Time For Peace

24 Apr 2015 Paris, France

(Below is a continuation of the post Inter-faith And Inter-Cultural Harmony)

There are four sources of energy:
1. Food. In ancient India, if someone is behaving funny, people will ask, ‘What did you feed him?’ or ‘What did you eat?’ Instead of asking, ‘Why are you behaving like this?’ This is true in some way. Attending to food is the first source of energy.

2. Sleep. Any sane person, if you do not let him sleep for two days, he will not be normal. There will be a drastic change in his or her behavior. So sleep or proper rest is important.

3. Breath is the third source of energy. A few minutes of breathing, and some yoga can energize the body and the mind, and uplift the spirit.

4. A happy mind, a comfortable mind is much more calm and collected. A few minutes of meditation makes the mind happy and comfortable.

So, these are the four sources of energy. People know of the first two to some extent, though they may not have paid much attention to it. The other two need to be known or told to people. They should be part of our education system.

Now, there is one more aspect that needs our attention. When it comes to interfaith, inter-religious or intercultural dialogue in the world, I would say that there are ten major religions in the world and 600 and so branches of all the religion. If our children know a little bit about all these other religions and they grow up seeing all these are part of one divinity, don’t you think the world will be such a better place? It is not through elimination that we can make a better world. It is through assimilation that we can make a better world.

I once heard a nice story from a Catholic priest. He told me that God needed some ideas. When Ireland was burning, he did not know how to settle it. So he asked a Catholic priest, ‘What should we do?’
The priest said, ‘Oh, it is very easy, remove all Protestants from Ireland and Ireland will be peaceful’.
God did not find it a very good idea, so he came to a Protestant priest and asked, ‘What do you say? What idea do you want to give?’
He said, ‘Oh, it is very simple, remove all Catholics from Ireland'.
Then God said, ‘Let me go to a Jewish rabbi.’
He went to a Jewish rabbi and said, ‘Tell me, what is the solution?’ and he said, ‘Remove both of them from there, then Ireland will be peaceful’.
God became very upset, he said, ‘What should we do now?’
Of course, he then put good thoughts in the minds of people to come together.

So the process of elimination should stop. Whatever is the belief system that is prevalent in the world (except if it is a superstitious thing which is harmful for society) have got their own beauty and their own uniqueness. We need to celebrate the multicultural, multi-religious events more and more.

Every child, if he learns a little bit about all these ten different religions, even a couple of pages from each one, then they will know that we live in a very diverse world, and we should honor, love and appreciate these differences. If children grow up with this tendency, I think we can put an end to terrorism, which is taking over the world today. Don’t you think so? This has been my dream from long time.
I would like the UNESCO to take up this one subject of multi-religious education to the whole population of the world, so that every kid learns a little bit about all the traditions in the world and appreciates and celebrates them.

Similarly, we should have more multicultural festivals. In India, we have this ancient saying 'Vasudeva Kutumbakam', which means the world is one family. When you are well-educated, when your heart is larger, the world becomes your family. Technology has shrunk this globe into a village. Distance is no longer a matter of concern. I think it is the humanness and human values that should be the spirit of human education, and that alone is what can make this world into a family.

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