WORLD MUSLIM LEAGUE
….We need a paradigm shift in the concept of development to save Mother Earth.-Swami Agnivesh, at the World Muslim League.
“Bismillah-Ir-Rehman-Ir-Rahim” in the name of Allah, in the name of Ishwar, in the name of God, in the name of Waheguru who is most compassionate and most benevolent. Swamiji began his charismatic speech with these words, which were received with a thunderous applause. Swamiji after congratulating the hosts for the wonderful and the epoch making initiative reminded everybody about the compassionate and merciful nature of Prophet Muhammad. Back in the days when Prophet Muhammad used to pass through the streets ofMecca, a vicious old lady used to habitually throw her garbage on prophets head. One day when this act was not repeated- Prophet Muhammad instead of feeling relieved inquired about the old Jewish lady and on discovering that she had been taken ill went to her house with a basket of fruits. This act of utmost love and compassion shook the foundations of hate developing in the lady’s heart for the prophet and she henceforth became his follower. “Love has the power to do virtually impossible things- It is we who don’t realize that power” said Swamiji, and reiterated further- in the conference which had by then pivoted around criticizing, Samuel Huntington for his historic work ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ – that we should congratulate Samuel Huntington and send him a basket of fruits as its because of his provocation that we sit together today; for dialogue and discussions.
Swamiji emphasized that the real problem is with us – “We are the real problem”- as we have quantified our religions only to their ritualistic attributes and have completely forgotten their quintessence, which is their spirituality. Spirituality is more or less same for all the faiths as it is grounded in the core values of Truth, Love, Compassion and Justice. Spirituality is Universal and thus it is the duty of all of us today to transcend our ritualistic bondages and come together under the Universal and Holistic umbrella of spirituality and Humanity.
Echoing, his views regarding the ‘Clash of Civilizations’- Swamiji said that the real clash is not amongst believers of one faith and another but between ‘Spirituality’ and Materialism’. It is the clash between forces of the Body and the forces of the Soul. Today the forces that represent the nurture and nourishment of the Body at the expense of the Soul are becoming more and more powerful, resulting in Materialism, Consumerism and Hedonism. The real challenge for us (the spiritual leaders) is to prepare a non-violent resistance against these forces of crass consumerism, which are eroding our basic human valves and which have resulted, in the widespread annihilation of our environment. Swamiji said the religious and spiritual values should be lived and not parroted, and that is the true form of worship.
Swamiji said that spirituality is being trampled upon by the corporate marauders day in and day out and Globalization is nothing but Glorification of Greed as God. There must be a dialogue between the upholders of Greed and the Spiritual and religious leaders. On the one side are the people who represent the Love of Power (prowess hungry corporates and politicians) and on the opposite side are the people who represent the Power of Love – and this would be in true sense the clash of Civilizations.
Swamiji spoke about bringing a radical paradigm shift in our concept of development and progress which is greed based to another model which is Need based. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi he reiterated that the world has enough for everyone’s Need but not enough even for even one man’s Greed.
He attacked the liquor and the sex industry and reminded the organizers that the Hotel in which we have been put up so hospitably offers paid access to porn literature, which is reprehensible and must be condemned and next time the meeting should be arranged in a place where something as unacceptable and preposterous as this does not exist. Speaking against the alcohol mafia Swamiji said that there is a need for a Jihad against this ‘Omul Khabyish’.
Swamiji also attacked the armament industry for producing US$ 1500 billion worth of destructive weapons. He accused the meat industry which was responsible for the maximum amount of green house gases in the atmosphere, the excessive depletion of the rainforest and the humungous food insecurity in the world. He said that this slaughter of 1 billion animals everyday should be stopped and protested against. He emphasized that we must halt this demolishing bulldozer of the Materialistic, Consumerist culture which promotes the perspective of ‘Eat drink and be merry’. And live our lives in a simple, accountable and meaningful way.
Swamiji’s volcanic, revolutionary any and pro-change views were accepted (particularly by the youth) with a grand standing ovation and he left the stage after igniting many a hearts with the flame of spirituality which ill continue to pulsate the message of Truth, Love, Compassion and above all Justice.