On this auspicious first day of Baishakh 1425, we are sadly reminded of the deplorable and ghastly condition of our society. All around we find a serious degradation of the human species. Humans have forgotten the essential humane qualities like compassion, tolerance and love for one’s fellow beings.
Rabindranath Tagore and Shri Aurobindo, each in his own way, believed that human civilization one day would evolve into a supreme state when divine qualities would be an integral part of humanity. As things have turned out by the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, it appears that human society, contrary to their ideas, has started a regressive journey towards a neo-dark age. Greed, intolerance, cruelty, violence, validation of superstitions in the name of science, exploitation and crime against women and children, mindless destruction of the environment, attacking and torturing innocent animals are some of the symptoms of the latest human malady! They are controlled by the baser instincts of lust, hate and greed only. The question remains why cannot the human civilization prevent this self-destruction? Has the majority of human beings become insane and lost the realization that the present selfish pursuits would only bring about a definite destruction and misery of the humanity?
From the pulpit of the Brahmo Samaj we cannot pretend to ignore this deplorable danger that humanity is facing globally. If our preaching ignores the world wide social crisis and we believe that the cure would come as a miracle without our intervention, then we would prove to be complacent fools by the future generations. For the good of the society we should promptly diagnose the present disease and prescribe a treatment to prevent the human society from committing suicide.
The present atrocities that the human society has indulged in are probably because we have divorced the simple satya dharma, the ideals of righteousness and truth from our daily life. Life continues either with a blind adherence to irrational fundamentalism garbed as ‘religion’, or with a callous a-moral, dangerously indifferent attitude that does not motivate humans to aspire for nobler ideals.
The problem lies in the values that we inculcate into our children when they are tender and impressionable. We have not made them aware of the essential and basic truth that humans are only one tiny part of this entire creation and that this part is inseparable from its environment. One must honour, respect and preserve one’s environment, the animals, insects and the flora, not destroy or harm them. Even the tiniest speck of dust of this earth and the atom of the star billions of light years away have an organic connection with the cell of the human being! This awareness is the true universal awareness. This is not just a pronouncement made in our ancient scriptures, but our ever developing science has proved this empirically. Hence this is not merely a philosophical idea but a scientific truth.
What does our religion teach us? It teaches us to be in synch, to be harmonious with the entire creation, to realize and feel that we are a part of this glorious experience of existing in this mysterious creation!
Thus everything that a human encounters on earth, in this universe and in the entire cosmic experience, is as close to him as his relative. One has to be in harmony with the cadence of the cosmic rhythm, not disrupt it. Our scriptures claim gloriously that God has created everything in joy:
“Anandadhyeva khalwimani bhutani jayante
Anandena jatani jeevanti
“Everything is created in His ananda or joy, lives on in His joy and is subsumed in His joy”. Thus human beings are only a part of God’s creation that He has created in joy.
Thus, the entire universe is a reflection of His joy.
It seems we have failed to convey this simple message of joy to the common people. Our message is confined within the four walls of the church. The truth is that beyond the church lies the teeming millions whose brains are made to fume with regular doses of daily preaching of hatred, factionalism, parochialism, fundamentalism and divisive, exclusionist ideologies. Instead of teaching a proper, inclusive, universal ideology, the popular ‘religions’ teach hatred for the ‘other’. Children, from their early years, are taught to unnecessarily attack innocent animals and birds and insects, destroy flora and to top it all, are taught that anybody who does not belong to their race, or caste, or colour, or does not speak their language, does not share the same place of worship, is their enemy and therefore, must be eliminated from the face of the earth. If that is not immediately possible, the ‘other’ should be righteously tortured or at least harassed. This dangerous teaching is responsible for the present degradation of the human society.
From the pulpit of the Brahmo church we cannot and should not remain
indifferent and aloof towards this dangerous human degradation. There should be
a concerted and sincere effort from the Brahmo Samaj to find a solution to
change the mindset of the millions in an innovative way. The Samaj now should
be proactive in reaching out the millions outside the Brahmo samaj and spread
the message of liberal and universal humanism.
Om Ekamevadwitiyam Satyameva Jayate.