Principles for World Peace and Harmony

Wisdom from the divine discourses of Pramukh Swami Maharaj 

At the ‘Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders’ held in New York on August 29, 2000, Pramukh Swami Maharaj addressed the unprecedented gathering of global religious leaders. The key points of his speech are summarized below: 

Inter-religious dialogue and harmony is our immediate need. Religious leaders should often meet and talk to other religious leaders. We must freely communicate with each other. A single meeting, a simple dialogue, can positively influence the minds of millions. That is why we often say, ‘Religion is that which spreads love for one another.’ At this hour in human history, we religious leaders should not dream of only One religion in the world, but dream of a world where all religions are One – United. Unity in Diversity is the lesson of life. Flourishing together is the secret of peace.

From Rig Vedic times, Hindus have professed this global broadmindedness of a Beautiful Borderless World with this prayer: “Ano bhadraha kratavo yantu vishvataha” – “Let noble thoughts come to us from every side.”
Our spiritual master, Yogiji Maharaj, often said: “Maru e saru nahi pan saru e maru” – “Think not that mine is the best, but that whatever is the best is mine.”
Bhagwan Swaminarayan says: “We are all atmans – pure spiritual entities unattached to and unbound by caste, country, race and religion.”

Dialogue among religious leaders is not enough, a dialogue with our own followers is more important. A religious leader alone can change the minds of his followers. If every religion concentrated on improving the quality of spirituality of their own followers, then there would be more faith and less fanaticism. A Hindu should become a better Hindu, a Jew should become a better Jew, a Christian should become a better Christian, and a Muslim should become a better Muslim. If the followers of every religion become better and true followers, then our world will be a much better world. Therefore, we should steer our followers away from fanaticism and focus on faith and pure living. If we all work together, we will be able to bring large-scale transformation. 


Lastly, there is nothing more important than engaging in a dialogue with oneself. We must not progress at the cost of others but sacrifice a part of ourselves for the good of others. Because:
“In the good of others lies our own,
In the progress of others rests our own,
In the joy of others lies our own.” 

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