Bala Siva Yogendra Maharaj, founder of the Hyderabad-based Universal Peace Foundation, also known as Vishwa Santhi Thej, says,”In any terror attack, hundreds of people die, regardless of the religion they belong to, no one is exempt. To control terrorism you need a selfless and strong leader at the helm, who can protect our people, their culture and heritage. So, drop all narrow considerations of caste and religion and vote for the sake of national interest because whatever religion we may belong to, we are human beings first, and Muslims, Hindus, or Christians later.”
Why advise people now, when voting is well under way. Moreover, aren’t saints and sages supposed to avoid lower-level activity like national politics? “There is an English proverb, ‘politics is the last resort of the scoundrel’.
I know this, and as a spiritual person, it is my duty to guide people in the right direction without any fear or favour. So, I am asking everyone to judge for themselves and not vote along religious lines; instead, vote for a leader who works selflessly, is honest, incorruptible, who puts nation’s interest above all, who focusses on economic growth, builds good international reputation, and protects the country. Humanity minus vanity is divinity; the one without ahamkar, ego, in him resides godliness, vote for such a person,” says Swamiji.
Isn’t the focus of these elections less on developmental issues and more on religious matters such as building the Ram temple in Ayodhya? Swamiji says that just like the Ramayana shows karma siddhanta, principle, the Srimad Bhagavatam reveals bhakti siddhanta, and the Mahabharata, jnana siddhanta. Howsoever, they may appear from the outside, their spiritual teachings are universal and profound. Similarly, ritual and philosophy have to go together to reach any goal.
“Just like one can call you ‘sister’, your children call you ‘mother’, you are wife to your husband, and daughter to your parents, you may be addressed differently by different people, yet you are one, and the same goes for God, you can experience God in different forms,” he says.
Hinduism, unlike other religions, is a way of life; and it promotes peace. Swamiji says, “We revere trees, all living beings including snakes and inert matter like stones, everything. When you experience God in everything, mortal and immortal, it gives peace; there is no quarrel, no conflict. Hinduism is sanatan, an eternal dharma, and it stands for samatva, equality. A Hindu is a broad-minded, tolerant person, and because of our karma siddhanta, churches and mosques all have coexisted with temples here, unlike in a country like China, where believers find it difficult to even build a mosque.”
Swamiji’s view is that Hinduism has been around for so long, because it is based on truth, and truth always remains truth. However, just like sugar needs to be consumed if you want to experience its taste, similarly, you have to experience divinity through dhyana, puja, and meditation. Merely hearing or reading scriptures won’t help.
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