Non-Violence Shows the Way

Posted: 25.02.2002
Updated on: 15.02.2008

I am very happy that today I am with you all to take part in the pious programme of Ahimsa March (non-violence march). It is all the more a happy occasion that in the modern time I have got an opportunity to take part in this march at the birth-place of the greatest priest of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi. I salute Acharya Mahaprajna as due to his motivation this yatra is taking place. I have been told that this yatra (march) on foot is of 6,000 kilometres. This is not a small thing in present time. Today, this yatra has great significance in view of establishing values of non-violence, communal harmony, national integrity and harmony among ourselves. I am fully confident that your efforts will be useful in leading the society in the right direction.

Non-violence and love take top place in our thousands of year-old-civilization. Inspite of suffering a lot of pain, great saints like Lord Mahabir and Lord Buddha set a norn before a man to tread on a right path. Today again the signs of disintegration and degradation are seen in the society. Some elements for their vested interests are deliberately encouraging such things. No religion in the world or principle teaches to keep distance between man and man. But inspite of all this it is happening. In this situation, the path shown by the Acharya is not only an inspiration and a message for Jain religion but for the entire society. Jain religion is a symbol of non-violence and renunciation. Peace can be maintained, the society and political system can be kept away from injustice and corruption by following the path shown by the Acharya.

It is strange to note that in some parts of the world there is fast progress in new avenues while in some part of the world condition of violence and hatred prevailed. Communal hatred and communal violence are the greatest danger for our country. It is painful to note that in Gandhiji’s Gujarat maximum efforts are being made to spread this poison. Social unity cannot be generated by law itself. This will only be a political unity, a superficial unity. Gandhiji said:

"Political unity can be imposed by force. But true meaning of unity is unity of souls which cannot be broken inspite of attempts made in this regard." Today, there is a need of unity of souls. We may be followers of any faith, as one man, as an Indian, we have to maintain the relation of love. This is true happiness, this is the essence of all faiths (religion) and in other words this is real patriotism. This is not religion - something in heart, something else on the tongue and conduct is different. I will say this is sin and not religion.

It is strange that when people jointly work to achieve something big they forget their small differences, religion and caste. When it comes to their self-interest they create divisions among the people. All of you know that we got success in the freedom struggle when under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi people came together and unitedly fought. In future, we will achieve sucess if we follow this path. We can unitedly move forward. This is the path of progress and happiness.

Therefore it is necessary to give true knowledge and lessons about religious observance to the new generation instead of misleading them. When representatives of society follow the path of annihilation, how can new generation follow the path of idealism? This Ahimsa Yatra, to some extent, will compensate the shortcomings and will give a different message to the new generation. Therefore, Mahapragya said:

"Ahimsa Yatra is a movement for character building, a movement for purification of life, a movement for developing will-power, a movement for self-introspection. Unity and integrity of the country can be accomplished by it."

Today, I am recalling to mind Acharya Tulsi. He too was associated with this tradition. His effort was to see that country remained one (united), all people should live in harmony. In his entire life, he worked for democracy, equality and secularism.

All of you are preaching the human values as per the directive of Acharya Mahapragya. I congratulate you for this. Acharyaji has the power of pen as well as the power of soul. He is a writer and has written several books and inspired litterateurs. We should spread his preachings as far as possible so that there is a new awakening of non-violence and love in the society.

Everybody lives for oneself, but history has always called those people great who sacrificed their lives for protecting the lives of others and take care of others without bothering about their own sorrow and happiness and despite facing hardship they removed the hardship of others. This is the path of Jain religion. This was the path of Gandhiji and to my understanding this is the asset and tradition of our country. Our efforts should be that it should be protected at all costs.

On this occasion, for remembering me, and calling me amidst yourselves, I heartily contratulate you.

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