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Ahimsa – the ultimate winner

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SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION – A NEW BEGINNING

[Speech at the Concluding Session of the Sacred Earth Gathering on May 31st 1992 at the Monastery.]

It is a privilege to be in the midst of the leading spiritual masters, philosophers and worshippers of Nature. The Sacred Earth Gathering has brought together so much wisdom, so much serenity and so much insight into the heart and soul of humanity.In these three days, our spiritual consciousness has increased and regard for planet Earth as sacred mother has crystallized as an article of faith. The most fruitful outcome of our deliberations is that we must arouse a harmonious blending of the spiritual dimension with the intellectual and the materialistic.

Humankind has made tremendous strides in recent centuries. With the help of unparalleled advances in science and technology, humanity has harnessed Nature in a remarkable manner. The fruits of humanity’s ingenuity are reflected in the material progress, in the industrial, communications and information revolution.Through science, the feeling has grown that despite huge distances between continents, the world is a global village. We can reach one another with a speed undreamt of a few years ago.We can be in constant and swift touch with the most distant people by phone. Through television, we can be witness to events as they are taking place in far away regions.

And yet when we are coming to realize that the world is a small place we find that the world we live in is on the brink of an ecological catastrophe. We have recklessly exploited Nature and abused its bounties for immediate material gains without caring to replenish it, regenerate it or enrich it. The feeling of oneness with the Universe was lost because humanity exploited Nature disobeying the Natural laws of balance and equilibrium and did so with arrogance and presumption.The crisis is global. We need to tackle it with a global perception and Universal vision. An attitudinal change is needed in our thinking, in our expressions and in our actions. Emergence of a new Earth Ethics is the need of the hour.

I thank this distinguished assemble for entrusting me with the task of drafting the Declaration of Sacred Earth Gathering and of acting as Rapporteur General of the Conference. I have enjoyed this assignment and have gained a lot in my own perceptions as a result of wide-ranging consultations I engaged in, while drafting the text. I am happy that the text has now been adopted.

The message of the Declaration is timely, important and valuable particularly on the eve of the Earth Summit. It is good to have Mr. Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development II with us today. It is deeply satisfying that he has accepted the need for considering ecological questions in their ultimate spiritual dimensions as well.I would particularly like to invite your attention to the reference to the call in the declaration for transformation of our attitude and values:

The ecological crisis is a symptom of the spiritual crisis of the human being, arising from ignorance. The responsibility of each human being today is to choose between the force of darkness and that of light. We must therefore transform our attitudes and values, and adopt a renewed respect for the superior law of divine Nature”.

Mahatma Gandhi waged a successful struggle against the British colonial rule in India based on non-violence. It was a abused its bounties for immediate material gains without caring to replenish it, regenerate it or enrich it. The feeling of oneness with the Universe was lost because humanity exploited Nature disobeying the Natural laws of balance and equilibrium and did so with arrogance and presumption.The crisis is global. We need to tackle it with a global perception and Universal vision. An attitudinal change is needed in our thinking, in our expressions and in our actions. Emergence of a new Earth Ethics is the need of the hour.

I thank this distinguished assemble for entrusting me with the task of drafting the Declaration of Sacred Earth Gathering and of acting as Rapporteur General of the Conference. I have enjoyed this assignment and have gained a lot in my own perceptions as a result of wide-ranging consultations I engaged in, while drafting the text. I am happy that the text has now been adopted.

The message of the Declaration is timely, important and valuable particularly on the eve of the Earth Summit. It is good to have Mr. Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development II with us today. It is deeply satisfying that he has accepted the need for considering ecological questions in their ultimate spiritual dimensions as well.I would particularly like to invite your attention to the reference to the call in the declaration for transformation of our attitude and values:

The ecological crisis is a symptom of the spiritual crisis of the human being, arising from ignorance. The responsibility of each human being today is to choose between the force of darkness and that of light. We must therefore transform our attitudes and values, and adopt a renewed respect for the superior law of divine Nature”.

Mahatma Gandhi waged a successful struggle against the British colonial rule in India based on non-violence. It was a unique experiment and a successful one of using non-violence as a means to attain a political goal. The world of today and tomorrow needs a non-violent struggle to save the planet from ecological disaster. The culture of non-violence must become all-pervasive in our thoughts, words and deeds, and should regulate humankind’s relations with one another and also with Nature and other living beings. Only then would we be able to bequeath to the coming generations a peaceful planet, a healthy planet and a prosperous planet.I would like to urge the organizers of this conference to forward the Declaration to Earth Summit with the request that is should be circulated as a document of the U.N. Earth Summit. We also need to give it widest possible circulation through the Global forum.We must rise above mundane thinking, rigid approaches and complacency generated by material comforts and get on to a better understanding of environmental needs and obligations.

Y

The misery we inflict on sentient beings
slackens our human evolution”.

-Dr Annie Besant

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