Dr S K Pandey from Lucknow
“ALL religions preach universal love and harmony, and any idea that divides us and creates conflict is not only anti-religious, but also anti-social and anti-national. The principles of life preached by different religions from time to time have their origin in Hindu Sanatan Religion in some or other form.” This was stated by Acharya Dr Chandra Dev Mishra, the Principal of Shree Sachcha Adhtyatma Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, Prayag. He was speaking as key note speaker on this occasion of Rashtriya Sadbhavana Samaroh organised in ‘Sadbhavana Kendra’ Jethwara, Pratapgarh in the memory of late Badri Prasad Pandey, who was a great religious leader of this area.
The chief guest Dr. Sarjeet Singh Dang, former BJP Minister, said that the values of Pandit Badri Prasad Pandey can promote communal harmony in our society and defeat the purpose of fundamentalists who have endangered national integration and world peace. Paying rich tributes to Pandit Badri Prasad Pandey, he said that Panditji was a scholar of comparative religion and that the society urgently needs the values preached by him and that we can save our cultural heritage only by following this path.
Presiding over the function, Dr. Surya Prakash Tripathi, the Dean of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya Awadh University Faizabad, explained how our different faiths contribute to the healthy spiritual development of the individual and help in developing an atmosphere of peace and harmony in the society. Acharya Dr. Shiv Kumar Pandey said that Late Pandit Badri Prasad Pandey had true respect for all religions, which is a principle greater than plain religious tolerance preached by other social reformers. Adding that this genuine respect for others’ faith is born of the higher perception of truth, he called upon the people to follow the path of peace and harmony.
Representing Islam, Maulana Hayat Ullaha Sahab said that more we grow spiritually, more we broaden our outlook and create an emotional bondage, which alone can hold us together, and help us develop peaceful co-existence. He added that today, when the world peace is being threatened by the fundamentalists and religious fanatics, and communal harmony is at stake world wide, it is wonderful that a group of social activists in Pratapgarh are trying to turn the tide, by thinking globally and acting locally.
Shri Ram Sevak Tripathi, the VHP leader said that we talk so much of “Unity in Diversity”, and ignore the fact that there is no diversity amongst us at all, and that the diversities we perceive are created by ourselves. Making the talk a bit philosophical, he added that human beings have common aspirations for knowledge and truth. We need to evolve spiritually and develop an integrated personality, because unless we can develop an integrated self, we cannot achieve national integration, he added. Society can be changed only when we can change ourselves, he declared.
Engineer SN Shukla from Mumbai said that in modern civilised world we cannot impose our faith on others, and that we need to respect all, regardless of their caste, creed and religion. He stressed the need of love and compassion as the core values of life, which lead naturally to communal harmony and individual fulfillment in life. Adding that all religions teach us these basic values, he called upon the people of all faith to shun religious fundamentalism and blind acceptance of irrational beliefs, which has created ignorance and violence in society.
Noted writer Dr. Matsyendra Shukla said that all religions lead us to the same goal of God-realisation and the difference lies only in the adopted paths, which certainly vary depending upon the regionals factors. Recalling his association with Pandit Badri Prasad Pandey, the Maulana said that he was a strong exponent of communal harmony and religious tolerance.
The President of the organisation Lalta Pandey accorded a very warm welcome to the guests. Shri Rampher Pandeyt conducted the proceedings, and the secretary Ashok Mishra presented a vote of thanks. The guests present included – the Director of Jan Shikshan Sansthan Akhilesh Shukla, Vivek Upadhyay, Pramod Priyadarshi, Mohammad Jama, Parashuram Upadhyay, Kiran Mishra, etc.