India’s Spirituality Linked to the Growing Global Spiritual Civilization: Swami Chidananda Giri

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India’s Spirituality Linked to the Growing Global Spiritual Civilization: Swami Chidananda Giri

Sunday, 07 May 2023 | PNS | Ranchi

India’s Spirituality Linked to the Growing Global Spiritual Civilization: Swami Chidananda Giri

Swami Chidananda Giri, president and spiritual head of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship (YSS/SRF), recently visited India and gave inspirational talks on the Kriya Yoga teachings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (author of the Autobiography of a Yogi and founder-Guru of YSS/SRF). During his stay in India, Swami Chidanandaji was interviewed on matters of import affecting different strata of society and the world. Here are some excerpts:

Q. Swamiji, what role do you feel India’s spirituality can play in the growing global spiritual civilization? 

Swami Chidanandaji: “This is something very dear to my heart as it was to our guru Paramahansa Yogananda, and to one of the core missions that he was sent to accomplish. Talking about India’s spirituality, let us go back to that Golden Age of civilization from which the Gita, the Yoga Sutras and the Upanishads came. Here, you find this truly universal teaching which is not speaking to a member of this religion or that religion, or to a member of one ethnicity alone, it’s talking to that human condition all around the globe. That’s why you have these beautiful statements in the Upanishads that ‘the world is one family’ [‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’], and ‘truth is one, even though the rishis call it by many names’ [‘Ekam Sat, Vipra Bahudhaa Vadanti’]. 

 “The ideal religion should be: ‘May all beings be happy’, may all beings be free of suffering.’ It doesn’t say, ‘may all Indians be happy,’ or ‘may all Hindus be happy but not the Muslims or the Christians’ and so on, because all of us have that spark of the same one God within each one of us. This is part of the evolutionary process that we’ve come to see: that we recognize each other as brothers and sisters or we destroy each other and the plan along with it. 

“The World Looks to India with Such Admiration”

 “In terms of the role of India, the greatest thing that India can offer to the world is to model and exemplify India’s own divine and eternal heritage because the world looks to India with such admiration. You may not know that if you haven’t been to the West, but as a person growing up in a generation where many people had perhaps either read the Autobiography of a Yogi or attended a programme by one of the spiritual teachers that came from India to the U.S., this is how the world looks at India. And the same is true for Europe, Australia and South America. Millions of people revere India almost like the big brother of humanity, spiritually speaking. 

 “No question that the global spiritual civilization is happening in two ways — one is the material way — through technology, communication and travel. When you look back a couple of generations before, to travel from U.S. to India was huge and for many people it was impossible. But now people can just get on a plane to visit Bangalore or Chicago. So, the world has shrunk. It is no longer this diverse collection of individual nations and cultures. 

 “The internet has really transformed the fabric of human society. It’s really become like a nervous system that unites the one body of the human family. What happens is that when you bring people closer together, you better get along with each other. It is like you have in a family, where you have them living in the same house. Unfortunately, you have seen family members who are biting at each other and so on. Well, if the human race does that then it won’t last more than a few generations.

 “We have a capacity for mass destruction, which did not exist a hundred years ago. Along with that increase in technical power and the shrinking of the world, we are literally in one household, more than ever before in recorded history. Then we have to have a similar degree of ‘spiritually growing up,’ a spiritual maturity where we have self-control, where we are not just trying to avoid the people we do not like. We have to have the spiritual maturity to know that as I have a drive for happiness and security, peace and success, so do all those other human beings. And eventually people come to see that ‘I am not truly happy unless those around me are happy.’ You can't just push them off and say that’s over in that country or that’s over in that country because that, as a whole, impacts the world. Look what happened with Russia and Ukraine. A hundred years ago, it would have been two neighbouring countries going at each other. And now everybody from Prime Minister Modi to President Biden and everybody in between said this is not how we do things in the 21st century. Spirituality has to develop parallelly, along with material technology.” Further info.:

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