SESSION EXCERPTS - SESSION VI
3RD OCT 2018
Finding the pathway to ‘world peace’ through the confluence of time-tested philosophies of various nations and religions of the world
Shri. Ashok Vohra
Ashok Vohra said that Peace requires a heavy effort. And the only way to do so is through the elimination of lies and the embrace of truth, only in that way can we bring about peace. Peace is the only beauty of life. He further said that we go to war so that we may have peace. He then spoke of the contemporary wars and testing of nuclear weapons and threats that are plaguing humans today. He touched upon the India Pakistan issue as well. He then stated that the happiness of sinners must be taken away, using any means possible. He said that the war on terrorism is justified as it contains evil and is a just war. He postulates that there is no contradiction between nonviolence and waging a just war. But going to war must be a last resort though, like when Rama invaded Lanka or in Mahabharata when every argument and negotiation failed. Killing in a just war is not a sin.
Mr Francois Dastur
Francois said that people have always warred since the start of history. She states that individual peace is unachievable. What is peace? Pax, Salaam, Shalom, Shanti...all mean the same thing. This Peace is being understood as a state of well-being, completeness and harmony. The way to achieve peace is to refrain from doing violence. Thus ahimsa is essential in order to achieve peace. There are other wars than military war. There are economic war and social wars. To understand the complete horrors of war without it being in the conventional sense that we understand one must simply read and understand the state of the Belgian Congo as it was when it operated under Belgium’s Monarch, Leopold II. Also to understand war, we can look to the man-made famines in Bengal during WW2 when the British denied food to Bengalis in order to forward the war effort. Thus only ahimsa is the path to complete and real peace. And the great idea of ahimsa came from India.
Prof Heather Eton
She endorsed the teaching of Ahimsa, non-violence and peace. But she also spoke about the implemental difference between the ideal and practical. She spoke of hierarchies as are established between heaven and earth, mind and body, nature and nurture, men and women, etc. with all of them having a deep-rooted hierarchical sense of which is superior and which is inferior. Direct, cultural and environmental are the types of violence she further stated. Direct violence is violence against women which is structural violence. We still have a long way to go in that regards. Like even in this great hall there is only one woman. Thus we have a tolerance for inequality somewhere inside ourselves which we must fight. She further stated that technology will not save us without ecological sustainability. Even within peace, there are different kinds. Negative and positive peace are different. Canada has negative peace as there still is Structural war and minority oppression going on in the country. Nonviolence is not non-action. it is a moral code as well. We are a long way from there. What we require to achieve this peace is essentially a Spiritual transformation. Problems cannot be solved on the level of consciousness it was created. A more advanced consciousness is the only way that they can be countered.
Shri. Ashok Mehra
Ashok Mehra starts with Om Shanti. He is attached to a University which serves as a School of positive thinking as they were inspired by Brahma Baba. The baba saw visions of destruction via bombs as early as 1936. When a follower went to find where the baba had disappeared during a Satsang she found that the baba was in deep meditation and a voice was coming from all around, his face and eyes were red and the room was filled with a red light. He has visions and from 1936 to 1951 he trained a small group of people first in Karachi and then moved to My Abu in India after partition. The work continued even after his death.
Brahmkumar Dr Sachin
The Dr started by proclaiming a greeting from Mt Abu which is a place for spiritual re-engineering. He said that it is an ocean of positivity. He made us understand the grandness of Gandhi himself. Tolerance was all that he required. Now there is nothing but intolerance. He said that World peace starts with individual peace. It’s like everybody talks about eating no one talks about making food. Everyone has also talked about peace. Peace has a sociopolitical background. It is like everyone talks about treating the fever and not malaria. That journey is within us. All religions talk of world peace but all religions are the reasons used to wage war. Peace is not the destination, peace is the way. Rid ourselves of bitterness and evil tendencies for us to achieve peace. Then he had a small meditation session at the end of his speech.
Shri. Satyanarayan Sahu
He started by stating that at CERN laboratory entrance there is Nataraja statute present. It is so since Shiva's Tandava represented mathematics. It’s always captured inside a circle. It represents 0 of the material world while the Tandava represents the infinity within the cosmos. Oppenheimer, creator of the atomic bomb read the Gita when the atomic bomb was being detonated. When asked by a general why he was doing so he said that the link between Krishna saying he has the energy of thousands of suns in him which he will release at the end of time. Satyanarayana further postulated that if you are defined by too much religion or region, that causes problems. There is a need to balance all identities and a need to not give primacy to any identity. Gandhi always believed so. He thus stated that the 5 Satyagrahis before him were Prahlad, Jesus, Imam Hussein, Mira Bai, Socrates
Dr Shitala Sen
The learned doctor Sad about Ayodhya being the centre of controversy since it is his city and the city has always stood for brotherhood and harmony. The Dome is a great start to synthesizing all world religions. He is happy to see it happen. Just like under this dome there is a Gujarat Bhavan in Ayodhya where all religions are placed on a similar pedestal. He concludes by saying Ayodhya should not worry us. He is stating this because he believes peaceful resolvers like Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad will solve Ayodhya as well.
Dr Sharad Deshpande
The Session closure is happening. He reminisced about how Kardad sir’s teacher would be so happy. He states that asking for a summary is very difficult. But he says that peace has many dimensions, philosophical, literal, metaphysical, etc. Even Tolstoy talks about War and Peace and so at least one person from the world of literature ought to have been there to observe what is happening. Then he mused that to do when dialogue fails with terrorist, etc. Are we to undertake war then? Thus does a just war ensure peace or does peace require a just war? How we justify war then? Thus is any war morally justified. He concludes that peace must be both internal and external and that we may have a long way to go, but as stated in the Session, perhaps the journey is itself peace rarer than the destination.