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Thursday, February 13, 2014

oath for inter religious unity

There have been witness to many oaths and oath like proposals in the past on the matter of vexed religious intolerance or religious fanaticism manifesting in various forms and causing enough havoc and I have written about some of them in an article  which I wrote before the internet age , at least in my vicinity, so probably you may find more no w.

Haridas Choudhuri has written excellently in his book, ‘Modern man’s Religion’. He lays down the positive essence of universal or cosmic religion in the form of 10 categorical imperatives of higher spiritual fulfillment.

1. Love that Supreme Being who is One without a second and whom different religions call by different names.
2. Respect the founders of all great religions as equally divine personalities, as messengers of the increasing purpose of history.
3. Love all humanity as the visible manifestation of the Supreme, regardless of colour, creed, race, and Nationality.
4. Tolerance and try to understand different viewpoints, even the viewpoints of enemies, heretics, atheists, and agnostics.
5. Know thyself, realize the full potential of your existence, and offer your best in the service of society.
6. Follow the middle path, practice moderation and steer clear opposite extreme.
7. Love Nature as the viable language of the Supreme and intelligently follow Her guidance.
8. Recognize truth wherever you find it , drawing spiritual nourishment from all available sources the World over.
9. Cultivate devotion to higher values, and function as a creative channel thereof.
10. Participate in the evolutionary being of the World in conscious Union with the Eternal.

As Florice Tanner in “The Mystery Teachings in World Religions” writes, “The perception of unity in great variety broadens us, as we recognize common values, the plan of Universal brotherhood comes nearer”. In this context, it would be incomplete if I fail to mention the INTER – FAITH LITANY which was presented on the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations by Mrs. Denis Gross of the Circle For Peace.

We thank you, God………………..
For our Muslim brothers and sisters, for their commitment to
Prayer and faithfulness in worship.
For our Sikh brothers and sisters, for their warm hospitality
And public witness to their faith.
And For our Bahai Sisters and Brothers, for genuine openness
And an overriding desire for unity.
For our Buddhist Bothers and Sisters, for their peace
And relinquishing of self.
And For our Christian Brothers and Sisters, for their message
And love and practice of forgiveness.
For our Jewish Sisters and Brothers , for their enriching symbols
Of worship and cherishing of tradition.
For our Hindu Sisters and Brothers for their kindly dispositions
And open hearted acceptance of others.
For our Jain Brothers and Sisters for their deep respect for life
And practice of non-violence.
For our Zorastrian Sisters and Brothers for their stress on
Personal honestly and striving for harmony.
For our sisters and brothers of indigenous traditions,
For their reverence for nature.

For all these of every faith and every tradition, we thank you and praise you, God………..for their variety and richness of spiritualities, for their common quest for truth, their yearning after love, their commitment to justice and longing for peace. God help us all, inspire us and ever unite us. Amen.

19th Century that the great Baha U’allah thought about unity, brotherhood, universal education, global language and a world government, etc. His one-world social consciousness and organization envisage:
1. Unity of all Religions;
2. Oneness of the human race;
3. Independent investigation of truth;
4. Religion must be the cause of Unity;
5. Freedom from prejudices of all kinds- National, Political , Racial, Religious and Class.
6. Equality of Men and Women.
7. Universal education.
8. Reconciliation of science and religion.
9. A universal Auxiliary language.
10. Solution of the economic problem.
11. A universal tribunal for settlement of international problems.
12. World peace, etc.

The common beliefs and attitudes that glue and help us to identify the New Ages are their belief that:
1. Humanity is at the dawn of new form of consciousness.
2. Radical spiritual change.
3. Spirtual awareness, Cosmic consciousness, exploration, etc.
4. Holistic approach.
5. Respect for ecological issues.
6. Importance to evolution especially spiritual aspect than mere biological or material one.
7. Vegetarianism.
8. Organic forming.
9. Home-spun Textiles.
10 .Conviction that small is beautiful.
11. Environment friendly life style.
12. Importance to feminism, etc.
13. Encouragement of self-expression through dance, drama, poetry, and some more arts and crafts.
14. Embracing shamanistic beliefs.
15. No authorization leadership.
16. Variety of spiritual ways of grasping cosmic energy.

Or something on these lines
 (DRAFT, JULY 1989)
Whereas our descendants’ generations, although likely to prove far more numerous than ourselves, have no voice or vote in any of our political systems, we therefore declare that all the generations yet to come, for as far into the future as human life survives on this planet, are entitled by natural justice to the following rights, which those alive today have a duty to respect and uphold:
1. The right to inherit a planet that has been treated by its human occupants with the utmost respect. And more particularly:
2. The right to inherit a planet with oceans, lakes and atmosphere undamaged by human activity, with safeguards for planet’s climate, such as rainforests, still intact.
3. The right to inherit a planet with an undiminished diversity of species.
4. The right to inherit adequately maintained reserves of fossil fuel and other mineral resources.
5. The right to be born into world of human-scale societies, undamaged by population excess.
6. The right to inherit a world unmarred by nuclear or chemical wars, incidents or wastes.
7. The right to expect that previous generations will have cleaned up their pollution, repaired their damaged environments, on land, sea and in the air ( including outer space), and protected places of natural beauty.
8. The right to inherit political, legal, technological and social systems that respect individual human dignity, such as those laid out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
9. The right to inherit the full uncensored cultural heritage bequeathed by former generations, as expressed, for instance, in their art, history, literature, libraries and museums.
10.The right of future generations to have their interests considered and, where appropriate, represented by a competent advocate, in any present day tribunal or assembly that is deciding courses of action that might have harmful log-term consequences.

But more than anything else what is required is fundamentally tolerance

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