Discourses on religion and philosophy
Friday 17 December 1999
Posted at 0130 hrs IST
Discourses on Religion and Philosophy
A century of light?
Is the world getting better? There are some who believe that
a golden era is about to dawn; others say Doomsday is not far ahead.
The Bahai's believe that a new era is about to emerge and the century,
that is about to end, has been a ``century of light.'' The founder of
the Bahai faith, Baha'u'llah, held that civilisation is a continuous
spiritual process. It passes through stages analogous to the periods of
infancy, childhood and adolescence.
The central spiritual issue facing all people of the world is that of
laying the foundation of a global society based on the oneness of the
human race. With the world achieving maturity, people will come to
endorse this idea of oneness ending nationalistic and sectarian
The prophet had foreseen ``new capacities of incalculable power''
awakening in earth's people and the powerful light of unity marking the
course of events - among other things, in the way humans plan their
collective future and in the way they regard one another.
In the wake of the World War II was born the United Nations which began
consolidating the foundations of world order. The Universal Declaration
of Human Rights was another land mark. A parallel economic process began
with the institution of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund
and other agencies.
Education of the masses, information technology, developments in science
and technology for enhancement of life, world wide communication
networks, satellite systems through which knowledge became accessible to
the masses - these were factors which unified the human race with far
Inter faith dialogues and collaboration through agencies such as
Parliament of Religions had lessened religious prejudices. There was
increasing realisation that whatever the religion, all people were
children of the same one God.
There are areas of darkness: Inventions of weapons of mass destruction,
extermination of millions, damage to physical environment, the
prevailing cult of individualism bent on `pursuit of happiness' and so
on. But these do not extinguish or diminish the light.
The Bahai's believe the ultimate Reality that has created and sustains
the universe will forever remain beyond the reach of the human mind.
Humanity's relationship with the divine, influenced by founders of great
religions like Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus and Buddha, provided
intellectual, spiritual and moral capacities in man and civilised human
The primary disease that cripples society is disunity; progress of
humanity depended upon the ability and extent of collaboration. To
regard conflict as inherent in human nature would be a grave error.
According to Baha'u'llah, the present fruitless strifes and ruinous wars
will pass away. Man will glory rather in loving his kind than merely
loving his country.
(For details: Dr Merchant, House of Bahai's, 6 Canning Road, New
Delhi. Phones : 3381353, 3386458))
M P K Kutty
©Copyright 1999, India Times
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