So many factories, so many technologies, machines, cars, ships… Is this really progress and if we call this progress, what shall we call destruction? Manipulation of nature has almost destroyed the natural environment and caused great damage to our holy Mother Earth. Living in absence of spiritual and ethical values has robbed people of the knowledge of their interconnectedness with all of life.
One of the Golden Teachings of my Grand-Master, Bhagwan Sri Deep Narayan Mahaprabhuji is:
"Never disregard nature or its laws, else nature will take its retribution”.
There are three great powers in the world: money, media and politics. Money influences the decisions made in the world. Money is what people think about all the time and this will go on until it is realised, we cannot "eat" our money. The media, unfortunately, focus on violence rather than on promoting human values and ethics to educate humanity and foster love for one another. Politics (not religion), is the third great power yet sustainable development and pathways to peace cannot be forged by political means alone. This will happen only when the religious and spiritual leaders of the world are involved in the process.
The highest obligation for all humans is to protect, not to destroy. This means to protect all of life, not only human life but the earth and animal life too. There is no greater sin than to kill or injure. If we have no feeling for the pain that an animal suffers when it is slaughtered, or close our eyes to its suffering, then it is no wonder that humans must suffer the consequence of terrible afflictions such as disease, environmental catastrophe and war.
The human soul has experienced many good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant karmic reactions, along with untold suffering. Desire, pride, ego and greed constantly delay us from reaching our final destination. We continue to live in the darkness of ignorance, with anger, hatred and duality separating us from each other. As a result humans are unable to live together as they should. Today unfortunately there is not enough tolerance amongst religions, too little respect amongst cultures and an absence of love between nations.
It is this human condition that is responsible for the critical situation of our world today – both in terms of war and environmental catastrophe. Mother Earth suffers so seriously because day-by-day humans are destroying her. Our rivers, lakes, oceans and seas are polluted. Our fields, mountains and skies are polluted. The whole environment is poisoned due to human greed. Indeed the most dangerous pollution is mental pollution. How can we hope to achieve lasting world peace and live sustainably without first correcting the state of the human mind?
Each individual is on an Ananta Yatra – an endless journey. Our individual soul has been travelling since the creation of this universe, but where? Ask these questions: Who am I? From where do I come? Where am I going? Why am I here? Where will I go?
Until humans have realised the answers to these questions from the depths of their own experience, they will continue to travel. To “know thy Self” is the solution to all human problems and the answer to all of life’s questions.
To heal the wounds that have existed for such a long time, the first step we must take is to bring Love and Respect into our consciousness. Peace and happiness cannot be bought in the market-place they can only be developed within. A Yogi would say, renounce and limit your needs. Renounce greed, renounce anger, renounce duality and narrow-thinking. Open the heart and give understanding. Understand another’s feelings, understand another’s life situation and grant them their rights. Give them happiness and forgiveness.
Never violate anyone physically, mentally or emotionally. Never be the cause of another’s tears, since all beings are the embodiment of God and He is the father of all. Everything comes from Him, He is the ultimate. As Bhagwan Sri Deep Narayan Mahaprabhuji said, “Love each and every living being as least as much as you love yourself”. God is one, and dwells in all. We give Him different names and images - we call Him Father, Allah, Ishwara, Divine Will, Love, the highest Self, Truth and so on. There are as many images of God as there are people on the face of the earth.
Each faith has its doctrines firmly established in very similar principles: belief in God, Prayer, equal Love for all, Protection of life and to dwell in Harmony with nature. Even a brief look at the teachings inherent in Islam, Judaism, Buddhism as well as the Christian traditions will reveal this. The essence of all faiths is spiritual development, with Realisation of God the ultimate goal. Unfortunately religious dogmas in most cultures have over-shadowed these similarities and that is why differences are seen. However Sat Sanatan Dharma reminds us that everyone can attain and realise God. There is of course no universal recipe and each individual must find their own way.
Although the current world situation exhibits otherwise, multi-religious and inter-cultural diversity need not be a threat to the existence of human society or the functioning of a cohesive and peaceful global village. The Vedas declare that one God has created this world. All creatures therefore are the children of the one Creator and all living beings are part of one universal family. Thus it ought to be the aim of every individual to create a responsible and caring society so as to experience the beauty of life and realise God. The highest precept therefore is to protect all living beings, in all forms and manifestations of existence.
To understand this, it’s necessary to adopt a holistic way of thinking and acting in life – this will remove duality from an individual’s mind and restore inner peace. The result will automatically be demonstrated in the outer world – humans will recognise their responsibility towards the world and the environment in which we live.
Sustainable living and lasting world peace can only be achieved if humans re-awaken to the significance of maintaining their ethical and spiritual values, whilst fostering a genuine commitment to care for the community of life with understanding, compassion and love. A culture of peace will only grow out of the beliefs and traditions of people themselves, which naturally transfers into non-violent relations between individuals, communities, nations and the environment.
God has two forms: Nirguna and Saguna. Nirguna is the universal form of God that cannot be seen with physical eyes. We only can see this form of God with our inner-eye or inner-senses, as transcendental streams of light and sound, and recognise it with our mind as divine knowledge and wisdom. Do you want to see God in Saguna-form? Then look into Nature and discover Him in every living being. He is reflected in every appearance of life.
Respect for Nature is Respect for God.