Peace Through Dialog 2007 - Pramoda Chitrabhanu : Happiness Is Within Reach

Published: 21.10.2007
Updated: 23.03.2017

JAINA Convention 2007
Federation of Jain Associations In North America

Happiness Is Within Reach


Pramoda Chitrabhanu
iainmamata[at]aol.com

Pramoda Chitrabhanu has a Major in Psychology and Philosophy. She chairs the Jivadaya Committee of JAINA, and is a director of PETA in India and Jain International Meditation Center. She dedicates her time working for various animal rights organizations. She lectures and teaches the philosophy of Ahinsa, Love, and Compassion. She has authored and co-authored five books.

Jain values need to be lived to be enjoyed.

Today mankind is living in an interesting time, a time when the science of information technology is rapidly taking over and practically governing our life. The cave man has become a castle man. The days of cartwheels and carriages are being replaced by Cadillacs and convertibles. The period of stone grinding has become obsolete and the modern electronic grinders are taking its place. The old is being replaced by the new with tremendous speed.

As the machine is used for instant work, in the same way mankind works for instant happiness, fame and riches. He/She does not care whether it is at the cost of environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources or animal abuse and suffering. Under the powerful grip of greed, many act under the intoxication of modernization, leading to self-destruction. Motivated by ego and sensuality, many use their skills in the acquisition of worldly pleasures. In this way, technology and information make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

When we look around us, we see that mankind has become a burden and an enemy to oneself and Mother Earth, rather than a friend to all. Engaging in anger, lust, selfishness, deceit and competition, one ultimately paves the way to violence and war. As Thomas Merton has rightly said, "Violence can begin only where thought and rational communication have broken down."

Living in this fast pace and in this technological space, mankind has become a robot. He/She now has no mind of his own and works like a machine. Society thinks for him and he obeys its orders. This herd mentality blinds vision and goads movement without any direction. Under these circumstances, does one have the same elements which are potentially capable of becoming a Mahavir, a Buddha, a Ram or a Jesus ~ epitomes of love, compassion and simplicity. How can one attain anything, if he does not take charge of his own life and does not discern the difference between right and wrong in the light of the truth? History tells us that no amount of wealth and fame has made mankind happy, for material happiness is fleeting and temporary, and changes with desires and dreams. Happiness does not lie in accumulation of things, but in the art of equal distribution, simplicity and contentment.

Every positive or negative action has an equal and opposite reaction. A loving thought cast in the universe has a loving response, and an evil thought has an evil one. It is the law of nature that what is thrown out into the universe comes about like a boomerang. So why not give priority to our life on the basis of our needs and comfort and not based on our greed and luxury? In this way we can eliminate the possibility of acquiring negative vibrations and unwanted karmas by channelling our thoughts, words and actions in a positive direction. To get a fresh outlook to life, probing into the philosophy of Jain Dharma as practiced and propounded by Lord Mahavir brings profound answers to our questions. It is founded on:

Law of Reverence for All Life

Ahimsa

Relativity in Thinking

Syadavada

Law of Cause and Effect

Theory of Karmas

Law of Non-acquisition

Aparigraha

Law of Compassion

Karuna - Non-violence in Thoughts, Words and Actions.

Jain Dharma emphasizes tolerance and non-interference as its teachings. These perennial principles of Lord Mahavir are the avenues to health, healing, harmony, peace and love. They were useful thousands of years ago and will be useful for millenniums to come. Putting the teachings of Jain Dharma into practice, one can renew one's connectivity to that ancient source of teaching and live in harmony with oneself and in harmony with the rest of the world.

Let us, therefore, work collectively for the betterment of the whole universe by changing our focus from 'I' to 'We.' The message of the new dawn is for all of us and for the youth in particular, who are the hope of tomorrow to shape the way society thinks and feels. For, tomorrow belongs to the youth, the youth that holds the promise of the future. They are the symbol of energy and zeal, openness and compassion, creativity and innovations. They have time and vigor to carry on and give life to the ancient heritage of reverence for life, to understand and practice the wisdom of the seers, and to use the insights of the enlightened masters. They are the torchbearers and trendsetters of peace, progress and prosperity for the present and future generation. So let us all think globally and act locally, making a difference in every moment of our life and be aware of our glorious spiritual wealth by arising, awaking and not stopping until the goal is reached.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Ahimsa
  2. Ahinsa
  3. Anger
  4. Aparigraha
  5. Buddha
  6. Chitrabhanu
  7. Deceit
  8. Dharma
  9. Federation of Jain Associations in North America
  10. Greed
  11. JAINA
  12. JAINA Convention
  13. JAINA Convention 2007
  14. Jain Dharma
  15. Jaina
  16. Karmas
  17. Karuna
  18. Mahavir
  19. Meditation
  20. Non-violence
  21. PETA
  22. Pramoda Chitrabhanu
  23. Ram
  24. Science
  25. Space
  26. Tolerance
  27. Violence
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