Global Ecumenism

by Michael Smith


Here’s something quite inspiring on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGMQsJ0VzAk

When I saw this it reminded me of Swami Veda’s work:

In 1999, he was an invited speaker at the Council for The Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town, South Africa, and in 2001, he and the Dalai Lama collaborated to bring the Buddhist and Hindu communities together at the Kumbha Mela, the largest gathering of people ever seen on the planet.

Throughout his life he honored the religious views of all people, and while attending The Parliament of World Religions he met with leaders of many faiths to work towards interfaith understanding.

In 2000 he was invited to the Millennium Global Peace Summit at the United Nations
and proposed a resolution to be adopted by the World Council of Religious Leaders as a recommendation to the Secretary General on May 21, 2003 – “The Unifying Streams in Religion.”

In 2004 he submitted a proposal for UNESCO titled "Education and Parenting for World Peace.

In his booklet “Millennium,” (1999) he explained what needed to be done in the 21st century to bring wisdom and peace to the planet, and he elaborated on those themes in “Polity,  Economy and Family” (2000).

In those booklets he gave a complete philosophy for establishing the goals for all areas of human existence and development for the Millennium, bringing together in a common perspective all the aspirations of those who pray and work for a spiritually balanced humankind.

Swami Veda’s writings on ecumenism were subsequently combined into a single volume: The Human Urge for Peace: What’s Right with the World

“Give way to your natural human urges; the urge to give, the urge to share, the urge to make sacrifices for others; the urge to knowledge and the natural urge to peace.” – Swami Veda

Of the hundreds of statements he made on the necessity of unity among people of different religious backgrounds, there are two that seem especially important:

“Like a bee in a garden,
gather the fragrance from the flowers
of all the world’s spiritual paths.
To turn your back on this wisdom
is to amputate the mind.”
(Swami Veda Bharati)

“Why do people always say,
‘What’s the difference?”
Why do they not say,
‘What’s the connection? What’s the unity?’”
(Swami Veda Bharati)

Over the past year, in our studies, we could see this expansive view of spirituality and devotion in some of the passages of the Bhagavad Gita:

4.11 — Whosoever in whatever way submit themselves to Me,
I confer grace on them in the very same way.
Human beings in all different ways follow My path.

7:21 — Whatever form or aspect of mind a devotee wishes to worship with faith,
toward that very form or aspect of Mine I establish his unshaken devotion.

7.24 — The unwise believe Me, though unmanifest, as having come to manifestation,
not knowing My supreme, immutable, and unexcelled aspect.

8:15 — Others through the sacrificial observances in knowledge, in unity and multiplicity,
worship Me in various ways, who am facing in all directions.

8:24. — I alone am the receiver of the offerings of all sacrifices, and I alone am their master.
However, they do not recognize Me as such and therefore they slip from Reality.

8.26. — Whoever offers Me a leaf, flower, fruit, or water, with devotion –
that gift of a person of controlled self, offered with devotion, I accept.

Also see:

Swami Rama’s book, A Call to Humanity: Revolutionary Thoughts on the Direction for Spiritual and Social Reform in Our Time.

This Book has been retitled as Spirituality: Transformation Within & Without


Editor’s Note:

Further reading online:

The Perennial in the Millennium by Swami Veda Bharati

Meditation, The Unifying Stream in Religionsby Swami Veda Bharati

Consul B. John Zavrel wrote an article about Swamiji’s talk on “Unifying Streams in Religion” given at Arya Samaj Vedic Centre in Toronto: https://www.meaus.com/unifyingstreams.htm

Swami Veda can be seen on YouTube talking about “Unifying Streams in Religion.” This is in 9 parts, and here is a link to #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZEkHO0NFtg.



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