“The world is fighting for its spiritual life menaced by the rush of hostile and undivine forces.
Lord, we aspire to be Thy valiant warriors so that Thy glory may manifest upon the earth.” (CWM: 167)
The Religion of Humanity
“The fundamental idea is that mankind is the godhead to be worshipped and served by man and that the respect, the service, the progress of the human being and human life are the chief duty and the chief aim of the human spirit. No other idol, neither the nation, the State, the family nor anything else ought to take its place; they are only worthy of respect so far as they are images of the human spirit and enshrine its presence and aid its self-manifestation. But where the cult of these idols seeks to usurp the place of the spirit and makes demands inconsistent with its service, they should be put aside. No injunctions of old creeds, religious, political, social or cultural, are valid when they go against its claims. Science even, though it is one of the chief modern idols, must not be allowed to make claims contrary to its ethical temperament and aim, for science is only valuable in so far as it helps and serves by knowledge and progress the religion of humanity. War, capital punishment, the taking of human life, cruelty of all kinds whether committed by the individual, the State or society, not only physical cruelty, but moral cruelty, the degradation of any human being or any class of human beings under whatever specious plea or in whatever interest, the oppression and exploitation of man by man, of class by class, of nation by nation and all those habits of life and institutions of society of a similar kind which religion and ethics formerly tolerated or even favoured in practice, whatever they might do in their ideal rule or creed, are crimes against the religion of humanity, abominable to its ethical mind, forbidden by its primary tenets, to be fought against always, in no degree to be tolerated. Man must be sacred to man regardless of all distinctions of race, creed, colour, nationality, status, political or social advancement. The body of man is to be respected, made immune from violence and outrage, fortified by science against disease and preventable death. The life of man is to be held sacred, preserved, strengthened, ennobled, uplifted. The heart of man is to be held sacred also, given scope, protected from violation, from suppression, from mechanisation, freed from belittling influences. The mind of man is to be released from all bonds, allowed freedom and range and opportunity, given all its means of self-training and self-development and organised in the play of its powers for the service of humanity. And all this too is not to be held as an abstract or pious sentiment, but given full and practical recognition in the persons of men and nations and mankind. This, speaking largely, is the idea and spirit of the intellectual religion of humanity.” (CWSA 25: 565-66)
“One has only to compare human life and thought and feeling a century or two ago with human life, thought and feeling in the pre-war period to see how great an influence this religion of humanity has exercised and how fruitful a work it has done. It accomplished rapidly many things which orthodox religion failed to do effectively, largely because it acted as a constant intellectual and critical solvent, an unsparing assailant of the thing that is and an unflinching champion of the thing to be, faithful always to the future, while orthodox religion allied itself with the powers of the present, even of the past, bound itself by its pact with them and could act only at best as a moderating but not as a reforming force. Moreover, this religion has faith in humanity and its earthly future and can therefore aid its earthly progress, while the orthodox religions looked with eyes of pious sorrow and gloom on the earthly life of man and were very ready to bid him bear peacefully and contentedly, even to welcome its crudities, cruelties, oppressions, tribulations as a means for learning to appreciate and for earning the better life which will be given us hereafter. Faith, even an intellectual faith, must always be a worker of miracles, and this religion of humanity, even without taking bodily shape or a compelling form or a visible means of self-effectuation, was yet able to effect comparatively much of what it set out to do. It to some degree humanised society, humanised law and punishment, humanised the outlook of man on man, abolished legalised torture and the cruder forms of slavery, raised those who were depressed and fallen, gave large hopes to humanity, stimulated philanthropy and charity and the service of mankind, encouraged everywhere the desire of freedom, put a curb on oppression and greatly minimised its more brutal expressions. It had almost succeeded in humanising war and would perhaps have succeeded entirely but for the contrary trend of modern Science. It made it possible for man to conceive of a world free from war as imaginable even without waiting for the Christian millennium. At any rate, this much change came about that, while peace was formerly a rare interlude of constant war, war became an interlude, if a much too frequent interlude of peace, though as yet only of an armed peace. That may not be a great step, but still it was a step forward. It gave new conceptions of the dignity of the human being and opened new ideas and new vistas of his education, self-development and potentiality. It spread enlightenment; it made man feel more his responsibility for the progress and happiness of the race; it raised the average self-respect and capacity of mankind; it gave hope to the serf, self-assertion to the downtrodden and made the labourer in his manhood the potential equal of the rich and powerful. True, if we compare what is with what should be, the actual achievement with the ideal, all this will seem only a scanty work of preparation.” (CWSA 25: 566-67)
In order to accomplish more “…this idea and religion of humanity has to make itself more explicit, insistent and categorically imperative. For otherwise it can only work with clarity in the minds of the few and with the mass it will be only a modifying influence, but will not be the rule of human life. And so long as that is so, it cannot entirely prevail over its own principal enemy. That enemy, the enemy of all real religion, is human egoism, the egoism of the individual, the egoism of class and nation.” (CWSA 25: 567)
The Present Conflict
In this conflict one witnesses the relative indifference of the political leaders, the world over, to the naked invasion and ruthless destruction inflicted upon the Ukrainian Nation and its courageous people at the hands of blind demonic forces having their origin in the egoism of dictators and masses hypnotized by them.
At present, it is this egoism of the individuals and collectivities that the Soul of Humanity is battling against by the way of its most intense expression through the Soul of the Ukrainian Nation and its People to quell the hide of selfishness and greed in the masses and the titanic ambitions rushing to completely engulf this beautiful planet.
The Role that India Should Play
“We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatana Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatana Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great.” (CWSA 8: 6)
Copy of a Communication of 23-03-2022 to Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi
Dear Prime Minister Bhai Sri Narendra Modiji:
I feel intensely inspired to send you this brief communication.
India must rise above petty economic and political considerations – as you did when you unilaterally withdrew the economically sound Farm Laws in the national interest – and openly support Ukraine and its people who, to my vivid perception have been – in the face of the present crisis in which their very existence is at stake – galvanised to become the very body of Sri Krishna – the Lord of divine Light and Love and Force.
In taking such a stand we shall also be truly serving Russia and its sweet people who have always stood by us through thick and thin. But, our gratitude to them should not be allowed to stand in the way of a deeper vision which shows that to serve the Truth is the best way of truly serving the whole of Creation.
In the present difficult and painful conditions, by taking a clear stand, we will not only be serving the people of Ukraine and Russia but also be going forward a good distance on the way towards the fulfillment of the true role of India which, according to Sri Aurobindo, is to organise Human Unity and thus open the way leading to the establishment of the reign of divine Truth, Harmony and Love on earth.
I very strongly feel that we would miss a crucial opportunity if we fail to rise to the occasion and unequivocally stand for the Truth.
Yours in the service of the Mother,
Chandra Prakash Khetan
Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Ashram,
Copy of the message sent on 16.03.2022 to the Brothers and Sisters of Ukraine.
Our Dearest Brothers and Sisters of Ukraine!
This comes to you all from the Minds, Hearts and Souls filled to the brim with utmost Love and Gratitude for all you have been doing to keep ALIVE the Spirit of Courage, Love, Light and Liberty for the Human Peoples in times such as these when people all over the world seem to have been taken over by the narrow Utilitarian Spirit leading to an utter Selfishness and Cowardice in the face of Hostile Forces bent on destroying the Human Race by effacing from its Collective Spirit all the vestiges of Love, Courage and a sense of Dignity which has kept it alive over past millenniums.
We have not the SLIGHTEST DOUBT that by the Grace of the Divine Mother SHALL
“For Ever Live UKRAINE and the Indomitable Spirit of All Who Love Her!”
For You with everything that we are, have and do –
Yours at the Lotus Feet of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
Chandra Prakash Khetan
for Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Ashram Family,
Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, India.