Holistic Science Research Centre and Authentic Spiritual and Practical Life

Oct 21, 2013

Dr. Seshagiri Rao

VVCRF or Holistic Science Research Centre was inaugurated on April 27, 2009 in Surat (India) by Pujya Kanudadaji, the worthy successor of Dada Bhagawan. Dada Bhagawan attained Mahasamadhi in 1988; but his spiritual presence continues to inspire his disciples and has enriched the lives of a wide variety of people. Kanudadaji has established centers around the world to carry on Dada Bhagawan’s work. He travels throughout the world and endeavors to inspire humanity and share his aspirations for a better world with his spiritual and moral teachings. One of the Centre’s objectives, among others, is “to study all prevailing religious traditions and their philosophies and to derive common constructive factors for the humankind at large”. In the words of Dada Bhagawan, it is “Affirmative Pluralism ” or Syadvada, which upholds and validates many points-of-view. It involves “not hurting any other’s religion”. He preached “eternal values of human life brimming with positive and constructive mode of living that would result in the all-round progress of one and all.”

All human beings face common problems and needs; they all need food, clothing and shelter. They have also social and religious issues. Languages are different. Religions are different. Men and women are different; they are all necessary. Each tradition is part of the whole human religious heritage. Faith-communities have to work together to solve human problems and satisfy their needs. No religion can progress if it ignores other religions. Life is vast, and we should travel in it without any hindrance. No need to condemn or suppress alternatives. We need holistic outlook, relating not only to one’s faith community, but also to the entire human heritage. It should provide a suitable cultural context within which each tradition can preserve its unique and valuable features, and can act, react, grow and develop. It requires respect for oneself and others, and the courage to engage differences. It also holds the key to the resolution of religious conflicts.

Kanudadaji gives earnest consideration to moral and spiritual issues. Constructive values embedded in different religions are perennial. He emphasizes that positive forces, ideas and ideals in them should receive serious attention. All spiritual literature glorifies Truth. Dialogue is the common search for truth. Our concern for Truth should make us be receptive to the currents of Truth coming from other sources. Truth is not private. Truth is universal; It is open to all. It does not depend on individuals. No individual or organization has monopoly on Truth. Just as there is no private science or private sun, there is no exclusive truth. Scriptures of religions throw light on aspects of Truth; they cannot change Truth. The spirit of enquiry keeps the dogmas away and welcomes openness. All religions put together express only a small portion of the infiniteTruth.

Empirical truth is truth seen through sense organs; it is relative. It is only an aspect of Truth. Authentic spiritual life does not reject empirical truth. Truth (satya) is the source of being and all forms of life. It is all pervading and all transcending. It is unlimited, indivisible and infinite; it is indefinable. Pursuit of Truth makes life meaningful. Knowledge of Truth destroys ignorance and helps in the solution of the problems of life. As we progress in spiritual life, we grasp more and more dimensions of Truth.

Perceptions and conceptions of Truth are many and varied; they relate to various dimensions ofTruth. They point to the richness of Truth. It is both within and beyond material world.

The struggle between good and evil is represented in all religious traditions, and deep values are highlighted in all of them. Removal of ignorance and suffering, and attainment of knowledge and peace are universally cherished ideals. Hospitality and service break religious barriers. They all encourage unselfishness and condemn egoism. Truth is One and Paths are Many. Religious ideals have shaped our social institutions and our moral values; they have also influenced our art, architecture, music, dance, etc. These ideals challenge all people to live not only with one another but also for one another.

All that is great and good in them are to be highlighted and pressed for the service of humanity. Kanudadaji encourages a life of spirit, beyond private existence. He inspires us to let go our individualistic ego. He points to a way of life that is consistent with the general welfare of mankind. The latent treasures of each religious tradition have to be brought out for the benefit of all. They should be made available to all those who want to put the ideals into practice at any stage of life. For example, humanity of Confucianism, compassion of Buddhism, nonviolence of Jainism, spirituality of Hinduism, loving service of Christianity, surrender to the Divine of Islam, and ecumenism of Sikhism are great values. They do not contradict one another. They express beautiful dimensions of Truth.

Dharma is the application of Truth in life. The world is the field of moral and spiritual activities. Dharma tells us what to do and what not to do in life; it is both individual and social. Dharma requires from each member of society a way of life that is consistent with the general welfare of mankind. Kanudadaji inspires seekers “to live a wholesome life with balanced outlook”. He asks us to use “mind, body and speech to make others happy”.

- Dr. Seshagiri Rao