Thought for the day



January 2002                                                                                                                           BACK



Spirit of Sacrifice


      The spirit of sacrifice, love and rightousness that are found in Bharat are not present anywhere else in the world. This is Thyaga Bhumi, Yoga Bhumi, Karma Bhumi and Yajna Bhumi (land of sacrifice, land of spirituality, land of action and land of  Yajnas). Such a sacred land is being converted into Bhoga Bhumi (land of pleasure) by modern youth. The bliss that one experiences from Thyaga cannot be obtained from Bhoga. Bhoga leads to Roga (disease) and Thyaga leads to Yoga (spirituality).

                                                                                         - Sri Sathya Sai Baba






April 2002

Religion, Science & God


The universe has evoked either one of two responses in us humans: Fear of the unknown and awe, or a determination to find out more about the universe and how it works. From the first was born a belief in a God, which ultimately took form in the great religions of the world and from the second rose the long tradition of dispassionate scientific inquiry.

Most traditional religions assert that God is the ultimate Truth, while science, without admitting the existence of any personal God, claims that its motive force is the quest for Truth. Science and religion seldom see eye-to-eye; this is partly because science has played a big role in enhancing our material comforts. Science as an instrument purely for the acquisition of knowledge can not only be intellectually invigorating but can also eloquently justify the existence of an intelligent Creative Principle in the universe.

Isaac Newton had invited a scientist-friend of his, a man who professed atheism, to dine with him. Seeking to corner his friend with his own arguments, Newton placed a model of the solar system on his table and invited his friend to view it. The guest exclaimed, “What marvellous craftsmanship! Who fashioned this exquisite model?” Newton replied casually, “This model has no maker; it materialised from nothing”. Disbelief writ large on his face, the friend asked , “What do you mean?” To this Newton smilingly replied, “How can you, my friend, insist that this model has to have a maker, while vehemently denying the existence of a divine Creator?”

If the practice of science is looked upon merely as an exercise of the faculty of reason with an eye on temporal material gains, it falls woefully short of its expectations as an instrument of knowledge. On the contrary, if it is regarded as a tool that probes the working of the external and internal world; if science can help us understand why we’re here and how this whole cosmos came about ;if with a scientific approach we can get closer to probing the mind of God- then it would more than fulfil its self-professed role of illuminating the human mind. Science would also then serve as something that invokes and inspires faith in God. In fact, science can even reinforce our faith in a Supreme Being. Physics and metaphysics are but the two sides of the same coin. Science has the power to ennoble us as much as religion can.

While the truly pious person loves God with his heart, a truly dedicated scientist loves God with his mind.

                                                             - Nelliah Hariharan





July 2002



The Four Options


Now a days people are so busy with minigoals that they never have time to think of broad goal of understanding the meaning and to give a direction to life. The minigoals are namely, the education, finding a job or business, marriage, raising family, job promotion, acquiring possessions and finally entering the jaws of consumer culture and never to turn back and think for a moment. In this rat race, contentment and detachment become difficult propositions. At the evening of the life we do realise that something we missed resulting in vacuum and disturbed peace of mind. It is never early in life to develop spiritual enquiry for a moment in a day questioning oneself ‘who am I and what is the purpose of this life beyond satisfying mundane needs ?’

 The Indian tradition has identified various personality types and suggested different yoga practices for them. For instance knowledge or Jnana yoga is recommended for the philosophical or intellectual personality,  action or Karma yoga for active and dynamic personality, devotion or Bhakti yoga for emotional personality and concentration or Raja yoga for mystical or psychic personality. For any significant progress in the chosen Yoga path for spiritual development, the prerequisite is simple living, detachment, selflessness, control of senses, positive inputs and thoughts of universal betterment. In other words one should put soul into it. Otherwise it will be more of intellectual acceptance and mere ritualization.       






October 2002

Religious Diversity


Hindu Dharma is one, which has survived the vicissitudes of time. It is not just another religious tradition but with its Vedic Vision, can adopt as its own any and every inclusive religious tradition. Swami Vivekananda had very beautifully described local faiths-indigenous traditions – viewed from Vedic perspective is Hindu Dharma or the Vedanta applied to the various ethnic customs and creeds of India, is Hinduism. Vedic Dharma is for preservation of religious diversity.

There should be an attempt to preserve religious traditions – the high cultures of the world.

Time has come for humanity to promote the basic human nature – compassion. Religious people have to speak responsibly in promoting human values not by resorting to conversion but by contributing to love, compassion and contentment. Every religious culture has a right to live and to contribute to the promotion of human values to make the world a better place.

Rejection of diversity violates natural law and goes against human nature. Such co existing together of the diverse religious traditions is as good as a garden with variety of beautiful flowers.

No animal species have been so hostile and cruel towards itself as Homo sapiens. Christianity and Islam have divided the humanity into the faithful and the infidels, the saved and the damned. More people have been either tortured or killed in the name of God than in any other cause.

It has long been a fashion to advocate religious unity, to assume that all religions speak of the same goal, teach same truths, and to stress commonalities rather than differences. That is a costly error, which will in no way help the survival of non-aggressive religions and cultures. The latter have celebrated life and generally seen humanity as one, with an equal divine potential.

Biodiversity is the law of nature. Theo-diversity is needed. Mono-theism (talking of One True God) is the schizophrenia of humanity. Riverine cultures seek human values and not human rights. Human rights destroy biodiversity whereas human duties increase human values.

The real progress is to March towards Unity and not Uniformity. That irreversible march towards Unity by preserving the diversity has started.


                        - Wisdom from the deliberations of World Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity.