they too had received the transcendental knowledge from their masters and practiced in letter and spirit to reach the zenith of human perfection.
The Vedas were the first to propound and declare the world, verily, a global family. Vedas speak of welfare of the whole world. Vedic seers chanted hymns of peace for the entire humanity. Vedas eulogize the eternal knowledge as the only panacea of all ills. But it is declared to be a sovereign secret which only an Enlightened Soul can reveal to the aspirant. The Bhagavad Gita (4:34) states, “Approach the wise and authentic spiritual master. Surrender unto him first, and try to understand him by inquiries and service. Such a man of wisdom will enlighten you with transcendental knowledge, for he has already known the universal truth”. Peace has to be worked upon and wrought through wholesale dissemination of this divine knowledge.
Sushil Kumar Vasudeva is a Human Rights Activist residing in New Delhi, India. He is also the author of approximately 85 published articles regarding spirituality, philosophy, theology, and religion. The author draws inspiration from his preceptor, Satguru Shri Ashutosh Ji Maharaj. Sushil Kumar Vasudeva can be reached at email@example.com.