SixFreedoms...3Cultural...3.5Spiritual
3.5 Spiritual
The village must resonate with the spirit of vasudaiva kutumbakam (the world is one family). It must place the commonality in man to be bigger and far more important than all differences; if the spirit is substantial and is one in everybody, then the differences of race, sex, caste, religion, tribe, thinking and physical attributes are far less important than the oneness of spirit. In brief, the village must facilitate its citizens to realize that the spirit is more important than the material. It must practice the principle of ‘specific religion in private and secular spiritualism in public’. It must also ensure the timeless principle of separation of religion and polity; authorities in religion and polity must be different individuals, and the teams that manage each of these should be separate and independent. And yet, the actions of all political leaders must be guided by secular spiritualism.
Relevance:         The village communities need to be aware that the clash of religions is still an unresolved issue ... in the present global intellectual world, but this is not the case in Indian spiritualism. Of course, there have been politicians, religious heads, kings, chieftains and all kinds of so-called leaders in India too who have tried to use religion to play power games. And such attempts will always be made in politics. But that is a battle every society must fight and a victory every society must win in order to thrive—to rise above differences and call the bluff on all those who try to divide. A community that successfully puts the Supreme Power within each human at a higher pedestal than the differences of mind and body (ideology and practices) will overcome any such divisive attempts. This defines the extent of freedom the village has attained with regard to the final frontier.
Detailed Rationale:         The ‘opium of the masses’ surely lessens the burdens which people unnecessarily carry through life ... because of inferior thought processes. Genuine spiritualism tunes them into a calm mind and enables the tapping of their highest potential. It is about short-circuiting the hierarchy of wants (Maslow) and making self-actualization the centerpiece of life—starting not from ‘needs and wants’ but rather from ‘inspiration and self-actualization’.

Spiritualism caters to individuals, and to that extent, it is considered a personal affair. However, there are social dimensions to it which are centerpieces of life in highly spiritual societies like India. Mutual relationships flower brilliantly in communities, societies, groups, etc. where the spiritual quotient is genuinely high (independent of religion).

There is one dangerous word that is often used in the context of peace between religions: tolerance. Though it intends to do something positive, it has a substratum that is contrary to spiritualism. People think that they are doing a great thing by ‘tolerating’ other people. However, they still consider them as ‘other’ people. This is a half-righteous stand to take as it also displays a lack of wisdom. Such people give greater importance to the ‘difference’ in men than to the ‘sameness’. In other words, to them, God is not overwhelmingly important in a way that individuality and labels become insignificant. They act as brand ambassadors for their religions but are not success stories of their religions. Such people have not achieved the crucial task for which religions are designed in the first place—transcending the individual and achieving total surrender to God.

The solution is not ‘I will not change. You will not change. Let us tolerate each other’. The solution is ‘How come I am not so well-versed in my own religion that I cannot understand that other person’s sincere prayer and appreciate his selfless work’. To see universal goodness is the challenge. An inability to see it is the handicap that needs to be overcome.
Success Stories and Action:
(Share examples of villages that have succeeded with this freedom. Click here for feedback.)
Religions and religious institutions are designed to deliver the spiritual quotient. But they are not exclusive means to ensure spiritual growth; spiritual growth can also be nourished by and through the arts and all kinds of sports. Formal education is also possible in spiritualism. And there are a host of secular spiritual practices and traditions possible in society which can provide benefits to all individuals and societies.

Toward the task of winning spiritual freedom, a good leadership in a village should arrange to nourish its citizens with the best lessons from every good source. It should have its mind focused on enhancing the spiritual value of the village. It must give due importance to the spiritual component of life in its plans and ensure that spiritual activities get enough patronage with due sensitivity to all communities involved.

Therefore, in order for the members of a village to live a life of higher quality, it is important for the village community to take up initiatives that will enhance spiritual goodness in the citizens of the village. These initiatives can cover a range of socio-religious-cultural traditions and practices like patronization of the arts and sports, support for temple festivals, encouraging folk and classical arts that use the scriptures as a foundation of various activities and community prayers.

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