Factors Affecting World Peace
Religious Differences and Communal Wars
Every religion says that God created this entire world. Since there is only one world, there should be one God, who must be impartial to all the children in the universe. That one God must have preached the same spiritual knowledge in different languages and different countries which were disconnected and had no communication in olden times. At that time, had he preached the true spiritual knowledge to one country only, God would become partial because some generations in other countries would have passed away without receiving that spiritual knowledge. Had those generations got that spiritual knowledge, at least some of them might have reached God. Of course today, all the countries are connected due to modern communication. Therefore even if God preaches the true and special knowledge in one country it is immediately communicated to people from other countries. Since it is communicated to all people in the world evenly, disbelievers in any country must go to hell.
But what about the people of those old generations who went to hell for the single reason that they were not lucky enough to receive the true knowledge due to lack of communication. They went to hell for no fault of theirs. The assumption that those unfortunate souls could have the possibility of taking human rebirth in present times to hear that special knowledge on this earth is also ruled out since you say that there is no rebirth for the soul. All this makes God partial.
Let us assume that God taught that special knowledge in that old time to a particular country alone because only that country contained all the deserving human beings present in the world at that time. It is just like an intensive coaching given to a special class containing only the topmost students in the school. This is also ruled out because at that time the worst souls were also present in every country. When Lord Jesus preached His special knowledge to the 'deserving souls' of that land, there were people in the same country who were the absolutely the worst. In the end they crucified Lord Jesus. When Lord Krishna preached the special knowledge in the form of the Bhagavad Gita, many devilish people fought against Lord Krishna and tried to kill Him on several occasions. Similarly, Prophet Mohammed too had many enemies who opposed and tried to kill Him. Therefore saying that God preached the true knowledge only to one country, because that country alone contained all the deserving souls, is not justified. The above examples prove that all countries had good and evil souls at any given time. In spite of that if you blindly say that God is partial to a particular country irrespective of deserving and undeserving souls, God would have to be blind like you.
Faith. Faith is the final part of the path to reach God. But faith should not be blind. It should be the result of true knowledge, which is the fruit of logical analysis. Scientists also believe in certain concepts. But the concepts must have been established by practical experiments followed by detailed logical analysis. Such faith stands permanently and will appeal to the hearts of scholars and ordinary people alike. Such faith alone can be universal. If you want faith without logic then what would you do if a fanatic terrorist tries to kill you? It is his faith to kill innocent people. Would you respect his faith and get killed by him? No, you would resist him, get him arrested and take him to court. You expect the advocate and the judge to ask for reasons and causes. You want them to hold logical arguments. What if the advocates are not interested in bringing out the truth or having logical arguments? What if they hold on to their own faiths and the judge decides the case based on his own faith? Would you be satisfied with that?
Interpreting statements of exclusivity in scriptures. In the scriptures of every religion, the corresponding human incarnations gave statements proclaiming their own uniqueness and the uniqueness of their preaching or path. Some examples of such words of Lord Jesus in the Bible are: "I am the light"; "I am the path"; "I and My father are one and the same"; "One can reach My father only through Me". Every fanatic religious follower follows the human incarnation, who preached his religion. The fanatic quotes such statements of uniqueness and exclusivity preached by that human incarnation in the scriptures of his religion. Suppose there is a neutral person. Which religion should he join? It is as if every shopkeeper is shouting that his shop alone is the best. Each shopkeeper is bent upon proving his point to the single customer in order to invite him into his own shop.
The above concept of one God as the creator of this one world clearly demands a unity in all the human incarnations and religious scriptures of the world. Statements of uniqueness in different scriptures, if interpreted properly can achieve this unity. For example, in the above statements of Lord Jesus, the word 'I' means the human incarnation in general. It is called Emmanuel in the Bible, which means that God comes to live with human beings. The Bhagavad Gita also says that God enters the human body. God pervades all over the human body of the incarnation like electric current pervading all over a live wire. The current and the wire become one and the same. This is the interpretation of oneness of the Father and the Son. One can experience God only through a medium and that medium must be the same as the person trying to experience God. Thus human beings can experience God only through the human incarnation of God. This is the interpretation of the statement that one can reach the Father only through the Son. The human incarnation preaches the special knowledge clearly like a bright light revealing every minute detail. Such interpretations reveal the real universal meaning of scriptures. Other literal or conservative interpretations are bound to lead to misunderstandings.
When a mother says to her children "All of you must serve me", she does not mean that all the children in the world should serve her. Obviously children in some other part of the world cannot serve her. Her statement should be limited to her children only and you should limit her as the mother of those children only. If you generalize her as any mother, then her sentence means that every child should serve his or her own mother. Therefore ignorance of conservatism is a limitation and generalization based on the true knowledge makes it universal. A limited or literal interpretation may have a certain limited benefit or utility. Generalization based on the universal knowledge gives the maximum benefit. Generalization based on conservative or biased ideas, which are the result of ignorance lead to fanaticism. This is a great loss.
Poverty and Suffering
A poor man suffers due to his poverty. Actually any suffering is the punishment given for the previously committed sins of the soul. If you help such a poor person, you are cutting short his punishment and interfering with the administration of God. Punishment is always given for a change. God wants the person to realize his mistake and correct himself. That is the purpose of the punishment. Therefore you need not sympathize with him and give him money to remove his poverty. The parental love of the Lord for that poor person is greater than your brotherly love for him. Only the grace of God can end the punishment forever. Therefore you should help him get that grace rather than remove his poverty. Your goal should be to preach divine knowledge and devotion to him. Removal of his poverty may be a secondary or complementary goal. The divine knowledge and devotion will bring about a change in him. Thus the purpose of the punishment will be served, even if the punishment is cut short by you. Then God will be pleased with you and will also show His grace on the poor person. His poverty will vanish forever. Thus social service must be integrated with the spiritual mission. Sankara told the same when He condemned the sect called Loka Sevaka Matham, who claimed that 'Service to man is service to God' (Loka sevaka matha khandanam). Mother Theresa too did social service as a part of her spiritual mission.
Mere social service is like free boarding and lodging given to hostel students without any teaching or classes. Education is primary. It must be given to the students first. Lodging and boarding may be provided to students as secondary or complementary to education. Without education it is meaningless as the students will not make any progress but may on the contrary get into bad company and habits. Some extremist groups rob the wealth of rich people and pass it on to the poor. Such extremism gives only temporary and apparent relief whereas social work based on the spiritual mission alone is a permanent solution. The discoveries of scientists were expected to serve the society. However they did not have any spiritual basis and therefore have harmed the society. This becomes clear when we read of so many environmental problems facing our world today.
Corruption is grabbing the wealth of others for the sake of comforts of one's own body and family. The body is like a seat in the train and you, the soul, are the passenger. The family members are like just bench-mates in the same train. For the comfort of yourself and your bench-mates, if you trouble other passengers in the train, it is corruption. Life is just a matter of a short one-hour train journey. Your bench-mates will get down at their respective destinations and will not remember you thereafter. Even you will have to leave your seat and move on.
After death, you have to leave your family members, who will not recognize you in their next birth. After getting down from the train of this life, you have to face the interview with God. There he will decide if you are to be granted permanent happiness or permanent misery. Therefore, you must concentrate on the preparation for this grand interview even during your journey through this life. Do not worry about the comforts of your own seat and that of your bench-mates. You will have to leave your own seats and all the bench-mates behind anyway. The bonds with your bench-mates (family members) are temporary and unreal. Sankara says that whatever is temporary must be unreal. The bond, which did not exist before and will not exist in future, does not exist even in the present time. Such spiritual realization is a must for getting a permanent control over corruption.
The atheists believe in logical conclusions based on practical experience and in things present before the naked eye (perception). The real spiritual knowledge can satisfy all these requirements. The human incarnation of God is right before the eyes; in flesh-and-blood. All the bonds with family and wealth are before the eyes and liberation from such bonds, which is called salvation, is also before the eyes. One can experience God through the human incarnation in this world itself and in this very life itself. Infinite love and bliss derived from the special divine knowledge preached by the human incarnation are enjoyed here itself. Enjoyment of love and bliss is the goal of any worldly bond. This is called Jeevanmukti, which means 'salvation while living'; right here. What ever one achieves while living, that alone continues with the soul after death. Thus perception is the basis for even the invisible future.