FROM THE DESK OF
You are fully aware that the entire world is passing through a tense and chaotic stage, even worse than what was experienced during the two world wars. The present one is also a war, war between good and evil, sacrifice and greed, virtues and vices, tolerance and stubbornness, religious co-existence and fundamentalism, traditional time-tested values and quick gains and ego, and so on. The various issues involved are not only local i.e. restricted to one’s own country, but are global as well.
The world is witnessing mind-boggling scientific and industrial developments like artificial intelligence, internet, IT, digital technology, robotics, journey to the outer space and what not on the one hand and on the other, unfortunately, there is total chaos, confusion, suspicion, terrorism, bloodshed, violence and massacre in the name of caste, creed, race, religion and trifle issues like boundaries of nations. The family system, which is vital for the survival of the mankind, is also on the rocks.
The industrialized and technologically advanced society should have helped in preserving the human values apart from providing the materialistic gains and achieve sustainable development. Even though the present scientific innovations and technological advancements have converted this world of ours into a global village on the face of it, but the hearts and minds have drifted far apart with deep valleys and barriers being created between man and man, one nation and the other, one religion and the other, and between different races, castes and communities.
Friends, it is again because of the erosion of the time-tested ethical and moral human value system, we have forgotten our ethos, culture and traditions. The human spirit and approach is missing. The most unfortunate part of it is that this is taking place with a highly developed education system carefully devised by the great thinkers, philosophers, academicians, scholars and scientists.
However, in spite of the higest level of research, innovations and technological developments in all the areas of Science as well as material wealth and luxuries for the welbeing of the mankind, it has been observed the world over, that the highest level of anxiety, depression, nervousness, frustration, mental trauma, melancholy, feeling of deep sorrow, loneliness etc. are still prevalent and in fact, are increasing day by day. This is mainly because of the absence of mental peace due to negative mindset of people and keeping away from spiritual/religious pursuits like Yoga, Meditation, Chanting, Namaz, Prayer etc.
Need to understand the ‘Chemistry of Mind’
Friends, mind, matter, spirit and consciousness are the four most important components to understand the universal mechanism / system of the functioning of this universe. Naturally, along with the BRAIN, the MIND plays the most important role. It has been observed that despite the tremendous scientific research and advancement about the physical aspects of the human body, the composition of mind, the way it functions and what, if any, is the chemistry or the chemical formula that makes up the mind, is still unknown. This is the grand challenge for all of the worlds’ Education and Research Institutions including the best Universities!
The values of bygone era, which have helped this PLANET EARTH to sustain over the ages, are missing. Once the value system is missing, then there is no difference between human beings and other living beings. The future will depend upon the decisions and actions we will take today. It could be either peace, tranquility and prosperity or global conflict, disaster and destruction with the survival of human race at stake.
Why this World Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy?
Friends, on this background, it is high time that the learned Scholars, Thinkers, Academicians, Philosophers, Scientists, Men of Religion / Spirituality should come together to evolve a VALUE BASED UNIVERSAL EDUCATION SYSTEM with an appropriate component of Science and Religion / Spirituality to establish and develop a HOLISTIC PEACE-LOVING HARMONIOUS GLOBAL SOCIETY.
Looking at the prevailing disturbing scenario all over the world, it is imperative that we carry out introspection, search where we have gone wrong and decide about the measures, that can help in setting the things right. It requires sincere efforts and firm action by all the right thinking knowledgble people without any further loss of time. Any further delay will make the process irreversible and whatever rot has set in, will get perpetuated.
Education and Training – the only way to develop ‘Positive Mindset’
As enunciated by the Great Noble Son of India Swami Vivekananda, “Education is a manifestation of pure intelligence” & “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man”, and is obviously closely related with the proper understanding of the Role of Science and Spirituality/ Religion for the well-being of the entire Mankind.
The main thrust of Education, in addition to providing inputs by way of knowledge and information, should be in developing purity of mind, purity of thought and purity in each and every action of life, which are basic for establishing a holistic global society. The main purpose of education is to develop the “WINNING PERSONALITY” of the Student, who shall be Physically Fit, Mentally Alert, Intellectually Sharp and Spiritually Elevated, so that he will be able to contribute his mite for the welbeing and welfare of the society at large.
It is high time that we take a note of the words of wisdom spoken by the world famous Scientist Dr. Albert Einstein, who had said that “Science without Religion (Spirituality) is lame, while Religion without Science is blind.”
Friends, remember, these words of wisdom are spoken by none other than one of the greatest Scientists the world has ever seen, who propounded the theory of RELATIVITY and put forward the concept of GOD PARTICLE - the smallest of the small, but most energetic and beautiful particles of the Universe, which is the manifestation of pure intelligence and consciousness and encompasses the entire universe!
Friends, I would like to state very assertively that these very concepts were also propounded by the Great Philosopher Saints of India like Philosopher Saint Shree Dnyaneshwara of the 13th Century and Philosopher Saint Shree Tukaramof the 17th Century.
On the same lines, Dr. Albert Einstein also made a highly revealing and visionary statement that “I believe in God, who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of the universe and I further believe that intelligence is manifested throughout Mother Nature”, which amply clarifies the very essence and philosophy behind Science and Religion / Spirituality.
I am glad to put before you the following verse, the very first Ovi of DNYANESHWARI written by Philosopher Saint Shree Dnyaneshwara at the young age of only 16 years, which has made a lasting impression on my mind and has set me forth on my life’s mission to promote the Culture of Peace in the World through the appropriate understanding of the Role of Science and Spirituality/Religion and the very Essence and Philosophy of all the World Religions.
ॐ नमोजी आद्या । वेद प्रतिपाद्या ॥ जय जय स्वसंवेद्या ॥ आत्मरूपा ॥
This verse very distinctly speaks about Philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara's own purpose of writing this treatise on Geeta i.e. Dnyaneshwari, and says that he wants to clearly know and understand the "Ultimate Truth" – "The Ultimate Reality" – "The Ultimate State of Matter" as enunciated in the Vedas. He further states that the "Ultimate Truth" is nothing but pure intelligence / consciousness, the Knowledge Divine, the true nature of the Soul – Atman.
Similarly, I would also like to put it on record that many other great saints, sages, seers and scientists of India and the world over, including those like PhilosopherSaint Francis of Assisi, Rome, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton have made a tremendous impact on my mind and have helped me in trying to understand and realize the True Nature of the Self.
Friends, I would like to bring to your notice that Philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara to Dr. Albert Einstein is a long journey in time and space, however the very philosophical and scientific narrations revealed in Dnyaneshwari in the form of Ovis / Verses equally reflect the very principles and laws of MOTHER NATURE and LIFE, which are enunciated through equations like E = MC2 and the concept like the GOD PARTICLE and various formulae of Mathematics and Physics.
Need for Revamping the present Education System
The reasons for war lie in the frailty of human mind and the darker side of the human character, which includes ego, greed, lust, hatred, jealousy, anger, absence of any feeling or emotions and disregard for the humanand other living beings and complexesarising out of these vicious human traits. Some of these vices get manifested in a big way when the individuals become a mob, led by egoistic leaders with selfish motives, which indulges in all sorts of mindless brutal acts of violence and destruction.
Has the present education system been able to address these issues? Apparently not!
If we have to usher in an era of peace, love and harmony for a long time to come, then we have to tackle the problem right at the root. This involves changing the mindset of an individual. This needs to be done right from the childhood at home and in school. Violence and incidences of shootouts witnessed in the schools in the most advanced country like USA and other parts of the world are an eye opener.
All these aspects point to the fact that basically there is something which is lacking in our educational system, otherwise, in spite of mind-boggling scientific advances, technological developments along with the most luxurious commodities for a life of leisure and pleasure and progress in informatics, why such acts at individual, society and state level - including the International - should continue to take place unabated?
“Since war begins in the minds of men, it’s in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed” – (UNESCO Constitution).
Friends, if we address the mind and guide it on the right path, then in turn we will be sensitizing the society, so as to strive and act to establish global peace. Obviously this clearly points to the necessity of changing the mindset, so that people can think rationally without getting emotional, which many times results in violence of all sorts. This will enable us to control the violence and avert the war, thus eliminating any need of costly and harmful defense mechanism required to combat any conflicts, the possibility of occurrence of which will be very remote in such a holistic peace-loving global society. Thus, simultaneously, we will be acting on national as well as global front in achieving our objective. It is, therefore, necessary to revamp the present education system by incorporating the time-tested human values and evolve a VALUE BASED UNIVERSAL EDUCATION SYSTEM.
Each Nation has its own history, Geography, Culture, Traditions but the time-tested human values are the same.
My Dear Learned Friendsfrom across the world, it is now incumbent upon you to come forward and utilize all your energy, strength, intelligence, knowledge and wisdom, in formulating a UNIVERSAL EDUCATION SYSTEM which is based on time-tested Human Values and which will transcend all the boundaries of caste, creed, religion, gender and nationality and will certainly help to promote the noble cause of achieving the welbeing of the entire humanity.
In short, the VALUE BASED UNIVERSAL EDUCATION SYSTEM with an appropriate understanding of the Role of Science and Spirituality will greatly help in achieving the objectives of this WORLD PARLIAMENT.
Friends, I am very glad to put it on record that the greatest scientists, saints, sages and philosophers from across the world are today evolving a new vision based on the appropriate understanding of the concept of Science and Spirituality/Religion that › Aum – E = MC2 thus demonstrating the futuristic model of education system, which is a fusion of SCIENCE, SPIRITUALITY AND DIVINITY. This new philosophy, based on the principle of Non-duality is now being adopted in many of the highly reputed Universities like Stanford, Oxford, Harvard and many other highly reputed Global Universities.
Here, I would like to conclude by quoting the following verse from ATHARVA VEDA, which in very simple words illustrates the concept of “VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM” – THE WORLD AS ONE FAMILY – GLOBAL VILLAGE:-
We are the birds of the same nest
We may wear different skins
We may speak different tongues
We may believe in different religions
We may belong to different cultures
Yet, we share the same home, Earth
Born on the same planet
Covered by the same skies
Gazing at the same stars
Breathing the same air
We must learn to progress together
Or, miserably perish together
For a person can live individually
But, can only survive collectively
Progress of humanity as a whole is intimately linked with the progress of human thoughts, belief systems and world views. During the recorded history of the last 11,000 years or so, many civilizations, religions and world views emerged and shaped the world as we live in today. With the passage of time, we witnessed the arrival of many messengers of divinity, seekers of truth and creators of future. On one side, we see the history of the world as a chronicle of conflicts, battles and wars including world wars, and on the other side as flights of human search for truth, non-violence, wisdom and peace. It has been a long long journey ever since the thinking man started walking on planet Earth. It is now time we take cognizance of our progress and get prepared for facing the long journey with potential possibilities of progress and perils that lie ahead.
According to the Gregorian calendar, we are now living in the 21st century. Human population has already crossed 7 billion, close to 7.6 billion people in 2018, according to world population clock, residing in close to 200 countries adhering to many religious groups and ethnicities. Indeed the rise of religions and religious groups have shaped human thought, belief and culture in a dominant way. Faith in God or divinity is a dominant behavioural and cultural trend of humanity even today. While religions and their spiritual underpinnings have enlightened humans, religious identities have given rise to great conflicts, battles and wars that led to untold sufferings.
Simultaneously, with faith in divinity in the form of both, monotheistic and polytheistic religions, there has been incessant search for truth to understand the nature of reality which gave rise to what is called “science” or search for valid knowledge based on our innate instruments of knowledge. Although modern science is only 500 years old, science had a long history ever since humans began the process of curiosity, enquiry, experimentation and development. It must be admitted that it is the rise of science and technology that has transformed the world like never before. Today the pace of development of science and technology has assumed such a speed that discoverers and inventors themselves are unable to anticipate the impact of devices, artefacts, and technologies they are creating. As a result of this, the world in which we are living is characterized by ever increasing speed of change, complexity and uncertainty.
Along with these developments in religion and science, humans have been searching for underlying thoughts and truths which give rise to philosophies. Philosophy is a larger concept encompassing both science and religion. In a way it looks at reality encompassing physical, biological, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions. Many scholars, from Vedic seers to Greek philosophers to modern scientists have shaped our world views and thought processes through the philosophies they advanced.
To take cognisance of science, religion and philosophy today in the 21st century, we are organizing a World Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy in the city of Pune, which is known as the educational and cultural capital of India, which is a home to a spectrum of schools and universities, spiritual and religious centres, and social and cultural societies.
To this World Parliament, we have invited over 100 distinguished scientists, religious leaders and philosophers along with people from the fields of arts and culture. These will include Nobel Laureates, Bharat Ratna and Padma Awardees and several highly accomplished persons of great merit, decorated with national and international awards and medals in their respective fields. This World Parliament will be one of the largest congregations of thought leaders of recent times. We expect over 3,500 people including several thousand students to join this congregation.
The most exhilarating event of the World Parliament is going to be the Public Dedication of World Peace Library and Prayer Hall, which has been named after Philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara, who enunciated ‘Dnyaneshwari’, a poetic composition of 9033 verses, which is regarded as the most profound commentary on Bhagavad Gita. In Dnyaneshwari meaning, Knowledge Divine, Dnyaneshwara defines Science as the knowledge of the phenomenal world and Spirituality as the knowledge of the Self and ignorance as believing Science itself is complete knowledge. In this World Parliament, we are advocating the synthesis of Science and Religion/Spirituality as a Philosophy for the enlightenment of entire Humanity to achieve abiding Peace and we are proposing the adoption of ‘Pasaydan’ Saint Dnyaneshwara’s prayer for World Peace, as the Universal Anthem for the entire world as one nation.
This World Parliament is organized into eleven sessions on different aspects of Science, Religion and Philosophy which will be addressed by world’s celebrated scientists, religious leaders and philosophers.
Seven hundred years ago, Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara, at the age of 16 years, had declared the whole world as one family. Further he went on to say, not only the whole world as a family but that he is steadfast in this state of mind. And further he himself has become all living and non-living beings of the universe. This, in essence, was re-enunciation of the Vedic canonical verses explaining the nature of reality. The World Parliament will reflect on these truths from scientific, religious and philosophical perspectives and elicit or educe the wisdom for attaining world peace.
The World Parliament will witness perhaps one of the largest congregation of recent times of scientists, religious leaders and philosophers from several countries across the world. It will make a clarion call for harmony across religions and philosophies and integration with the contemporary scientific thought of one in many and many in one that is emerging out of latest explorations in quantum reality. It will call for a grand unification of science and spirituality for the progress of humanity together. Now, with the advancements in nuclear technologies and impacts on climate change, there is only one future for the entire humanity, either we progress together or else perish together. The choice is ours.
Wishing you an illuminating experience during the World Parliament that is taking place in World Peace Centre of MIT from October 2 to October 5, 2018, in the city of Pune.
Although modern science is just 500 years old, the progress it has made in just last 10 years outpaces all that has been done in remaining years. It is not the change, not the rate of change but rate of acceleration of change that is spectacular. The progress in quality of life due to progress in science and technology in remarkable. Take health for example. Moving from curative to predictive to preventive to regenerative medicine means the longevity has increased. But quality of life does not just depend on the enhanced quality of physical health that modern science gives us. It depends on health of the mind. If there is no peace, if the fear of living in a VUCA world, meaning volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, keeps us on the edge all the time, then what quality of life are we talking about? And where does this volatility come from. It comes from rapidly rising inequalities, fundamentalism, intolerance, terrorism, relentless massacres in the name of race, religion and caste and so on. It comes from the rapid erosion of values.
On this backdrop, holding this World Parliament of Science, Religion and philosophy is a unique event in our history. Incredible assembly of some of world’s greatest thought leaders – be they academicians, scientists, philosophers, men of religion, men of spirituality – is the special highlight of this unique event. This global meeting of minds and hearts will lead to the road map for creating holistic peace loving harmonious global society, which is the dire need of the hour. It will show us the path inwards value based universal education, which will provide the foundation for creating such a global society, which is also the need of the hour.
I am associated with MIT since 1983. I have seen how under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prof. Vishwanath Karad, MIT has evolved into a MIT World Peace University, continuously advocating the culture of peace.
World Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy is a pinnacle of this pioneering thoughtful leadership. It makes it special for two other reasons. The parliament is being held in Pune, the cultural and education capital of India. Also it is being held on 2 October, which is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the timeless inspirator, who was the greatest messenger of peace in the 20th Century. The Parliament is going to be an exhilarating and historical moment – setting the agenda for a better world, not for some privileged few, but seven billion people of the world.
Secularism also comes with peaceful tolerance towards all. We at MIT World Peace University have always promoted peace and have taken giant strides towards it. In that pursuit, we have transformed ourselves as Asia's first University of World Peace.
We are the only university which has included Peace in academic curriculum for an appropriate understanding of the Role of Scientific and Spiritual Component of Life to develop a Holistic Peace-Loving Global Society. It is a step towards creating holistic and socially responsible citizens.
India is a culturally diverse but socially democratic country which gives every person his right to be independent and free of bounds. I am of the opinion that the future of a peaceful India and the world lies in the hands of the youth who are, today, showing their willingness to make this world a better and peaceful place.
MIT World Peace University, Pune is organising a World Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy at its Rajbaug campus at Loni Kalbhor. The conclave would begin on the 150th anniversary of Late Mahatma Gandhi which is on October 2, 2018 and will get over on October 5, 2018.
Global scientists, Nobel laureates, philosophers, saints, educationists, social workers, among others have consented to attend the conclave. I make an appeal to you to participate at the World Parliament and become an active stakeholder in creating world peace.