By Dr Sohan Lal Gandhi
In the last article I lamented about a dismal scenario that would threaten our existence and expressed hope as per a possible solution launched by Acharya Tulsi through anuvrat movement. The first two interconnected anuvrat called for elimination of violence. The third anuvrat also aims at minimizing social violence. It enjoins an anuvrati not to take part in violent agitations or any destructive activities. The fourth anuvrat calls for human unity. Sadly, the humanity today is fragmented into castes, religions, nationalities, races, and linguistic groups. The greatest problem the humanity faces today is that of religious intolerance. We see the world today in the grip of incredible forms of violence committed in the name of religion. The fifth anuvrat enjoins an anuvrati (one committed to the observance of anuvrat code of conduct) not only to believe in human unity but also in religious tolerance so essential for the sustainability of our planet. The sixth anuvrat of this code of moral conduct emphasizes the observance of rectitude in a man’s day-to-day life. It includes his personal, professional, and artistic integrity. The world is beset with the problem of decadence in moral and spiritual values which are indispensable for a healthy society. Whether it is politics or business or education we find rampant corruption everywhere. This vow can curb immoral practices in society.
The seventh anuvrat is framed to control the incidents of rape and sexual harassment as well as the human desire to possess limitless wealth and material objects. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. On the one hand people are rolling in wealth, on the other hand a vast multitude live below the poverty line and go to bed hungry. This disparity in society is responsible for most forms of violence we see today. It is a vow that ensures the eco-sustainability of the future and prevents sexual violence. The eighth anuvrat enjoins a person not to resort to unethical practices in elections. Most countries of the world today practice democracy. Governments at local and state levels are elected by adult franchise. In many developing countries politicians throw ethical norms to the winds and resort to unfair means to get elected. The practice of deceit is common everywhere. Acharya Tulsi foresaw this problem and made it obligatory for an anuvrati politician to abstain from unethical practices in elections.
Apart from that, many social evils are in vogue. The evil practices like sacrificing animals at an altar of a god or goddess or organizing a big feast at the death of someone etc. are prevalent in India. The ninth anuvrat is supposed to curb these evil social customs. The tenth anuvrat enjoins an anuvrati to live a life free of addictions to drugs. Drugs are ruining our youths. They are being rendered mentally wrecked. Instead of contributing to the progress of a nation, they are becoming liabilities. Drugs have no place in a healthy society and the main aim of Anuvrat Movement is to create a healthy and nonviolent society. The eleventh anuvrat directly addresses the problem of the environment today. It enjoins an anuvrati to refrain from such acts as are likely to cause pollution and harm the environment. An anuvrati takes a vow that he will not cut trees and will not waste water.
Dr. Sohan Lal Gandhi is the International President of Anuvrat Global Organization (ANUVIBHA), associated with the UN. He has been at the forefront of national and international campaigns for disarmament, interfaith harmony, nonviolent conflict resolution, vegetarianism, ecological and environmental ethics, and regeneration of moral and spiritual values for the last five decades. Dr. Gandhi has traveled worldwide making presentations at prestigious venues including the UN and has organized large conferences on peace and nonviolent actions.