Text of Speech - Acharya Sushil Muni At Oxford, U. K.
At the meeting of the Global Conference of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, 11th to 16th April 1988, Oxford, U. K.
Brothers and Sisters in Peace and Non-Violence.
First let me pay a tribute to this very special occasion and to this great city of learning, Oxford. Oxford has always remained a significant name in the world of learning, not only in Britain but all over the world. From the institutions of learning here have come out young people who were destined to be leaders in their country as Ministers, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Kings. We are all honoured to be in this great city which has also given birth to many idea and concept to keep the finest human values and human sprit alive and free in the world. Today, this temple of learning is all set to provide a new direction to the world leaders in both the spiritual and parliamentary arenas of human endeavour for global peace. As we say in India, it is an auspicious conjunction of planets, in this case they are symbolically the planet of learning and planet of understanding, which would bring peace, non-violence, love hope for the planets earth. The old Oxford sprit of knowledge and learning has always been there as a great tradition of Britain, today, I hope we shall give birth to a New Oxford sprit of compassion, understanding, tolerance, non-violence, love and abiding peace. Let us pay our tributes to this great Oxford, and to the great British people, who have always upheld the cause of democracy, peace and justice, by calling the 1988 programmes of our body as the Oxford Sprit Campaign". We have already met in a big way and in smaller groups at Tarrytown and at New Delhi. Today we are meeting at Oxford. This also marks the coming together of the men and women of peace from three great continents - the Americas, Asia and Europe.
This trinity of spirit is also considered a great symbol in most great religions of the world like Hinduism and Christianity. And today, I would want us all to underline a new symbolic trinity-non-violence, love and freedom, for these are the keys to ensure the survival of humanity and ensure the survival of humanity and ensure a peaceful future for the mankind.
As we meet today, the world is caught in a crucial trial of strength between the forces of understanding and prejudice, between the forces of generosity and greed and above all between the human sprit created by God and nuclear and conventional weapons created by man. Let us all reaffirm our faith and resolve to carry on the global crusade for assertion and re-establishment of the forces of positivism. There is some good even in the hearts of those who have seemingly fall victims to evil and violence. Let us try to discover the vital spiritual spot in the heart of the material man and that would be the beginning the change of heart for that man or women. When men and women have change of heart, I am sure the world will change for the better.
When I say all this, I am not merely presenting a theory, I have practiced what I appear to be preaching today. I have heard and seen the face and the sounds of change in some in the most difficult and critical human situations, very recently in my own country. I walked among the so called terrorists and extremists in Punjab which has been so much in the news in India and the world because of senseless killings ant terror. I walked with love and without fear. I walked with compassion and an honest desire to get into the hearts of those whom most people feared and despised. I thought to myself if Christ could walk unarmed among those who had the brute force of power and weaponry with them, if prophet Mohammed could face with love and compassion the misguided weapon wielding warriors, if Lord Buddha could forsake a kingdom of power for a kingdom of love and compassion, if Gandhi could face a mighty state power with love and non-violence and if great Church leaders like Bishop Tutu can face bullets and brute force with gospel and faith alone, why could not I, a simple Jain practitioner of faith and non-violence face my brothers who had bad misguided faith in gun and bullet as a greater force can spirituality and God. I walked among them, patiently heard them, I tried to understand them. God was with me and my faith in love and non-violence worked, where violence and counter -violence had failed for months. In the light of my experience and in the light of the recent developments in Punjab, I have full faith that ultimately peace shall prevail, there is bound to be change in the hearts and brothers shall again live like brothers.