GHA is the Fraternity from harmony of the different nations, continents and cultures:
Asia (Kae, Japan), America (Laj, USA), Africa (Ernesto, Israel, and Ammar, Algeria) and Europe (Leo, Russia)
The First Forum of Spiritual Culture of a Harmonious Civilization
Report and 60 photos on the participation of the GHA delegation in the World Forum of Spiritual Culture,
Astana, October 18-20, 2010
In Russian: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=476
In English: http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=446
The World Forum of Spiritual Culture gathered once again at the initiative of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, October 18-20, 2010. It was attended by over 500 delegates from 72 countries.
The Forum was devoted to the following objectives that were formulated in the invitation to all the participants: “The Forum aims at finding a solution to the systemic crisis of the modern civilization by realizing the priority of spirituality and culture above all other public values… to stop the endless pursuit of material welfare, to make an end to the boundless aspiration to money-making, to cure our modern civilization from the virus of greediness.” In essence, this is problem of transition from an industrial civilization that is affected by systemic crisis, money-making, and greed, which it constantly reproduces, to another, harmonious civilization, with a priority of the spiritual culture of harmony.
This idea is expressed in the Forum motto: "To Eternal Peace through Spiritual Consent", as both the spiritual consent and everlasting peace come from the social harmony, the institutionalization of which creates a harmonious civilization. only this civilization forms the basis for eternal peace and spiritual consent. Leaving, industrial civilization has always been the militaristic and intrinsically hostile one. She never knew and can not know any of eternal peace, no consent and spiritual priority. That is why this Forum, in law, can be considered the turning from a dying civilization to a harmonious, just born in 2009 (see our brochure below).
The Forum has become an unprecedented, historic milestone for a new way of thinking, worldview and spiritual culture of the new global harmonious civilization/noosphere. In October 2010, Astana has become the spiritual capital of this civilization. The Forum is a great success of Kazakhstan and its President, Government and the Organizing Committee, which was headed by three co-chairs: Senator Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov, deputy of the Russian Parliament, a famous singer Josef Kobzon and Wilhelm Augustat from Austria.
We, the delegation of the Global Harmony Association (GHA), consisting of 14 persons from 10 countries, express our sincere gratitude to the Government of Kazakhstan, which assumed all the expenses and the Organizing Committee for the excellent organization and friendly atmosphere on the Forum.
The Forum in Astana, in fact, was the first Forum of Spiritual Culture of harmonious civilization: about the harmony in this or that aspect spoken nearly every speaker on it. The term "harmony" has been used 7 times in the Forum final Declaration. It sounded many times in the reports of the Forum co-chairs: Kobzon and Mukhamedzhanov. For example, Joseph Kobzon, stating the change of civilizations, emphasizes the harmonizing function of spiritual culture: "We can not see, does not feel that come change of eras that the world is on the verge of major change. Come the new times, carrying with it a lot of unknown ... Much of what surrounds us, what we're used .. dies and goes away ... But for all that complication, which is characterized by the reality, profoundly manifest a pattern of transformation of human civilization in a single organism ... just the Spiritual Culture in all the diversity is able to harmonize the hard world of passions that shake the planet” (http://www.astanaforum.kz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=135:-4-2010&catid=1:news&Itemid=50).
All materials of the Forum are presented in Kazakh, Russian and English languages on the website: www.astanaforum.kz.
My report, the delay of which is caused by known you an objective reason (accident), is intended only to supplement the Forum general picture (see the Forum website) by those touches that our delegation enriched it.
The GHA delegation at the Forum:
1.Leo Semashko, GHA President, Head of Delegation, Russia
2.Ernesto Kahan, GHA 1st Vice President; IPPNW: Nobel Peace Prize (1985), Israel
3.Laj Utreja, President, GHA-USA
4.Kae Mori, President, GHA - Japan
5.Ammar Banni, Algeria
6.Jean Basabose, Rwanda
7.Nina Goncharova, Russia
8.Ananta Giri, India
9.Heli Habirimana, Rwanda
10.Mariam Khan, Pakistan
11.Nina Meyerhof, USA
12.Marie Robeyro, Colombia
13.Susana Roberts, Argentina
14.Leonid Timoshenko, Russia.
Almost every member of the delegation prepared a paper for presentation at one of the eight sections of the Forum, small fragments of which see below (my paper to the Forum: "Harmonious Civilization and Priority of Spiritual Culture" has been published only on Russian). In addition, together we prepared several joint actions.
Firstly, this is the GHA common brochure: "Kazakhstan - Harmonism Strategy for the 21st century" (18 pages) which included the GHA leaflet: "Integral Alphabet of Spiritual Culture for Harmonious Civilization/Noosphere of the 21st century", which was printed in Russian and English languages. About 300 copies of the brochure in two languages were brought to Astana, which are readily taken by the Forum participants, journalists, and were transferred to many libraries in the world.
Brochures and leaflets posted on our website, where they can look by each:
Secondly, we prepared to the President Nazarbayev the GHA highest award "Crystal of Harmony" with the inscription: "His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev: Harmonious Civilization is in Your Hands", together with his certificate of the GHA highest honorary title "World Harmony Creator" (http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=333). Crystal of Harmony has been ordered and brought to Astana by Laj Utreja from the U.S. We presented this award and certificate to the Organizing Committee Co-chair, Senator Tolegen Mohamedzhanov, October 20.
Third, we have supported all three days of the Forum in its foyer the GHA exhibition on a small table. At this modest exhibition were presented the GHA books and brochures, Ammar Banni’s leaflets in Arabic, as well as books by Ernesto Kahan, Kae Mori, and Maria Cristina Azcona. There were also represented our award "Crystal of Harmony" and a certificate for Nazarbayev.
Fourth. Perhaps the GHA most significant event in Astana was the modest and imperceptible training seminar "Alphabet of Harmony for a Harmonious Civilization", which we held Oct. 19 at the hotel Duman in my room (1405), until 1 o'clock of the night together 6 members of the GHA. This session opened the first in history the Academy of Harmony in Astana. All the significance of this modest event, obviously, will become clear not soon. It marked the beginning of a harmonious global education, overcoming the ignorance of people in the ABC of harmony as the basis for the spiritual culture of a new civilization. Such lessons as master-classes in "alphabet and thinking of harmony" would appropriate to provide for the next Forum in Astana. It would put the beginning of the Academy of Harmony in Kazakhstan.
My report is accompanied by rich pictures of the Forum, which I made not only from my photos, but also of the photographs, who kindly sent me Susana, Mary, Ernesto, Ammar, Mariam, Kae and Nina Goncharova. I heartily thank them! I've published 60 photos. But this is only their small part. You look: how beautiful people in the photos! As inspired by their faces! As harmony shines in them!
The report is also accompanied by brief excerpts from the papers of our delegation members at the Forum.
The GHA contribution in the Forum found high appreciation of its Co-chair Senator Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov, who wrote me in a letter dated Dec. 9: "The contribution of your team of the GHA in the World Forum of Spiritual Culture was truly impressive." He also reported on a regular (probably annual) holding of this Forum and the inclusion of me in its Executive Committee members. This will allow the GHA more thoroughly prepare for the subsequent Forums, particularly in aspect of organization of the Academy of Harmony in Astana.
Each member of the delegation has contributed to the overall result of our delegation at the Forum, so everyone deserves the high recognition and heartfelt gratitude. The GHA delegation found at the Forum dozens of new friends from all over the world. only my mailing list has increased by more than 20 new addresses. We have every right to state the big success of the GHA delegation at this Forum.
60 photos of Forum and Astana:
Independence Palace. There were the Forum plenary sessions on October 18-20
Opening of the Forum. Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov on the tribune
Opening of the Forum. Joseph Kobzon on the podium
The GHA traveling exhibition
Kae, Laj, Ernesto, Ammar and Leo at the GHA exhibition with Harmony Crystal to the President Nazarbayev
Ernesto behind the Forum tribune
Mariam behind the Forum tribune
Mariam Khan, Pakistan
We (Pakistan) are gradually taking away all of the above components of a peaceful and tolerant society from our lives and as a result we are left with hunger, ignorance, conflicts, disrespect…. I am here (Astana) as the voice of my poor people in Pakistan. Our country is facing bad times and I wish one day with the support of you all, we will achieve to create peace, stability, livelihood and harmony. I can’t see my poor people hungry, shelter less, dying with the lack of Medicines, less education, child labor…..
GHA Delegation: Leo, Laj, Ernesto and Kae on the Forum podium with Harmony Crystal
Laj with the greetings from the U.S.
The same with Kobzon (right)
For lunch: Leonid, Lev, Ananta and friends from Novosibirsk: Irina Darnev and girlfriend
Miriam, Leo, Nina Goncharova and Leonid
Ernesto, Nina, Susana and Laj
Susana, Leo and Ernesto
Professor Ernesto Kahan, GHA 1st Vice-President, Israel
Personal objectives on the Forum:a) To present the GHA award "Crystal of Harmony" to President Nazarbayev along with Certificate, Strategy of Harmony, books and greetings from the U.S.
b) To present the GHA letter to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
c) To participate in the activities of the Forum
d) To share my universal message of peace and my conception that our civilization never, in all its history, was confronting two real opposed feasibilities. on one hand, by the use of atomic weapons… it faces the possibility to completely exterminate the life on Earth. But on the other hand, since human society reached the necessary level of development, it is now possible to totally eliminate hunger in the world - what seemed incredible just few years ago- and also to achieve a universal contract of harmony that will assure the peaceful relationship among the countries.
Ernesto with the souvenir "Jerusalem" to Leo, Laj, Kae, +, Susana
The GHA beauties: Mariam, Nina Goncharova and Susana
Susana Roberts, Argentina
Only the alternative trend of harmony between nations and the newborn harmonious civilization can overcome the culture of violence and its apotheosis. To develop harmonious thinking, we should master the alphabet and harmonious language, both and individual and social level, we should create schools and academies that develop a harmonious person, this will lead to prosperity to all people and nations-all of them identical in harmonious spiritual truth, justice and humanism.
Joseph Kobzon’s concert
The architecture of Astana: The capital of a harmonious civilization
Pyramid - the Palace of Peace and Consent
In the sphere with psychologists, artists and scientists
Ph.D. Laj Utreja, President, GHA – USA
Practice of yoga can help eliminate all social ills and create a system of good governance, a society with good health and without poverty, and a world free of conflicts. (From paper: Society and Politics – A Vedic Vision)
Laj, Miriam, Leo, Mary and Ananta
Dr. Ananta Kumar Giri, India
Practical spirituality as a struggle for dignity embodies multi-dimensional partnership between God and man. This struggle challenges us to widen and deepen our vision and practice of democracy; democracy as not only a political mechanism but also as a spiritual struggle. (From paper: The Calling of Practical Spirituality)
Heli, Laj and Jean
Jean, +, +, +, Ammar and Kae
(Center), Heli and Kae
Ernesto & Mary
Dr. Mary Luz Sandoval Robayo Colombia
I come from a country immersed in an extremely violent conflict that has been going on for 50 years. Peace is a word that has converted into a scream all over our nation, but harmony is a scarcely used word. How are we going to go from conflict to peace and harmony? Industrial civilization and its only aspiration to get profit is one of the most important causes of degradation of the Columbian conflict.
To eliminate relationships based on power and domination among people, social classes, races, sexes, and nations… it is necessary to go deeper into the mechanisms that reproduce such kind of relationships. But those mechanisms could have a common root and differences in every sphere of human and social life. The study of them is very urgent to pave way for the fundamentals of the Academy project of GHA… The questions are: What kind of culture? What kind of education? What kind of values? … I am here to learn from you … to respond to those questions.
Ernesto & Ammar
Professor Ammar Banni, Algeria
Astana in Harmony. I think that our thoughts and ideas of GHA, alongside those of the forum of Astana, which suggests a harmonization and respect of the spirituality that human life is protected.
Technology without spirituality, harmony, ecology, is worse… I think that, throughnoosphere we will find this harmony which combines between the knowledge, mind, intellect, ecology, economy, cultureand technology.
Ernesto, Tolegen (Forum Co-Chair) and Kae
Kobzon (Forum Co-Chair), Ernesto and Tolegen
Laj, Leo (with Harmony Crystal), Kobzon (with a book “Harmonious Civilization”) and Ernesto
(Note: Ernesto was the first doctor who made the first medical aid to Kobzon,
when he had an apoplexy during his report on October 20)
Mariam with the Forum Co-Chair William Augustat
Mariam with Kazakh girls
Miriam and Leo
Nina Goncharova and Ananta
Nina Goncharova, Russia
In Astana the GHA was a bright example of a team work and expressing the capacity to be melted inside the World Forum for Spiritual Culture as we are all one and when we are together without any borders, we really change the world by creating a new tissue of spiritual space of a new harmonious world.
Sociologists-urbanists, colleagues from Beijing, China
Ernesto - third from right, "elusive" Nina Meyerhof - third from the left
Dr. Nina Meyerhof,USA
President, Children of the Earth (COE)
We are devoted to the evolution of Principles and Ethics that educate the youth of their Rights and Responsibilities focused on building character so each young person can experience their own personal potential and destiny and make a lifelong commitment to building a New Civilization for our Noosphere.
With Susanna at Kazakh yurt in the museum
Marina Ushakov, a psychologist from Moscow, the GHA friend
The world's first Academy of Harmony, Astana, 19 October 2010:
Leo, Ammar, Heli, Mary, Miriam and Laj (+ Ananta, he photographs)
Academy: The symbol of brotherhood in harmony. The same plus Ananta
At a meeting with President Nazarbayev
Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov: valediction
Final concert: Kazakh dance
Laj with the return thanksgiving speech from the GHA
The tired by the communication
Warm campaign at the table
Kae, Ammar and Ananta in dance
Kazakh dance again
Upper class of harmony! Invitation!
Dr. Nina Meyerhof,
President, Children of the Earth (COE)
Children of the Earth: a member supporting the Noosphere Constitution
Paper at the World Forum of Spiritual Culture, Astana, October 18-20, 2010
We are a not-for-profit, 501 © (3) United Nations NGO organization operating for over twenty years, dedicated to the building of a better future for all generations. To this end, COE offers Youth leadership programs globally, educational workshops, conferences, as well as presentations at national and international forums.
Children of the Earth supports young people in actualizing their personal intention, becoming inspired to altruism, and weaving a web bridging all personal, cultural, national and religious divides. Our vision is that one by one, young people become spiritually awakened, socially responsible, and active peace builders. We are devoted to the evolution of Principles and Ethics that educate the youth of their Rights and Responsibilities focused on building character so each young person can experience their own personal potential and destiny and make a lifelong commitment to building a New Civilization for our Noosphere. Thus the Noosphere Spiritual Ethical Ecological Constitution is a finite representation of these goals.
Spirituality is key in transcending political, dogmatic, and religious boundaries. Children of the Earth, is recognized as a world leader in education for ethical consciousness and interfaith unity. We stand for how we live as a species of humankind on one Earth and in relation to the whole of the Universe.
One Earth….with all her Children smiling!
The intent of raising awareness that youth throughout this world are realizing and are being called forth to reveal that there is a global consciousness attempting to arise in the hearts and minds of humanity. This consciousness is what is being called the “spiritual revolution” or the evolution of humankind into full awareness. We are learning from science that we are interdependent and interconnected as one life. In the awareness of consciousness there is the possibility to finally learn this fact. We are learning to understand that peace can exist not only as a state of being but also be the manifestation as a way of creating peace in our world. It is in our unity that we will be able to accept our diversity and finally find means to live together here on Mother Earth.
Our Guiding Principles as we work with young people globally
-Trust your intuition
-Demonstrate dignity and respect
-Communicate with honesty and clarity
-Assume the good intentions of others
-Support shared leadership
-Be inspired to take risks
-Allow decisions to emerge and embrace the process
-Understand the whole is greater than the parts
-Strive for actions based on selflessness and love
-Support sustainability both personally and environmentally
-Honor agreements and take ownership for outcomes
Hear the call for UNITY as a child of the onE life
Code of Ethics derived from the Indigenous Peoples of the world
ethics are for us to live as just, compassionate, loving human beings. Ethical standards for human development come from this great sense of wonder that we are all members of this same human family connected in the web called spirit and sharing Earth.
LOVE.....for the form, voice, thoughts and spirit of each person
HONESTY....of our feelings, thoughts and behaviors to be transparent
TRUTH ....in feelings and thoughts
COURAGE…..to take a stand
HUMILITY......to reflect inner peace
WISDOM...... to be a seeker
The Values: Old versus New
Materialism Non-attachment and Nature
Nationalism Global Understanding
Reason or Logic Imagination
Knowledge Wisdom from within
The 21st century holds the greatest possibilities for an integrated peaceful and prosperous global community. Connected by telecommunications and a growing spirituality, humankind has a chance to actualize an evolutionary state of being. As we shift towards love, compassion and education, we will deploy resources for the common good, lifting up all people to a life of hope and security.
Today, science and spirituality are coming to the same conclusion that all people are intrinsically similar; the human genome project has proven that we are genetically 99.9 % alike with only 1 tenth of one percent that makes us different. Until we realize that I am you and you are me, only then will right action and thought be supported by the universal laws of nature. Until we can concentrate on what makes us the same instead of what makes us different, only then can we deal with the challenges ahead. It is imperative that we spend our time and resources on young people, supporting leadership and educational experiences that promote respectful communities, common ethics, sustainable practices, peace, and economic opportunities.
Our programs consist of Social Action Chapters and Spirit Youth Hubs.Our goal is to support and link young people as a global family of humankind for a conscious and flourishing future. Social Action Chapters are Youth humanitarian projects conceived as a result of an inner transformation. Spirit Youth Hubsare groups of youth who meet to focus on spiritual explorations and intentions. They will give their presentation with all the information and results of this work worldwide. We are in the process of finalizing our Handbook for schools and use throughout the world.
These youth from all corners of the world are recognizing and remembering that there is hope to live as a human family on our planet earth and beyond. Youth are tapping into their inner life and reuniting with their true spiritual nature and this reflection leads to a sincere ethical life. In this process of reaching within and experiencing one’s nature beyond self-esteem and basic needs and desires, one is able to find the place within that is that of uniqueness and solid character where personal identity connects to the universals of life. These universals are recognized and then bestowed upon each other as a given right and responsibility for a life of purposeful meaning. In the universal consciousness of space within and ultimate everywhere, there are no differences of color, race, culture or national intent. The universals are that we all want to love and be loved, to be free of need and desire, to be true and empowered, and to live a life of meaning.
Spiritual education is not a method nor is it a curriculum bur it is a course of study for life-long living. Spiritual education is the education for human development that brings our consciousness into the forefront of our action so that we choose UNIVERSALITY over other needs.
Spirit protects us, guides us and let’s us know how we may learn to love each other as agape rather than attachment for dependency for an individual better life.
In the past, education imitated culture.As global awareness and activity increases, the culture of the community becomes diffused.New Culture must emerge as living within a common Universe for the survival of all species.
Education, from the Latin, means to draw forth—to bring out. This reaching that very inner core that is in a state of “isness”. It knows within itself that life is sacred. It knows its self as full and complete.
Study life from the initial atom of the self to our place in the human family, our place in our community, our place in time, our place in the world and even our place in our planetary universe—looking inward to go outward.
Universal Laws are ---all living things are alive and have spirit. Spirit is consciousness available to be tapped into. All of life is thus interconnected. Each action we take has infinite ripples in this web of life. Consciousness is being aware of this Law of one.Love is this interconnection of all there. Love is the Law. Spirit connects. To Educate brings this forth.
Children of the Earth also wishes to establish a World Peace Institute.The mission of the COE World Peace Institute is to support Humanity in creating a future that embodies the universal values of peace, tolerance, dignity, freedom, equality, and solidarity for all life.The WPI will offer structured learning opportunities to young people that inspire, motivate and unite them to translate these universal values into global action and culturally appropriate projects in their own communities.
In support of this mission, the WPI will establish and house eight programs:
1.Ethical Living Leadership Program
2.Educators and Youth for Social Change
3.Global Leadership Gathering
4.Virtual Telecommunications Center,
5.Publishing Spiritual Peacemaker Guidebooks
7. The World Spirit Youth Council Program
8. Local Initiatives, Data and Research Center
Ethical Living Leadership Program:The purpose of the Ethical Living Leadership Program is to provide an intensive leadership training experience for young people to further their commitment to a better and more just world. They will focus on the universals of life such as common ethics, sustainable practices and multi-cultural and religious appreciation. Upon completion, program participants will take with them seeds of projects to further world unity.
Educators and Youth for Social Change:The Educator and Youth for Social Change Program will provide a one-week leadership intensive for educators who are paired with young people to establish a shared learning-living inter-generational experience designed to focus on spiritual and scientific understanding of our world.
Global Leadership Gathering: The Global Leadership Gathering will invite visionaries who represent organizations and networks to design collective actions in support of each other and future generations.
The Virtual Telecommunication Center:The Virtual Telecommunications Center will support the World Peace Institute utilizing the most modern technologies to enable global conversations and activities.
Publishing Spiritual Peacemaker Guidebooks:Spiritual Peacemaker Guidebooks will develop a set of training manuals to be used for youth training in other locations around the world
Internships:Internship placements will offer course credit for work performed within the offices and programs of the COE World Peace Institute and other related areas.
The World Spirit Youth Council: The WSYC provides Youth with an organizing form for linking the Youth spiritual movement. WSYC will be housed as a project within the COE World Peace Institute.
Local Initiatives Data and Resource Center: The purpose of the Institute is to compile data, keep records, generate reports, and assist the establishment of local chapters of Children of the Earth world-wide.
The intention of the COE World Peace Institute is to reach as many young people as possible through direct program contact and through programs that Institute participants -- young people and adults alike -- will support in their home communities.Participation in COE World Peace Institute programs are not an end in itself.It is a means to achieve continual outreach to other Youth and to provide them with opportunities to practice leadership for understanding the weave of living as a member of the earth’s inhabitants as well as a member of the greater forces of the entire universe.
In externalizing this realization of inner understanding, purpose, actions and projects are developed in our local, national, global, universe environments. This quickening is a natural progression of furthering our capacity as homo sapiens to true conscious sapiens finally bridging life from the more mundane into a consciousness field of reality.
Youth are willing to examine new models and take time for carrying them out. Youth will harness their power and drive new models into form.
We must alter the course of history and build a New Civilization of Humankind. This is the role of youth. They can be brazen enough to execute the potential answers for our common destiny. The Noosphere Constitution is the framework for this great work.
Support youth in this great endeavor!
Our Recent Actions:
Social Action Chapters
Youth humanitarian projects conceived as a result of an inner transformation
8,000 homeless, orphaned or disabled children received psychosocial treatment.
Established a youth association based on empowerment, health, environment and peace.
Organizes interfaith gatherings between 4,000+ Christians, Jews and Muslims for peace.
1,100 children in 11 schools receive library books, furniture, music & sports equipment, toilet & water supply and 18 new classrooms. Successful Volunteer Program.
Makes water available in the state of Imo. Holds teacher-training workshops.
2 Chapters - 14,000 children impacted through the work our Chapter Leaders do with 20 teachers in 10 districts working to improve the quality of education.
390 children receive school supplies and leadership training linked with community service. 30 scholarship grants issued to the poorest children in the region.
Program cares for cancer patients, assists children with educational guidance and uses performing arts to enhance the message of hope, peace and prosperity.
Developing a magazine showcasing peace building stories to inspire others to action.
Over 100 beehives provided to women in Kitgum Village as an income source.
Vermont, United States
Bear Hugs for Haiti is youth to youth compassion via Teddy Bears with notes from these young people.
International Day of Peace at United Nations with 47 high school kids from Vermont.
Spirit Youth Hubs
Groups of youth who meet to focus on spiritual explorations and intentions
Regular gatherings focused on different religions and positive community action.
Implements our Volunteer Program in Nepal with COE Chapter Leader.
Six African countries meet to find ways to help avert the current Muslim/Christian crisis.
Apeadu Peace Center affects 17 townships with leadership and skill building trainings.
Developed a Hub that became the “Global Youth Network for Peace Japan.”
Intergenerational meetings to teach meditation techniques to bring about improved communication.
Pennsylvania, United States
PLACE HOLDER NEEDED INFORMATION
PLACE HOLDER NEEDED INFORMATION
Sponsored a gathering for 2,000 not really true youth that led to their “Peace Revolution Program.”
National and International youth camps focused on cultural exchange programs.
Organizes and plans annual weeklong gatherings promoting inner transformation and inspiring individuals to take action in COE’s projects worldwide.
Our social network website www.spirityouth.org links youth as the engine that rallies spiritual action into a movement that fosters social and environmental equilibrium.
Our Chapter and Hub members are invited to present at distinguished conferences around the world including:
·National Association of Interfaith Network in Missouri, U.S.A. (2009)
·Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne, Australia (2009)
·World Creative Youth Forum in Philippines (2009)
·Inner Dimensions of Climate Change in New York, U.S.A. (2010)
·Globalization for Common Good in California, U.S.A & Egypt (2010, 2011)
·United Religions Initiative in Istanbul (2010)
·Symphony of Peace Prayers in Mount Fuji, Japan (2010)
·GIFT in Tokyo, Japan (2010)
·Evolutionary Leaders in California, U.S.A. (2009, 2010, 2011)
·Leaders Causing Leaders in Los Angeles, U.S.A. (2010)
·Rhodes Youth Forum in Greece (2010)
·Ethical / Ecological Constitution for Mankind in Kazakhstan (2010)
·Global Youth Conference – Climate Change & Sustainable Development in Switzerland (2010)
·Nigeria (2010) ––European youth to work with African youth in techniques for building inner and outer peace.
·Alliance of Ministries of Peace in South Africa (2011)
·India (2011) –-peace-making meeting with the Jains.
·NEPAL (2011) –– building spiritual HUB for youth of different religions.
·Gautlemala 2012—Mayan and other Elders with Visionary Youth for the New Dawn
Global Harmony Association (GHA)
Since 2005, GHA is an international NGO uniting more 460 members in 56 countries and more than one million participants from the GHA collective members in 80 countries. GHA Founder and President is Dr. Leo Semashko
Address: 7/4-42 Ho-Shi-Min Street, St. Petersburg, 194356, Russia
Telephone: +7 (812) 597-65-71, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GHA 1st Vice-president is Dr. Ernesto Kahan: Address: Hanita 7/2, Kfar Sava 44405, e-mail: email@example.com
GHA-USA President is Dr. Laj Utreja: Address: 122 Foxhound Drive, Madison, AL; Telephone: 256-604-6927; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
GHA-Japan President is Kae Morii
GHA Web: www.peacefromharmony.org
GHA Mission – from harmony to peace; Pave the conscious way for harmonious civilization
The following speech of Dr. Laj Utreja delivered on October 20,’10 in Astana, Kazakhstan
Senator Tolegen, the distinguished panel and guests:
On behalf of the Global Harmony Association I am honored to speak at the World Forum of spiritual Culture organized by Senator Tolegen and the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is a rare event in which the Republic of Kazakhstan intends to promote spiritual culture in human conduct.
I bring you greetings from the City of Huntsville, with a letter from the Mayor, Tommy Battle, The International Services Council (ISC) of Alabama, with a letter from the Executive Director, Jacquelyn Shipe, and Interfaith Mission Service (IMS) serving the Greater Tennessee Valley with a letter from Rev. Dr. David Freeman, Chairperson, Leadership Council.
Located in North Alabama, Huntsville is home to several major Defense and Space Agencies, an unparalleled Research Park parking scores of aerospace, biotechnology and IT companies, and a space and rocket center. It offers a distinct quality of life including history and art museums, a botanical garden, and place of worship of most faiths in the world. Added with affordable housing and great outdoors it offers attractive business climate. Huntsville is poised for growth and is continually recognized as one of the nation’s best places to live.
ISC is a non profit organization that promotes global peace and understanding through citizen diplomacy. ISC partners with a local university to combine Huntsville global resources with those from the broader international public and private sectors to offer a broad range of lively speakers to the public. ISC participates in the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). It was thru this program that 5 leaders from Kazakhstan visited Huntsville in 2008.
Huntsville is a city home to diverse spiritual and cultural traditions. The Cooperative of the IMS with its 40 year history works to ensure Huntsville continues to be an accepting home to a diverse array of spiritual families and different cultures. It has facilitated a broad table for spiritual pilgrims to come together and learn from one another and achieve common goals. We believe that the many initiatives undertaken by IMS here in the Deep South – an area once soaked in resistance to racial integration and civil rights progress – have begun to change the landscape to one of racial, religious and cultural harmony.
I delivered my topical lecture, “Society and Politics in Spiritual Culture – A Vedic Vision,”yesterday. I’ll be sending you a written version in the near future. In conclusion I’ll recite a harmony Hymn:
Harmony grows fertile valleys;
Where the collective views grow lush and tall!
Though the saplings we plant may be small;
Together they’d grow to mutualaccord and understanding all.
Someone has a birthday today;
It means much more than a happy day!
Within these words lie many things;
That humankind share everyday!
It means we are brothers;
Andbe thankful for all we do together.
It means we are friends;
And that we care for each other.
We all come from the same spirit;
Shouldn’t that alone be the reason to celebrate?
The spiritual culture that we orchestrate on this day;
Will create a song of harmony and reverberate!
I am grateful to you, Senator for picking up the tabs for our flight to and from Astana, providing us with the finest lodging and food. You’ve been a gracious host. on behalf of the City of Huntsville I invite you to Huntsville, AL. I’m confident that you’ll find it a choice place to do business. Thank you all for listening.
Laj Utreja addressing the World Forum of Spiritual Culture, October 20, 2010
Society and Politics in Spiritual Culture – A Vedic Vision
Laj Utreja, Ph.D.
President, Global Harmony Association – USA
Founder, Institute of Spiritual Healing, Madison, AL
© 2011 Laj Utreja
In general, the term ‘culture’ of a race, nation, community, society, organization, institution or a group refers to its characteristic human knowledge, belief, and behavior (shared values, attitudes and practices). It basically depends upon the capacity of the specific entity for assimilation of knowledge, thinking and social learningin a space-time continuum. The term ‘spiritual,’ on the other hand refers to belief in the idea that all life, environment and the universe are interconnected by the same spirit. In other words, the ultimate reality is immaterial ‘spirit’ at the core of the universe, physical phenomena and all life. Spirituality is often experienced by some human beings as a source of inspiration or orientation in life. Whereas, spirituality is traditionally imparted through the various religions, spiritual culture is its assimilation in practice.
Spiritual culture is the collective mindfulness of a community of people of different races and faiths in accepting a common origin for all existence. In a spiritual culture, human awareness rises to a level that human fulfillment does not depend upon material possession alone, but equal satisfaction is derived by caring for the other and serving the other humans beings and the environment. For regard of this point of view, people in a spiritual culture accept and practice those actions, attitudes and behaviors in their endeavors as not to adversely impact the other life and the environment. The spiritual culture promotes harmony and provides the only basis for universal love, peace and prosperity.
Living in a spiritual culture, we can change someone's life for the better. Our spiritually imbued points of view and courageous actions can lift our friends’ and relatives’ outlook on life. Our compassion and support can help find a satisfying answer for those struggling with personal problems, such as sickness, disease or poverty. We will spend time and listen to those who need sympathy. We will open up our hearts for others and the environment. Spiritual culture is the hallmark of a peaceful and stable society.
Society and Politics in Spiritual Culture
Spirituality sees equality of all communities and states. Both material and spiritual pursuits have the same purpose if we put the interest of the society and the nation first, rather than the individual. However, the very reminder of that goal in the execution of a law makes it spiritual. Spirituality guides the free-will actions, in accordance with moral values such as honesty, integrity, and service to make a harmonious society or nation by building good character that will protect and preserve a harmonious nation.
Politics is one of the most effective avenues for social change. It potentially influences the material and economic resources for communities and states. But, the political force ceases to be spiritual if it is swayed by: arrogance to uphold the interests of the party above that of the nation, and greed to promote the interests of the influencing groups rather than the nation. The main stumbling blocks against the pursuit of spirituality in politics are the distortion of truth in favor of a minority of powerful big businesses and corporations and disregard for the unspoken voices of the majority. The answer may lie in making elections fair so that worthy candidates can be elected not because they are able to raise funds, but because they have the interest of the nation at heart.
The spiritualized politics will create a good conscience, a will to maintain justice and freedom for the good of the people. The Vedic way of living offers one of the most effective practices to bring about spiritual culture in politics and society. Before we begin to analyze ways of bringing spiritual culture into our lives we need to know what drives human beings. In short, what are the goals of human life?
Goals of Human Life
The Vedic system proposes four goals for human life. These are dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. The first goal, dharma means that which sustains the person, family or the nation. More accurately it indicates the inherent quality in a person or object. For example, the dharma of fire is heat and light. The dharma of water is its liquidity. Dharma typically means to live one’s life purpose. Therefore, dharma of an individual refers to the unique way in which one establishes harmony within oneself and the environment. Whereas, living in dharma brings satisfaction and happiness, it may not always be easy to find our dharma in life. Generally, we learn our dharma from our experiences and introspection.
Dharma also has jurisdiction on all stages of life (Brahmcharya – the life of a student to earn education or an apprentice to learn a skill to make a living; Grihastha – the life of a householder to raise a family and care about the family and the society; Vanprastha – beginning the life of contemplation by loosening of bond with the family and profession; and Sannyasa – giving up the worldly life in favor of meditation on God, great men, scriptures and the holy books. Some dharmic (pertaining to dharma) goals seem more suited to different stages of life than others. For instance, during the householder stage of life one may have opportunities to serve on the city council, be active in civic organizations, or even become a politician to render public service.
Dharma is the practice of righteousness, the living of an ethically and traditionally correct life. The understanding and acceptance of ‘what is right,’ however depends upon individual culture, which comes from one’s family, community and the country. The most important act of righteousness is to fulfill kartavya (the duties) assigned to one's station in life in the society (the Brahmins – teachers and priests; the Kshatriyas – the kings, rulers, defense and the military; the Vaishyas – businessmen, merchants and farmers; and the Shudras – peasants, laborers, butchers, barbers, janitors, etc.) and stage of life. Each must do their duty to the best of their ability. The duty must be performed correctly, efficiently and effectively. A student, for instance may not cheat during a test, a householder may not covet any other person besides their spouse, each becoming righteous through a different set of actions. Thus a merchant or a trader may market a product by completely revealing the details and not make an overly profit. The laborer, on the other hand, may not cut corners in rendering his service
The two goals that naturally come to all human beings are Artha and Kama. Artha is the pursuit of actions pertaining to security, such as gathering wealth and power. In any station in life one must work one’s profession to earn a living and provide for the security of one’s family. This means providing a house to live, food to eat, and a secure job to meet the needs of one’s family members. The extent of security must be exercised properly. If we crave more money and things than we actually need, we become selfish and greedy, which are the biggest impediments to grow spiritually. on the other hand, if we ignore security as non-spiritual, we can become dependent on others at the loss of a job, which may not allow us to fulfill our dharma or life purpose. However, if we pursue artha with dharma, we become responsible for our lives and simultaneously are able to fulfill our needs.
Kama is the pursuit of pleasure and enjoyment of the senses. This pursuit recognizes the need for pleasure to maintain physical and mental health. Enjoyment of the senses relate to the object of the senses, such as visiting beautiful sights, listening to soothing music, smelling of fragrant flowers, enjoying delicious foods and feeling a relaxing massage, etc. Depending upon one’s natural disposition, one may take part, support, or just appreciate any one or more forms of pleasure, such as art, music, dance, drama, literature, poetry, sports and travel. Throughout the ages, many religions and cultures have debated and expressed different views about kama.According to the Vedic view, bodily pleasure must be controlled to grow spiritually. on the other hand, any pleasure taken to the extreme may hurt oneself or the others involved. The basic principle is to have a balanced amount of pleasure and enjoyment in life. This helps us to stay healthy and responsive to fulfill our dharma.
Both, Artha and Kama should be performed within the realm of dharma (in a righteous manner). It is more important to follow dharma and call it a successful pursuit than follow unlawful means to grow more wealth or be able to enjoy more and call it an achievement. For example selling a lot of ‘something’ is acceptable so long as that ‘something’ is not purchased illegally and one does not increase the price with increasing demand. Artha should be pursued for the maintenance and protection of the self and the family so long as there is no greed associated with the pursuit. In the same manner, kama should be pursued so long as there is no attachment to the object of the senses and kama does not turn into lust and delusion of the mind. Both, greed and lust degrade our life to a state of lower existence. In this state, we lose our capacity of rational thinking, and thus cease to be human beings. If not checked, both greed and lust can turn into major social and national problems in destabilizing the society that can bring the mightiest of empires to ruin.
The fourth and the final goal of life is moksha. It is the pursuit of freedom from the physical, mental, and emotional bondage, which is only possible through release from samsara, the endless cycle of life and death. Commitment to a dharmic (righteous, following the laws) lifestyle may help in achieving this goal. It is suitable for those, who do not find satisfaction in the pursuit of artha and kama alone. They have realized that the life of artha and kama is full of suffering and are looking for permanent peace. However, a person desiring moksha does not have to turn away from artha or kama, rather pursue those actions without attachment. When we are true to ourselves, we become inwardly free and grow spiritually. To achieve this goal, one may gradually develop disciplines that are conducive to dharmic life. Also, one may perform actions because they need to be done rather than taking the ownership of actions. Therefore, moksha is the pursuit of spiritual liberation.
The State of Our Human Family
The great Vedic dictum states, “Vasudeva Kutumbkam – We are one human family.” In the Vedic vision, we are a family, without boundaries of race, religion, culture, nation, or gender connected together through a cord of human values. We are a family comprising of parents, grandparents, and their in-laws; siblings and their in-laws; aunts, uncles and their in-laws; children and their in-laws; and just as one President Barack Obama is connected to Indonesia and Kenya thru his siblings, so are all of us from all over the world connected together through siblings and in-laws of different faiths, races and cultures.
However, in this extended family of ours, nearly half of the human family lives in crushing poverty, thousands of children die each day from disease and starvation, many of our family members are exploits of industrial growth and are innocent victims of our failure to protect the environment, there are many who pay a heavy price of being uprooted from family homes to start afresh due to wars being fought for reasons they have no clue, and then there are others we regard as terrorists, some of who are misinformed and kill with blind faith, some have given up hope in life and think that by killing have nothing to lose, and some employ means of retaliation that are inferior in quality and lack precision.
In spite of our scientific, technological, and medical accomplishments there is very little to show towards gross injustice of enormous proportions to our neglected family. If we do not respond, we would be breaking the cord of human values that make us human. What follows would be a whirlwind of chaos, increasing lawlessness and disorder.
We’ve created a value system in which it is ‘wealth’ and not ‘care’ for the fellow man that assures status in society. Therefore, it negates forming of a spiritual culture. Paradoxically, we call ourselves civilized. Our social institutions value wealth as a parameter for success, disregarding sensitivity to the fellow human being. We are attached to money more than our duty towards parents, siblings, friends, spouses and children. While attachment to money and wealth is an individual action, using money as a means of trade is a community value. To climb up the social ladder we lie, cheat and disregard the only virtue that separates us from the lower life forms. And that takes us away from the values that make us human beings.
The origin of human values is the source at the core of our beings. The source being non-physical, non-material, without any attributes and qualities introduces values through Rita, the universal order. The order does not delimit importance of one element of manifestation over the other, but provides an avenue for the universe to sustain itself. That order is called dharma. From that order follow the objective laws that govern the physical universe and the subjective laws that govern human beings. Consider for instance, if the sun decides not to shine any longer, or the earth decides not to revolve around the sun; there would be no world and life that we know of. Revolving around the sun, the earth does not diminish its role, but follows intrinsic value in the performance of the universal order. Similarly, the roles of a child and a wife in a family are not inferior or superior to the father or the husband, so long as all follow their intrinsic values in the performance of the family order. The same goes with any relationship: the employer/employee; teacher/student and the friends alike. All human values follow from the universal order.
Based on rita and dharma, every religion has a set of core values. Some quote scriptures when they talk about moral values. Others talk about virtues and principles. The truth is simply this, "Human values are not to be gotten through a text, nor can they be supplied by any business undertaking. They do not come as wrapped gifts by friends nor can they be purchased from a store. They are our natural responses that come from the heart. Human values are present in us as naturally as our blood, and correspondingly, they flow in the human community by way of our conduct with the other person, just as blood flows naturally in our veins. Human values should not be disregarded by human objectives in the achievement of economic, political and social goals. They are stand-alone codes of conduct to treat another with regard and consideration.
Important Issues for Human Beings
The most important question for human beings is why we don’t want to live in peace and harmony among each other and with nature. Other important questions include why we aren’t concerned about: the fast depletion of arable land for growing uncontaminated food; pollution of life-giving water and air; growing ecological problems, such as the reality of global warming, shrinking forests, disappearing wetlands, eroding soil, extinction of many species affecting ecological balance; unnecessary wars, economy, poverty and increasing wealth gap among the Haves and Have-nots; and in spite of tremendous advances in science and technology, we live under constant stress of producing and achieving, mental imbalance and physical pain.
Two of the most important factors that compromise our ability to properly and correctly address the issues we face are the man-made divisions in politics and society of the powerful and the powerless and economics of the global trade. However, unjustified wars, disproportionate wealth-gaps, public health, and fair governance remain other related factors.
The powerful and the powerless
The modern day democracies have a system of checks and balances within the constitution. The constitutional law is no different from the establishment of dharma. However, dharma is ensured only when there are provisions in the constitution restraining the exercise of supremacy by any one of the divisions of the government or influence by a segment of society. The only way to prevent the abuse of power is if the government makes decision for the country without influence from the lobbyists serving the interest groups. Otherwise, the government cannot ensure equal protection under the law to the subjects without discrimination. The only way to ensure that a nation will not polarize into the two groups (of Haves and Have nots and/or the powerful and the powerless) is if the government protects the laws and conforms to the laws as well. It is possible if dharma is the supreme law of the state where the elected leaders and subjects alike are ruled by the same law and responsibility is afforded based on one’s swadharma (responsibility based on education, experience and accumulated skills).
Dharma enters into the government through kshatriya dharma that establishes equal law for all. Kshatriya dharma calls for development of appropriate policies so as to be not influenced by interest groups which may compromise greater interest for all citizens. The elected heads of the states and other leaders must abide by dharma. It is only when they live in dharma and rule by dharma that people will live in dharma also. Therefore, it is the highest responsibility of the people to elect only those people who possess the highest moral and ethical values. only then all citizens can expect equal justice. According to Manusmruti, “Just as the mother Earth gives an equal support to all living beings, a king or a President must give support to his subject without discrimination.”
In the great epic Ramayana, Lord Raama was the ideal king. Raama Rajya (an ideal system of government governed by a constitution that was dharma) provided each citizen a framework to fulfill to their highest potential in their pursuits of dharma, artha and kaama. Lord Rama embodied dharma by the performance of his responsibilities and in his vyavahara (conduct). He was an ideal son, an ideal husband and an ideal ruler. That is why Lord Rama is the ideal person to aspire for by every student, every son, every husband, and every ruler. Many rulers have aspired to emulate Lord Rama and to establish Rama Rajya for their governments in rendering social justice and in regulating the affairs of the state, but human failings have kept them from fulfilling their objectives.
Wars, Global Trade and Dharma
History is replete with stories of wars for ideology, faith, territorial disputes and sharing of resources. only, wars fought for fairness, justice and the protection of equitable rights are dharma.One cannot kill atman (the soul), so killing sharira (body that is perishable) for a bigger cause, such as the family, society, country and humanity is dharma. Today, two of the major forces responsible for wars are: the forces of terrorism deployed against the powerful to disrupt their normal lifestyle and the global trade, and the forces of powerful countries trying to enforce their ideology and law and order based on that ideology. What is at stake is our common need for clean air, potable water, food, fuel for transportation and power. Global scarcity of water and oil and/or its distribution has increased risk for global conflicts, especially the poor nations and the disenfranchised poor people. Political violence often erupts from border disputes or scarce natural resources and/or shortages in needed commodities. Dharma dictates that the conflicting parties to sit side by side to establish specific law and order to satisfy the needs for each group through discussions, debates, conferences and diplomacy.
Whereas, the intent of the global trade is to increase productivity of developing countries and increase competition that will result in lowering costs, in the interim, however, it has resulted in polarizing the trading countries into the rich and the poor, and making the gap bigger than before. Workers, in the laboring communities and countries, are being exposed to degraded environment, and the poor countries have to devalue their currencies to compete. Moreover, many local businesses such as cottage industries, truck farming, and cultural products are fast going out-of-business in favor of big corporations. Dharma enters into the global trade through Vaishya dharma (right conduct in business and trade) that sets the terms for the highest good for all trading partners. Vaishya dharma calls for development of appropriate policies for those workers who are adversely affected among the trading partners through discussions, debates, conferences and diplomacy. Vaishya dharma encourages free trade for consumer goods among trading communities just as in supermarkets or flea markets where a common person can trade at different levels of buying capacity. What is dharma?
Law and order, duty, righteous conduct, religious principles, engagement and enjoyment in religion, the code of ethics, justice, compassion, truthfulness, discipline, social merit, cleanliness, and one's natural occupation all comprise dharma in space-time continuum. It is by living a life of dharma that each element of the world, human beings and the environment, is connected with each other and provides ways and means to live together in harmony for collective growth. Dynamics of Dharma is always in tune with the social pulse and offers a conscious choice for an individual to live in harmony with the rest of the environment. Therefore, in the today’s polarized world of the Haves and Have-nots, and the powerful and powerless, while we must share our resources in global trade to fulfill our common need for food, water and energy, dharma offers the single most effective choice for global peace and a sustainable society. The Vedic tradition can steer us to reinstate dharma.
The Vedic Vision
The Vedic tradition is also called Sanatana Dharma (the eternal precept). Sanatana Dharma offers practical approaches for its adoption in different family traditions, business transactions and trade practices, under all social and political conditions. Sanatana Dharma provides achar (conduct based on norms and traditions) and vyavahar (manners and code of conduct during human interaction) during the human endeavors for artha (wealth and security) and kama (pleasure and enjoyment) in the conduct of governance and rule, law and order, education, business, trade, science, philosophy, law, agriculture, performing arts, and other orders of society. All actions performed according to dharma in space-time continuum provide the natural course with the least impact on the environment. Sanatana Dharma provides human beings the techniques of the ‘Right Attitude’ and the ‘Right Action’ to achieve continued preservation and growth. What is the right attitude and what is the right action?
The ‘Right Attitude’ is a sense of gratitude for those you receive from, forgiveness for all with misguided words and actions that bother you, and contentment in all that you have and cannot change. The ‘Right Action’ is service of the less fortunate, loving others, and not hurting others; it is an action, which needs to be done. There is no ambiguity in the definition, and the perspective becomes clear when we begin to do what we need to do. Sanatana Dharma focuses not merely on individual worship, but provides the most appropriate human attitudes and human actions for the most optimal political, social and economic way of life as well as the environment.
The most plausible solution to develop the ‘right attitude’ and perform the ‘right action’ for social, political and economic injustice is through education in ‘yoga.’ And yoga must start at the young age. Children must be given necessary education for developing their physical and mental health and the teaching of human values. They must be provided factual information on the society and the environment to help develop sensitivity for the other human beings and the environment. This way we can restore the moral fiber of society and bring back the Vedic way of life by living in accordance with dharma.
Living in dharma alone can bring human values into our conduct with the others and the environment. only yoga can bring about total transformation at all levels of human existence including the body, mind and spiritual awareness to live in accordance with dharma. Yoga affords us to have physical health, mental balance and clear thinking so that we can create fair governance free from conflicts and wars in world in which everyone contributes based on their personal nature and acquired skills.
What is Yoga?
We live in a world of fragmented perspectives in which we divide the whole into parts, analyze each the part to its minutest details and rationalize, and in the process we move away from the whole, the very source. It is only in putting the parts together that we can know the whole possible only by deemphasizing the need for separating the parts from the whole. The process detaches us from our likes and dislikes and takes us away from the world of senses and the ego that separates us from the whole. The process also takes our awareness from the thoughts of many parts exhibiting diversity of form and function that we perceive during wakefulness into the focused thought of the underlying unity that we experience during meditation just as in the thoughtlessness of sleep. The disconnectedness of a single part (our likes and dislikes) gets resolved in the completeness of the whole and we move from the thrill of passion into the quintessence of bliss. It rejuvenates our body, mind and soul. It is called yoga.
Irrespective of our race, faith, culture, gender or national origin, all of us want to avoid pain, suffering and sorrow and attain a state of everlasting joy, the state of bliss. The state of bliss is to be found when we are complete in ourselves with no demand. The sages of yore discovered that to be the ultimate aim of life – to attain perfection (in any endeavor including governance or social life). This discovery was later systematized into a series of practices that lead us from untruth to truth, from ignorance to light, and from death and mortality to immortality. Immortality is a state free from sorrow and suffering – a state of completeness or perfection – total bliss. This system was handed down to posterity as Yoga. Yoga is the practical method of attaining this state of bliss.
The Vedic tradition was not meant for one community or one country, but for the whole humankind. That is why it was a universal civilization concerned with the good of humanity at large. We can still avoid future individual, societal and global suffering through the moral and ethical purity of our present actions. Practice of yoga can help eliminate all social ills and create a system of good governance, a society with good health, and a world free of conflicts.
Vedic Perspective on Good Governance
The human society at large comprises human beings with diverse physical attributes, natures and skills and with disparity in their social and economical status.Consequently, the need for peaceful coexistence and living in harmony existed since beginning. According to Sanaatana Dharma the highest state of society to live in harmony, all must live in dharma (order). The basis for Raama Raajya is to be found in Sanaatana Dharma which offers the highest state of society sustained by dharma alone as described in the following verse:
Na raajyam na cha raajaaseet na cha daandikah;
Dharmenaiva prajaassarvaa rakshanti sma parasparam.
(There existed no state, no king, no criminal and no penalty. All protected one another by virtue of dharma.)
Good governance is assured when the nation and not the partisan interests are considered for discussion, legislation and execution. And that calls for a single party with the main goal of affording ‘one law for all’ to provide for the health, education and welfare of all citizens who contribute based on their natural talents, education and acquired skills. Good governance also assures that ecology and the environment are protected in all business activities and trade. Good governance must also provide for the defense of the nation from bad elements outside and within the country as well.It must organize military and police to uphold law and order, impart justice and maintain peace.In the ultimate sense, only one world order can maintain a world without national conflicts or wars.
The external authority of a king is not needed for a society in which the individuals are bound by the practice of right conduct. During our interaction with the environment, it is the right conduct alone that makes us sensitive to the needs of the other and bonds us with others without any element of selfishness. Care for the other leads to harmonious living in the sense that each person takes for his services only what is fair, consumes what is needed, and therefore, protects the share of the other. Overindulgence in the pursuit of desires degrades human beings to the level of animals. It is dharma alone that elevates us in awareness separating us from the animals. An organized society cannot be sustained without dharma. Dharma is the very strength that binds individuals in a society. Seeing the self in the other, without any distinction of national origin, color, race and faith, is dharma.
Vedic Perspective on Good Health
There is no better way to live a quality life without disease than that offered by the principles of Ayurveda and Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga. Ayurveda (the science of life) is the Vedic, world's oldest, most perfect and most comprehensive system of natural medicine. It is a preventive system of restoring health, and promoting longevity by preserving the body’s natural state and building the body’s defenses against disease and other external ingested and internally produced toxins. In addition, Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga is a guide for living the right life through its eight limbs.
Patanjali Yoga offers moral and ethical development through five orders of Yama (moral principles) and five disciplines of Niyama (codes of conduct). The remaining limbs are: Asana (postures for physical health), Pranayama (breathing exercises for eliminating mental disturbance), Pratyahara (practice of sense withdrawl for discouraging greed and lust), Dharana (concentration to achieve goals), Dhyana (meditation for spiritual awareness) and Samadhi (for realizing the truth).
Vedic Perspective on Peace
Recognizing and understanding that universal peace is possible when all elements of manifestation are at peace by the sheer will of human beings, it is to our collective benefit to explore the process that may channel human energy to establish and maintainpeace. In fact, we sprang from peace and we’ll merge in peace. To establish peace, our actions must be in tune with the Sanaatana Dharma. That is why the Vedas teach us to give up malice and hatred.
- Give up hatred. Rig Veda: VI 10.7
- May we not hate any one! Atharva Veda: XII 1.24
- It is the most heinous sin to slay the innocent. Atharva Veda: X 1.29
- O Lord, firm and resolute, make me firm; May all look at me with friendly eye.
May I look at all with friendly eye; May all look at one another with friendly eye.
Yajur Veda: 36,18
Beliefs, attitudes and actions interact to produce peace or violence. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (ii, 6; iv, 4) reads, “Here they say that a person consists of desires. And as is his desire, so is his will. And as is his will, so will be his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.” Every belief creates certain attitudes. Those attitudes govern all of our actions. Man's actions can thus be traced to his inmost beliefs about himself and about the world around him. If those beliefs are erroneous, his actions will not be in tune with the Sanaatana Dharma.
Whereas an appropriate resolution can be offered once the cause is known, Vedas offer some basic value system that affords means so that conflict may not even occur. The real answer lies in following rita (natural law and order) and dharma (code of conduct in human interactions). Rita appears as intent to follow the law and order; and dharma is satisfied by rendering individual duties.
Om maa bhraataa bhraatram dvikshan maa swasaaramutasvasaa,
Samayam chah saptataa bhootvaa vaacham vadata bhadryaa.
May we have good understanding with our neighbors and the members of our community! May our intellect lead us along the path of righteousness and generate the attitude of truth, service and cooperation in us.
Vedas have long professed, Aatmavat sarvabhooteshu – Look upon all beings as your own self.
The conflicts originate because of perceived differences in the mind. It is in the mind alone that the differences are perceived. Therefore, in the mind alone one can reconcile differences. The mind should be prepared to accept the benefits of peace through education. Most people are still living in conditions unsuitable for developing minds to grasp the benefits of living in peace. They are ignorant about their faiths, human values, and the progress made in science, technology and medicine. only through education, they can become attuned to the spirit of good will, cooperation, and harmonious living.
The education must prepare us with a capability to revitalize our faith in the strength of moral principles so that collectively we help restore the social order. The intent of our actions must be pursuit of individual excellence without disrupting the harmony. To achieve that goal, we must develop a mind to assimilate only the good, the auspicious and the divine. Therefore, it behooves on the education boards in all of the nations to take a clear look at the purpose of education
Purpose of Education
The purpose of education is to gain knowledge in the area of endeavor. Knowledge is gained by the transfer of information in the desired discipline. Information is the source of truth about people, objects and events. So the information on truth is the real purpose of education. According to Swami Vivekananda, education is the manifestation of perfection in human beings. Perfection in education is wisdom. Wisdom leads to oneness, unity and peace. Wisdom is not taught in schools because it is not in the curriculum.
Unlike the days of the distant yore, when children were sent to the gurukuls (the house of the teacher) at a very young age around 7, and would not return home until they completed their education (including wisdom), the education systems of today do not incorporate the teaching of wisdom as part of the curriculum. If we could only teach children the universal principles such as love, tolerance, and compassion from day one, both at home and at school, not only by word, but by example, by our conduct and behavior, the citizens of tomorrow would have those principles ingrained in them.
Our conduct and behavior must exemplify human values of the righteous conduct, love, nonviolence, peace and truth, which, according to Sai Baba, are the five pillars of human character. Character is build through love and security. While character is tested in dire situations of hunger, poverty and injustice, love and security are the only two viable means to impart any education with understanding. Children raised under the security of loving parents, who reward the children for good conduct and punish them for bad conduct grow up to be good and caring members of society. Just as at home, if reward and punishment are associated with the practice of human values in human conduct in all aspects of their interaction with the environment, people will have a motivation to practice those as well. And that would be real education.
When children are raised with love and care and sensitivity toward others in the family, in the society and the environment, they will exhibit love and care for all they come in contact with. If children are raised with a goal to excel in their natural talents and to compete in the sense of demonstrating excellence in their skills so that their excellence in their area of pursuit is in the spirit of service to the community they will correspondingly imbibe excellence in their endeavor for service to the community. If children are raised with certain disciplines and guidance they will be able to deal with any situation in life which demands the best out of them without unnecessary waste of mental energy. Such children will be more calm and peaceful. A society with such children will be more peaceful.
Finally, the purpose of education is not only to: teach the student a trade; prepare the student for productive careers; enable a student to earn a good income, compete to stay ahead of the other communities or nationsin technology, to preserve a particular doctrine, or to create good citizens, but to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the environment (people, objects and events). One effective way that one (any human being including a politician and a businessperson) freely and by own choice restores to righteous conduct in human interaction with others and the environment is Ayur-Living.
Ayur-Living is a mode of living that allows satisfaction in life by attaining perfect health compromised by the man-made environmental effects and living in harmony with one’s environment (people, objects and events) altered by misinterpreted meaning of freedom. In the sense of satisfaction, perfect health implies physical wellbeing, mental balance and spiritual awareness; living in harmony suggests achieving one’s potential without destabilizing the environment.
Ayur-Living begins from the basic understanding of who we are, recognizes the importance of being in harmony with the environment and prepares us to develop a sense of what a healthy body, calm mind and a sharp intellect can do to realize our natural potential. The sense of perfect health is developed through a set of disciplined actions that allow one to activate body's natural healing processes.
When thinking is clear and no universal values are compromised, there is no basis for mistakes or sickness and no impediments for pursuits.The practice of Ayur-Living results in an increase in energy and inner strength to bring out inner beauty. It propels individuals to endeavor into realizing their fullest potential by building character and integrity without compromising dharma and promoting harmonious living with the environment. That is the essence of spiritual culture. one such school that provides disciplined education for the wellness of body, purification of mind, and clarity of purpose is Institute of Spiritual Healing, www.instituteofspiritualhealing.com
© 2011 Laj Utreja
Dear Leo and all
Your report and photos of the Astana 2010: The First Forum of Spiritual Culture of a Harmonious Civilization is very impressive. You Leo produced an historical document, full of happiness and optimism. This congress was very good for us because we share friendship and programs for the future development of GHA. THANKS! THANKS! THANKS! THANKS!
Ernesto Kahan, Israel
GHA 1st Vice-President
Dear Leo thanks very much for this fantastic document, it will be the base of future actions, for that it is a historical one. … I hope to have the opportunity to work for GHA objectives in a concrete way.....
The best for you and take care
Mary Luz, Colombia
Thank you- as usual you have done a great job - service by creating this grand report!
With love from a frosty Siberia
Every time a see this publication (report about Astana’s Forum), strong feeling of love and friendship comes to me together with an increased motivation towards GHA that flourish in happiness.
The Astana Forum is one of the best manifestations of spirituality for peace and harmony in the world.
Prof. Dr. Ernesto Kahan
GHA 1st Vice President
17 Mar 2011
Dearest Dr Ernesto Kahan
ASTANA WAS A WONDERFUL HARMONIOUS EXPERIENCE -GREAT PEOPLE IN A GREAT CONTEXT OF HARMONY
FROM MY PLACE LIKE AMMAR BANNI ,WE WERE SPREADINGOUR BASIC GHA KNOWLEDGE IN OTHER GROUP WE WERE INVITED. I WAS VERY GLAD MY WORDS DURING THE SECTION IN THE PARLIAMENT WERE PUBLISHED AND I COULD CONTRIBUTE A LITTLE WITH MY OPINION AS WRITER OF PEACE I AM.
I DID NOT EXPLORE DIFFERENCES- SPIRITUALITY WERE PRESENT IN EACH OF onE. THIS COUNTRY IS THE MOST SPIRITUAL onE I TAKE THEIR PEOPLE IN MY HEART FOREVER.
YOUR PRESENCE AND DR LEO WERE VERY IMPORTANT IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE EVENTS. CONGRATULATIONS!!
I ADD MORE PHOTOS IF DR LEO WISH TO PUBLISH.
Scribe Noospheric Civic Ethical-Ecological Constitution World Scientists Document Ist Noosphere Ethical-Ecological Constitution Noosphere Concept Scientific Noosphere
Peace From Harmony
March 17, 2011
Dearest poet Susana Roberts,
Your presence in Astana was also a blessing gift and your wonderful permanent existence in GHA is a light to all of us
1st Vice President
March 18, 2011
Dear friends, this report is really wonderfully presents a COLLECTIVE beauty and harmony for consciouse co creation a new world of love, peace and harmony
with Gratitude, Love and hugs from Siberia