Truth,nonviolence,love and peace Versus Destructive Forces

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There are evidences that unbridled violence and insatiable greed have always been extremely powerful driving forces in human life.This brings the question about the nature of human beings and the proportion of good and evil in the Homo sapiens(Human species).Are humans at the core of their being just’naked apes’ and is violence wired in to the software of human brain ?Destructive behaviour that surpasses anything known in the animal kingdom.Senceless slaughter in wars,mass murders,nuclear and Nazi Holocaust,Stalin’s Gulag,Iraq-Iran-Afghanistan destruction.Riots,terrorism,tortures,crimes seem to be escalating.Billions of dollars are wasted in arms race worldwide,while half of the world lives in poverty and starvation or die of deseases for lack of money.Scientists say that human species are the crown of natural evolution,philosophers say human body is ‘hari mandir’ full with consciousness,then this crown seems to be terribly flawed in some fundamental way.In ‘katha upanishad’,it is written that,

As the sun,the eye of the whole world,is not sullied by the external faults of the eyes,so the one inner soul of all things is not sullied by the evil in the world,being external to it.

Since cosmic creation is considered by scientists and philosophers as creation out of nothing,it has to be symmetrical.Everything that emerges in to existence has to be counterbalanced by its opposite.Hence the good and evil.From this perspective the existence of polarities of all kinds is an absolutely necessary prerequisite for the creation of the universe.Some modern physicists have stated that in the very first moments of the universe,that is billions of years ago,particles and anti-particles were present in equal numbers.That is good and evil in equal proportion,balancing the world.The existence of negative or evil side of creation enhances its positive or good aspects by providing contrast and gives extraordinary richness and depth to the universal drama.The conflict between good and evil in all the domains and on all the levels of existence is an extraordinary source of inspiration for fascinating stories.A disciple once asked swami Ramkrishna Paramhansa,the great Indian visionary,saint and spiritual master”swamiji why there is evil in the world?”After a short pause swamiji replied “To thicken the plot.”At the outset this answer might appear cynical in view of the sufferings due to the evil forces of the world.But a deeper thought can help us to get a different perspective.

Let us imagine that,God eliminates from the universal scheme anything that is considered bad or evil or destructive,such as deseases,oppressive regimes,fundamentalism,genocide and wars.Now with deseases goes the entire history of medicine and medical research,medical cures and hard work done in this field by medical scientists,surgeons.We eliminate a significant part of human history,the heroic acts of freedom fighters ,their triumphs over evil empires.The elimination of violence from the universal drama will have reverberations in the world of art.We will lose best works of art,literature,music,paintings,sculptures and movies inspired by the conflict between the divine and the demonic.
If God continued this process of purging the universal evil,creation will lose its immence depth and richness and eventually end-up with a very colourless and uninteresting world.If this kind of reality were portrayed in a movie ,we probably would not find it worth seeing.Script writing for movies stresses the importance of tension,conflict and drama as necessary prerequisite for a successful movie.A widely used manual for screenplay writing warns that portraying life in a goody goody happy form is a guarantee for a certain flop at the box office counter.

The film makers who have a free choice to select story for their movies,do not usually choose sweet uneventful stories with a happy start,happy interval and happy end.They include suspence,serious emotional conflict,violence and evil in their drama,as in the words of swami Ramkrishna Paramhansa”to thicken the plot”.So God the creator of universe naturally applied same principles that govern creative activity and entertainment in our world.Good and evil,both aspects of human activity and existence,antagonistic towards each other,they are both necessary elements in creation.Triumph of good over evil also is a universal phenomena,which is at the heart of all holy scriptures.Even the movies which entertain us all over the world ,depict always the triumph of good over evil.It is a universal law which can not be reversed,triumph of good over evil.

The weapons given to the mankind by sages and saints like Bhagwan Buddh and Gandhiji,to fight the evil forces in the world are ‘truth and nonviolence’.Gautam Buddh told us that there are four noble truths which are always to be kept in mind,
1)Our physical existence in this world is’dukkha’,which means suffering.
2)This suffering is due to transient nature of our existence,like childhood,adulthood,old age out of which nothing is permanant but everybody among us wants permanance like permanant happiness,joy which is not possible,finally everybody has to die and hence the’dukkha’,for the death of our near and dear ones and for our imminent end bodily.
3)Everybody can get rid of this’dukkha’or suffering and attain’nirvana’which is a state of permanent bliss and the way for it is only spiritual path,which is eightfold fourth truth as told by Gautam Buddh,
4)Right understanding,Right thought,Right speech,Right efforts,Right action,Right livelihood,Right mindfulness,and
Right concentration.

Now if we study Gandhiji’s life,then we understand that he tried throughout his life to follow the eightfold noble path recommended by Gautam Buddh.Gandhiji believed in preaching what he practiced himself.He always used to preach for truth and nonviolence,which he followed honestly during the entire period of freedom struggle.Once a mother with her son came to Gandhiji and asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar.Gandhiji told the lady to come after some days.The lady came again alongwith her son after three days and requested Gandhiji for telling her son to stop eating sugar and this time Gandhiji told the boy to stop eating sugar.The mother was perplexed and asked incredulously’If that is all you are going to say to him,why could not you tell him that when I first came to you?’Gandhiji replied ‘Because that time I was eating sugar myself,and I stopped it when you left.’This example illustrates the high ideal of speaking only what we actually practice ourselves,and actually covers the eightfold path of noble truth shown by Bhagwan Buddh.So for those who want to fight the evil forces and attain permanant happiness, truthfulness is one of the ethical virtues they need to inculcate.

Another ethical virtue which Gandhiji taught us is nonviolence(Ahinsa).There is a proverb in sanskrit’Ahinsa Parmo Dharmah’means nonviolence is the greatest religion and Gandhiji followed this vigorously.Dr.Martin Luther King jr,who fought for the rights of black people,also preached and followed nonviolence during his struggle in America.By using nonviolent methods Gandhiji led India to independence and Dr King helped move America to its vision of equal rights.Today we are living in a free democracy,and America has a black leader Barack Obama as president of United States Of America.This is the triumph of truth and nonviolence over evil forces of colonial rule and apartheid.

Humanity recognizes the greatness of those souls who control their anger and refrain from violence.Every year someone receives a noble peace prize for his or her work.Many other awards are given by religious,social groups for efforts towards peace.If peace is so much valued in our society why does it remain so elusive?Is peace possible in this world and if so,how can we attain it?These issues are critical not only for the future of our planet,but they are critical for those who want to attain peace and happiness.

So if we want to follow the doctrine of eightfold path,then Gandhiji’s weapons of evil destruction,truth and nonviolence are essential in our armoury,and alongwith these come their natural allies love and peace.

When we talk of love,there is a dilemma that what is love afterall ?Millions of poems are written about love.Philosophers,poets,writers have written from ages to explain love.One of the greatest philosopher poets of his times Iqbal sahib has written,

“Sitaron se aagey jahan aur bhi hain,
abhi Ishq ke imtihan aur bhi hain ”

means,there are many universes beyond the moon and stars,and still mankind has to pass many tests to succeed in love.The Urdu poetry that time was mostly about wine and women and poets used to compare the beauty of females with moon and stars,but Iqbal sahib through his poetry was showing them the path of spirituality and asking them to raise above physical level,realize the soul(rooh)which is the real self of everybody,and when humans realize that then they realize also that there are many worlds beyond this physical world,and the love which the poet is refering is divine love which can only be with God,the creator of all universes.We are all one with that creator.This oneness is to be attained and this is the real exam of mankind which Iqbal sahib is reffering to.This is the state which Gautam Buddh called’nirvana’,of eternal bliss and peace,divine love.

So the love is much more than the ordinarily perceived physical love between male and female.Love between mother and child,love between friends,love for humanity,love for our nation and ultimately the love for God.Our body and mind are full with desires and when love is desire then it becomes the cause of suffering as Gautama Buddha has told us that’Desires are the cause of all the suffering in the world.’Another great Urdu philosopher poet of his time was Jigar Muradabadi, who has beautifully expressed the painful nature of our physical state of desires of love and impossibility of success,

“yeh ishq nahin hai aasan,itna hi samajh leeje
ek aag ka darya hai aur doob ke jaana hai ”

So the poet is warning that the love,which the Urdu poets described in their Urdu poetry full with wine and women and pleasure is not that easy virtue,but it is a ocean of fire,and one has to drown herself or himself in to it and obviously it will burn us and we will meet with painful end and there is no escape from it,as Gautama Buddha has stated in four noble truths that our physical existence is full with suffering.

In Love for something of this world,there is an element of attachment for the object of one’s love.And we have fear of losing the object of our love.Whether it is one’s family,friends,lover,belongings or country,we have feeling of happiness in their company.This feeling of love,completeness which we have for our near and dear ones is to be broadened.Most of us have love for a small circle of people which includes our family and close friends.The ultimate state of love is having love for all creation in the universe.This sort of love is pure,divine,the kind of love God has for his creation.When one can reciprocate this love then the God is not far from his or her sight.

Another ethical virtue which is a natural ally of truth and nonviolence is peace.Whenever an object breaks it becomes fragmented and disjointed.We feel agitated when something breaks and we want to either discard it or piece it back together.When anything we admire is shattered to pieces,the peace of the atmosphere and our peace of mind is disturbed.We find that we have within us an innate sense of oneness and unity.This does not only extend to objects but human relations also.We crave for unity and peace in our family,among our friends,within our team and within our country and within the world at large.There is peace and contentment when a mother holds her child.The peace we feel in unity is a reflection of our true state of existence.It is a state in which there is only oneness.No duality.In the beginning there was no division,no separation.God is a formless ocean of all consciousness,all bliss.There was no caste,no religion,no nationality.It was only when God decided to bring creation in to being that unity became duality.What was one became many.If we look at the condition of the world,we are appalled and shocked by the suffering and pain each form of life is undergoing.We find countries at war,we see religious groups at odds with each other.Even within families we find discord and disharmony.We find human beings killing other human beings.

We wonder how there can be so much pain and turmoil caused by people who have within them the same divinity of God.Our craving for peace and unity is always there but the world we see seems to be totally out of tune from that original true self.So how to return back to that state of peace and unity.There is a ray of hope here ,those fortunate people who discovered the peace within themselves.Having found their true selves and the creator they are often moved to share their experience with their fellow beings.The bliss they enjoy is so great that they want everyone else to experience it as well.These compassionate souls are known by us as Saints,mystics,prophets,and spiritual masters.Jesus Christ,prophet Muhammed,Bhagwan Buddh,Saint Kabir,Guru Nanak,St.John,Guru Ravidas,Mahatma Gandhi and so many have taught us about our inner self,about peace and union with god.They wanted to eliminate the sufferings in this world caused by ignorance of our true nature.In various scriptures they refer this as prayer,contemplation,worship or meditation.Whatever we call it the process is the same.We must concentrate our attention within us.When great saints and mystics came to this world they taught this technique to their disciples.

It was in the fifteenth century in India that great saints such as Kabir sahib and guru Nanak began teaching the practice of meditation as science.They taught that the art of rising above the body to experience the beyond was a science that could be practiced by any one irrespective of one’s religious background.Thus,they taught this method to both Hindus and Muslims alike.Their tradition has been carried on,and since that time the practice of meditation has been given out as a method that can be followed by people of all religions and from all walks of life.Through this method it is possible to find peace,happiness which is eternal.Like any field of learning we need to have the proper education,an experienced spiritual teacher,and the right technique as in bhagwan Buddha’s words’right concentration’.

So we have to tread the path of truth,nonviolence,love and peace to fight the evil forces of the world,keeping in mind the universal law that ultimately good will triumph over the evil.But we should never underestimate the enemy,who is very powerful,because it has got the dangerous weapons of science and technology,which very often are misused by evil forces.Some scientists have recognised the spiritual experiences of great philosophers,Like great Albert Einstein,Carl Jung and modern physicists,however there are some western psychiatrists and psychologists who interpret the visionary and transcendental experiences of great saints and prophets as menifestations of serious mental deseases,without any medical data and explanation supporting this position.St.John of the cross has been called a ‘hereditary degenerate’,prophet Muhammed’s mystical experiences and conversation with God have been attributed to ‘epilepsy’.Bhagwan Buddha,Jesus Christ have been seen as suffering from ‘psychoses’and their experiences of realms beyond physical,as’delusions’.So this section of psychiatrists who are atheists indulging in blasphemy can be described as part of evil forces which are to be conquered by humanity with the weapons of truth,nonviolence,love and peace.The war is on and we know the outcome of this war,but we have to resist and fight,we have to put our efforts,like Gandhiji and Dr.Martin Luther King jr,because wars can not be won without fighting.

The mystics base their convictions on experiential evidence.They do not need churches or temples.The context in which they experience the sacred dimensions of reality including their own divinity,are their bodies and nature.And instead of officiating pundits and priests and mullahs they need a supportive group of fellow seekers or the guidance of a teacher who is more advanced on the inner journey than they are themselves.

At the cradle of all great religions were visionary experiences of their founders,prophets,saints,and ordinary true followers.All major spiritual scriptures are based on direct personal revelation.Once religion becomes organized,it often completely loses the connection with the spiritual source and becomes an institution exploiting the human spiritual needs without satisfying them.Instead it creates a system focusing on the pursuit of power,control,politics,money,possessions and other concerns.

There is no doubt that the dogmas of organized religion are generally in fundamental conflict with science. But the situation is very different in regard to spiritual experiences.In the last twenty five years systematic study of these experiences has become the main focus of a special discipline of science called transpersonal psychology.Spiritual experiences like any other aspect of reality,can be studied scientifically.They can be subjected to careful,openminded research.There is nothing unscientific about unbiased and rigorous study of these phenomena and of the challenges they represent for a materialistic understanding of the world.

Finally here are words of wisdom from Mahatma Gandhi,to fight the evil forces with truth,nonviolence,love and peace.Gandhiji had used these weapons successfully,and taught us that wars can be won over with these weapons,so we should also take up the challenge to combat the common enemy,

When truth is seen,there is self realization.

Worship truth at all times with all your heart.

Satyagraha is the same as truthfulness,love force or soul force.

Truth,Purity,Self control,Firmness,Fearlessness,Humility,Unity,Peace,and renunciation,these are the inherent qualities of a civil resister.

A Satyagrahi has no enemies.He discovers truth by fasting and prayer.God alone is his abode,refuge and friend.

Truth never damages a cause that is just.

To a true artist,only that face is beautiful which,quite apart from its exterior,shines with the truth within the soul.

Truth implies love and firmness engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force.I thus began to call the Indian movement Satyagraha that is to say the force which is born of truth,love and nonviolence.

Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.

The way of peace is the way of truth.Indeed,lying is the mother of violence.A truthful man can not long remain violent.He will perceive in the course of his search that he has no need to be violent and he will further discover that so long as there is the slightest trace of violence in him he will fail to find the truth he is seeking.

If we are to be saved and are to make a substantial contribution to the world’s progress ours must be emphatically and predominantly be the way of peace.

A peace-bringer must have a character beyond reproach and must be known for his strict impartiality.

Generally there are previous warnings of coming storms.Where these are known the peace brigade will not wait till the conflagration breaks out but will try to handle the situation in anticipation.

Peace will never come until the great powers courageously decide to disarm themselves.

If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war,we shall have to begin with children.If they grow up in their natural innocence,we would not have to struggle.We wouldn’t have to pass fruitless,idle resolutions,but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace,until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which consciously or unconsciously the whole world is hungering.

A man or woman ends by becoming what he or she thinks,and it will be the same for India if she remains firmly attached to truth by means of love.

I am but a weak aspirant,everfailing,evertrying.My failures make me more vigilant than before and intensify my faith.I can see with the eye of faith that the observance of the twin doctrines of truth and nonviolence has possibilities of which we have but very inadequate conception.

It is no nonviolence if we merely love those who love us.It is nonviolence only when we love those who hate us.I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love.But are not all great and good things difficult to do? but by the grace of God,even this most difficult thing becomes easy to accomplish if we want to do it.

The moral to be legitimately drawn from the supreme tragedy of the bomb is that it will not be destroyed by counterbombs,even as violence can not be by counterviolence.

Mankind has to get out of violence only through nonviolence.

Love is a rare herb that makes a friend even of a sworn enemy and this herb grows out of nonviolence.

True nonviolence is an impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness.

In nonviolence the masses have a weapon which enables a child,a woman,or even a decrepit old man to resist the mightiest government successfully.If your spirit is strong mere lack of physical strength ceases to be a handicap.

Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will.Its seat is in the heart and it must be an inseparable part of our very being.

The true democrat is he who with purely nonviolent means defends his liberty and therefore his country’s and ultimately that of the whole mankind.

My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.That can never happen except through nonviolence.

I believe that true democracy can only be an outcome of nonviolence.The structure of a world federation can be raised only on a foundation of nonviolence and violence will have to be totally given-up in world affairs.

I firmly believe that freedom won through bloodshed or fraud is no freedom.

The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty.

Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood.

Mankind is at the crossroads.It has to make its choice between the law of the jungle and the law of humanity.

The spirit of democracy can not be established in the midst of terrorism,whether it is state sponsored or individual.

Having flung aside the sword,there is nothing except the cup of love which I can offer to those who oppose me.It is by offering that cup that I expect to draw them close to me.I can not think of permanent enemity between man and man,and believing as I do in the theory of rebirth,i live in the hope that,if not in this birth,in some other birth I shall be able to hug all humanity in friendly embrace.

Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable.

No man could be actively nonviolent and not rise against social injustice,no matter where it occurred.

Nonviolence implies voluntary submission to the penalty for non-cooperation with evil.

It is the acid test of nonviolence that in a nonviolent conflict there is no rancor left behind and in the end the enemies are converted in to friends.

It is a bad outlook for the world if the spirit of violence takes hold of the mass mind.Ultimately it destroys the human race.

My prayerful search gave me the revealing maxim’Truth is God’ instead of the usual one ‘God is Truth’.

So long as we have not cultivated the strength to die with courage and love in our hearts,we can not hope to develop the nonviolence of the strong.

The golden way is to be friends with the world and to regard the human family as one.He who distinguishes between the votaries of one’s own religion and those of another miseducates the members of his own and openes the way for discord and irreligion.

My goal is friendship with the whole world and I can combine the greatest love with the greatest opposition to wrong.

If there were no greed,there would be no occasion for armaments.The principle of nonviolence,necessitates complete abstention from exploitation in any form.

As soon as the spirit of exploitation is gone,armaments will be felt as positively unbearable burden.Real disarmament can not come unless the nations of the world cease to exploit one another.

Peace can not be built on excluvism,absolutism and intolerance.

If the mad race for armaments continues it is bound to result in a slaughter such as has never occurred in history.If we are to be saved and are to make a substantial contribution to the world’s progress ours must emphatically and predominantly be the way of peace.

It may be long before the law of love will be recognized in international affairs.The machineries of governments stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another.

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