How is the world to move forward with all its myriad complexities and divisive tendencies that are rupturing the social fabric and causing immense destruction? I sincerely believe that there is no dearth of distinguished and outstanding leaders, whether in India or elsewhere in the world. The galaxy of spiritual luminaries, saints and seers, selflessly working for the welfare of all, are the raison d’être for maintaining some form of sanity in the world. Ordinary folks must, from the example of the righteous ones, pass on this heritage to the coming generations. What most of the countries need today is what may be called a supporting culture for mass-awakening efforts. If one looks at the world history one can find that countries with a composite and integrated culture have advanced much more rapidly than others. Unity in diversity is an intrinsic phenomenon of all creation. Of course, there are some who wish to retreat into homogenous settings, feeling that sameness will provide greater comfort and security. But then we will be regressing not progressing.
“In building up character, in making for everything that is good and great, in bringing peace to others, and peace to one’s own self, religion is the highest motive power, and, therefore, ought to be studied from that standpoint,” says Swami Vivekananda, whose 150th birth anniversary was celebrated recently all over the globe. A society should reflect the basic purpose of human life, which in essence is to know and to worship our Creator, and to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. Pragmatic solutions, the rule of law, and democratic institutions are by themselves inadequate. How to attain spirituality is a question which every man, woman, youth and child must sooner or later try to find a satisfactory answer. Prayer, meditation, and work done in the spirit of service to humanity are all expressions of true worship. As our thoughts become imbued with ethics and universal values we shall begin laying a new foundation and erect new structures and new institutions that embrace the wellbeing of the whole world. A new race of human beings more magnificently endowed and more spiritually attuned to the consciousness of the oneness and wholeness of humankind is waiting to be born. The old mind-set that has dominated human must give way to a larger more wholistic vision to meet the challenges of the 21st century planetary society. Traditional approaches of domination must be checked by altruistic motives, ego-centred action must give way to global awareness, the will to succeed by hook or by crook should be transmuted into the will to serve. To successfully run an organization or a company or even a country is no easy task, the road is stony, steep and difficult but anyone who embarks on such a journey with sincerity of purpose and love for all creation will find it to be an infinitely rewarding experience.
In different measures, leading cultural and societal institutions, including governments, education and media, as well as businesses, religious organizations and civil society are bringing the values of sustainability to the forefront of public consciousness. Broader visions of human purpose and prosperity are moving from the periphery to the centre of public discourse. It is becoming clear that the pathway towards mutual tolerance and sustainability will be one of empowerment, collaboration and continual processes of questioning, learning and action in all regions of the world. It will be shaped by the experiences of women, men, youth and children, the rich, the poor, the governors and the governed as each one is enabled to play their rightful role in the construction of a new society. People of goodwill, wherever they reside are firmly convinced that as the sweeping tides of consumerism, unfettered consumption, extreme poverty and marginalization recede, they will reveal the human capacities for justice, reciprocity and happiness. “So powerful is the light of unity,” Bahá’u’lláh says, “it can illuminate the whole world.”