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10. Article On Dharm And Peace

The writer conveys his grateful appreciations to all those of his friends and well-wishers who, for the purpose of ushering in a better world, have set themselves to utilize a fraction of their valuable time towards the on-going mission of familiarizing the others – individuals as well as groups thereof – with the contents of this article by the way of transmitting its photocopies and / or otherwise. He also extends his appeal further to the other parties, interested to carry on with this vital global-dimensional social cause, to join the fraternity – and for which they have to pay nothing – at their earliest opportunity.




  -- Towards a   Better World ”   Part 1 : Dharm in Indian Global Panorama Supplementary   Quest for Peace a Realistic Approach Dharm enables one to duly appreciate the privileges   he derives from all those around him, living as well non-living -- including nature-- and motivates him to pay back,  with gratitude, therefor.    nhi ls nhi tys] djs tx es mft kjk Lamp kindles lamp and the world is illuminated YEAR : 2006 TOWARDS A “ BETTER WORLD ”   PART I : DHARM IN INDIAN & GLOBAL PANORAMA   SUPPLEMENTARY    QUEST FOR PEACE -- A REALISIC APPROACH ER. RAJ KUMAR , B.E. (Civil) (IIT, Roorkee) ; P.G. Dip. & M.E. (P.H. & Env. Engg.) (IIT, Roorkee) ; D.H.E. (Water Resources) (Hons.) (UNESCO’s Water Engg. Instt., DELFT, Netherlands)  ; F.I.E. (1nd.) ; F.IWWA ; F.IAEM.  _________________________________________________________________ ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & APPEAL The writer conveys his grateful appreciations to all those of his friends and well-wishers who,  for the purpose of ushering in a better world, have set themselves to utilize a fraction of their valuable time towards the on-going mission of familiarizing the others –   individuals as well as groups thereof –   with the contents of this article by the way of transmitting its photocopies and / or otherwise. He also extends his appeal further to the other parties, interested to carry on with this vital global-dimensional social cause, to join the fraternity –   and for which they have to pay nothing –   at their earliest opportunity.  __  ___  _____________________________________________________________ A REVIEW The various ingredients of Dharm -- the Indian philosophy of life and way of living -- lie abundantly fragmented and haphazardly scattered in human conscience and the writer has endeavoured to bring about a systematic consolidation thereof. The shape of the skeleton of Dharm, that has thus emerged, enables one to assess fairly how far he stands away from its (the Dharm’s) various fronts. This assessment, by and large, reveals upon him that the task of bringing himself near to these fronts is not as difficult as he hitherto considered and, as such, his in-born instinct to be as near to Dharm as possible, gets awakened. As a result, conspicuous changes take place in his way of thinking and interacting with others thereby adding substantially to his present as well as future quality of life and thus moulding him into a far better person. This bounty, simultaneously, also makes his services to others, exceeding-ly superb. Awareness in respect of Dharm conveyed by the article will, therefore, steadily increase the number of “men of quality” on this ea rth. and this will bring much more of peace and tranquility all around. The international border-tensions / hostilities and internal turmoils, alongwith the consequent sufferings of the living beings, will get drastically reduced and so will be the, otherwise, more or less routinely being carried out rehabilitational activities. Moreover, the quality of the environment, will also be almost duly preserved.. The ensuing wholesome financial gains, and savings of other resources, will tremendously boost up nations’ economy and  this will profitably supplement the above favourable factors to add, bountifully, to the welfare of all concerned; and, thus, this earth of ours will, truly, become a far better and much more worth-living place. **********************************************************   (2) DHARM IN INDIAN & GLOBAL PANORAMA Out of the four ancient civilizations of the world, viz., the Egyptian civilization of Nile valley, the Mesopotamian civilization of Euphrates-Tigris valley, the Indian civilization of Indo-Gangetic valley and the Chinese civilization of Huang and Yang-tse valleys, the Indian civilization is considered as the oldest one. One most outstanding contribution of this Indian civilization is that our sacred soil gave birth to w hat is called “Dharm”. The word “Dharm” comprises a set of cardinal principles , rather conventions, codified by our wise ancestors  –  Rishis and Munis  –  as a result of their extensive studies in respect of life and long-term experimentations therewith, to suitably channelize our attitudes and behaviour, and day-to-day activities, to make our lives healthy, happy, contented, peaceful and purposeful. These principles / conventions, if followed with utmost honesty and sincerity, are also said to exalt our manhood to the highest level of divinity. All our visits to temples, reciting prayers and hymns, and observance of various rituals; and the traditions we are instructed to follow, are meant, exclusively, to motivate us and to lead us to live our lives in conformity with the principles / conventions laid down by Dharm .   These principles / conventions are to live with: (1). Truth; (2). Non-violence (Ahimsa); (3). Tolerance; (4). Rationality; (5). Uprightness; (6). Service to mankind as well as to animals, including lower animals; and, (7) Austerity. Tolerance amply prompts us to forgive others for their defaults / misbehavior towards ourselves, and to forget the same. Non-violence also includes not to harm others nor to cause injury to their feelings; and, alongwith tolerance, it overwhelmingly stresses upon us for not to be an aggressor or a revenge-seeker. Rationality means us to have our approach based on sound logic, and our attitudes and behaviour conforming to the principle of dispensation of natural justice to those whom we deal with. Over and above, it also restrains us  –  and aptly so  –  from encroaching upon any type of others’ rights.  Austerity includes also the conservation of one ’ s physical as well as intellectual energies to be gainfully utilized by him for noble pursuits. It also includes not overspending nor wasting our resources so that the others, for whom these are scarce, could also share therewith. Austerity also urges us never to overutilize / exploit our natural resources and to take all preventive steps to keep our environment in its best unpolluted state. Service to the living beings  –  and for which the renderer’s personal as well as professional integrity is indispen sible -- inter alia , comprises: (1) Providing the needy with money, food and other life-necessities, (2) Rendering all help to the handicapped / physically disabled, thereby enhancing their life-quality to their advantage, (3) Nursing the sick, the injured and the wounded and taking of their adequate care, (4) educating the uneducated, to bring the several-fold privileges, that knowledge offers, to them, and, (5) Bringing them near to Dharm / Spiritualism for their exaltation. Further, uprightness includes (1) Sobriety, (2) Discipline, (3) Kindness / compassion / altruism, (4) Simplicity, (5) Honesty, (6) Integrity, (7) Humility, (8) Magnanimity, (9) Trustworthiness, (10) Urge for taking responsibilities (essentially, inclusive of responsibilities for one’s own-self), (11) Upkeep of promise, (12) No double-speaking, (13) No jealousy for others’ gains, (14) No ill -will towards others, (15) No avarice, (16) No anger, (17) Faith in “vasudhev  a kutambkam”   (the entire world is my family), (18) Acceptance of one’s m istakes with all grace and frankness, (19) Painstaking spirit, (20) Helping attitude, and, (21) Patience and perseverance. In fact the remaining six components of Dharm, to a fair extent, are also included in the sense of uprightness and hence an upright person is invariably accepted as an embodiment of Dharm. The Dharm being very old, was called “Sanatan Dharm” (Sanatan means extraordinarily  old). It has been dealt with at length in our ancient scriptures, e.g., Vedas, Upanishads and Purans, and, as such, it was also called “Vedic Dharm”. Further, because of historical reasons we were called “Hindus” , hence Dharm was also called “Hindu Dharm”, or , more briefly, “Hindutv a ” or “Hinduism”.   (3) Since Dharm carries alongwith it an all-prevailing sense of universality, it stands to be quite different from the words like “religion” or “ mazhab ” that have sectarian connotations and, therefore, needs finding an entirely different place in the dictionaries of foreign languages. Also, because Dharm srcinated in our country, people residing outside, by and large, do not have clear conception of Dharm and, perhaps, inspite of having the requisite curiosity, they found it convenient to dovetail it with the words like “religion” or “ mazhab ”.  In English dictionaries, however, these two words occupy entirely different places. In the B.C. era and also during the first millennium A.D., favourable conditions existed for our scholars to move out to other lands to serve people there by the way of educating them in respect of Dharm, and also otherwise, but our history of the long period, right after the downfall of Samrat Prithvi Raj Chauhan, in the year 1192, upto the date of our country’s independence , did not offer such types of opportunities. Further, in the post-independence era, history being favourable notwithstanding, other factors cropped up and the correct sense for which the Dharm stands, could not be adequately conveyed to the people and they continue to misinterpret it. Dharm, beside ever being absolute, is also most unfettered by the time and the space in the sense that it has relevance, right from the time of its birth, to continue ad infinitum ; and, also at each and every point of the universe  –  on loftiest mountain peaks, in deepest oceans, on vast sandy deserts and desolated ice-lands, in volcanoes and on and inside of all stars, planets and satellites and in all the vast empty spaces. Consequently, and also as indicated above, the word “Dharm” always carries the concepts of “Absolutism”, “Eternity”, and “Universality” about it and it is, therefore, also known as “ The Absolute / Eternal / Universal Dharm” .. Ordinarily Dharm is extremely tolerant and allows one to commit acts in contravention thereof, if done out of sheer ignorance. It also remains unconcerned even if such excesses are done deliberately provided the person concerned makes solemn determination not to repeat the same. In cases of severe defaults, however, he has the option to undergo the requisite penance; but failing this he is sure to face the wrath of the Almighty  –  the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent and the Omniscient  –  because Dharm stands firmly by the proverb “as you sow, so you must reap”, and this is adequately established by our day-to-day life-experiences. Dharm is an integral and hence inseparable part of our body, not in physical form but in an invisible state. Within us, its realization steadily grows alongwith the growth of our body, and, because of having abundance of spirituality, it adequately enables us to appreciate the privileges that we derive from all those around us, living as well as non-living -- including nature -- and motivates us to pay back, with gratitude, therefor. In absence of this sensitivity, however, life goes   meaningless and hence Dharm has been aptly described as “ the Basic Fundamentals of Life and the corresponding Way of Living ” . Indeed this way of living provides us with due guidance and guards us against making all abusive wastage of our body and intellect, thereby bringing all solace, comfort and peace upon us. This is, de facto,  the divine bliss that sensible people invariably aspire for. It is, indeed, very unfortunate that our bountiful heritage, Dharm, that we inherited from our learned fore-fathers, has been given a derogatory meaning by our present-day political leaders, most obviously, to suit their selfish interests. They have conveyed, in abundance, and continue to convey day in and day out, in most unambiguous languag e, that Dharm stands only for “C om munalism”, and in case, it is made to guide them in their public dealings, it is bound to bring annihilating consequences upon the country. They have coined the word “Secular” to misleadingly stand for “Anti -c ommunalism” and have made this word the key of their public administration. The old dictionary meanings of the word secular* are : profane; unsacred; something devoid of spirituality; something not ordained by the church . The term “secular”, unfortunately, has conveyed very incorrect, totally absurd and truly disastrous signals thereby causing greatest dis-  ___________________________________________________________________________________ *Ref. : The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary –   1962 Ed.