Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s Address after receiving the first copy ‘Encyclopedia on Hinduism’

published on June 5, 2008


apj.JPG

I am
inspired to participate in the launch of Encyclopedia on Hinduism at
Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore.
My Pranams to Swamijis and greetings to all the distinguished guests.


 

Evolution
of three volumes of “A concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism” is indeed a 

remarkable
lifelong contribution by Swami Harshanandaji. It symbolizes the thought that the
past meets the present and creates the future through the Encyclopedia.


 

Evolution
of Hinduism is said to be more than 7000 years ago and four Vedas have continuously
enriched the religion in all aspects of human life: philosophy, religion,
ethics, culture, arts, sciences and literature. I am sure, the encyclopedia
will become authentic and researched reference material to the scholars,
learners and practitioners alike which can further enhance the understanding of
Hinduism for enriching the society.


 


God:
personification of justice, love and mercy


 

I was
reading in the first volume of encyclopedia under the caption “God”, where the author
says “the Hindu’s scriptures are eloquent while describing the qualities of
God. He is all knowing and all powerful. He is the very personification of
justice, love and beauty.


 

In
fact, He is the personification of all the blessed qualities that man can ever
conceive of. He is ever ready to shower His grace, mercy and blessings on His
creation. Really speaking, the very purpose of His creating this world is to
shower

His
blessings on the creatures, to lead them gradually from less perfect states to
more perfect ones. He is easily pleased by the prayers and supplication of His
devotees.


 

However,
His response to these prayers is guided by the principle, that it should not be
in conflict with cosmic law concerning the general welfare of the world and the
law of Karma concerning the welfare of the particular individual”. The way
Swamiji has personified God, is unique. I remember in my everyday Namaz, I
start with Allah, the most benevolent, the most merciful and the most glorious.


 


Dharma


 

When I
looked at the definition of Hinduism, I found that it is Dharma which upholds
this created universe, supports it and sustains it, without which the universe
will just fall apart. For each phase of life, Dharma prescribes different types
of action. When I think about Dharma, I am reminded of a divine hymn on
righteousness.


 


Righteousness


 


“Where
there is righteousness in the heart


There
is beauty in the character.


When
there is beauty in the character,


There
is harmony in the home.


When
there is harmony in the home.


There
is order in the nation.


When
there is order in the nation,


There
is peace in the world.”


 

It is
a beautiful connectivity between heart, character, nation and the world. In a
society we have to build righteousness among all its constituents. For the society
as a whole to be righteous we need creation of righteousness in family,
righteousness in education, righteousness in service, righteousness in career,
righteousness in business & industry,righteousness in civil administration,
righteousness in politics, righteousness in government, righteousness in law
and order, righteousness in justice. In this context, I would like to narrate
my experience of being in the divine environment in the company of a joint
family in Meerut
radiating happiness and smiles.


 


In
the service of God


 

In Meerut, I have come to
know about a functional joint family system model called Grihastha Ashram
having over 60 to 70 members. This system is working on three important
principles.


 


 (a) Treating everyone as a manifestation of
God.


 

(b)
Implicit faith in the mercy of God.


 

(c)
Steadfast dependence on the chanting of his name.


 

Since
I had studied so much of this Meerut spiritual
family, I visited the family during my recent trip to Meerut. I saw the family consisting of
grand-parents to grand-children and extended family had come from many parts of
Meerut starting
from young and experienced. All of them explained, how their life got
transformed after coming into contact with this family. I was observing how
they had achieved this transformation.


 

When I
observed during their Bhajan, I found that they all enjoyed every verse and
were bubbling with enthusiasm. In short during the prayer period the whole
family was in a new state of cheerfulness. When I interacted with the members,
there was a revelation;whatever they do, they did for the God. Their work is
highly interlinked with divinity. For example, gardener feels, he is gardening
to get the flowers for worshipping of the God.The decorator of the divine place
is doing the mission of beautifying the divine place.

The
Keertan group of the family, composed the vocal music and used the musical instruments
to generate appropriate tunes to suit the divine environment. The divine rhythm
emanates because they are singing the glories of God with passion. For the family
head, all the family members and who assembled there, were all image of the God.
Regarding their profession, each member whether undergoing education or a career,
everyone felt that the divine family environment had enhanced their performance
capacity in every activity and made them happy and contented.


 

This
type of divine environment of joint family system definitely may be existing in
many places in the country in many religious environments. Definitely harmony
in the homes will bring order in the nation and thereby peace in the world.

Dear
Friends, I have a special connectivity with Ramakrishna Mission. I have visited
number of Ramakrishna Mission Institutions like spiritual centers, schools,
hospitals,orphanages and I have also participated number of times in the Youth
Day celebrations in different parts of the country on Swami Vivekananda
birthday.


 

Ramakrishna
Mission is also famous for bringing out multi-religious research publications. I
was always inspired by the spirituals statements of Sri Ramakrishnaji and Swami
Vivekananda.


 


Sri
Ramakrishnaji says


 


There
are pearls in the deep sea, but one must hazard all to find them. If diving
once does not bring you pearls, you need not therefore conclude that the sea is
without them. Dive again and again. You are sure to be rewarded in the end. So
is it with the finding of the Lord in this world. If your first attempt proves
fruitless, do not lose heart. Persevere in your efforts. You are sure to realize
Him at last.


 

What a
beautiful message for humanity to be perseverant in their tasks.


 


Swami
Vivekanada’s


message is unique and the world needs it. When he
says


 


“My
name should not be made prominent. It is my ideas that I want to be
realized”.


 

Ramakrishna
Mission centers in the country and the abroad are really radiating these messages.


 

As I
am in this serene environment, let me recite my humble peace prayer.


 


Conclusion



 

MY
PRAYER FOR PEACE


 


“Oh
Almighty, create thoughts and actions


in the
minds of the people of my nation


so that
they live united.


Oh
Almighty, bless my people


a path
of life with righteousness


as
righteousness gives the strength of character.


Help
all religious leaders of my country to


give
strength to the people to combat the divisive forces.


Guide
my people to develop an attitude to appreciate different


ideologies
and transform enmity among individuals,


organizations
and nations, into friendliness and harmony.


Oh
almighty, terrorism is a curse to the humanity


And the
people who remove innocent lives indeed are insane


Let the
pain of the people transform the cruel minds.


Oh God,
bless my people to work with perseverance to


transform
the country into a peaceful and prosperous nation.”


 

With
these words, I am very happy to receive the first copy of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism
by Swami Harshanandaji. My best wishes to Ramakrishna Mission for success in
the mission of promoting unity of minds through spirituality.

May
God Bless you.


 

Dr.
APJ Abdul Kalam,

31.05.2008


 

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