The Earth is a specific planet of the universe, which is stupendous –beyond imagination and governed by the one eternal and universal law. Man, endowed with extraordinary virtues like intellect and creativity, is the top-notch creature on the Earth. All human beings, women and men on the Earth are without any kind of discrimination equal. The eternal soul –Atman exists in everyone. The soul –Atman or the individual self, according to the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, is a projection or the reflection of the Supreme Self –the Regulator of the universal law. According to the Shrimadbhagavad-Gita, the soul is eternal and indestructible; it wears the body like clothes and discards it at the time of death. Each and every soul, therefore, has the same virtues –qualities as God.
The truth related to human equality can also be well comprehended by the scientific proclamation, which is, undoubtedly, based on intensive research and experiments. The scientific proclamation categorically divulges that we –human beings are 99.9% the same DNA-wise.
The Regulator or the Supreme Manager of the universal law –system is Himself the basis of human equality, the father of all beings. The Regulator and His rule –law are complimentary to each-other. Both are intertwined and connected, and not separate from one-another in the slightest. It is for this reason that many in the world accept the eternal –Sanatana universal law as the Supreme Order governing the whole system. On the other hand, most of the people calling the Regulator of the universe by different names, accept Him to be the Supreme Manager of the ever flowing eternal universal law. They address Him by countless names according to His virtues and tasks He performs. His names, according to His virtues –Gunas and functions, all towards a systematic governance of the entire –ubiquitous system and His acceptance as the Regulator of the universal law, both the states are true. Both acknowledge the innumerable attributes and the elemental power of One Regulator –the Supreme Manager of the universe and His existence in all that exists between time and space, maintaining the universal order.
Man according to the reach of his intellect, judgement –ability of understanding or his perception, or beliefs, is free to accept the Regulator –the Supreme Manager of the universe by a particular name or as an ever flowing eternal –universal rule or the law. In these two states, in spite of the second being imperfect†, man is at liberty to observe and comply with anyone of the two. The long-term sustained adulation for the thousands of years’ old Indian philosophy –the oldest philosophy of the world, which can be accepted as the foremost message of India to humanity also, should be comprehended by relating it with this human freedom.
The first urge or the message of the basic Indian philosophy to man is to realize the state of the Satya –truth by soul-force. Each and every human being is free to realize the truth from his own viewpoint. She/he is at liberty to take her/his own pathway to achieve the goal of life everyone is equally entitled thereto. In this regard, no other fellow-being can force her/him.
“Ekam Sadvipra Bahudha Vadanti” (i.e., there is, but one Truth only, sages, however, call it by different names), a part of one of the Mantras of the Rigveda, the basic scripture of Indian philosophy emphasizes the state of the one universal and eternal truth; this conceptualizes the reality of the one Regulator of the universal system, His being the ultimate truth –the Satya, His cosmopolitan stature, uniqueness and supremacy, His true character and introduces His virtues and His perpetuity as the Supreme Being. It also elicits the reality of His all-timely welfaristic disposition and depicts man’s burn-ing longing for Him –to experience His existence by adopting different viewpoints and making efforts to attain Him through various ways. Hence, this evidently ascertains human freedom to achieve the goal of life through a self-chosen pathway.
There is an ever significant and all-welfaristic concern at the root of this cosmopolitan recommendation of Indian philosophy or the first message of India to humanity. Through this message, human beings are urged to accord a high place to tolerance in their day-to-day practices and mutual behaviours. Tolerance is synonymous with the supreme human value of Ahimsa –non-violence calling for accepting all with compassion and sympathy, hurting no one. It is the most potent, functional and successful means of establishing peace, harmony and unity in diversities.
Along with the Santana-Hindu philosophy –the Vedic view of life, the concept of tolerance predominantly emerges in Anekantavada –Bahulatavada, one of the foremost doctrines of Jainism. Anekantavada, also known as the Theory of Relativity or the Philosophy of Relative Pluralism states that the ultimate truth –reality is complex having multiple aspects. It calls for accepting relativism and pluralism stating that the Satya –truth and reality are perceived differently from different points of view, and no single point of view is the complete Satya. Therefore, persuasion of getting familiar with the state of the Satya through only one viewpoint is hazardous to global unity.
Differences in opinions –viewpoints and working methods are inevitable. Accepting this reality man should establish co-ordination with fellow beings. In place of hatred, he should keep tolerance as the nucleus in behaviours and mutual practices, and step forward for the self-welfare, for the wellbeing of society and humanity as whole. Gautama Buddha called on humanity to control the feeling of hatred the very moment it emerges in one’s mind and thoughts, and to transform it into toleration. With the purpose of getting man to realize the significance of tolerance, the Buddha said, “Hatred is not appeased by hatred; hatred is appeased by love only. This is an eternal law.”
Despite our different physical make-up, diverse values and traditions and differences in opinions we are all equal as human beings. We are all controlled by the one and the same eternal power and complying with one universal law. While having firm conviction in one’s own faith, respecting –honouring others’ viewpoints, values and traditions, thus embracing tolerance especially by attitude adjustment is the sole basis of a balanced and harmonious social order. It is the pathway to reach the ultimate truth. This message of Shri Guru Nanak Dev along with establishing unity in diversities paves the way for the large scale welfare of humanity on the strength of tolerance.
Thus, thousands of years ago the principle of human unity appeared as the foremost fundamental in the Sanatana-Vedic –Hindu philosophy and reached the whole world as the prime message of India. This very message remained intact in Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, the three other main philosophies of the Indian origin. Despite differences of opinion, beliefs and work cultures human beings were called by all of them to embrace tolerance in life to establish unity among fellow beings. Tolerance gets man to realize the reality of human equality. It has an amazing power of developing the spirit of equality and through co-operation, co-ordination and harmony it paves the way to large scale welfare of humanity in the natural state of diversities.
The pages of Indian history beautifully reveal the high level of tolerance shown by Indians for thousands of years towards people around the world. The manner in which Indians, in consonance with the call of all-welfaristic characteristics of their unique culture, which are largely developed from the fundamentals of the Sanatana Dharma and in which the tolerance remains the vital, showed generosity towards people, who came to India from time-to-time for refuge and settlement, that testifies to everything in this regard.
Indians themselves and others in the world need to get familiarity with India’s prime message of human unity. All in the world should realize the importance of human unity. Keeping tolerance as the nucleus in behaviours –mutual practices, they must step forward on the pathway to welfare of all on the planet Earth. Tolerance, like Ahimsa, develops the state of active goodwill and harmony. It creates an atmosphere of co-ordination among fellow-beings and establishes unity in prevailing diversities. There is no room for compulsion in tolerance. Co-operation and co-ordination are the two deep-rooted pillars of tolerance.
Intolerance is found in one way or other at the root of most of the disputes, hostilities, problems or struggles at all levels and in all walks of life. Therefore, if we wish to minimize disputes, hostilities, problems and struggles at all levels, from individual to global, we need to develop the spirit of tolerance to the maximum level in our viewpoints, behaviours and mutual practices. Viewing tolerance in the light of human unity, we need to step forward on the pathway to the global welfare. This is one of the foremost messages of India to the world.
†The second state is imperfect for the simple reason. When the universal system –Jagat-Vyavastha continuously goes forward systematically, smoothly and appropriately, and the one eternal law works for the universal system, then there must be a Regulator –the Manager to control and administer it.
— Dr. Ravindra Kumar is a Former Vice Chancellor of CCS University, Meerut; he is also the Editor-in-Chief of Global Peace International Journal.