Every child, at birth, is the universal man. But, as it grows, we turn it into “a petty man”. It should be the function of education to turn it again into the original “universal man”.
The child which by birth was the universal man is fettered by us with such constraints as country, language, religion, caste, race and colour. To free it from all these limitations and transform it into “the enlightened sould”, that is to say, the universal man, — this should become the first and formost function of our education, culture, civilization, and what not. All children of the world should become “unhoused” beings, if the world should survive, should continue to live, and advance.
In the course of human evolution great men arose at different periods to fulfil the needs of their times, and (then they) passed into history. The message of some of them assumed the form of a distinct religion, but eventually narrowed down into a more creed. The voice of the great souls, which had sprung from the noble motive of bringing together all men and making them live nobly, degenerated into a mere creed, and thus became a pernicious opiate. There are instances of a religion turning into a mere creed in the course of time and becoming quite worthless in the process, thus giving rise to another — one more new religion. In this manner, numerous creeds arose, broke up humanity into groups and schisms, and have even ignited wars, almost as if they were the root cause of all the troubles and turmoil’s of the world! To the experimental outlook of our scientific age, the superstition of religion is no longer acceptable. As Vinobha Bhave said some years ago, “The days of religion and politics have passed. The age of science and spirituality has now to dawn.”
The Religion of Humanity, the Universal Path, the Welfare of All, Reconciliation, the Integral Vision — these five mantras should become View of the Future. In other words, what we want henceforth is not this religion or that religion, but the Religion of Humanity; not this path or that path, but the Universal Path; not the wellbeing of this individual or that individual, but the Welfare of All; not turning away and breaking off from one another, but reconciling and uniting in concord and harmony; and, above all, not the partial view of a narrow creed, not the dual outlook of the material and the spiritual, but the Integral Vision of seeing all things with the eye of the Divine.
Ideas which are applicable to all mankind do not relate to a single caste or creed, a single section or country. Since they are of value for all time, there are basic human values, which tend towards uniting all men and enabling them to live in harmony. They give no room to groupism, which, after all, is the sordid game of politics. While giving full scope for individual freedom, this view aims at collective uplift. On this view, it is possible to have as many religious as there are individuals; and it is possible for all the individuals to contribute towards the development of the whole community. It is this “vision” which is proclaimed by the following poem. “The Unhoused Consciousness.”
The Charter of Fundamental Principles, to be practised in order to become universal Men.
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1. We have to accept unconditionally that “All mankind is, verily, one (community).”
2. Our attempt should be not to reform the caste system but to wipe it out completely. That is to say, distinctions like Brahmans, Kshatriyas Vaisyas and Sudras, or the Depressed classes, or Shia and Sunni, or Catholic and Protestant, or Sikh and Nirankari, should be eradicated altogether.
3. The caste systems that exist in all countries and all religious should be totally denounced and completely destroyed.
4. ‘Religion’ should go, and ‘spirituality’ alone, being a scientific principle, must be recognized.
5. “Religion” should become “the Religion of Humanity”; the Path should become the “Universal Path”; and man should become the “Universal Man”.
6. Religion should not become a matter for creating schisms. No one should belong to any particular religion, on the contrary, everyone should belong to “his own” religion — the religion that he has personally discovered. This will mean that there will be as many religions as there are individuals in the world; no one will seek to embrace another’s religion, form his own group and create factions.
7. No single book should become the “only one” and the “most sacred” scripture. Everyone should, on the contrary study and assimilate all the books he can and should freely decide what to accept, and build for him self his own ‘philosophy’.
* Rendered into English by Dr. Prabhushnakar and Friends.