Swami Vivekanand's Historical Speech: Vedic Dharma; the Treasure of Spiritual, Ethical and Moral Values for Peace

By Mathur, Anshu | Techno Learn, December 2019 | Go to article overview

Swami Vivekanand's Historical Speech: Vedic Dharma; the Treasure of Spiritual, Ethical and Moral Values for Peace


Mathur, Anshu, Techno Learn


"I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth."

The religion Swami Vivekanada was speaking about is Vedic Dharma which is a treasure of spiritual, ethical and moral values that were practised and realized since ages by sages and saints and was compiled into the Vedas and Upanishads and later in many supplementary books in the form of explanations and stories as the situation and time demanded. Vedic Religion includes ritualistic, philosophical and cultural views of Vedic seers. It can be studies by understanding the deep meaning of Vedic literature. Here author is trying to give some specific principles of peace and humanity according to Vedic dharma claimed by Swamiji in its general nature. "The universal tolerance" he emphasised upon is nature of Vedic dharma.

Peace can be explained in positive terms as well. Presence of happiness, health, content and good economy, social justice, and freedom of expression; creative support for personal growth at all levels, are some of the elements of peace. Such a peace can be termed as positive peace.

All ranges of shades of meaning of peace and harmony come easily under three basic sources as visualized by Swami Vivekananda. These are inner peace, social peace and peace with nature. These can be analyzed further as under:

Inner Peace: Inner peace is peace with self - self-contentedness. One, 'whose mind remains unperturbed amid sorrows, whose thirst for pleasure has altogether disappeared, and who is free from passion, fear and anger' is said to have achieved inner peace. For example, harmony and peace with oneself, good health and absence of inner conflicts, joy, sense of freedom, insight, spiritual peace, feelings of kindness, compassion, and content, appreciation of art.

Social Peace: Human beings are social beings; they cannot live in isolation. The tapestry of the living community is fast changing from living in homogeneous, cultural, linguistic and religious groups to cosmopolitan community that is multi- cultural, multi-lingual and multireligions. For an enriched and meaningful life, it is necessary to learn to live together within diversity. Again, for social peace, tolerance for diversity is not enough; respect and love for diversity is the precondition. Social peace implies harmony in human relationships, conflict reconciliation and resolution, love, friendship, unity, mutual understanding, co-operation, brotherhood, tolerance of differences, democracy, community building, human rights, morality, etc.

Peace with Nature: Planet earth is the cradle of human civilization. Symbolically, she is the mother earth. Peace with nature implies stopping the violation of her dignity through environmental and ecological degradation, exploitation, etc. Peace with nature is harmony with natural environment and mother earth.

Peace has been defined as 'absence of violence'. This is rather a narrow and negative definition. In accord with the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda peace should mean not only absence of war, but also violence in all forms, such as conflicts, threat to life, social degradation, discrimination, oppression, exploitation poverty, injustice, and so on. Peace cannot be built as long as violent social structures exist in society. Naturally such structures will lead people to act violently. For instance, an unfair system of resource distribution in a society would lead to frustration of those who are deprived or get less. Frustration in turn could lead people to violence. Presence of all such obstructive and indicative factors can be termed negative. Peace as 'absence of violence' means absence of fistfights or firing or carpet bombing or use of nuclear war heads. This is rather inadequate. …

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