‘More movements needed for promoting inter-faith dialogue'
Karan Singh, MP and president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, on Thursday said: “Six cardinal concepts of Vedanta philosophy need to be understood as we are moving towards global society. Many of these concepts are becoming more and more relevant in the globalised world and they are not intimidated by science and technology.”
Delivering a lecture on “The relevance of Vedanta in today's context” on the last day of D.D. Kosambi Festival of Ideas 2011 here, Dr. Singh said: “Ours is a dialogic civilisation, everything has emerged out of dialogue, no text from any prophet, which is why I think our philosophy is open to interpretation from age to age, perhaps more than any other religion.”
Speaking on Vedantic relevance in the context of pluralistic India, Dr. Singh said: “We have this rich pluralistic multi-dimensional culture in India. But Vedanta Upanishads are the watermark of wisdom of world philosophy.”
Dwelling on the paths of yogas, Dr. Singh opined that all the four Yogas represent an all-inclusive philosophy of life.
“Life is not just a meaningless journey from womb to doom, but an exciting opportunity for spiritual bloom,” he said.
Espousing various concepts such as “Vasudaiv Kutumbaka” which considered whole world as a family, he pointed out the essence of the philosophy where despite all differences and hatred spread all around, the noble thought was “spiritual link must connect the world”.
“Science and technology has given us an opportunity to become one world. But one world is not market, because market is perhaps a naturally exploitative structure. Family is not an exploitative structure, mind you,” Dr. Singh said.
“If we are to connect to the concept of Vasudaiv Kutumbaka, then we have to restructure the economy of country and world. And suggest a way through this mess of poverty,” he said, and opined that it was in a way a minimum necessary input for civilised co-existence.
Dwelling on the Vedantic philosophy, he said: “We must accept Vedantic dictum of basic unity of world religions. There are multi-paths to divinity and no religion has a sole monopoly to reach the divine.” In that context, he called for more movements promoting inter-faith dialogue. He said: “India is a multi-faith pluralistic country and our concept is based on Rigvedic Satya, not clash of civilisations, but confluence of civilisations.”
In reply to a question, he called for introduction of concepts such as values and morals in the curriculum alongside extracts from great religions of the world to inculcate these values in the minds of children at the young age.
“Yes, it is important we introduce value system in our curriculum with extracts of great religions of world. Take these concepts and introduce with secularism. In the name of secularism what we have done is thrown the baby away with the bath water and we come to a situation where a nation based on the principle of “Satyameva Jayate” is today sinking in mire and morass of corruption,” Dr. Singh said.
He said: “Whether it is religious or ideological, any type of fundamentalism is bad. It ultimately breeds disaster. So we should try and have a holistic approach on issues. The real danger is if we allow these fanatics and fundamentalism to grow, they will blow up the whole world one day,” he warned.
In reply to a question why no reforms were introduced for Muslims while Hindu Code Bill was passed by the country post-Independence, Dr. Karan Singh said: “I think soon after partition Jawaharlal Nehru and others felt that Muslim community was already disturbed over fallout of partition and they thought let them realise the importance of reforms.