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We are living in a time when we have to think of protecting things that always nurtured us. This is the first time in the history of humanity that we have to talk about protecting the planet. Never before has anybody had such an insane idea to protect the planet, the planet always took care of us. Indian people always believed that Ganga, a sacred river which is supposed to have celestial origins, will always flow, that it is an eternal flow. Well, today, even Ganga is under threat. We have to protect Ganga, otherwise it will be gone. Something is being done to protect it, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.
This is also happening with respect to the spiritual dimension, which is something people in India had always assumed would be forever. In the East, they referred to it as Sanatana Dharma or the universal religion or eternal law. Nobody ever felt this needed protection because everybody thought it is in the lap of dharma that we exist. But a time has come where we need to protect that too.
The possibility of a human being to seek and inquire, and to find his own way towards his ultimate nature, has been the fundamental ethos of this culture and this part of the world. A few thousand years ago, when the rest of the world was steeped in strife and violence, and living in almost barbarian ways, people here evolved methods to seek the innermost core of life. People expressed the most profound things that human beings could think of, but now, even that is in danger.
When dogmatic belief systems get propagated in a powerful manner, in a manner which is strategically correct and with the force of money and might behind it, the possibility of seeking, exploring and knowing will be obliterated on the planet. At least from popular access it will be taken away, which has happened in large parts of the world. The spiritual processes did abound almost every part of this planet at one time, but in the last 1,800 years, in large regions of the world, it has been systematically wiped out.
In addition to this is the economic factor. Today, the world is going through a transition where the era of ideologies and political systems are becoming redundant. When societies and nations are driven mainly by their economic process, when economics becomes the dominating factor in the world, we are once again bringing down everything to the level of survival. Only when there is absolute freedom to question and inquire and the social psyche is above the survival mode can spirituality flower. In pursuit of this conduciveness, this culture was crafted where there is no such thing as blasphemy or being a heretic. In fact, there are no such words in any of the local languages.
So protecting and nurturing the spiritual process has become vital. And in this context, for the last two-and-a-half years, there have been meetings among various gurus in the country who represent some form of spiritual process, and slowly, a consensus was developed. So on the 6th of January, for the first time, various gurus representing diverse spiritual movements in the country met under the format of Guru Sangamam, which means a confluence of gurus. This is an event which has not happened in thousands of years.
Seventeen of us met and another eight people who could not make it for various reasons sent in their blessings – it was incredible. These are very prominent people in the country – each command a following of millions. And their institutions are doing such fabulous work in the fields of health, education, environment, humanitarian service and so many things. So we met for half a day, from noon until six in the evening, and it happened in such wonderful spirit, all of them in concurrence that this needs to happen. We resolved that this Guru Sangamam will be like a confederation of spiritual movements and we will meet a minimum of once a year.
When I spoke to a very prominent person in New Delhi about this four months ago, he said, “This is not possible.” Then I told him that all of us have agreed to be on one platform and he said, “No, this is not possible, if this happens, this will be one of the greatest achievements in the country.” I don’t think so, but those are his words. So this was really beautiful. The gracefulness with which it has happened and all of us being together – oh you should have seen it. And next year, we are aiming at 125 gurus to be in attendance at the meeting.
This week has been a big ride of various things, but this has been a very big event and it is very heartening… It is very, very heartening for me. It doesn’t matter how valuable something is, it doesn’t matter how strong or indestructible it looks, only when what is needed to protect and nurture it is being done properly will it live on, otherwise even the most precious things will not live; they will be taken away.
This is a huge step because it is not something that one individual or individual organization can do. In the next few months, we will be taking a few significant steps to take it to the next level. This can be a major advancement towards protecting, nurturing and making this spiritual possibility available to the larger world. This is a very momentous event, the significance of which people will realize only over a period of time.[/translate]