Monday, August 31, 2009

Vision for A Universal Religion

Vision for A Universal Religion
- Dr. Satya Pal Singh
          Vision is the ability to see beyond the present. It is the foresight to see clearly through walls of years, decades and sometimes even centuries. It is an attribute, not just to predict, but to lay ahead a map of the future. Can we have such a vision for a universal religion? All the technologies and knowledge in the world are converging. Today we have a single Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Astronomy for ourselves. How can then one humanity have different religions? During 2001, the U.N. convened a conference for World Peace - a congregation of World religious leaders. More than a dozen of major religions were represented, leave aside hundreds of sects and personalised cults.
          It raises one basic question - being mooted for more than hundred years. Are these different religions, sects and cults opposed to each other? If the answer is in affirmative then to have World Peace through religions is hoping against hope. But if these religions are not against each other and equal in all aspects, especially the welfare of man, then what is the need of so many religions? The fact is that all these religions echoe almost the same righteous conduct - truth, non­violence, non-stealing, etc. but differ belligerently in their rituals. Rituals are unfortunately being given the real face or the core of present day religions. Our dress, mode of worship and the language of rituals have become the symbols of our purity.
          The common experience of all people is the foundation of our knowledge. The basic instincts and requirements of man are the same throughout the world. Hunger, fear, sex, sleep, etc. are common to all. So is the penchant for honesty, and fraternity. The code of conduct for progress and peace underlies the importance of patience, tolerance, control of mind and senses, non-stealing, purity, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, truth, non-anger, non-violence for entire human society professing any religious belief. This is the core of all religions. This core is called Dharma. Dharma is pure religion bereft of any rituals. It is the essence of human progress.
         There are four essential attributes for a universal religion. Equality, universal brotherhood, harmonious development and scientific base.
         Equality means treating everyone equally and good behaviour with others without any fear or favour. This principle of equality removes the barriers based on age, community, gender, area and the country in all matters, temporal or terrestrial.
           In the field of religions, the "tenet of equality" flows continuously, breaking all barriers of time. The Universal Religion begins with the very inception of human race on this earth. It is co-existensive and contemporary with the birth of the first human on this planet. This religion cannot originate hundreds or thousands of years later, with the advent of a 'great man', incarnation, Rasul or Paigambar (God's Messenger). If it being so, then there could be only two reasons for it. Either, the God has not acted with equality (or equity). He has done injustice to all those millions and billions of people who were born, lived and died, before its inception. Or in the beginning God was not mature or knowledgeable enough. Like a worldly man, He was gaining experience to launch His religion. God can never be thought of as being partial and unjust to millions of people. Secondly, looking into this perfectly designed world, only an insane person can think about the inexperience or lack of knowledge of God. In a similar manner, the religion preaching equality, cannot be partial to some particular countries, people or places.
           The religion, accepting Universal Brotherhood, instructs everyone in the world to interact with others with a feeling of amity, fraternity and affinity, as amongst brothers and sisters. It cannot selectively provide education and instructions and divine messages to some and not to others. The religion, following this principle cannot be partisan, by calling some people of its own, and insult and denigrate others by calling them atheists and nonbelievers or inferiors or calling them criminals and hence saying that they deserve punishment.
         The third golden speciality of Universal Religion is Hannonious Development. It desires an all round progress and flourishing of the entire humanity. Such a growth must be in equilibrium and tune with the powers and forces of nature. "It means harmony in development and development in harmony". It speaks of the necessity for a well-developed life science, which can produce harmony among the body, the mind and the soul, and can provide a long, full and healthy span of life. A religion that can stand this third test will lay down a code of division of labour, depending on the physical and mental capabilities of a person irrespective of birth or race.
         The last criterion of a Universal Religion is its scientific basis. In all its principles, beliefs and tenets and practical working procedures, scientific temper or attitude must pervade. None of its beliefs and preachings should be contrary to the laws of nature. All its sacred God-given books and tenets must be in harmony with the universally accepted scientific principles.
          The aforesaid elaboration proves that there is a common thread linking all four tests together, and there is a mutual interdependence or symbiotic relationship. These tests cannot be shut away in isolated and separate compartments. In each of these unique specialties, the other three are inseparably linked and one embraces the other three.
           Such a Universal Religion alone can be the Religion of the present technological era. Thus, Universal Religion and Scientific Religion cannot be distinct from each other. Acceptance of such a religion will ensure the end of all kinds of racial and religious conflicts. Will the leaders, saints and intellectuals of all major religions come forward, by shedding their egos and interests, for universal peace and progress ?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha
The foremost presiding Godhead
                                                                                                                      -Dr. Satya Pal Singh
             Almost all the religions, all over the world have faith in the very existence of the God and have accepted Him as the creator, controller and also the dissolver of the universe.  The Supreme Power has been designated or addressed with various names.  However, in the history of the world, in the ancient most literary document or literary record, the poetic sacred text, the Vedas, the central or prime name assigned to the Godhead is said to be Om.  All the seers and sages, the wise men since thousands, nay millions of years, have been reciting and repeating the same.  All the scriptures, philosophies say Upnishads, and the like begin with Om or the sacred pharse “ atha”  (let now, henceforth).  The Om of the Vedic, people, later of Hindus turned into Amen in Christians, Amin in Islamic people.  Origin of speech or language, according to Skanda Purana, is om as the root syllable (akshara – undecayable i.e. eternal).  In Om (Aum) the combination of akāra, ukāra, makāra and half unit of nasal sound make the speech – world (lingual creation) accomplished.  A is the first letter of Om,( AUM ).  In the akāra, the whole speech (the language) is accomplished as – akāra indeed is all the speech (Taittiriya – Aranyaka).
             Since about 2000 years in the past the tradition of creating idols has begun.  Thereafter, it has taken even the concrete form of the temples.  It was easy to carve idols of incarnations, leaders of the ages (Yugapurusha), the great personalities, simply due to the details available about them in the histories, puranas and stories – their physical, physiognomical information to some measures.  But when it came to formulate the image or idol of that divine personality who is the controller of the universe, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient but formless, then our great thinkers, great intellectuals – the sculturers, on the basis of prime name Om of the lord, visualizing its form carved the idol – whose name was kept as Ganesha – Ganaraya – that too, undoubtedly for the sake of concrete form – that of Ganapati  – conceived as the most worshipworthy Godhead.  Untoubtedly, he was accepted as a symbol, a mark, a token.   
                He was regarded as the bestower of knowledge and intellect, because whole knowledge of the universe, including the speech, the language and its words and meaning - all have been issued forth from the Supreme godhead. According to Yoga Shashtra “ he is the Guru, of all the ancient (teachers) not being obstructed by the Time.”  The Lord indeed is, thus, the teacher of teachers – the first and foremost of the man.
 He is reckoned also as Ganesha and Ganapati because the word, is the noun and is derived from the root Gan – in the sense of counting, grouping, categorizing that forms the word Gan.  Ganesha and Ganapati means he who is the master (owner) of all animate and inanimate in the creation.  Also the controller, the guardian of all. 
               Ganesha is the creator of happiness and is the destroyer of unhappiness and misery.  The divine Lord, who, for the welfare of human race, has offered a beautiful, coherent, full of noble intention a scientific universe, fully equipped in every respect  - also granted us the knowledge for knowing it and has provided freedom to carry out our actions.  Who could indeed then be superior to Him as the creator of happiness and destroyer of pain and afflictions ?
            Ganapati, is the remover of all the obstacles and hindrances.  Therefore, His scientific image or idol echoes the grand one message – Oh ! people of the world, if you wish to remove obstructions, then behold me, look at me, stare at my bright, shining, open eyes, those see far far in the distance; look into the big ears that can hear from a pretty long distance; also have a glance at my amazing nose whose smelling power is simply extra ordinary – not only can it smell the present but also the future.  In fact it has already smelt it.  My memory ! is just like that of the elephant, is rather comparable to the Computer itself.  My big belly ! is the symbol of justice, equality and unity.  It is also the storehouse of information which is sent to concerned on need to know basic.  My knowledge is also like that of millions of the suns.
              Dear devotees of the Lord Ganesha ! Walk on the ideals of the Lord Ganapati, acquire the knowledge, and increase your memory by proper, adequate and sumptuous diet and capacity to carry out all the activities and behaviour.  Keep healthy your eyes, ears and nose all the while and keep them open all the time.  Keep walking on the path of justice, equality and unity – the hindrances would wither away.  And above all the society would certainly remain cultured, beautiful and also would be maintained well guarded or protected.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

De-stressing the Mind

De-stressing the Mind
Dr. Satya  Pal Singh
            The disease of stress has become the biggest killer of modern times. The psychosomatic disorders and diseases are spreading around and taking a heavy toll of valuable human lives every day. The medical doctors, the clinical scientists, and the psychologists are trying their best to stem this menacing trend. However, as the adage goes the manifold attempts have made the disease hydra-headed. Here are some of the tips gleaned from the time tested treasures accumulated over many millenniums.
1. Start loving yourself:          Let us know that the human being is the greatest and the final creation of Almighty God.  Our body is the embodiment of 7 seers and 8 chakras (energy circles) and a seat of gods. How can we desecrate or spoil it? Would we neglect the best gem or diamond, we have in our possession? Body is more precious than the most precious gem in the world. If a man does not love himself, how can he love others? Also, one cannot be healthy without caring for oneself. Even if an unhealthy person claims to love others, it is all temporary and myopic as well.
2. Believe in God -  the Almighty  Just and Kind -    The God is the most powerful (omnipotent,yet without any physical attributes ),  all knowledge (omniscient) and all Bliss and beatitude. We believe in God but do not know about Him so it is must to know the real form of formless God. Let us know that any thing in physical form is subject to birth, decay and death. Secondly, physical things are mostly visible and visible things are run and controlled by the invisible   which is more pervasive and powerful. See the amazing power of invisible mind and intellect. The unflinching faith in the eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and all bliss God is the most potent stress reliever
3. Believe in the justice of God -        If we believe in God, we have to believe in His domain of justice. This world is governed by eternal and immutable laws. And whoever violates these laws is bound to suffer the consequences. Whatever we get is the fruit of our actions. Result or consequence of our actions is inevitable and unavoidable.  But we expect so much. Many of us believe more in gambling rather than in right actions. So get worries,  get frustrated and disappointed. We get treatment from a famous doctor, purchase the best medicines and use them but derive no relief. Sometimes then start disbelieving the doctor and likewise. Consequently we get stress and further damage our body and psyche. Many a times man proposes and God disposes. The consequences of our past deeds is called destiny and we know it also plays a significant role in day to day life. We have to cultivate a habit of never to curse God and his forces during the phases of our misfortune and extreme griefs.
4.         Prayer, Meditation and Upasana – We profusely thank others even for small obligations but hardly remembers and thank God for his unmatchable gifts of life and inexhaustible means to sustain us. Try to be near God, thank him daily and always for His abundance, for all the happiness and pleasure he has given to us -  a beautiful world, nice family and perfect human body – unique in all respects and only the golden opportunity when we can acquire knowledge and try final emancipation. Whom we love and respect, we imbibe his/her attributes, follow his examples and obey his instructions. Let us be fair, just and kind to all beings as the God Himself. We can not become true devotees unless we follow and internalize His qualities in our thoughts and actions.
5.         Be spiritual:    All human beings are alike. As Rousseau had said, ‘According to the order of nature, men being equal, their common vocation is the profession of humanity. It matters little to me whether my people is a soldier, a lawyer or a divine. Let him first be a man”.
            “Treat others - the way we would like to be treated by others” is the core of spiritualism. It believes in the uncountable finite eternal souls and one Universal Soul who oversees the deeds of finite souls. A spiritual person links his or her individuality to collective consciousness.
6.         View the world through the eyes of a child –            Believe in the adage that Child is the father of man. Child only graduates to become an adult. A child lives in present—neither in past nor in the future. Frequent falls or failures do not make  a child fearful or frustrated. He enjoys equally the efforts made and achievement fulfilled. Then why to get disenchantment and disappointment in life on small and trivial setbacks.
     Children are thrilled when they are taken out of home. They keenly observe and experience the uniqueness, the wonder and beauty in every thing. They are eager and curious to know more and enjoy the sight and melodious sounds. Let us look at every tree, flower, sun, star, sea, cloud and human being as a child would and we will be in a regular state of wonder, joy, surprise, learning and enlightenment. Eternity speaks but no one listens - thus had lamented Yogi Aurobindo. Let us listen to the silent sound of mother nature, it will fill us up with ecstasy.
 7.        Develop and nurture a hobby :-
            Depending on one’s nature, inclination, opportunities and facilities available one must develop and nurture a hobby distinct from his/her profession or occupation.  It could be anything from reading books, writing one’s thoughts, any faculty of art, craft, or fine arts (music, singing, dance, drama, painting, sculpture, carpentry or pottery etc.), tourism or travel, some kind of social work.  Hobby has to be absorbing the mind.  It must give satisfaction or fulfillment.  Hobby should satiate the unquenchable thirst of man.  Taking recourse to drink and drugs has not helped anybody permanently to have mental satisfaction or peace.
8.         Practice gratitude and appreciations:  People and the Society around us have given us so much, we can’t repay it during our life time.  Had there been no parents – we would not have come into being. Had there been no schools or teachers, farmers or doctors- what would have happened to our day to day existence?  Pick up the gems even from the mud. : Looking into the faults, the lapses, the shortcomings or evils in others, criticizing them, without any valid   reasons, create negative impulses, vibrations and energy in our mind and body leading to unconscious stress. Practice to see the qualities and positive attributes in others, we come across. Who would not like to pick up a shining diamond lying in a dirty mud? Seeing the weaknesses in others is indicative of a weak character. Let us not criticize or condemn any person or organization or a concept unless we are well versed in it
 9. Internal and external personality should be close to each other. When they are alike - it indicates a state of light, love, consciousness and pure peace.  Let us try to be same on both fronts. If we want to be happy, let us make others happy. We want ourselves to be dishonest but expect others to be honest. We know that we are telling lies, still claiming to be truthful. Outwardly sometimes we show to be close and loving to someone but inside we are so jealous to him or her. Such split and dual personality and hypocritical behaviour  leads  to great stress in life. As far as possible let us be truthful in our thoughts and avoid any act which is to be done clandestinely or  openly and may bring us shame, fear or tension.
10.       Douse the fire of anger:         The worldly fire burns anything which comes in its lap. The fire, the flames or the fumes of anger inside us would certainly scorch our inner self. It irreparably damages the neurons in brain leading to steady decline in our memory and analytical capacity.
Getting angry unnecessarily on trivial things creates heavy stress in mind. “Those whom the gods would destroy they first make them angry” is a Greek saying.
11.       Physically also one has to be healthy: An unhealthy and sickly person is prone to get more stress and tension.
            Eat simple and natural food, do take daily exercise and have proper sleep. Practice Yoga Asanas and Pranayaam - the best bodily and mental exercise.
12. Control of Mind - It is the most important requirement for de-stressing the mind and control the environment.
            Mind (Mana) should be cleansed first. If we want to give a new coat / painting to a wall we first wash it out, remove the old colour / paint, put primer or white, then only new paint is applied.
            The field we want to cultivate and raise crop is to be first ploughed, dug and made fertile then only sowing could be done.
            When Swami Dayanand approached Swami Vrijanandji for learning and discovering himself, the later had asked Dayanand “Go to the Yamuna river and throw all your books you are carrying. Also forget everything you have learnt so far. Then only I will start teaching you. Then only the Aarsha knowledge (the knowledge of seers, the visionaries) will be absorbed in your mind and give the spark of life.”
            So the first requirement is to cleanse the mind from all the impurities, hates, intrigues, evils, vices etc.  One has to practice truth in thoughts, speech and deeds, Mana satyen shudhyate Mind is purified by truthfulness.
            And if we practice satya --the truthfulness,  speak truth in our day to day conduct and behavior with others, we don’t need to remember what did we speak yesterday or day before. We have to manage our mind if we indulge in falsehood and hypocrisy. .
            Now control of mind. According to scriptures and the ground breaking revelation of our visionary forefathers, our body is just like a chariot, the sense motor/action organs are its horses, the mind is the chains controlling the horses. The intellect is the driver (charioteer-saarathi) having mind (chains) in his hands. The soul is the real charioteer.
            Life, in fact, is the combination of 4 entities – body, mind, intellect and soul.  Kahtopanishad says very correctly “ Atmanam rathinam vidhi  shariram rathmevacha,  budhi tu sarathi vidhhi  man pragramevcha .
            If we want to control the mind, (the reins of horses), it can be done only by the driver (sarathi) - the intellect.
Therefore, to cleanse and control the mind we have to take recourse to intellect (Buddhi). And intellect would be capable to control and cleanse the mind only if intellect itself is clean and clear. That’s why the seers declared “Buddhi gyanen shudhayati” the intellect is purified through knowledge only.   This learning is not provided by our modern schools and colleges . It requires right knowledge, scientific temper and miles away from superstitious beliefs and rituals.
            And then comes the techniques of controlling mind as contemplated ,/documented and given to world by the great seer Patanjali – the techniques/ the eight-fold path of Yoga  are known as the Yama- Niyamas Asanas, pranayaams, pratyaharr ,(withdrawal of senses from its subjects), dharana (contemplation), dhayan (concentration) and Samaadhi ( state of super consciousness) . However, the most significant is the practice of Pranayaam. It is said that by controlling the praana (breath) , we can control the mind. The praana is the link between animate and inanimate world.
The task is arduous and much challenging. It takes years of regular practice with a sense of dispassion,. It is a learning we may equate with post-doctorate classes and research. Not everyone is eligible to graduate to this high standards.
13. Live each day as though it were our last.  Then we will be living in a state of light, love and unconditional contribution. What would we say to the people we care about. The story of saint Eknath is quite revealing and enlightening.
            During the stay in a village, the saint Eknath used to traverse the same path everyday while gong out of the village. Everyday a man would ask him, “Guruji, tell me something special so that I could be at peace.”  The saint was ignoring him for many days but one day he ultimately told the man, you would be going to die on the 8th day from today, A true saint‘s statement  is a gospel truth. The man believed it would happen. All of a sudden he changed completely from an angry, abusive, unloving husband and father to a more sober, sweet, serene and loving husband and father. Next day when he was going to the market to buy vegetables for family, he paid salutations to his neighbours and asked them if he could bring something for them from the market. The neighbours were astonished at his changed nature. All seven days passed like this. The call and fear of death irreversibly transformed a devil into angel. On eighth day saint Eknath, knocked his door and asked his wife how had he spent the last seven days. The wife said, she saw a miracle happening, and narrated the unbelievable transformation in her husband’s behavior.  The man died as destined.
Can anyone of us say when, where and how the death will ring its bell? The death is the greatest certainty but is uncertain and so unpredictable. It defies the greatest minds.
            If we remember that the time of death can come any day, any time and anywhere, then we would not, no longer, indulge in intrigues and evils. The fountain of love will sprout from within. Where there is love, there is peace and stress will vanish  for  ever.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Growing Literacy, Falling Education

Anti-Darwinian Development-
Growing Literacy, Falling Education –
Dr. Satyapal Singh *
* Commissioner of Police Pune, ( Maharashtra )
The simple concept of human development has been lost to the sophisticated vanity and complicated language of economic planners. The education and health-the acquisition of knowledge and the bodily strength have always been considered the building blocks of human personality. The harmonious development of a human society, according to me, must encompass the six but inseparable activities. Education and experiments, safety and security, health and environment, economic prosperity, entertainment and the last, but not the least is the harmony and hope in the society.
Out of the above six parameters of development, the education and experiments constitute the core of human development. Starting from individual growth to social sustenance and national progress or the global peace all are dependant on quality education. The Indian seers and visionaries of yore regarded education as the purifier and the first and foremost attribute (of Purushartha Chatustaya) of human being. The education alone separates him from the animal-species and elevates him on a higher pedestal. The Indian National Policy on Education, 1986 reverberated the same thought by stating that education is the foundation and an investment not only for socio-economic progress but for human development also. In today's world of global competitiveness knowledge is the key resource and the harbinger of human-progress.
In India, after independence, there have been major achievements in the field of education as outlined by Dr. Vedprakash (2006)1.
· A considerable expansion in the number and spread of educational institutions.
· Incremental expansion in the number of teachers.
· Rise in enrolment at all levels of education.
· Decline in dropout rates.
· A move towards gender parity.
· Reduction of regional disparities in literacy level.
· Social mobilization generated by literacy campaigns which impacted other sectors like women's empowerment, health and environmental awareness.
· Expenditure on education shows a continuous upward trend since independence.
· Trend registered a sharp increase after education was brought on the concurrent list of the Indian Constitution.
· Expenditure on overall education increased from 0.68% of GDP in 1951-52 to 3.86% of GDP in 2004-05.
· Expenditure on secondary education has increased from 0.13% in 1951-52 to 0.89% in 2004-05
· Indian professionals working abroad in the fields of computer, engineering, medicine and science have made the country proud.

Inadequacy of the System
However, despite official recognition by the Govt. of India that education constitutes a crucial investment for national survival, the pattern of allocation of resources to education remains far from satisfactory, if judged in terms of adequacy, efficiency and equity - infrastructure, quality and socio-economic equality. According to the Human Development Report (2001)2 India ranks 104th among the 143 countries of the world on which data are available about the share of public expenditure on education in GNP. India is spending about 3.5% of her GNP to education. In comparison, a large number of countries have been spending more than 6%, some more than 8% and a few more than 10%. Some of the countries which spend more than 4% of GNP on education include countries which are economically poorer than India (Tilak, 2005)3. The Indian government had set a long time ago a target of 6% of the GNP to be spent on education. However, this target is not yet achieved and may continue to elude in the future. In fact amongst the countries with a population of 100 million or more, India figures at the bottom except Bangladesh.
According to the experts, a country has to cross the thresfold level of 20% access to higher education if she wants to become a developed nation. Unfortunately in India the access to higher education is about 9%. What to talk about the higher education when 46 million children in India do not have even access to primary schools. About 20 million children are working as child labourers in ghetoo-industries. And for the children attending schools, the dropout rates from 1st to 5th standard are 35%, from 1st to 8th standard is 53% and from 1st to 10th it is 62% (NIEPA)4. It means that about 38% students only pass out 10th. Out of around 260 million students who pass out 12th standard, about 20% do not even get admission in colleges due to inadequacy of infrastructure (number of seats, class rooms etc.). We really do not know how many years it will take for India to become a developed country and reach the thresfold level of 20% access to higher education.
According to a study conducted by the Indian Merchants' Chamber, Mumbai5 the portfolio of Education has been devalued both at the level of Centre and the States. As a result, literacy in the country has been limping at around 65%.
There is a shortage of trained manpower. The current educational system is woefully inadequate to train our youth to become qualified human resources. This shortage is likely to worsen as systemic initiatives to address such a serious issue are absent.
There is a lack of synchronization between what the industry requires and the kind of education that is offered by the system.
A few key statistics can illustrate the major ills that are prevailing in our present system.
· Drop-out rate in schools from KG to 10+2 ranges from 90 to 94%.
· China has about 1.80 million schools as compared to India's 0.95 million schools.
· About 7 to 8% of the youth who finish the 10+2 stage enter the 17,600 colleges of India. Most of the so called graduates are not­ employable.
· China has about 900 Universities, Japan 4,000 while India has only 354 Universities.
· The coaching business is getting bigger than the education business.
· While 75 to 85% of the youth in developed and developing countries learn a skill or competence or trade between the ages of 14 to 35 through vocational education and training, in India the vocational training hardly covers 3 to 5% of the population.
· India has about 5000 ITIs (Ministry of Labour) and 7,000 vocational schools (Ministry of HRD) as compared to China's about 5,00,000 senior secondary vocational schools.
· India has 300 million able bodied people between the ages of 18 to 50 but are bereft of skill sets and are, therefore, not employable.
· Only 1 in 4 Indian graduation is deemed as employable.
The above mentioned scenario has unfortunately emerged at a time when India is on
the threshold of carving a highly prominent niche for itself in the global arena.
Presently India is the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing Power, next to USA, China and Japan. By 2010, India will emerge as the third Largest economy overtaking Japan.
With the 21st century economy being largely knowledge driven, India has the potential to carve a prominent niche for herself in knowledge and service industries.
This is a serious situation when we look at the national scenario on quantitative plane.
Education is getting devalued
(i) Modem education system only guarantees the degrees by collecting fees. It is commercialized like mere shops or industries. So, it has been vulnerable to all kinds of unfair means in Examination, leaking of question-papers, manipulation of marks etc.
(ii) Sole reliance on degrees/diplomas for employment has led to a different breed of crime- fake marksheets, degrees, mushrooming of shady/unrecognised colleges and universities.
(iii) There is a big question mark on the quality and relevance of our higher education. In the survey of world's top educational institutions, conducted in year 2004, only our two IITs figured in top 500 institutions, that also quite below in the list.
(iv) Emphasis is on bookish knowledge alone, not to build the health or character of a student. Hardly or no input about life­ values, morality and enduring happiness.
(v) Modern education's emphasis is on money and materialism and pleasure
hunting. Educated people are becoming more and more self-centered.
Enjoyment, not knowledge and peace, is becoming objective and leading to all sorts of deviant behaviour. Among girls prostitution, call-girls, live in relationships, unwed mothers are emerging as a serious concern for social stability.
(vi) More education has led many to frustration and tension. The number of rising suicides among youth prove it; diseases like B.P." diabetes" heart-attacks are now assailing the younger generation.
(vii) Modern education is leading to more crimes. Commercial/financial/
complicated crimes are committed by highly educated people. This country is being looted by educated and rich; more damaging to national economy and security. Comparison of tribal and developed societies prove it.
(viii) Modern education has created some wrong notions - Man and Women are equal. They are not equal. Woman, in fact, is more important and superior. A mother is the builder of the family and nation; she is the cradle of culture. A father can be replaced by a simple injection now - in the 21st century.
(ix) This erroneous concept of man-woman equality has led to irreparable damage to society. Same kind of education is being imparted to both boys and girls. A girl may or may not become engineer, doctor, C.A., bureaucrat, scientist; police officer or a business-woman but almost everyone would become a wife and mother. Are we teaching our girls to become good wives and better mothers?

Other Challenges:
The Indian education system faces a lot more other challenges ahead like:
· Universalization of elementary education.
· Bridging the gap in resources provided to urban and rural institutions.
· Focus on gender and equity - and how to cope up with reservations in higher and technical education.
· Operationalization of 86th Constitutional Amendment-Right to Education Bill, 2005 and the recent Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill (2009).
· Challenges of moving towards universal secondary education.
· Promotion of alternative delivery system to respond to the needs of children with diverse background.
· Bridging the knowledge gap between English medium, computer equipped urban schools and rural school-madarsas.
· Unity in diversity and respect for all.
· Institutionalization of work and education interface.
· Reinventing school curricula to meet emerging challenges. Also to stop the falling graph of life values.
· Increased role of NGOs.
· Public spending in education to be raised to 6% of the GDP.
· Teacher development - key to quality.
· Quality education-relevant to industries and development needs.
· Corporate partnership with social responsibility.
· International collaboration in developing professional institutions.

Need of the Hour
If social thinkers, development-planners, educationalists and political masters wish to make a real contribution and make education as the key to human development then we will have to
(1) Redefine the role of education. We have to return to the basics:
What is education? A seer answers
lk f’k{kk ;k foeqDr;s Saa Shiksha yaa vimuktaye.
Education is that which liberates us - from all kinds of ignorance, injustices and deprivations. It solves all difficulties, cures all diseases and dispels all distress. In fact, the former Union HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi while speaking to the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education, asserted the centrality of education to the Indian heritage. "Pursuit of integral knowledge and liberation, which has been a constant endeavour of Indian culture, is also the central objective of education," Joshi told the conference (1998)6, He further addressed the connection between education and the preservation of culture:

"Education is also visualized as an evolutionary force so that each individual is enabled to evolve from purely material consciousness towards superior planes of intellectual and spiritual consciousness. Education is also perceived as a bridge between the past, present, and the future and as a means by which the best of the heritage is transmitted to the generations for its further progression (Joshi, 1998)."
Education- a real education must teach 4 things or we can say that the entire educational edifice is based on the following four premises :.

(i) ( Vidya ) Knowledge - bookish knowledge starting from earth and bio sciences to
space science; from self consciousness to universal consciousness; from individual growth to social progress and world peace- all have to be the part of bookish knowledge.
(ii) (Sabhayata) Civilization - control of nature external-through use of technology
and engineering; to control the forces of nature for common weal and sustained development. Education (knowledge) must lead to experiments. Knowledge is proved and patented only through experiments. Our civilization-­infrastructure developments - application of technology and engineering - the trains, planes, medicine, surgery etc. all are the products of experiments. Where experiments cease, knowledge dwindles and becomes a burden and not a benedictor. Experiments involve the society, invigorate its members, infuse harmony and improve the capacity of all participants.
(iii) (Dharmikta) Righteousness moral conduct and courage to follow the truth.
Individual purity and social discipline (Truth, non-violence, non-stealing, non-hoarding etc.) Spiritualism ­treating others like our own self.
(iv) ( Jitendriyata ) Control of mind & senses - a balanced and healthy life style;
controlling anger, passions, greed; faithfulness between husband and wife and so on.
(2) Design new curriculum incorporating therein compulsory courses which are vital
for human health, happiness and social development. Dr. Radhakrishnan- our philosopher President ­had said "the future of India will be shaped in her classrooms.”
(3) Planning of human being should be our focus - so the role of mother is crucial. A woman has to be placed on higher pedestal. Education of girls must be of paramount importance. The first teacher and inspiration for a child is always his/her mother. Therefore, the first step in the arduous journey of human development must focus on girl child education, health and preparation for motherhood. What kind of major and subsidiary courses should be there for girls - we have to think seriously.
(4) Girl-students should be persuaded, inspired to join innovative,
creative programmes (not conventional courses as is the case now). Innovative courses are like Mass media, Bio­technology, Ayurveda, bio-chemistry, Astrophysics, MBAs, Maths, Architecture etc.

The 21st Century needs visionary leaders in the crucial sectors of education. A school/college teacher has traditionally been a manager ­managing class and a status-quoist. 21st century needs teachers who can bring out change, foster change, innovate and lead. Such minds only can give a clear vision, transform a society and create a better world. There is an urgent need to stem the rot in the field of education. Literacy and education must go hand in hand and so should be the case with knowledge and life values Knowledge without moral values is not an education at all.
True education combines the qualities of head, heart and the hands. It is logical, rational and in tune with the laws of nature. It has the feelings of compassion, love and respect not only for other human beings but also for other non-claimant stake holders. True education teaches the dignity of labour and strongly opposed to the exploitation of man by his stronger counterpart. Let our education be rooted in culture and oriented to development. Let us remember, in a globalised world today-one good model of education will be followed up throughout the globe. The whole world is watching .
1. Dr. Vedprakash, "Education in India Achievements & Challenges”
22nd March, 2006. NIEPA, New Delhi.
2. Human Development Report, 2001 (UN).
3. Tilak J.B.G. “ Financing Education in India ” (2005); NIEPA, New Delhi.
4. Dr. Vedprakash, (2006), NIEPA, New Delhi.
5. “ Education – empowering the youths ” address by Shri NayanPatel, President, Indian Merchants’ Chamber, Mumbai (July 18, 2006).
6. World Education Encyclopedia, Page 596.



Fear is the root of nearly all problems we face in life. Fear leads to hate and violence. Most of the acts of crime are committed because of fear or greed embedded inside an individual or a community. To build a fearless and crimefree society, the members of public and all sections of the society should become the shareholders and partners of the company we call “SAFE SOCIETY ". There are 5 basic steps to build a fearless society.

1. DETERMINATION:- Determination is the first and foremost step everyone has to take to succeed in his or her life. If we want to be safe and build a fearless society, it is vital to inculcate this positive feeling. If we take a firm decision that we will be safe, we will be fearless we will become so. The police personnel have also to take the firm decision that they will make this society fearless. It is their onerous responsibility too. Otherwise, as great Kautilya had ordained "if the policeman in whose area crime is committed and he is not able to retrieve the stolen property or solve the case within the prescribed time limit, he will be held personally accountable to pay the price". In medieval time the King Sher Shah Suri had made the village head accountable for any crime committed in his village jurisdiction. Many enquiry commissions probing communal riots had also suggested to impose collective fine on a particular locality in a city or village unable to maintain communal harmony.

2. BOLDNESS:- The second step for a fearless society is that every member of the society as well as Police must be fearless. From every day example we know that if we are scared of a dog standing nearby, the dog will bark and chase us but if we are fearless, our vibrations will also affect the dog. We all know that in more than 85 % snakebite cases the victims die not because of poison but of fear. If we are fearless we have confidence. More crime are reported from an area showing signs of fear. Criminals also know that when they strike no neighbour will come out because of fear and this emboldens them to commit more crime. In extortion cases rich people, scared inside, pay money to gangsters sitting abroad. Those who are feared are targeted more. The message that we will fight must go round.

3. ALERTNESS:- Alertness must be our motto and religion. Fearlessness does not mean complacency or lethargy. It means we have to keep our ears and eyes open, keep our physical fitness and mental alertness at a peak whether we are at home or in business outside. We should not take even a supposedly weak enemy lightly. Whenever we happen to spot suspicious person(s) walking or moving in vehicle; abandoned or parked vehicles for long, unclaimed items attractive or alluring – we must be concerned. We must inform others, nearby police station or phone up the Police Control room. For the sake of our own safety, safety of our fellow citizens or beloved city – let us be ready to devote some time, let us not mind facing some inconvenience.

4. SELF DEFENCE:- Police cannot be present everywhere. Though God is everywhere we cannot expect Him to give us protection if we ourselves are fearful and not alert.

Jamee par apni hifajat khud karo.
Khuda to yaro aasmano mei hai.
Meaning that friends! let us protect ourselves on earth as God lives in heavens only.

No doctor can keep us healthy if we do not follow the norms and rules of a healthy living. Our home and belongings must be secured as per our requirements. In self-defense we may go for an arms license if necessary. All the members of the public must know that they have the legal right to chase the criminals up to the extent of killing them in case of certain body offences and property offences.
Section 100 of Indian Penal Code gives the right of private defence of the body extending it to a voluntary causing of death or any other harm to the assailant especially in cases of grievous hurt, rape, kidnapping, abduction etc.
Similarly, Section 103 of the Indian Penal Code gives right to save property of the society to the extent of causing voluntary death or any other harm to the wrong doer for committing robbery, house breaking by night, mischief of fire etc.

5. UNITY:- Society does not mean the Housing Society where the atmosphere remains anonymous and we generally do not know each other. Society means unity, togetherness in pleasure and pain, in moments of happiness and sadness. Most of the crimes are committed in society because we are not united. Communal riots, cases of Bomb Blasts etc. have taken place because of society's split on the lines of caste and creed. It is in everyone's interest that we are one for building a fearless society.

Reinventing Youth Power

Reinventing Youth Power
Dr. Satya Pal Singh

Technological and telecommunications advancements have today revolutionized our lives and in the 3rd millennium we are in the throes of a world-wide change of cultures, a tectonic shifts of habits and dreams. It has really become a borderless world as the Japanese thinker Kinichi Ohmae puts it. As in The Tale of Two Cities authored by Charles Dickens, he says it is the best of times, it is the worst of times. On one hand we are unfolding unknown mysteries and secrets of nature and approaching the origin of human configuration. On the other, most of our people still believe in superstitions, stars, horoscopes etc. and direction in which our house faces. On one hand, we have achieved unparalleled material progress, searching for extra-terrestrial life hundreds of light years away. On the other, we have millions and millions of people starving, naked, illiterate and deceived. All sorts of crimes and contradictions, cultural decadence and moral degeneration are causing the mother earth to bleed everyday. Number of youth committing suicides is much more than the number of people murdered. Millions of youth are disenchanted and are destroying their lives in drinks, drugs, permissive behaviour and organized crime syndicates. Families are breaking and this beautiful world is becoming unsafe and insecure.
The root cause of this malaise is not the culture of wealth and pleasure but our wrong direction, faulty traditional ethos, misconceived attitudes and incorrect priorities in life. Achievement have always been the privilege of a few. Most youngsters drift along with the swift current of life unconcerned or unable to stop and look at the current itself. The youth are an emerging generation. The are full of energy. They are enthusiastic. They constantly search for values that can make a success of life. In this endeavour they encounter the adult world, often only to be disillusioned and disappointed. The biggest attraction for modern youth is to enjoy life –eat, drink and make merry and so he or she likes to go after money and pleasure. There is nothing wrong in enjoyment and money. Indra – the king of gods and goddesses is the epitome of wealth and pleasure. Laksmi always accompanies Lord Vishnu. Chankaya says “Dharmshaya Moolam Aartha” i.e. means and money is the root of righteousness. In olden days India attracted the entire world mainly because of two things-knowledge and wealth.
Youth are the foundations of the New World order. They are the movers, makers and torchbearers of history, culture and technology. They need direction to bind them into a moral force, to creatively utllise their youthful energies, to sustain their idealism, to keep them striving and enkindle hope for a better social, economic and political order. “Tell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of young men, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation.” said Edmund Burke, the English orator and statesman, in the 18th Century. Youth energy is just like water, which flows automatically downwards, unlike fire.
Like water to tap the potential of youth, we require lots of conscious efforts, resources and time to channelise their energy in the right direction to make it productive and blossomed. The litmus test for the right direction is that it offers opportunities for individual harmonious development alongwith the larger well-being and sustained advancement of society.
For reinventing the dissipated youth power, I believe the following ways and means are required:
(1) Planning Human Beings :
Increasing individualism and menacing materialism are throttling humanism. Humanity is bleeding and the youth is getting bewildered. We plan for houses, roads, schools, hospitals etc. but not for human beings. Children are born out of permissiveness. Producing noble and virtuous citizens warrant elaborate planning, best education and sacraments. Recent medical and sociological studies are almost conclusively signalling that the fetus is the father of man. The seer of Rigveda realized it much before and exhorted “Manurbhav janya daivyam janam” – be human and plan for angels”. There is a Chinese proverb too.
“If you want to plan for a year, grow corn.
If you want to plan for thirty years plant trees
But if you want to plan for 100 years plan human beings”.

Planning of human beings starts with the parents in a family, with teachers in schools and colleges and with contemporary leaders in the country. Parents to build up the core of culture, teachers to chisel the statue out of raw stones and leaders to influence the course and contents of eventful eventual national life.

(2) Scientific Ethos :

A blind addiction to ancestral ways retards growth of a society or a nation. There is an urgent need of scientific temper or approach to be imbibed by our youth to successfully face the challenges of the present and the future. The world power is divided in three sectors :- agrarian nations in the bottom, industrial countries in between and knowledge – based economies on top. Unless the youth have scientific knowledge – driven approach, their energy will remain dissipated in following the beliefs in the endless sects, stars and superstitions and criticizing the cultural assault from developed countries. We have to remember that history provides lessons about the pyramids and pitfalls of tradition. But whoever follows the practices of the past, copy contemporaries without recourse to reason and the sustained application of laws of nature finds himself a prisoner of the past and perishes in the black hole of oblivion.

(3) Youth and Politics :

The unproductive diversion of the youth’s mind from the age of 18 in youth and general politics requires to be checked. Unions and elections in colleges and Universities should be banned and the voting age should be increased to 25 so that till the completion of education, his/her attention is not diverted to politics at all.

(4) Maturity with Responsibility :

To instill maturity among the youth, they need to be given responsibilities. Result – oriented tasks in education and productive work have to be emphasized. Youth have to be self – dependent and must find ways to get settled in life on their own. Every village, town or city should have good libraries, institutions or organizations in the field of adventure, sports, technical and professional know – how, spiritualism etc, so that the youth is self – employed or self – dependent and is left with no spare energy to indulge in destructive things.

(5) Communal Harmony :

There is a need to emphasise upon the youth, in the midst of plethora of religions, that the truth is only one, as the one human race itself. “Yatha pinde tatha Brahmande” means that what is in microcosm (body), same is reflected in macrocosm (universe). The health of the body gets disturbed with just one injured or diseased organ. Similarly, the well – being and advancement of a society or nation runs into peril because of cross – cultural and deviant behaviours. The sum-substance of all religions and revelations is to impart love to others as we expect from others.

(6) Discipline in life :

For enjoying the pleasures on earth we require a long life, sound health, family and friends, power and prestige. Make money and enjoy pleasures but not at the cost of our lives; at the cost of our health, at the cost of our family and friends; certainly not at the cost of our name, fame and reputation. If we can do this we will be happy, happier in days to come and closer to self – realization. The seer of eternal vision has prayed to God “Aayur Praanam Prajaam phashum keertim darvinam brahmvarchasam mhyam datva brijat brahmlokam.” If we do not bother about it now, we have to repent for generations to come
“Lamho ne khata kee thee
Sadiyo ne saja paaye”.

(7) Walk around and Learn :

“Eternity speaks none understands its word” thus observed Sri Aurbindo in his famous treatise ‘Savitri’ . Today’s youth is so much lost in leisure’s and luxuries or so much disappointed and disenchanted for lack of it that he or she may go wild or wicked to acquire them. We do not listen to the call of the body and drive ourselves to diseases and decay by indulging in merry making. We do not bother to listen to the voice of our soul and engage ourselves in vices and crimes. We, at many times, do not take any lesson from the animate and inanimate world around us . Every molecule of a matter, every leaf of a tree and every tissue of the biological world speaks of some orderliness, purpose, beauty and power.
Whoever listens to this melody of creation, who ever realizes about the purpose of life turns into a leader, a seer or a great man. History is created by those, its golden chapters are written by those who have discarded the treaded path and discovered new ways. Life is an essence of growth. It must grow with time like a tree.

(8) Pain precedes pleasure :

Last but not the least, I would like to state that every youth would like to be welcomed with a presentation of flowers and lighting of lamps. But this world worships only those who engage themselves in dispelling the darkness of ignorance and whoever is prepared to get sacrificed like a blossomed flower. Indian national Hindi poet Shri Dinkar had sung :

Jo jeeven bhar andhiyaro se ladte hai
Duniya unke charano mai deep jaalati hai
Phoolo jaisi Jharne kee jinkee tayyari hai
Khusbu unke maathe par tilak lagaati hai.

Lord Krishna had said to Arjun after explaining to him the gist of knowledge and life.
“Vimrsayai tad assesena yathecchasi tatha kuru”
“Reflect over what I have said fully and then do what you wish”. Bertrend Russell has echoed the same feelings when he said – “Civilization only begins when man says I believe, but I may be wrong. It ends when man says, I know the truth, I know what you ought to do, and it is my mission and duty to see that you do it.”

Commissioner of Police


Tackling Terrorism – Counter Its Ideology

Tackling Terrorism – Counter Its Ideology

Dr Satya Pal Singh*
The 26/11 Terror attacks in Mumbai exposed the systemic failure of the administration. It not only brought on fore the weaknesses and pitfalls of police, other security services and intelligence agencies, it also expressed the deep crisis of confidence in the polity of the nation.
Today, - terrorism has become a hydra – headed monster, a contagious dreaded disease and a dangerous virus. It has no preference for any caste or creed, race or religion, country or community. While most nations are serious about fighting this scourge, the sting of terrorism has not been blunted.
The roots of terrorism lie in the mind, in the feelings of fear and insecurity, in hatred and intolerance. The extreme manifestation of hate reflects in violence and acts of terrorism. The radical ideology creates extremists, radical groups and terrorist organizations.
The major source of spreading terror in India and elsewhere are the preachers of radical ideology. Their members might not be large, but they keep moving from one place to another in different guises and groups. Their network is being effectively coordinated through internet and mobile telephony.
These radical organizations and groups morphing in name and form may be deceptive having camouflages of educational, social or cultural tags. The terrorist organizations have global reach and have no dearth of financiers, contributors, fund-raisers and disgruntled teachers of technology. No one knows how many terrorist sleeper cells or modules are operating in our towns and cities.
The radical ideology is being applied to subvert young impressionable minds in our educational institutions because the proponents of terrorism know that students and youngsters are highly energetic and if convinced about a cause, they can even be molded to conduct suicide attacks.
The biggest myth associated with terrorism is that terrorism is rooted in injustice, frustrations, poverty and social economic backwardness. Scholars like Alan Krueger and Jitka Maleckova, have shown that the terrorists are not poor people nor they are from poor societies. Poverty does not cause terrorism and prosperity does not cure it. We all know that Osama bin Laden and Dawood Ibrahim, the world's most wanted terrorists, are billionaires. The terrorists come from places which have a concentration of radical preachers.
The first and foremost requirement to tackle terrorism is to counter this radical/jihadi ideology. Unless the radical ideology and their preachers are neutralized or effectively countered the respective crop of terrorists will keep on resurfacing and growing.
How to impact the minds of the youth to divert them from the path of hate, intolerance and violence, how to demotivate the believers from the clutches of false dreams of an all-blissful paradise are some of the vital questions which require the urgent attention of psychologists, educationists, strategists, parents, politicians and planners
The plurality of religions are creating contradictions and conflict in society. If all religions lead to peace and happiness, then what is the need for variety ? And if they are different and contradictory, then how can they lead to harmony and peace ? The truth is that only the common concepts and practices in all religions are scientific, beneficial and true. This commonality and this core of religions is called Dharma.
Intellectuals, not religious teachers, of the world have to come on a single platform and declare that religion means only one thing the courage to follow righteousness or right conduct in life. The core of religion is what we expect of others, we must do to others
Similarly, we have to debunk the Clash of Civilizations theory advocated by Samuel Huntington. A true civilization does not divide the humanity into colours, race, religion or region. How can we divide physics, chemistry, mathematics, medical science, psychology etc into Christian, Muslim or Hindu sciences? The educationists and planners must rethink the role and design of our education system. There is a need to introduce a comparative study of all religions in our schools and colleges.
The advanced science of today has not found any fourth or seventh sky, heaven or paradise in any part of the universe. Hell or heaven is part of this earth and the result of our doing. Misleading the youth and believers in the name of heaven or jannat is against the tenets of truth and humanity.
Today, the messiahs of hate are using Internet to spread hate and violence. There are hundreds of Internet sites providing terrorist manuals, encyclopedia of violence, techniques of bomb-making etc.. Can't we think of some strategy to ban such sites or to punish persons misusing the medium for sowing the seeds of hate and violence in society ?
Similarly, we have hundreds of books available in the market and being taught in different ashrams, madrasas and seminaries which generate hate against other sections of society, and help spread the fire of violence. We should have the courage to ban such books too.
Most of the radical preachers are generally committed people who are unwilling to accept any compromise, nor are they open to dialogue or discussion. They should be tackled with the policy of ‘ Iron fists in velvet gloves ‘ – surrender or suffer.
Our positive ideology has to be much more powerful to counter the radical ideology of all hues and colours. It must appeal to the hearts and minds of people, especially the youth. The publicity and information department in government establishments has to be revisited, strengthened and made more professional and accountable.
Our educational institutions, social clubs and platforms; our films, television and media have to put their heads together to create and sustain a campaign against any kind of extremist or terrorist ideology or act. Let us remember that half-hearted measures are destined to defeat.

Yoga for Communal Harmony and World Peace

Yoga for Communal Harmony and World Peace
Dr. Satya Pal Singh*
* Commissioner of Police, Pune City E-mail

The term ‘yoga’ has become ubiquitous and universal in the present era. Its literal meaning is to yoke, to add, to unite, to grow or to merge. It presupposes the separate existence of ‘Jiva’ (the individual self) and ‘Ishwar’ (the Universal Self). The ways and means of their communion have been the most preferred expositions and endeavours of our yogins and vedic seers. Yoga is the science of spirituality or a subject matter of ‘scientific spirituality’. It is the profound science of inner world of illuminating the subtle domains of self-knowledge, self-evaluation, self-evolvement and self-elevation. The beginning of yogic science starts with ‘self-discipline’ and its culmination ends with ‘self-liberation and a stage of blissful existence’.
The most scientific and holistic school of yoga was developed by the great Rishi (seer) Patanjali. Most of the variations in the present day yoga sprouted from his basics. His eight fold path of Yoga teaches us the unfailing & time-tested techniques to control one’s mind and to establish a perfect harmony between one’s body, mind and soul. It is said that Patanjali made a seminal contribution in the fields of Yoga, Grammar and medicine as per the often quoted Sanskrit verse:
Yogena Cittasya padena vaacham malam
Sharirasya cha vaidyakena
Yo paakarottam pravaram muninaam
Patanjalim praanjalir aanatoasmi.
‘I salute Patanjali, the great sage, who gave us yoga to purify the mind, grammar to sharpen the speech, and the Ayurveda to cure the body.’
Disharmony in Society
The present day communal disharmony in the society and the threat to the global peace stems in the disturbed and intolerant minds. Sheer intolerance or aversion (Dvesa) erupts into mental or verbal hatred (Ghruna). And deep hatred manifests into physical violence and the extreme violence results into riots and wanton acts of terrorism.
Almost all the simmering discontent, discords, tension, criminal acts, communal riots and the depredations of terrorism in the world have their genesis mainly into the following reasons :
1. False statements, rumour mongerings and non-adherence to truth.
2. Intolerance, aversion and hatred of minds; threat of or indulging in violence verbally and physically.
3. Theft, dispossession or looting of property; disputes on property matters (land, building, religious places, cremation/burial grounds).
4. Love/sexual affairs, eve teasing of girls/women – may be inter caste/community or religious denominations sometimes.
5. Greed, hoarding, monopolistic tendencies leading to economic/financial crimes and which provide impulse to traditional crimes because of glaring disparities in the distribution of wealth.
Non-adherence to truth, intolerance and hatred of minds among the common-folk have been mainly because of selfish religious, sectarian and political leaders. So many sects, beliefs and religious denominations have surfaced on the face of one earth, from time to time, that a simplistic soul has either been rendered as a prisoner of his/her parents/society’s beliefs or totally confused about the truth. The truth which leads to true happiness has become the first casualty of inter and intra bickerings of religious heads and political agents.
Concepts of Communal Harmony:
Harmony does not mean dissolving the individual existence or identity and becoming one like 7 different colors of light or river water mixing with sea. The best and commonly visible and understood example of perfect harmony is the human body. Where every invidividual orgon does its work (duties), without interfering into others’ sphere and everyone ultimately leading to keep the body hale and healthy. Similarly, a society has harmony when its members observe the sanctity of social norms so that society is made strong and progressive. The welfare of society is supreme to one or two family’s interests e.g. widening of roads may require the demolitions of one’s home or shop.
In the same way, the Communal harmony is a stage or an environment when different religious, ethnic or linguistic communities shed their non-essential rituals or differences to create an environment of amity and brotherhood. When ultimate aim of every community is the same – to progress in all directions physically, mentally and socially. When everyone thinks and prays for the overall well being of others and society as a whole. Sarve bhavantu sukhine – let every one be happy and blissful.
Patanjali’s yoga believes, inter alia, in the following principles:
1. There is one Supreme Lord (Ishwar) who is all pervasive and unaffected by Afflictions, Actions, Fruition and Dispositions (I.24)
2. The Lord is the greatest teacher of even the earliest ones, being unconditioned by time. (I.26)
3. There is always fruition of one’s actions and transmigration of souls (II.13)
4. Entire human race is one – irrespective of different colours, creeds, places or languages (I.20)
5. Basic nature of every individual soul is same.
6. The road to ultimate aim is also one.
7. The steps in 8-fold path spiritual ladder can not be skipped but have to climbed/achieved in succession. (II.29)
8. The first limb (yamas) is the foundation of yoga. They are the great vows and constitute the universal code of conduct. (II-30, 31). Some steps can be practiced simultaneously.
According to Patanjali, one can not be a yogi, unless one believes in God. And it would be meaningless being a theist, unless one follows a Divine Moral Code. The first two steps (limbs) in the 8-fold path of yoga constitute this moral code. They are called Yamas and Niyamas. The five yamas are non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy and non-covetousness (Ahimsa Satyas Asteya Brahmacharya Aprigraha yamas II-30). The five Niyamas are cleanliness, contentment, austerity, self-study and surrender to God (Shaucha Santosh Tapa Svadhyay-Ishwarpranidhana II-32).
The above five yamas are the 5 restraints. They are the death bells for 5 root-reasons creating disharmony in society. These 5 restraints, if observed, are the cardinal principles of communal harmony. They attack at the roots of disharmony, divergence and disputes. They are the foundations of a progressive, vibrant and spiritual society. They are non-sectarian and essentials to all the faiths of the world.
In fact the first and foremost step on the path of yoga or the first yama is referred as Ahimsa – the practice of benevolence and non-violence. The violence has to be given up not only in physical forms but in speech and thoughts also. Even the thought of violence, harm or hatred to any living being, not just of human being, is an impediment in ascending the way to yoga. The ahimsa of yoga is not just a negative concept- refraining from harming or hurting any one but it is a positive assimilation of virtues- to love all without having an iota of ill will or malice towards anyone.
The five yamas – Ahimsa, Satya, asteya, brahmacharya and aprigriha are to be observed in thoughts, speech and actions. They are the five great universal vows (mahavratams II-31) and can not be compromised or abandoned because of some personal status (jati) or place (desa), age or time (kala) or cirucstances (samaya). This leaves no trace of doubt in the mind of a yoga-practitioner. Irrespective of caste, creed, colour, country or community – they have to be practiced.
And if the citizens of world just embrace the first limb (step) in the spiritual journey of self, the world will shun all kinds of disputes, riots and violence. It will not just a simple communal harmony – harmony or unity between the communities, it would bring in lasting happiness and enduring world peace.
The sage Ved Vyasa, who gave an outstanding commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras also wrote Mahabharata, as we all know. In Gita, in the words of Vyasa, the Lord Krishna says that the highest yogi is one who feels the pains and pleasures of others as intimately as if they were his own. And his vision is universal.
atmaupamyena sarvatra
samam pasyati yo ‘rjuna
sukham va yadi va duhkham
sa yogi paramo matah

This is what the often quoted ethical rule prescribes, “Do unto others as you would like them to unto you.”
If this definition of a perfect yogi is accepted, preached and practiced by all the teachers and students of yoga, the world peace is ensured.
Popularising the Yoga :
Yoga was part and parcel of daily life in ancient India. In middle ages and until the recent past in was forgotten or ignored by a vast majority, only a few kept the tradition alive. For the last 4-5 decades, some great preachers of yoga, like Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Kuvalyanand, Swami Sivanandji, made sincere and systematic efforts to popularise the yoga. For the last 4-5 years Swami Ramdev has almost revolutionized the concept and practice of yoga at a mass scale. There is a need to study the methodology and strategy being adopted by Swami Ramdevji. Only improvement the yoga teachers and preachers have to make is that they have to emphasise on the observance of Yamas and Niyamas by the students and practitioners of yoga. Without following this divine moral code, we will not be able to reap the entire benefits of yoga practice.
We have to institutionalize the practice of yoga in our day to day life through incorporating it in school and college syllabi. Universities and institutions should conduct research on the different facets of yoga. The hospitals have to adopt it as a routine for their patients. Let us convince the government that the practice of yoga by a large number of population will give it healthy bodies, focused mind and sharpened intellects. It will greatly reduce the burden on State exchequer of providing health care to the burgeoning sick humanity. At individual level, the practice of yoga brings in harmony in one’s body, mind and soul. With the institutionalized practice of yoga at a community, country or global level we can have dreams of ushering in a crimeless (at least a much reduced crime rate), harmonious and progressive society. The first outcome would be perponderance of morality, sense of equality and feelings of love and fraternity. The communal harmony will prosper, the money spent for maintenance of law and order; on detection, investigations and prosecution of offences will be better used for development of various facets of human life. The nation propagating the practice of yoga will reap the rich dividends of a healthy, creative and sharp human resource.
There is no other comparable philosophy or strategy as the kriya yoga propounded by seer Patanjali for self-elevation, co-existence, communal harmony and the world peace. The more we practice, the more we gain.