The main thought contained in these lectures are the following:
- Science and self-knowledge - meaning by the latter term religion and spirituality – need each other. The ideal of Sarvo is born out of their union.
- Modern science with its unprecedented technological developments needs non-violence as the guiding principle in human affairs. The alliance of modern science and violence would lead to the destruction of science itself; the alliance of science and non-violence would lead to prosperity and let science progress unhampered.
- The atomic age demands a new principle of social ordering and a new sense of values. ‘Limit your desire and universalize your thoughts’ is how Shri Vinoba expresses this twofold demand.
- Religion and self-knowledge should strive after some remote, seemingly unattainable, ideal in the same way as science does. Such a far ideal which Shri Vinoba recommends to religion as a source of inspiration is that of Collective Samadhi.
- There are unending possibilities of human perfection, a theme that frequently occurs in Shri Vinoba’s works.
- The Vedanta has not yet become complete. The Vedanta, like science, is a growing process. Science and the new principles of social ordering would be carrying our realization of the Vedanta ever forward.
- The Bhoodan-Gramdan movement aims at giving shape to a new type of man, the Vishva-manava, the man with World-loyaty.
- An integral religion has yet to be built and here again science favours. Such an integral religion should not be one-sided, should not be based on the support of after-life and should concern the need of the individual and as well as the society.
- Satyagraha in this age of science should, if it is to be really effective, cease to be a mere appeal to the heart and mind but should base itself upon a supramental consciousness to be imbibed by the Satyagrahi. Vinoba is here bridging the gulf that had separated Gandhian thought from the Aurobindonism.
Shri Vinoba’s inimitable words will amply justify these themes.
About the Author:
Vinoba Bhave was one of the great spiritual leaders and social reformers of modern India, whose work and personal example moved the heart of all Indians, from Prime Ministers to the poor. Born in 1895, at the age of ten he took a vow of lifelong celibacy and service to others. Searching for a way of life that would embody both spiritual truth and practical action, he discovered Gandhi and joined in his work for the regeneration of India.
Vinoba participated in Gandhi’s non-violent resistance (satyagraha) to the British Raj. Later, after independence had been achieved, Vinoba started out on his extraordinary bhoodan (Land Gift) movement. Over a period of twenty years, Vinoba walked the length and breath of India, persuading landlords to give to their poor neighbors a total of over four million aces of land.
Vinoba’s social activism was founded on a lifetime’s study of the spiritual traditions of India, and also of the other major world religions. These memories reveal both the inner and outer life of a great man who has an unwavering commitment to the practice of non-violence, to an engaged spirituality, and to the power of love.