“1957 – SOCIAL DISCOURSES”

SOCIAL DISCOURSES

by SHRII PRABHAT RAINJAN SARKAR

1957-1981

SPIRITUALITY – THE BASE OF LIFE
Today you have to create the Great Universe, and the guiding principle behind it will be that all humans are the progeny of the Supreme Progenitor, God. Thus all are His children, all should live together – all will have to live together. Black or white, literate or illiterate, small or tall, all are the children of the same Father and all will have to live together. There will be unity in the physical realm and also in the psychic realms.
But to strengthen this unity still further, there should be a common goal for all the children of the Supreme Father – the merger of all in Him. All have come from Him, and therefore all will remain together. But this is not sufficient. All have come from Him, are in Him, and will merge in Him, therefore all people will have to live together. For you, unity is the natural course, and division is unnatural. You well know that the Cosmic Energy will not long tolerate what is unnatural.
So it is natural for human beings to live together and to make a Great Universe. By not doing so, by mutual fight, all will be destroyed. This is the law of the Universe (Prakrti). Thus you will have to remain united; you must create the Great Universe as soon as possible. There will be peace and happiness in the universe, and with one indivisible ideology, humanity will march ahead. Victory be with you!
(Discourse on the Mahabharata)
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In our present environment there are many divisive tendencies splitting humanity into mutually belligerent groups. Spirituality must foster a natural affinity among people, to unite all humanity. The approach to spirituality should be psychological. Through rational analysis, humanity should appreciate its relationship with God and recognize the most benevolent kindness of that most beloved Entity. Spirituality should lead human beings to that one Cosmic Truth from Whom they have derived their souls and who is their ultimate destiny. That ultimate and absolute ideal is the Cosmic Ideal – an ideal beyond the scope of time, place and person. It is the Absolute, without and beyond relativity. It stands with Its own radiance for all time and for every entity of the cosmos, whether human being or less evolved soul. The Cosmic Ideal alone can be the unifying force which will strengthen humanity to smash its bondages and abolish the narrow domestic walls of divisive tendencies.
(Idea and Ideology, 89)
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Spirituality provides humanity with that subtle and tremendous power with which no other power can be compared. Therefore, with spirituality as the base, a rational philosophy should be evolved to deal with the physical, psychological and socio-philosophical problems of the day.
(Idea and Ideology, 91)
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As people become more generous and broad-minded, they rise above the feelings of casteism, tribalism, provincialism and nationalism, which evoke narrowness, violence, hatred and meanness. Those who enter the field of social welfare with feelings of “mine” and “yours” actually create divisions in human society. Those who wish to foster the welfare of living beings as a whole have to embrace universalism as the only alternative. If we look upon everything as our own, the question of “mine” and “yours” will dissolve; in universalism there is no opportunity for violence, hatred or narrowness.
(Problem of the Day, 28)
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SOCIETY AND SOCIAL UNITY
Society is like a company of pedestrians going on a pilgrimage. Suppose one among them is attacked by cholera, do the rest go on their way, leaving him behind? No, they cannot. Rather, they break their journey at the place for a day or two, relieve him from the disease and help him to acquire strength in his legs. Or, they start out anew, carrying him on their shoulders. If anyone runs short of his subsistence, others give him their own. Together, they share everything with all. Together, they stream ahead, singing their leading chorus. In their eagerness to go ahead with others, they forget their trifling differences which in their families might have lead to negative exchanges and court cases, even down to three generations.
The essence of cooperation born of moving together, aims at widening or expanding the mental being of a person by striking down one’s barriers of meanness again and again. And hence, I reiterate that society is like such a batch of pilgrims gathering a strange power of mind in travelling together and with its help, solving all the problems of their individual and social life.
(Supreme Expression II, 114)
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From the first expression of moralism, to the establishment in cosmic humanity, there is a gap. The concerted effort to negotiate this gap is termed as social progress, and the collective body of those who are engaged in this concerted effort I shall call the “society.”
(Human Society I, 11)
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Encourage everyone to build their careers in a nice way. Let none get the scope to think that their lives have become meaningless.
(Ánanda Vánii, May 1963)
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The entire humanity of this universe constitutes one singular people. The whole humanity is bound in fraternity: those who are apt to remain oblivious to this very simple truth, those who are prone to distort it, are the deadliest enemies of humanity. Today’s humanity should identify these foes fully well and build a healthy human society totally neglecting all obstacles and difficulties.
It must be borne in mind that as long as a magnificent, healthy and universalistic human society is not well established, humanity’s entire culture and civilization, its sacrifice, service and spiritual endeavour (sádhaná) will not be of any worth whatsoever.
(Ánanda Vánii, January 1973)
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Lack of unity among the members of society, because of too much self-interest in the individual members, formation of sects for economic or social advantages, lack of understanding of others, not only brings the downfall of society, but also will wipe it completely from the face of the earth. Instances of so many sects and empires disappearing altogether are not rare in the history of this world.
(“Tattvika Praveshika”)
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NATIONALISM AND UNIVERSALISM
Nationalism is fast becoming outdated. Not only has the national sentiment given humanity rude shocks in the world wars of this century, but the social and cultural blending of the present age also shows the growing domination of cosmopolitanism in world affairs. Vested interests, however, continue to cause certain divisive tendencies. Despite these obstacles, a social blending of humanity is in progress and needs a common constitutional structure to cement the solidarity of the world.
A world government is also essential to exercise effective control in certain spheres. For example, there should be only one world military force. The world government should form certain autonomous units (not necessarily national) to deal with problems such as education, food supply, and flood control. The boundaries of these units may be readjusted to reflect the development of more sophisticated communication techniques. Such development brings the remote parts of the world nearer and the world therefore grows smaller.
(Idea and Ideology, 92)
It will have to be explained to all that there will be clash between different nations as long as national feelings exist. Some may talk of disarmament, but military preparation will go on underground. If people dedicate themselves to the cause of the welfare of the entire human race, their respective nations will also be benefited.
The one Cosmic Ideology will have to be preached; that one Supreme Father, the Cosmic Entity, is the goal of all living beings. This spiritual sentiment will keep humanity united for all time to come. It will form the entire planetary world and even the universe into a nation. Then there will be only one nation – a World Nation. No other theory can save the human race.
(To the Patriots, 32)
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A language must also be evolved as the lingua franca of the world. At present English is most suitable for the purpose and no national sentiment should be encouraged to oppose it. But local languages must also be encouraged to help indigenous literatures develop and thereby contribute to world progress and the common family of humanity.
(Idea and Ideology, 93)
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Every atom of this universe is the joint property of all living beings. This has to be adopted as a matter of policy; and after its recognition, the idea that this is national and that is foreign, that a particular person is fit for the citizenship of a particular country while others are not or have no rights at all, cannot stand. In reality, only vested interests appear intensely interested in such illusory matters.
All people are world citizens by birth. Every human being has the right to go and settle anywhere and to live like a human being. If any group of people of any country is not ready to accept this fundamental right of living beings, then it should be understood that their utterances for “peace” are only meant to cheat and bluff others.
Humanity has a right to live not only in this small world, but also on every planet and satellite, meteorite, nebula and every particle of this vast creation. If anyone wants to deprive human beings of this very birthright, then people will have to establish it by force.
(Problem of the Day, 24)
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The human society is continually striving to arrive at a synthesis through analysis, some sort of unity through diversity. The natural obstructions of small clans, narrow communal interests, geographical distances and intractable customs and usages barriers – none of these obstacles could hinder the steady and silent movement towards a supreme goal. That is why the policy of apartheid, the vanity of racial superiority, national chauvinism or regionalism – these relative doctrines or social philosophies could not thwart the progress of human society.
The outdated ideals of nationalism are crumbling to pieces today. The newly awakened humanity today is anxious to herald the advent of one Universal Society under a vast blue sky. The noble and righteous people of all countries, bound by fraternal ties, are eager to assert in one voice with one mind, in the same tune, that human society is one and indivisible. In this voice of total unity and magnanimity lies the value and message of eternal humanism.
(“Human Society is One and Indivisible”)
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It is often heard that a particular country was never so united as during the war. This is due to love of motherland, but more due to all the individuals having a common ideal – a goal to face the peril of war. This common ideal is, however, very temporary, and disappears with the danger of war becoming less.
In our Ananda Marga, the seed for a common ideal is sown from the very beginning of a child’s life. At the age of five, when the child has acquired only a preliminary understanding of his or her surroundings, s/he is given the ideal of Cosmic Consciousness. The entire society of Ananda Marga is then founded on a common ideal – the goal being the Supreme Consciousness. Such an ideal will not disappear like the common ideal for facing the dangers of war, and the unity in a society founded on an ideal of the Cosmic Consciousness will be everlasting.
In our Ananda Marga, even in the economic field there is a common ideal, as the whole property of the earth is common property and is to be shared by all members of the society. This is instilled in every member by the chant recited at the commencement of the functions held by the members of Ánanda Márga:
Saḿgacchadhvaḿ saḿvadadhvaḿ saḿ vo manáḿsi jánatám, Devábhágaḿ yathápúrve saḿjánáná upásate. Samánii va ákútih samáná hrdayánivah, Samánamastu vo mano yathá vah susahásati.
[The following shloka translation is as in Caryácarya Part 1, 6th edition:]
Let us move together, let us radiate the same thought-wave, let us come to know our minds together,
Let us share our wealth without differentiation, like sages of the past, so that all may enjoy the universe.
Let our aspirations be united, let our hearts be inseparable, Let our minds be as one mind, so that we live in harmony and become one with the Supreme.
(“Tattvika Praveshika”)
The fact that the fortune of every individual, not only of this earth, but of the entire cosmos, has been wreathed together, will have to be admitted one day by humanity. The spiritual aspirants have to fetch that auspicious moment sooner by their pauseless effort, service and propagation of the great ideology. This alone is the supreme task for the present humanity.
(Ánanda Vánii, January 1969)
Humanity has only one culture. I am not prepared to admit that there are various cultures. The dances, songs, pronunciation and ceremonial celebrations of different sections of humanity may have their local peculiarities, but these cannot be considered cultural differences. The variations in local customs cannot be removed by legal force or by dictatorial rule. If an attempt is made to destroy common practices, languages, and various local manners and customs in the name of national or human unity, violence and mutual distrust will result and collective life will be doomed.
I am in favour of social synthesis. In my opinion, as people come more intimately in contact with one another, and the corners of the world come nearer, local customs will assume newer forms as a result of frequent interchange. The flowers of different gardens will unite into a bouquet which will be more, not less, beautiful than the individual flowers themselves. If different countries or communities are anxious to establish social blending through marriages, then social synthesis can be achieved within a very short time. Its concrete reflections are already apparent to some extent in cosmopolitan cities.
(Problem of the Day, 36)
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Striving ahead together with the entire Universe along the path of divinity is truly the greatest task for humanity.
(Supreme Expression II, 27)
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Members of one particular race considering themselves superior to others, also very frequently inflict injustice on the other portions of society. The expulsion of the Jews from Germany by the so-called superior races has caused a tremendous amount of disruption in society. In Ananda Marga the first step that a person takes is to forget one’s race or sect and to no longer identify oneself with one’s race, caste or sect, whether it was superior or inferior.
In social functions based on racial considerations, racial prejudices figure very prominently. In our collective functions, members of all races, castes or creeds take part as equals.
The caste, race or nation is often the main consideration in arranging marriages. In our Márga, there is no such consideration. These petty differences between human beings are not given any importance. Humanity as a whole is considered as one family belonging to the race of human race. In such a society, injustice due either to economic background, sex or racial considerations will be unknown.
(“Tattvika Praveshika”)
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I often say that the caste system is hypocrisy – unreal. If you analyse the caste of human beings you will find that the ancestors of every human being were monkeys. In that case everybody’s caste is monkey caste. All this hypocrisy is to be given up. Is it that the ancestor of a Brahman-caste human being was a Brahman-caste monkey and that of a Rajput-caste person a Rajput-caste monkey?
(Seminar Notes 1980, 9)
Human society comprises various races. There is no reason whatever to recognize one race as superior to another race. The external differences in constitutions among these human groups cannot alter their basic human traits – love and affection, pleasure and pain, hunger and thirst. These basic biological instincts and mental propensities equally predominate in human beings of all complexions in all countries and in all ages. A mere rustic, illiterate, half-naked tribal mother of an unknown hamlet of Chotanagpur hills in India bears deep maternal affections for her young children; in the same way, a well-educated mother of a locality of New York pours out of her heart a great love for her own children.
The subterranean flow of love and affection exists in all hearts alike. Every person cries out in pain, everyone feels pleasure when there are occasions of joy and happiness. Maybe in different geographical, cultural, social and other environments, the lifestyle of different human groups may vary; maybe, a few special psychic traits in those groups may assert themselves, but fundamentally, their mental existences flow along the same channels of ideas and consciousness. Containing the same cosmic momentum and under the same cosmic inspiration, they all have set out for a tryst with the same Destiny.
(“Human Society is One and Indivisible”)
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Feelings of differentiation are a great impediment in the spiritual practice for the Infinite. The feelings that a particular person is a Muslim, another a Hindu, yet another a Brahmin-caste, and the fourth a capitalist, are mean thoughts. When every living being is a manifestation of the Supreme Consciousness, how can you know yourself without shedding these differentiating feelings?
No one is high and no one low. Of course, according to one’s virtues or vices one is happy, one is miserable, one is rich, one is poor, one is a fool, and another is learned. But all are human beings. Feelings of differentiation are the principle obstacles on the path of spiritual practice. For this reason, elevation cannot be attained without annihilating them.
(Súbháśita Saḿgraha I, 92)
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Today not even the Pacific Ocean between Asia and America is difficult to cross. The people of Asia and America are approaching one another, touching and understanding each other’s minds; they have learned to think about each other sympathetically, as one family of humanity. Europe, Africa, Australia, Mercury, Jupiter, comets, stars, and constellations – none is alien to the other, none is distant. Gradually everyone has begun to realize the vibration emanating from the One Mind.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 78)
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SOCIAL WEALTH
We should not forget even for a moment that this whole animate world is a large family in which nature has not assigned any property to any particular individual. Individual ownership has been created by selfish opportunists so that they might take advantage of the defects of this system in order to grow fatter in a parasitic way. When the whole property of this universe has been inherited by all creatures, how then can there be any justification for a system in which someone receives a flow of huge excess, while others die for lack of a handful of grain?
(Problem of the Day, 2)
The aspiration to become rich by exploiting others is a sort of mental malady. In fact, if the eternal hunger of the human soul does not find the real path leading to mental and spiritual wealth, it becomes engaged in the work of depriving other of their rights; it robs them of their material resources. If any member of a family seizes food from a store by application of mental or physical force, he certainly becomes the cause of misery to others. Similar is the case when a capitalist says, “We have seized wealth by intelligence and labour. If others have mental and physical potentialities they may also do it. Who objects to it?” They do not want to realize that the volume of commodities is limited whereas requirements are common to all. In most spheres, abundance for one individual takes the bread out of the mouths of others. It is a mental ailment not to understand this common necessity.
(Problem of the Day, 7)
But the people afflicted with this malady are also members of this vast human family and consequently, they are our brothers and sisters. Therefore, they will have to be cured of this disease either through humanitarian appeals or pressure of circumstances. It will be a great crime even to think of their destruction.
(Problem of the Day, 7)
It must always be remembered that the value of money lies in its use. If more money is accumulated than is necessary, it becomes valueless for lack of use. The money you keep idle and valueless makes you responsible for the injustice done to the hungry and the naked. Your valueless hoard shall have to be made valuable by providing opportunities for others’ use.
(Human Society I, 63)
The spiritual practice of our Márga does not teach forsaking the world. It teaches the right and correct use of all property, crude or subtle.
(Supreme Expression II, 69)
Let everyone enjoy as much as they like on the subtle mental plane. Let everyone possess as much mental and spiritual wealth as possible. But individual hoarding of mundane resources and wealth must be stopped, even by force if necessary. Really speaking, both physical and mental cravings are born of mental hunger. It is certainly possible to transform the craving for physical enjoyment into intellectual hunger by channelling it toward a different goal through proper education. Human society today is badly in need of such education.
(Human Society I, 75)
The availability of the minimum essentials of life plays a vital part not only in achieving a world family but also in the development of the personality. This problem should be tackled on a world-wide basis. Every human being must be guaranteed certain minimum requirements. The availability of food, clothing, medical assistance, education and housing should be arranged, so that human beings may be able to utilize their surplus energy in subtler pursuits – energy which until now has been engaged in procuring the essentials of life. To fulfill the above responsibilities, sufficient purchasing capacity should be created. If the necessities are guaranteed without demanding any personal skill or labour, the individual may develop the psychology of idleness.
(Idea and Ideology, 94)
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The minimum requirements of every person are the same, but diversity is also the nature of creation. Special amenities should therefore be provided, so that diversities in skill and intelligence may be fully utilized, and talent is encouraged to contribute its best for human development. It will thus be necessary to arrange for some special remunerations to provide special amenities according to the age and time. But at the same time, there should be a constant effort to reduce the gap between the amount of special amenities and the minimum requirements of the average individual. This never-ending effort of proper economic adjustment must ceaselessly continue, fostering the spiritual, mental and physical evolution of humanity and the development of a cosmic sentiment for a world family.
(Idea and Ideology, 95)
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In such a socio-economic program, human beings have full liberty in the spiritual and mental spheres. This is possible because the spiritual and psychic entities for which human beings can aspire are themselves unlimited, and one person’s progress in this sphere does not hamper the progress of others in their quests. But the supply in the physical sphere is limited, and thus any effort for disproportionate or unrestricted acquisition of physical objects may create a vast majority of “have nots.” This hampers the development of the total personality of humanity. So individual liberty must not exceed established limits in the physical sphere. At the same time it must not be so drastically curtailed that a human being’s spiritual, mental and physical growth is hindered.
(Idea and Ideology, 95)
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Thus the social philosophy of Ananda Marga advocates the development of the integrated personality of the individual and also the establishment of a world fraternity by inculcating a cosmic sentiment in human psychology. The Marga advocates progressive utilization of the mundane and supramundane factors of the cosmos. Society needs an impetus for life, vigour and progress and for this Ananda Marga advocates the “Progressive Utilization Theory” (PROUT) which calls for progressive utilization of all factors of the universe. Those who support these principles may be called Proutists.
(Idea and Ideology, 96)
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Ours is a subjective approach and an objective adjustment – the happy blending between objective world and subjective goal. While moving towards the subjective goal, you must maintain adjustment with the objective world. There is no other alternative. When the human society is ensconced in this supreme idea, in the very near future it will become more constructive, with proper planning. Humanity of the entire universe will unite, and we are anxiously waiting for that happy moment.
(Discourse in Caracas, Venezuela, 1979)
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I want every human being to be guaranteed the minimum physical requirements of life; every human being to get scope for the full exploitation of his or her psychic potentiality; every human being to attain absolute truth; and endowed with all the glories and achievements of the world, to march toward the Absolute. In and through this movement, humanity should be made conscious of the purpose and meaning of life.
(Great Universe, 234)
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EXPLOITATION
The ills perpetrated in society are in a great measure created by the exploiters themselves. To swell their bank balances the exploiters create an artificial scarcity of food, clothes and other necessary consumer goods, and loot profits in the black market. Those who have no buying capacity for high-priced food and clothes take to stealing and other shady methods in order to meet their bare necessities. These ill-fed, ill-clad flocks of poor wretches work for these greedy black marketeers and smugglers. When apprehended, it is they who are penalized – the rich escape on the strength of their influence. Throwing their conscience to the four winds, these poor wretches take to sin and crime still more desperately. The society accuses these sinners and criminals, while the rich exploiters enact the roles of popular leaders, wear garlands, let loose fireworks of speeches and exhort the masses with a clarion call to make more sacrifices.
(Human Society II, 109)
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I have spoken about haves and have-nots. To satisfy their hunger, the haves misutilize their physical and intellectual wealth and force the have-nots to become slaves and sinners to try to appease their own hunger. In the background there is a big exploiter; in the front, as his agents, are half-naked children. This is the cause of the downfall of society.
(Great Universe, 180)
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What we see in the market place and railway stations is the exhibition of half-clad street beggars and lepers – all stretching out their begging bowls, the only means of earning their livelihood. They are fortunate if anybody contemptuously flings a copper coin at them. The old blind beggars wait all day long at the bridge and lift their bowls as soon as someone walks past them. Their shrill cries fall on deaf ears only. On the other hand, the affluence of foods kept ready in luxurious houses to entertain the big guns of society ridicules the present human civilization.
(“Social value and Cardinal Principle”)
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Very often we say that a particular individual or a particular community of people is badly exploited. Then, what we mean by “exploited” is this, that they are exploited in the economic stratum. But if we penetrate deeply into the matter, we shall discover that the exploitation has not been only in the economic stratum, but also in the other strata of human existence, in different forms, on various pretexts. When there is exploitation on the physical level, it is not necessarily economic in nature in all cases; it is mostly social. For instance, the vested interests inject, at a certain stage, inferiority or superiority complexes in the public mind and at a much later stage, use those psychic complexes for social or economic exploitation. This exploitation on the psychic level is mostly perpetrated, in the first phase, through dogma.
When the exploitation in the physical sphere is directly economic in character, even the common people can understand that; they need not labour hard to comprehend it. But in the event of exploitation in other spheres, the exploited people are not even aware of the fact that they are being exploited. That is why it becomes easy for the cunning exploiters to keep them in prolonged domination by creating inferiority complexes in their minds.
And the tragedy is, that the exploited mass don’t try to understand; they even refuse to understand even though some may try to make them understand, that they are the victims of exploitation. So, this is more dangerous. When the exploitation is directly economic, the people can easily understand it; but when the exploitation is perpetrated in this socio-economic sphere or the psycho-economic sphere, the situation becomes complicated. The people feel a little aggrieved because they feel that they are being psychically suppressed, but they are not aware of the fact that the ultimate result is their economic exploitation.
Today all over the world there is greater economic awareness than before. That is why the cunning exploiters have resorted to the path of either socio-economic or psycho-economic exploitation. They have spread their trap over a vaster area, hoping to reap a rich harvest.
(“Psycho-Economic Exploitation,” Calcutta 1981)
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If a flying bird is caged for long, it loses its ability to fly. If the door of its cage is unfastened accidentally, it thinks, “What benefit will I derive flying in the distant blue sky? Let me pick up seeds, sitting on the perch of my little cage.”
Now, if people have been educated in a distorted manner and their minds crippled, they are unable to stand independently. If their minds have been molded by propaganda for a long period, they cannot utilize the opportunity [for freedom] even if it is presented to them.
Common people have been taught for ages that they belong to a low caste or class. Even if you offer these downtrodden people a chair to sit by you, they would murmur, “No sir, I am alright – let me sit on the ground.” That is to say, their minds cannot function properly, just as a bird’s wings become totally inactive in a cage. People have been accustomed to such repressions for thousands of years – the exploiters have injected fear-complex in their minds to control them.
(“Quadri-Statumic Progress In Human Life,” Calcutta, 1981)
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The one who exploits the masses is also a person; this must never be lost sight of even for a moment. The human family is a conglomerate of different elements of the human race. Reforming and guarding against human frailties with a liberal and tolerant outlook, we have to proceed together towards the path of benevolence.
(Human Society I, 81)
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So your duty is threefold. Your first duty is to observe morality and do intuitional practices. Without this you cannot have mental determination. Your next duty is to unite the moralists of the world, otherwise righteousness (dharma) will not endure. This will be your real duty. You will become great by this, for ideation of the Great makes one Great. At the third stage, you will have to mercilessly fight against sin wherever it has habitated this world. You will have to propagate this mission from door to door.
Any political party or so-called religious institution cannot bring salvation. Praising God with drums and cymbals will not bring salvation to the world, for it will not be able bring the sinner into submission. Today the necessity of arms is more than the drum and cymbals to curb the onslaughts of the immoralists.
(Supreme Expression II, 148)
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You must have a flaming moral purpose so that greed, oppression and exploitation shrivel before the fire in you.
(Supreme Expression II, 33)
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DIALECTIC MATERIALISM AND DEMOCRACY
Those who want to establish universal equality or social parity by law or bayonet alone shall fail. They will not be able to effect a change of heart without a planned expedient, or to rectify character without any moral or ideal basis. In communism, the spontaneity of natural self-expression gets gagged by force. To remain suppressed like this is against the grain of human characteristics. The suppressed mind will evolve its own way of self-expression; it will have to revolt.
(Human Society I, 72)
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Like any other problem, economic problems have only one solution: genuine love for humanity. It is this love that will direct humanity in what should and should not be done. For this, one need not study volumes of books. It will not be necessary to depend upon those who play with the fortunes of the mute populace. It is only necessary to look upon humanity with honest sympathy.
(Human Society I, 78)
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The world belongs to the toiling mass.” If one accepts this maxim as the last word, it will amount to a denial of valuable intellectual labour. We cannot attach more importance to the problems of one section of society over another. While attending to the problems of the people, we shall first assess their financial and mental needs and then proceed to help them with love and humanistic concern, irrespective of their particular group, occupation or status.
(Human Society I, 82)
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It is but natural that only a few persons can attain opulence. The labourers are in the majority and, having united together, are bent upon annihilating the predominance of the capitalists. This is why we are getting an indication of the impending predominance of the workers. But shall the predominance of the labourers remain as the final order? Will not the progress of the world and the evolution of the Self be hindered if control over the society is left to the workers? People have begun realizing what should be the framework of a blissful society – it is improper for any section of the society to gain predominance over the rest. The predominance of one implies the inevitable exploitation of the others. Therefore a society should be established wherein equal opportunities and equal rights may be offered to each and all.
(Súbháśita Saḿgraha I, 5)
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Those who advocate a materialistic philosophy but are not moralists and spiritualists cannot effect such [progressive] changes. Only those who have the Cosmic Goal and Cosmic Ideation as the highest goal of their lives and who are universalists in the true sense of the term can effect such adjustments. Due to their enlarged vision and expanded consciousness, they bestow their love and affection upon one and all. They cannot cause any injustice in a particular age or to a particular person. Hence the Era of the sadvipra is both the prayer and the demand of the suppressed and oppressed humanity.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 136)
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One must remember, theories are not the liberators of human beings. The liberator is that lofty ability which helps to keep open every small or large vista of sentient existence – that vigorous capability which fuses the hard reality of existence with the ultimate reach of the visionary world.
(Human Society I, 77)
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Public education is one of the fundamental needs for a successful and smooth-running democracy. In some places even people of education misutilize their voting rights. People cast their votes according to the dictates and persuasion of the pseudo-leadership. Is it not a farce in the name of democracy? Hence the spread of education and proper knowledge is essential. Education does not mean literacy alone. To my mind, education means proper and adequate knowledge and power of understanding. In other words, education is perfect knowledge of what I am and what I should do.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 140)
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Morality is the second fundamental factor for the success of democracy. In the absence of morality, people sell their votes. There are a few countries in the world where votes are being sold and purchased. Can we call this democracy? Is it not a farce? Hence, until fifty-one percent of the population adheres strictly to the principles of morality, there is no chance of a successful democracy. Where immoral persons are in the majority, the leaders will necessarily be from and among them.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 141)
POLITICIANS
Today there is catastrophe and misery in the human society and there is one reason: defective leadership of society. People blindly follow even the unintelligent leaders. The leaders hypnotize and attract thousands with their tall talks, gestures and other dramatics. You should know that the poverty and misery of people in any country are the sins of the leaders. True leaders should always be vigilant and think how to work best for the human society; they must be ever cautious that under their guidance the people are not led to darkness, death and immorality.
(Supreme Expression II, 143)
Those who proceed to play “the leader” in attempting to build a benevolent society without having undergone meticulous self-preparation and self-discipline through intuitional practice, will not only bring about their own downfall but will lead the entire humanity to disaster as well.
(Human Society I, 76)
Those who make attempts to disturb human unity are mainly motivated by group politics. In fact, this malady is even more dangerous than germs. It gradually brings about a complete destruction of the various attributes of the human mind: fine taste, simplicity, spirit of service, etc. In this, the party stamp is more valuable than the individual ability. To politicians the main objective is not social service but the service of the self, not welfare but the ministry. To deceive the mass to exhibit political acrobatics – all these are very common with them. Without trying to mend themselves they want to do everything only through their eloquence. With a thorough understanding of the public they instigate them to quarrel with one another and by self-applause they want to take possession of, or maintain power. People should remain vigilant of them. They want to poke their noses in every aspect of social life – religious life, education, literary spheres, etc. One cannot acquire knowledge and proficiency in different walks of life only by speaking high-sounding words from lecture platforms. By virtue of these high-sounding words they want to remain in oblivion due to the allurement of power.
(Problem of the Day, 41)
In the end, those political hypocrits will have to depend solely on the strength of arms. In this way it is found that brute force is the only source of strength for such politicians.
(Problem of the Day, 44)
Many people say that different national interests are the only hurdle in the formation of a world body. In my opinion, this is not the only obstruction, rather, this is just a minor difficulty. The real cause lies in the local leaders’ fear of losing their control. Upon the establishment of the world federation, the powerful influence which they enjoy today in different countries will cease to exist.
(Problem of the Day, 30)
In all walks of present-day life, the dark shadows of immorality are fast taking definite shapes and hampering human progress. It requires a very strong moral force to wipe out this filth of immorality. One cannot expect this moral force from a government power functioning within a democratic structure. We must expect it from the non-political side. The government, be it fascist, imperialist, republican, dictatorial, bureaucratic or democratic, is sure to become tyrannical if there is no moral force to check the capricious activities of the leaders of the party in power.
(Great Universe, 251)
Social life cannot be elevated merely by speeches delivered from political platforms; political leaders cannot produce sadvipras by their rhetoric. Besides, who are those who deliver lectures from platforms? Are they not the people who sling the mud of political censure on others? Most of them are blind after power. What will they teach others? Mental and spiritual training alone can create sadvipras. Sadvipras are only those who are perfect in morality and aspirants of the Supreme Consciousness.
(Problem of the Day, 48)
Those who wish to purify society of all defects will have to keep an eye on every human being; social reform can be effected only through the purification of individuals.
(Problem of the Day, 48)
In this transitional period of civilization, honesty in individual life is a prime necessity. We have to remain ever vigilant that the darkness of petty self-interest does not shroud this supreme human treasure. With the extinction of honesty, civilization will not survive, the long effort (sádhaná) of the human race will go in vain, and all intellectual achievements will become meaningless.
(Ánanda Vánii, May 1958)
Building anything on humanistic lines requires a foundation of real love and affection for humanity. A truly benevolent society will never come into being under the leadership of those energetic busybodies who are solely concerned with profit and loss. Where love is paramount, the question of personal loss or gain does not arise. The basic ingredient for building a healthy society is simply genuine love; how then is it possible to establish such a society through coercion or legal compulsion?
(Human Society I, 73)
SADVIPRAS
Sadvipras are those whose all efforts are directed towards the attainment of Bliss. They are strong in morality and always ready to wage war against immoral activities. Those who strictly adhere to the principles of morality, are ensconced in sacrificing service (Tapah) and are ready to wage war against immoralists are sadvipras. Only those sadvipras are safe from destruction and extinction who can work for the welfare of the human society. Therefore, it becomes the prime duty of everyone to make themselves and others sadvipras.
(“The Future of Civilization,” Cosmic Society, 1967)
Sadvipras will wage a ceaseless, pactless struggle against immorality and all sorts of divisive tendencies. Those who pose to be righteous (dharmic) but are timid with the spirit of fight cannot be called sadvipras.
(“The Future of Civilization,” Cosmic Society, 1967)
The function of the sadvipra shall, therefore, be to see that the dominating or ruling classes do not have any scope for exploitation. The moment one class turns to be exploiters, the life of the majority becomes miserable; a few enjoy at the cost of many whose lot is only to suffer. More than that, in such a stage of society, both the few and the many get degenerated. The few exploiters degenerate themselves due to excess of physical enjoyments, and the many exploited cannot elevate themselves because all their energy is taken up in mundane problems and all their mental waves are always tending to attain psycho-physical parallelism, thus getting day by day cruder. Hence for the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the administrator and the administered of the society as a whole, it is essential that no one should be given any scope to exploit the rest of society.
(Idea and Ideology, 87)
Those spiritual revolutionaries who work to achieve such progressive changes for human elevation on a well-thought, pre-planned basis whether in the physical, metaphysical or spiritual sphere, by adhering to the principles of morality, are sadvipras.
(Idea and Ideology, 85)
For those who lack in physical pabula, minimum requirements will have to be guaranteed; otherwise they will become sinners. If you don’t give, you will meet your waterloo. If your neighbor’s house is on fire, your house will also catch fire. To issue minimum requirements to everyone, both strong administration and intellectual approach are necessary. Those who will do this will be called sadvipras. In the absence of sadvipras, society cannot survive.
(“The Three Causes of Sin”)
People will recognize sadvipras by their conduct, their devotion to service, their dutifulness and their moral integrity. These sadvipras will declare firmly, “All human beings are of the same caste,” “All human beings have equal rights,” “All human beings are brothers and sisters.” These sadvipras will give a stern warning to the exploiters of the society: “Human exploitation will not be tolerated. No exploitation will be allowed on the pretext of religion.” Rallying around the saffron flag, a symbol of sacrifice, they will devote themselves to the service of widely scattered units of the human society and proclaim loudly, “Human beings of the world, unite!”
(Problem of the Day, 59)
Today I extend my earnest request to all reasonable, virtuous and moral fighters that they form a good, well-disciplined sadvipra society without further delay. These sadvipras shall work for the good of all countries, for the all-round emancipation of all humanity.
(“The Three Causes of Sin”)
The sadvipra is not an inactive witness. S/he is an active participant to see that no person or class exploits the rest. For this, s/he may have to resort even to physical violence, because the sadvipra will have to strike at the source of the power which is tending to become the exploiter.
(Idea and Ideology, 88)
Those who have a correct philosophy and a correct spiritual practice based on the principles of morality (Yama and Niyama) will be the guiding personalities of the society of tomorrow. It is the duty of the conscious people to snatch away the physical power and intellectual leadership from the hands of political hypocrits. Politicians are of no use to the society because they are engaged in mudslinging and nothing else. If the sadvipras (spiritual moralists) get active mass support, revolution is bound to come. In case a government adopts the ideals of Prout, the rule of sadvipras will prevail. If the same is not adopted by a government, and sanguinary revolution is sure to come and ultimately the power will be made over to the sadvipras.
(Problem of the Day, 48)
To a sadvipra, the value of human life surpasses all other values. Be it state or scripture, society or religion, the significance of everything lies in developing humanity to the optimum point through knowledge, culture, health and affluence of life. It is for the unfoldment of humanity that civilization has so many impediments, the state presents various forms, theories multiply and the scriptures abound in ordinances and regulations. What does the state stand for, what is the use of these regulations, or what are the marvels of civilization for, if humanity is deprived of manifesting itself, if human beings do not get any chance to build a good physique, to invigorate their intelligence with knowledge and to broaden their heart with love and compassion? Instead of leading humanity to the goal of life, if the state stands in the way then it cannot command loyalty, because humanity is superior to the state.
(“Social Value and Cardinal Principle”)
A sadvipra may not like a person, but if one is honest, the sadvipra will not agitate against him. A sadvipra may like a person, but if he is dishonest, the sadvipra will take suitable measures against him.
(“Social Value and Cardinal Principle”)
Problems will not be solved only by making a useless fuss over them. Only the spirit to fight against all odds can solve the problems confronting humanity. March ahead and wage war against all difficulties, all impediments. Victory is sure to embrace you. Difficulties and encumbrances cannot be more powerful than your capacity to solve them. You are the sons and daughters of the great Cosmic Father. Be sadvipras and make others also sadvipras.
(“The Future of Civilization”)
It is far too easy to talk big about revolution. Such gasconades – such tall talks – may easily strike the listeners with wonder and may also draw applause from them, but to bring about a real revolution is not at all easy. The pioneers of a revolution will have to learn discipline, take proper training for the revolution, build their character, be moralists – in a word, they will have to be what I call the sadvipras.
(Human Society II, 125)
The persons who can dedicate their all to the thought of the great and inspiration of the Supreme are verily the greatest heroes. Such heroes, indeed, are virtuous and they alone are capable of taking human history from darkness to light.
(Ánanda Vánii, January 1965)
Sadvipras will have no rest, ever. A time will never come in the life of a sadvipra when he or she will relax in an arm chair and say, “Ah, I have nothing to do today. Let me rest awhile.” In this first phase of human history, the sadvipra society has not yet formed itself. In the absence of a sadvipra society the social cycle is moving on its natural round. In every age, the government of the predominant class becomes exploitative, and thereafter comes evolution or revolution. For lack of sadvipras’ assistance, the foundation of human society is lacking firmness. Today I extend my earnest request to all reasonable, virtuous and moral fighters that they form a good, well-disciplined sadvipra society without further delay. These sadvipras will work for the good of all countries, for the all-around emancipation of all humanity. The downtrodden humanity of this disgraced world is looking up to the eastern horizon, awaiting the sadvipras’ advent with earnest zeal and eagerness. Let the cimmerian darkness of the interlunar night disappear. Let the human being of the new day of the new sunrise wake up in the world. With these good wishes I conclude my discourse.
(Human Society II, 132)
SOCIAL JUSTICE
There should be one universal legal and criminal code for the universal humanity. It is not at all desirable that there be different laws for different people, different countries, different communities. All laugh in happiness, cry in sorrow, beat their breasts in mourning. Why must we separate human from human with a thousand and one imaginary distinctions?
(Human Society I, 136)
Crimes” are acts forbidden by the law of the government concerned, and “virtue” and “vice” are the outcome of traditional customs. The sentiments of the lawmakers are very much influenced by the current concepts of virtue and vice of the locality or of the people concerned. The sense of crime, therefore, runs parallel to the concepts of virtue and vice which vary from country to country. Those working toward world fraternity should try to lessen the difference between social, traditional, moral and human laws. All those actions which help in the spiritual, mental and physical growth of humanity should come under the category of virtuous deeds and those actions which impede the spiritual, mental and physical development of humanity must be considered vice. This conception of virtue and vice applies for humanity in general.
(Idea and Ideology, 93)
Suppose you see a person steal something. If you see externally, you will see the man stealing. He should be punished. Shouldn’t he be punished? Yes, he should be punished. This is ordinary seeing. But if you apply your inner vision, i.e., intuitional sight, you see that the man was without food for four days, and so under pressure of circumstances, he had to steal. So after this inner seeing, this inner vision, you will come to the decision that we will remodel the socio-economic structure so that never is he compelled to steal under pressure of circumstances, because of being hungry for several days. When I started Ananda Marga, I wanted the entire humanity to stand upon the strict code of cardinal principles, human values and spirituality, and when I saw everything internally I came to the decision that there are so many loopholes in the human society. Human beings came here about one million years ago but have not yet been able to form a well-knit social order. We require a strong social order. That’s why I had to create another branch of philosophy known as PROUT, through which we are to remodel the social order so that nobody is compelled to resort to immorality for lack of food or clothes or other necessities of life.
(Baba in Fiesch, 183)
The path that lies before thieves who steal out of need is extremely narrow. The solution wholly depends on the strong economic foundation of the state concerned and of the whole world. If anybody is to be blamed for the poverty and social injustice which leads to crime, we will have to blame every national leader in the world. Those who make beasts of people by making them victims of circumstances, to my mind, are the very people to stand trial, if anyone is to be tried and judged at all.
(Human Society I, 117)
The first cause of sin is: shortage of physical and psychic resources. If there is lack of physical necessities, people are not able to follow the higher pursuits of life. A person’s discrimination is easily disturbed; with a little anger even an intellectual utters crude words. Hence, due to a shortage of physical wealth, people become restless, lose their discrimination, and become brutal. It is because of this that communism has tended toward brutality. Likewise, if there is a dearth of intellectual resources and the intellectual standard of the people is not high, they may confuse dos and don’ts. An example is a riot in which an innocent little boy is killed. The one who encourages the riot becomes the people’s leader. Because the intellectual standard of the people is low, they commit blunders prompted by these leaders and become beasts.
In those countries which are backward or where the socio-politico-economic consciousness is less, immoral, political pigs in the form of leaders misguide the people to collect votes. I say, they are political satans, political pigs. There, shortage of physical and intellectual wealth causes people to become beasts and commit sins and crimes. This is common everywhere in the entire world except for a few well-off countries, and even there this is present, but less prominently.
The second cause is non-utilization of over-accumulated physical and psychic resources. It is a mental disease to accumulate money. Those who accumulate it do not do so in order to fulfill their needs. Human needs are few, including food, shelter and clothing. For instance, if a person has a fruit grove which yields 500 mangoes and there are only five family members, what will be done with so many mangoes? There is very little chance of utilization in the case of over-accumulation. If sadvipras are not vigilant, where there is over-accumulation, human beings will tend to misutilize wealth by indulging in baser tendencies. Therefore you will note – I am making it crystal-clear to you – that the wealthy businessmen and most of the idle kings and aristocrats of ancient times were generally wicked and mean-minded.
The third cause is stagnancy. This is the greatest burden, the greatest disease of the human society. This sort of stagnancy is suicidal, for the sign of life is dynamism. To solve this cause of sin, an intellectual approach does not work. Dogmatic and traditional people do not listen to reason. They have to be struck. And those who do the striking are sadvipras. The striking has to be done with a hammer. Sweet gospels will not do. They must be hit not with a hammer but with a sledge hammer.
Suppose sadvipras do not hammer them, what will happen then? Because of the unnecessary presence of stagnant individuals, the speed of others will be retarded. Stagnant people commit suicide and become the cause of death for others. Humanity wants to move ahead and these stagnant people block its way and obstruct its movement. People will not tolerate these obstructions. The duty of the sadvipras will be to hammer appropriately these stagnant people who are the burden of the society so that the path of human progress may be straight, pure, and well-constructed.
(“The Three Causes of Sin”)
One of the notable causes of the present-day crimes is the scarcity of honest people. Those who are honest try to follow morality in their private lives, but at times are forced to desert morality under the unwieldy load of poverty. In the course of time, they may have to go to court under the charge of theft. Law has nothing to do with poverty which has goaded them to steal. And if they are convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, there is no provision in law for the maintenance of their families. As a result, the children of such families will have no other way to live than to become pickpockets or have recourse to stealing; and their mothers, unfortunate as they are, will have to find their way leading to the underworld and to maintain their existence, embrace an ignoble and sinful life. After their release from jail, their husbands will be hated and spoken ill of by society and, out of sensitivity to such affronts, they will be forced to resort to stealing as their profession. In this way hundreds of families are being ruined everyday. Nobody feels their agonies or comes forward to sympathize with them. Because today humanity is not the object of concern at all.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
You will hear many a vain and assuming person speaking thus, “I need no one, I am doing well in isolation. I don’t want to concern myself with anybody’s affair and I don’t want anyone to come into mine. I don’t care for anybody.” Nothing can be more foolish than this statement. Medicines and nursing are necessary in diseases; active participation by the neighbours is imperative to burn a dead body and to do the needful preparations for it; the cooperation of the cultivators for food supply and of the spinners for cloth supply is essential. Remember, that no created being in this universe is independent by itself – it cannot exist all by itself. All of us have a supra-cosmic relation with the rest, at times prominent, elsewhere indistinguishable. In this plan of mutual relationship, even the slightest mistake or discord anywhere will raise a furor in the universe. In this mighty task of creation, the brilliantly luminous sun and the insignificant ant hold the same importance of existence, all these having combined to create the world family. In the same way, in human society, as well, the importance of a highly powerful and eminent person is at par with that of a disabled or dying patient. None can be ignored. The slightest injustice done to anyone will cause the breakdown of our entire social framework.
(Supreme Expression II, 116)
THE PENAL CODE
It is not nature’s desire that human beings should penalize one another. Whenever some action is taken to penalize someone, a sense of revenge or vindictiveness arises in the mind of the dispenser of justice and stifles the judge in him or her. Hence, I suggest that the words “penal code” should be eliminated from the social life of humanity. If anybody, whether a judge or a common citizen, takes some sort of requital against someone else, it should be corrective, not penal. Then the offender, no matter how great his or her guilt, will have no cause for accusing anyone. Regardless of flaws in the judgement, it will not harm him or her in any way.
(Human Society I, 88)
Human values will therefore be the basis of the penal code. Our social scripture says: first, persuade the offenders by sweet words. Secondly, use harsh words in order to convince them. At the third stage, tell them of penal measures. The fourth stage warrants the adoption of penal measures against them. The humane appeal is at the root of inflicting punishment in this way.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
In my opinion, sentencing people to capital punishment just because one cannot cure their ills is as much a crime as killing them oneself. Why is nothing done to remedy their ills? Is it not tantamount to beheading oneself to escape a headache? Rather it is the bounden duty of civilized society to cure the ills of these criminals. We shall have to deal with criminals with a humane heart and guide them out of their ills.
(Human Society I, 101)
As long as people do not take humanistic measures for criminals, it is only a meaningless farce to let them sit in prisons uselessly. One must remember that they are (mentally) diseased and that their diseases are stubborn. They can be cured in a short time through spiritual practices and in a little more time through other Yogic methods; but for this, too, a congenial environment is essential. And so the environments of the prisons should be more pure, more humane.
(Human Society I, 102)
No matter how notorious a criminal is, s/he will have to stand trial based on the evidence and the lawyer’s eloquence, no matter if s/he is guilty or not. Criminals, if they have money, may come out unscathed through the legal intricacy with the help of a famous lawyer. And the non-guilty if they have no money, cannot appoint good counsel and are eventually sent to prison. If a thief is set free, it is a crime, no doubt; but inflicting punishment to an innocent person is a great sin – a severe dishonour of humanity.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
Thus the purpose of the penal code which will be framed by the sadvipras will be to rectify and not punish a person. They will knock down the prisons and build rectification camps. Those who are not inborn criminals, in other words, those who perpetrate crimes because of some organic defects, ought to be offered treatment so they may humanize themselves. First and foremost their need is to be removed.
The significance of society lies in going all together. In the course of the journey, if anyone lags behind, if in the darkness of night a gust of wind blows out anyone’s lamp, then we should not go ahead leaving them in the lurch. We should extend a helping hand to them and light their lamps with the fire that makes us ablaze. Stop we must, otherwise the spirit of society is in jeopardy. Thus a person, whether s/he is a sinner, a sufferer, a thief, a criminal or characterless, is so quite superficially; inherently s/he vibrates with potentiality of being purified. The principle object of the sadvipras is to explore and bring this potentiality into play.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
EDUCATION
In every sphere of life – social, economic, mental and spiritual – making human beings conscious of their rights leads to the expansion of knowledge, and the full application of these rights is called the cultivation of science. Neglected people who, for whatever reasons, have not pursued knowledge and science, should be given full opportunities. There should be no discrimination. It is true, however, that self-seeking vested interests have taken advantage of the ignorance of the people, and have taken over in every field: social, economic, psychological and spiritual. They don’t want the ignorant to receive the light of wisdom, or the low-caste to climb the social ladder, or the hungry to have square meals, or the superstitious to banish their superstitions. They do not want all people to acquire spiritual and scientific knowledge, to have equal opportunities to attain the kingdom of God. In order to remove this false distinction between the “literate” and the “illiterate”, human values have to be recognized. Knowledge and science will be as free as light and air – they will be like a free-flowing spring, keeping all alive, supplying vital energy constantly to the human society.
(Human Society I, 61)
In regard to intellect, living beings may be divided into two main groups – those who want to share their wisdom, and those who do not want to. The more a group favours the sharing of wisdom, the more is their social instinct; and those who do not, their collective social mind cannot develop in the proper way due to lack of mutual understanding. Humans are beings of social inclination. Persons with social spirit must always remember that those who have little strength and ability at their disposal, those who have not, by Nature, been endowed with the power to survive the struggle for life, must always be led along in companionship. The greater this effort to accompany the helpless people, the more civilized those persons are, and the more proper their judgement. They are the really social-minded individuals, who accept in warm embrace the so-called low, base or discarded people.
(Supreme Expression II, 119)
When those at the helm of society despise others, a sizeable catastrophe arises. This outlook of looking down upon others is not always born of a superiority complex. In many cases a person may ridicule others to cover up his or her own ignorance. This egoistic feeling of superiority is detrimental to society. No matter what the education, intelligence, features, virtues, rank or age of an individual, everyone should bear in mind that the one s/he considers inferior, may excel him in some sphere. I have already said and I say it again – seventy-five percent of the troubles that overrun human society are due to the injustices inflicted upon one person by another.
(Human Society I, 86)
In my opinion those who take refined behaviour to be the criterion of education, commit a great mistake, for the identity of a person is not limited to one’s demeanour alone but it is reflected in one’s pervasive large-heartedness. Apologizing, after bumping a person, knowingly or unknowingly with an, “Oh sorry”, without enquiring as to what extent the person is hurt, is considered enough for refinement and this is the law of so-called civility. But we don’t find in this any indication of really sincere warmth of heart. Here the proof of education can only be seen if some healing balm is liberally applied to the wound of the injured man – if, even to the detriment of his own interest, the offender tries his utmost to mitigate his troubles.
(Human Society I, 57)
They are “educated” who have learned much, remembered much, and make use of their knowledge in everyday life. Their virtues I will call education.
(Human Society I, 56)
Real education is that which leads to liberation. (Supreme Expression II, 74)
We should remember that morality, spirituality and humanity, and a happy blending of occidental extroversial science and oriental introversial philosophy is the very foundation of our education.
(Discourse in Calcutta, 1979)
Free education will have to be provided for the masses. There should be no governmental pressure on this educational system; no influential persons should propagate sectarian views through the medium of education. The continual change of the government would affect the educational system and consequently the entire system would become upset. No “ism” except universalism can be tolerated in the educational system.
(Problem of the Day, 53)
A teacher must have such qualities as strength of character, righteousness, spirit of social service, unselfishness, personality and leadership. Teachers are the gurus or preceptors of the society and that is why not just any person will do. The ability of the person must be commensurate with the significance and gravity of the teacher’s post.
(Human Society I, 14)
The teachers must bear in mind that whatever the ages of their students – child, teenager, young adult, or older person – all to them are but children of different ages, and they too are children like them.
(Human Society I, 19)
Concerning the spread of real education, a well-written and well-acted drama can do tremendous good, regardless of the age of the student. Today people of all ages enjoy movies and TV dramas. The film industry should strive toward greater and greater heights of technical perfection and the human appeal of films can be well-utilized for education.
(Great Universe, 149)
A good many genius students are compelled to drop their studies for lack of money, and for the same reason, a host of artists are obliged to nip their extraordinary genius in the very bud. All these are due to this defective social order. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. This structure of inequality and injustice must be destroyed and powdered down for the collective interest of human beings. Without that, only a handful of persons can possibly attain the Supreme Perfection, but it would be extremely difficult to lead the whole community with quick speed to the Supreme Bliss.
(Súbháśita Saḿgraha I, 5)
ART AND LITERATURE
The ideal of an artist is to be established in a transcendent realm, beyond the limits of the senses. So the artists, or more precisely, the worshippers of fine arts, have to be spiritual aspirants. Only those who look upon everything of the world as Spirit can realize in everything a subtle, blissful, Transcendental Entity. The greater the artists’ understanding of their kinship with God, the greater their art. Those who possess a creative faculty yet do not seek the subtle Transcendental Entity, cannot create a worthy or successful work of art.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 56)
Art or literature is one of the sources by which the common people are inspired to establish themselves in the Cosmic Mental Sphere. That is why the effort (sadhana) of the artist or the writer through the ages has been to see the one among many, to lead many to the path of the One.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 77)
The true writer is not only a creator but a sage as well. As the representatives of millions and the architects of society, the writers cannot forget even for a moment the highest sanctity of their avocation. They are the messengers of the mute masses, the guardians of society. Though the slightest mistake on their part may result in catastrophe, their goodness also has the capacity to transform society beyond recognition. Therefore, those who have failed to learn restraint in thought and expression need not attempt the creation of art or literature.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 15)
That which moves along with the society, that which takes us to the real path of benevolence, to the path of growth and fulfillment, is called literature. “Art for art’s sake” is not acceptable; rather the expression should be, “Art for service and blessedness.”
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 2)
Though separated by many countries, many states, many religions, many communities or by many languages, the human race is an indivisible entity. Every human mind is but the diversified individual manifestation of that same indivisible Cosmic Mind. Today we look forward to the advent of that artist, that writer who will convey this truth to the hearts of humanity in a still sweeter language, still more strongly and deeply.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 77)
Human beings on their journey often want to pause a while. Sometimes their knees give way and they sit down fatigued and frustrated. The responsibility of the talented author at such a time becomes all the more significant. Thus when the author sings a song for the forward movement of society, s/he has to look back very carefully to see whether the people, for whom the marching song was sung, are capable of going forward with the author, whether the author’s thought wave is really touching the core of their hearts, whether the author’s service is really doing them good. In the literary world the garland of glory goes only to those who are ever awake to their real responsibilities as author.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 4)
The artists or writers, before holding their brush or pen, should look around and assess the direction in which society is moving and the basic causes of its weakness. What are the “isms” that have supplied impetus to evil ideals? It is not enough to look around; they may also have to take a firm stand against the apparently irresistible forces of destruction. It is possible that nobody will come the aid of creative writers or artists when they face such a challenge. But they should be courageous enough to go ahead even if no one listens to their voices. Fighting against the oppositions of thousands of superstitions and humanity’s petty selfishness, their pens may break into pieces, their brushes may be compelled to draw only lines of water on the canvas, their theatrical stances may perhaps end in mute gestures, yet their efforts shall not cease. Each of their small defeats shall be strung together as pearls in the very necklace of victory.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 14)
SCIENCE
The proper use of things varies according to time, place and person. One must be progressive in the practical use of every object, every idea. Through progressive scientific research we have to make increasingly greater use of human potentials. In an era of advanced science, the use of tools and apparatus from a less developed era is by no means a sign of progress. The use of developed tools and materials, evolved through dynamic and progressive imagination, may create small or large obstacles in the way of society; you will have to face them courageously. Through fight and clash you have to march on to victory, to the path of vindication of universalism, the cherished goal of your life.
(Ánanda Sútram, 58)
Today some people claim that science is the root of all evils and that frequent new scientific discoveries and inventions have been creating quarrels and dissensions in human society, thereby pushing the whole human civilization along the path of destruction. It is evident that those who criticize science, in reality want to turn the onward current of life backward. This is wholly inimical to progress. Such an endeavour is indicative of a negative mentality.
If science remains completely in the hands of materialists, the consequence will be hopelessness and despair. If conflicts among different classes go on unabated, people will eventually realize that only sadvipras can be the leaders of society. The majority of individual as well as social problems can be solved by sadvipras through the proper cultivation of science.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 122)
The population of the world is increasing rapidly. In fact, this has frightened many people. Under a capitalistic framework there are sufficient reasons for such fear. In those countries an increase in population means corresponding decrease in the property of the people. But there is no reason for such fear in a collective economic system. In the event of shortage in foodstuff and housing of the masses, we will convert barren land into green fields with cooperative efforts, and productivity will be increased by scientific advances.
(Problem of the Day, 37)
My personal opinion is that atom bombs can never destroy human civilization totally, for human beings have not yet become intellectually bankrupt. So I cannot but come to the clear conclusion that humanity is sure to discover in the very near future a counter-device to forestall this atomic menace. And this will also conclusively establish the fact that science indeed has a great and sublime role to play in the sphere of human welfare.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 132)
It is a fact that the temperature of the sun will gradually decrease. One day it will become a dead star. The conversion of the sun into a dead star will mean a similar fate for its planets. The earth then will not be a congenial place to live. But the destruction of a particular planet or solar system does not mean the end of the human race. There are numerous other stars and planets in the universe. With the further development of science and with the help of interplanetary transportation, human beings will move to other planets. The dream of today will become the reality of tomorrow.
(“The Future of Civilization”)
INDUSTRY
We cannot neglect a single creature, nor can we ignore any particular part of this world. Therefore it is desirable to pursue the policy of decentralization in the management of industry as much as possible. The promotion of industry in one part of the world cannot eradicate either poverty or unemployment in any other part. So it is desirable to form self-sufficient units one by one, to produce the essential commodities of life, at least in the fields of agriculture and industry. Otherwise, people may have to face tremendous hardship and misery during war and other abnormal circumstances. With the development of transport facilities, we can increase the scope of these units.
(Problem of the Day, 9)
In the field of industry, we will have to accept the necessity of both small-scale and large-scale industries. For example, in a self-sufficient unit the requisite amount of yarn for the manufacture of cloth may be produced by many big textile mills. If the production of yarn came within the scope of large-scale industry, then with its cooperation a large number of satellite industries could flourish. We could form many weavers’ cooperatives with every textile machine as the centre. There, weavers would be able to weave cloth in their own houses. They would no longer have to leave their homes at the distant call of a large-scale industry. Moreover, the weaving industry would no longer suffer even in war since textile machines would always be at hand.
(Problem of the Day, 10)
Under a capitalistic framework, [mechanization] means more misery and unemployment for the common people. Doubling the yield by using a machine will decrease the required number of labourers by half; consequently, capitalists will lay off labourers mercilessly. The unemployed labourers are ruined, bit by bit, by poverty and hunger. A few of them try to keep their souls and bodies together by indulging in theft, corruption, and other antisocial activities. This situation is certainly not desirable. No such reaction is possible in a collective economic system. There, mechanization will mean less labour and more comforts. With a double increase in the productivity of machines, the working hours will be reduced by half.
(Problem of the Day, 11)
The proper use of science under a collective economic system will only bring about human welfare. It may well be possible that due to mechanization no one will have to labour for more than five minutes a week! Being not always engrossed in anxiety about food and clothes, humanity will not misuse its mental and spiritual wealth. People will be able to devote more time to sports, literary discourses and spiritual pursuits.
(Problem of the Day, 13)
In the present age, there are so many elements hostile to morality. In urban civilization, more people live in a small area; this is the enemy of individual morality. It is essential for the moral development of an individual to live a life of solitude for some time. The city serves as an asylum for antisocial elements, but this generally doesn’t happen in villages. In villages everyone knows everyone else, and the source of each others’ livelihood is known to all. In the city, even after twenty years, a person doesn’t know his neighbours, who may be scoundrels. Thus we have to keep aloof from the barbarity of city life.
This will not be done merely by speaking slogans like, “Go back to the village!” Employment opportunities will have to be created in the villages for the intelligentsia. The availability of a power supply and the expansion of cottage industries in the villages are the paramount needs of the hour. By cottage industries, I do not mean old and outmoded, but rather rationalized and well mechanized industries. Hence, decentralization is an economic necessity.
(Abhimata, The Opinion, 142)
WOMEN
Another form of injustice in society is discrimination of sex. Instances of one sex of humanity being considered inferior to the other are very common. Women in a considerable area of the world are considered as the private property of men, meant for their pleasure only. In many other so-called advanced countries of this world, women do not have the right to vote in the general elections of the government of the country.
In other countries, women are considered unfit for taking part in spiritual practices. In our Ananda Marga, both men and women have equal responsibility. In the manner prescribed for marriage in our Marga, both the boy and the girl have to take equal responsibility. Women and men are considered on the same footing, and there is no question of men considering themselves superior to women.
(“Tattvika Praveshika”)
As in most other living species, in the human society females are physically weaker than males. Nevertheless, their value in society is not a bit less than that of men. Selfish men, however, have exploited feminine weakness to the limit. Although they publicly declare women to be a community of mothers, they have actually relegated them to the level of domesticated cattle and sheep. In every sphere of life these men have either substantially curtailed women’s rights, or have kept them wholly subservient to men’s whims and caprices.
(Human Society I, 42)
If half the society is steeped in inertia and prejudice, the other half will undoubtedly find the journey tough going, since it must carry this beast of burden along. In individual life, purity is equally necessary for both men and women, and for that, real spiritual vision is needed. But this is impossible as long as injustice to either of the two sexes exists.
(Human Society I, 43)
There are many who think that a few women who are made ministers or members of parliament will serve as the shining examples of equal rights and feminine progress. But is this a correct outlook? A proper educational system is the only way to expedite progress. A woman of any country who becomes a minister or an ambassador is no index to the real status of the women of that country. To elevate women’s dignity in society is neither so easy nor so cheap.
(Human Society I, 50)
Every person must understand that for the maintenance of any organism, there must be a close cooperation between each of its component parts. Humanity is not inert, and the relationships between human beings depend on more than mere cooperation. This cooperation instead of being based on a master-servant relationship, must be constructed in a warmly cordial atmosphere of free human beings. It should be a coordinated cooperation and not a subordinated one.
(Human Society I, 44)
There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly with one wing.
(Supreme Expression II, 59)
MORALITY
Morality is the foundation of spiritual practices. It must, however, be remembered that morality or good conduct is not the culminating point of the spiritual march. As a moralist one may set an ideal for other moralists, but this is not even worth mentioning for a spiritual aspirant. Spiritual practice in its very inception requires mental equilibrium. This sort of mental harmony may also be termed morality.
(A Guide to Human Conduct, 1)
People often say, “I follow neither a religion nor rituals; I abide by truth; I harm nobody and I tell no lies, and this is all that is necessary. Nothing more need be done or learned.” It should be clearly understood that morality is only an effort to lead a well-knit life. It is more correct to define morality as a dynamic force rather than a static one, because the balance in external spheres of life is only maintained by waging a war against all opposing forces. If the mind is pressured by an external allurement and there is intense mental disturbance, the force for internal struggle may yield; consequently the external equilibrium or the show of morality may at any moment break down. That is why morality is not the goal. Morality may disappear at any moment. It cannot be said that the moralist who has resisted the temptation of a bribe of two dollars would also be able to resist the temptation of an offer of two hundred thousand dollars. Nevertheless, morality is not absolutely valueless in a person’s life. Morality is an attribute of a good citizen and it is the starting-point on the path of spiritual practice.
(A Guide to Human Conduct, 1)
It cannot be said that the ultimate aim of human life is not to commit theft; what is desirable is that the tendency to commit theft should be eliminated. The aim of life is not that one will not indulge in falsehood; what is important is that the tendency of telling a lie should be dispelled from one’s mind. The aim of such morality is the attainment of that state of oneness with God where no desire is left for theft and all tendencies of falsehood disappear.
(A Guide to Human Conduct, 2)
The intelligent do not allow their mental purity to be stained even for a moment. To cleanse the mental sphere, force must be applied to remove the impurities, internal or external. This application of force must be a special type of action. When the impurity of selfishness enters every cavity of the mind and makes life a heavy burden, it has to be burned and melted in the fire of spiritual practices.
Such a practice is just the reverse of meanness and selfishness; it is the effort to remove any impurities, any black spots from the mind. A feeling of selflessness, of universalism is the only remedy for cleansing mental impurity. Those who are fascinated or tempted by an object can gradually rid themselves of the mental pollution arising from their selfish motives by adopting just the reverse course. Those who are very greedy for money should form the habit of charity and serve humanity through that practice. Those who are very angry or egoistic ought to inculcate in themselves the habit of being polite, and should serve humanity through that practice. Therefore only selfless service to humanity and efforts to look upon the world with a cosmic outlook can establish one in mental purity.
(A Guide to Human Conduct, 37)
Morality is the base, sádhaná (spiritual practice) is the means, and Life Divine the goal.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
In society, on one hand we see a crowd of antisocial elements, and on the other hand, a sense of frustration among the moralists. These moralists have therefore developed a tendency to go out of the society. With more wealth and strength, the antisocial elements are in the advantageous position; the moralists appear to be the culprits. This state of affairs is neither desirable nor proper and should not be allowed to continue any longer. Your duty will be to unite the moralists. Let there be two camps. Let there be an open fight. The moralists were so long scattered, and hence they could not fight. The united strength of five moralists is much more than the united strength of a hundred immoralists because there is an unholy alliance between the latter. Meditation within closed doors will not do. Gather strength by intuitional practices and unite yourselves against the immoralists.
(Supreme Expression II, 148)
HUMAN VALUE
It is customary to prefer social value to human value. The sadvipras want to strike at the root of this custom. To them, human value precedes social value. Human beings form the society, and hence human value should lay the foundation for social value. Human value means to treat the joys and woes, hopes and aspirations of human beings sympathetically, and set them on the pedestal of divinity after leading them to the Cosmic Consciousness. And if they are to elevate themselves to that sublime height, they will have to be provided with an environment suitable to their physical, mental and spiritual existence. It is the birthright of everyone to progress in their trifarious existence. It is the duty of society to accord recognition to this right of humanity. Society has failed to do its duty and that is why life is full of sorrows and sufferings.
Nobody can say for certain that no great man would have emerged from among those wayward boys whom we tend to slight and hate. The woman who has embraced whoredom for the sake of her physical existence might have grown into a noble personality if her agony had been appreciated sympathetically and if she were accepted by society. But since society has nothing to do with human values, a good number of great personalities are withering away in their embryonic stage.
The sadvipras will pick up this neglected humanity and arrange for its revival. To them no sinner is contemptible, no one is a rogue. People turn into satans or sinners when for lack of proper guidance they are goaded by depraving propensities. If their depraving propensities are sublimated, they will no longer be satans; they will be transformed into gods. Every course of action of society ought to be judged with an eye to the dictum, “Human beings are divine children.”
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
But when the question of delegating social responsibility arises, it will be considered with care and caution. An irresponsible person cannot be entrusted with social responsibility. If those who shoulder this responsibility are themselves sinners, then it will not be possible for them to discharge their social responsibility. Unless and until they correct themselves, they will not be given any social value, although they will in no way be deprived of human value.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
At present the worth of life is ascertained with an eye to money. One who possesses wealth commands respect and passes for a noble person. Nowadays if you have no money you cannot expect to get honour. The poor people belonging to all other classes have to woo the moneyed people just for the sake of earning a livelihood. Human values are taboo here. Human beings are now but a medium of earning money. The rich have purchased all the brains with their money. They have bidden farewell to all their human values and at the same time they are busy playing a chess game with the lives of the other members of society. Bereft of everything, the people toil around the clock to live from hand to mouth. Those who are at the helm of society are absorbed in strife and suspicion, or in reckoning their loss and profit. They have no desire to think of humanity. In order to gratify their self-interest they are ready to chew the humans’ bones. There is no room for mercy, sympathy, or fellow-feeling. All are self-centered.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
Whoever violates the principles of morality (Yama-Niyama) should not get the opportunity of representing the people. If power is given to an incompetent person, it will be equivalent to leading society astray in cold blood. Sadvipras will install fit persons in power, and the social order which will be evolved by virtue of their leadership will give due importance to each and everybody. In this new society based on Neohumanism, every person will find his or her life worth living. Human beings will get back their position of honour.
(“Social Value and Human Cardinal Principle”)
CIVILIZATION IN CRISIS
Wise people say that in the past there had been so many crises in the human society. Crisis is quite natural for something moving. Where there is movement there is struggle – struggle against the inertia of the earth. In the past there had been crises in the course of movement, crises in different branches of civilization, crises in the realm of education also. But nowadays, the entire human society is facing the crisis of civilization as a whole and particularly crisis in the field of existence. Now, the human society has to decide whether to live or to die. If the crisis of civilization as a whole and of existence is encouraged, humanity has no future. The future is dark, the future is sealed forever.
But as you know, I am not a pessimist. I am always an optimist. And I want all my sons and daughters to be optimists. I also want that they should struggle against this death signal of humanity and come out successful. I am sure that you boys and you girls must be victorious. It is your duty to save humanity. I hope you will be able to save humanity because just like me, you are also optimistic.
You should know that great or small, you people are few in number. You few are the torch bearers of human society. You are the pioneers, you are the vanguard of the human society. So it is your duty to save humanity. Those who are unable to shoulder their own bags and baggages, their responsibilities are to be shouldered by you. You should know that the life of spiritual aspirants is a mission – their entire existence is a mission. And your mission is, what? To save humanity from these crises. I hope, you will be successful. I not only hope, I am sure that you will be successful.
(Discourse in Frankfurt, January, 1979)
Some say that after thousands of years, there will be no humanity. Beings from other planets may come and see their fossilized existence, to see that there were creatures on this earth named human beings who were educated, who were intelligent, who used to build palaces, buildings, cities, but who have now become extinct due to their internal disunity and infighting. Do you want history to be written like this? Then preach the gospels of humanity everywhere – save the dying humanity.
(Discourse in Caracas, Venezuela, 1979)
Human civilization now faces the final moment of a critical juncture. The dawn of a glorious new era is on the one side, and the worn-out skeleton of the past on the other. Humanity has to adopt either one or the other. You are the spiritual soldiers, you are the worshippers of life divine. Hence I call upon you to adorn this crimson dawn deluged with glorious light. Victory is surely yours.
(Ánanda Vánii, January 1, 1967)
YOUR MISSION IN LIFE
Yours should be a glorious march towards the Supreme Goal, and you should remember that you are not to pause a moment during this movement. The entire human society is anxiously waiting for you, for your service. You will have to shoulder a great responsibility for this suffering humanity. You know that humanity is bleeding, and you will have to save it. You should remember that if you do not help humanity, who else will come and shoulder the responsibility? It is you, you are to do everything. You are the torch bearers of human civilization. You are the pioneers of the human march, you are the vanguards of the new civilization.
(Discourse in Caracas, Venezuela, 1979)
To shout “Peace” has become a fashion of the day in this world. But can such shouting bring about any result? There is no other way of establishing peace except by fighting against the reasons that disturb the peace.
(Problem of the Day, 20)
The absence of universal spirit is the root of all evils. Strong people are torturing the weak. Powerful human groups are exploiting the weaker ones. Under such circumstances, it is the duty of good people to declare war on the oppressors. It will not be of use to sit quiet for an indefinite period in the hope that only moral preaching will be fruitful. Hence, all good people will have to be united. There should be a pauseless preparation for war against the oppressors.
(Problem of the Day, 25)
Today all over the world a grim fight has started between the evil forces and the benevolent forces. Those who possess the moral courage to fight against the evil forces, it is they who alone can give a soothing touch to the struggle-torn earth with the balm of peace.
Remember that you are spiritual aspirants. Hence you alone shall have to undertake the mighty task of saving the earth.
(Ánanda Vánii, May 1967)
Increase the speed of your activities thousands of times, countless times more than it is now, and accomplish your work. There are three realms: physical, mental and spiritual. It is your duty to show society the right path in these three realms. Your success also depends on your speed. Work with infinite speed. Victory is surely yours.
(Great Universe, 129)
Clouds cannot overcast the sun for a long time. The creatures of darkness never want the expansive exhaltation of human society. Even then, humanity shall march ahead. None can arrest the speed of its progress. You be the harbingers; you be the pioneers of this victorious march. See that not a single individual lags behind.
(Ánanda Vánii, January 1972)
The flame of a lamp lights up countless lamps. The touch of a great personality wakes up innumerable sleeping hearts. In the same way, the eternal glow of the boundless élan vital of Cosmic Consciousness has been illuminating the life lamp of universal humanism since time immemorial, is illuminating and will do so in future even more intensely. That is why I say, the future of the human race is not dark, rather it is strikingly resplendent. So proceed on, ignoring the frown of darkness.
(Ánanda Vánii, January 1978)
Despite its advent onto this earth many thousands of years ago, humanity is not yet capable of building a well-integrated and universal society. This is in no way indicative of the glory of human intellect and erudition. You who have understood the predicament, realized the urgency, seen the naked dance of evil and heard the hypocritical and raucous laughter of the divisive forces, should throw yourself into this noble task without further delay. When the ends are just and noble, success is inevitable.
(Ánanda Vánii, January 1975)
1957-1981