National

Vice President asserts that India was built on a fundamentally tolerant civilization

Indian philosophy best encapsulates the principle of equality: VP

Releases commemorative coins dedicated to 550th birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji;

Describes him as one of the greatest spiritual masters of India;

Growth has to be compassionate, socially inclusive to be sustainable: The Vice President

open view news desk

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has asserted that India was built on the foundations of a fundamentally tolerant civilization and that no other philosophy or religion encapsulates the principle of equality in human beings as succinctly as Indian philosophy.

Referring to recent reports on religious freedom in India, the Vice President reiterated that India was the land on which different thoughts and philosophies have taken birth and flourished all through the ages.

Speaking at event after releasing the commemorative coins dedicated to 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, here today, he said the plural nature of the Indian society was encapsulated as early as 3rd century BC in an inscription of Ashoka. The Core principle of Indian philosophy is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which means the whole world in one family.

Observing that religious freedom was a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Articles 25 to 28 of Indian Constitution, Shri Naidu said that preamble of the Constitution declares India as Secular so as to guarantee equality to every citizen without any discrimination on the basis of religion. ‘This Constitutional prescription is nothing but a natural culmination of the core values of Indian civilisation that has evolved over the last 5000 years,’ he added.

The Vice President described Guru Nanak Dev Ji as one of the greatest spiritual masters of India and the true representative of the sublime spiritual traditions of our Bhakti Movement. He said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji took the faith out of broken structures of rituals and superstitions and kindled it in the hearts and soul of common people.

The Vice President said that Guru Nanak Dev ji taught ethical and compassionate ways to lead a life of satisfaction and fulfillment and gave three Golden Principles to humanity – Kirat karo (Earn Your Livelihood with honest ethical ways with earnest effort), Naam Japo (feel the divine benediction every moment, around you and realize it within your heart) and Wand Chhakko (Share with other selflessly).

Shri Naidu said that Guru Nanak ji made India’s age-old tradition of Sharing and Caring the cornerstone of our social ethics.’ This ethical foundation of share and care has guided us for last 550 years,’ he added.

Pointing out the Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached for an equitable and shared prosperity of the community and an inclusive society he said these timeless virtues were not only immortal but ever more relevant today as we seek higher growth rates for our economy

“Our growth has to be compassionate, socially inclusive to be sustainable. Polarization of wealth and prosperity will make our economic growth unsustainable and will eventually cause social disruption,” he added

Stressing the need to ensure that no section gets marginalized in our fast moving economy, Shri Naidu said “as a society, it is incumbent upon the better-off to look after the needs, interests, respect and dignity of those who live at the margins of our society.”

​The Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Shri Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the General Secretary of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Shri Harmeet Singh Kalka and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“गुरु नानक देव जी की 550वीं जन्म जयंती के अवसर पर उनकी पावन स्मृति में विशेष सिक्कों को जारी करने के अवसर पर, आप सभी के साथ सम्मिलित होने पर हर्ष हो रहा है। गुरु नानक देव जी भारत की महानतम आध्यात्मिक विभूतियों में से एक थे। वे भक्ति कालीन उदार आध्यात्मिक परंपरा के सच्चे प्रतिनिधि थे।

मुझे यह जानकर प्रसन्नता है कि इन सिक्कों के डिजाइन का चयन कालेज के विद्यार्थियों में प्रतियोगिता के माध्यम से किया गया है। हमारे युवाओं ने गुरु नानक देव जी के व्यक्तित्व, कृतित्व और उनकी शिक्षा को भली प्रकार से समझा और उसे अपनी कला के माध्यम से प्रस्तुत किया। मैं इस प्रतियोगिता में भाग लेने वाले हर प्रतियोगी का अभिनंदन करता हूं। जैसा कि गुरु नानक देव जी ने कहा ‘एक ओंकार सतनाम’ – मानवता के लिए उनका संदेश एक ही था और वह अमर है-लेकिन आपमें से हर किसी ने उस संदेश को पूरी निष्ठा से आत्मसात किया और फिर भिन्न-भिन्न प्रकार से डिजाइनों मेंव्यक्त किया।

I am pleased to join this occasion to release the special commemorative coins  on the occasion of 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji,  one of the greatest spiritual masters of the India and the true representative of the sublime spiritual traditions of our Bhakti Movement.

I am pleased to know that design for these coins has been selected through a collage level competition. Our youngsters have tastefully and imaginatively expressed themselves,  how they perceived the eternal teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji. I compliment every participant in the competition. As Guru Nanak Dev ji said..– Ek Omkaar Satnaam-, his message to the humanity is one and eternal, but every one of you have perceived it earnestly and only expressed it differently.

The release of commemorative coins is a humble acknowledgement by a grateful generation, of the eternal legacy Guru Nanak Dev ji left for us which has transcended successive generations and regions of the world. 

Guru Nanak Dev ji was the shinning representative of the sublime spiritual ethos of the Bhakti movement. It was the period of recurrent political upheaval in the country. Every violent political upheaval disrupts the cultural milieu of the community wherein social relations and interactions thrive. The new power elite tend to impose new exploitative methods in place of settled economic relations based on ethical compassion and redistributive justice.  Every such disruption leaves behind the traces of social delinquency devoid of ethical moorings. Devoid of its spiritual anchor the society drifts towards gradual disintegration and degeneration. History has proved that every aggression had social, cultural and economic consequences for the individual communities.  The region where Guru Nanak Dev ji was born, was in the forefront of facing these successive violent onslaught. In such desperate circumstances he provided the ethical and spiritual succor to a crying and craving humanity.

He took the faith out of broken structures of rituals and superstitions and kindled it the hearts and soul of common people. He truly democratized the religion by making the common man, the sovereign of his own enlightened spiritual realm. He humanized the God and turned the Man into divine. His teachings were simply explained in local language and people could associate with him and follow his simple teaching in their daily life.

गुरु नानक देव जी ने एक संतुष्ट खुशहाल जीवन जीने के लिए नैतिक और सौहार्दपूर्ण मार्ग बताया। उन्होंने तीन स्वर्णिम उपदेश दिये – कीरत करो (अपनी जीविका ईमानदारी और मेहनत से कमाओ), नाम जपो (हर क्षण ईश्वर की कृपा महसूसकरो, ईश्वर को स्वयं अपने अंदर और अपने चारों ओर महसूस करो) तथा वांद छको (अपने सुख समृद्धि को नि:स्वार्थ भावसे सबके साथ बांटो)। उन्होंने सिखाया कि जो समृद्ध है वे भी ईमानदारी और मेहनत से कमाएं, वे समाज के प्रति जिम्मेदार बने, समाज के प्रति काम आयें। वे अपनी समृद्धि को ईश्वर की कृपा के रूप में स्वीकार करें और ईश्वर के प्रति समर्पित हों। वे अपनी समृद्धि को एक ट्रस्टी की तरह समाज के प्रति जिम्मेदारी के रूप में देखें, और समुदाय के साथ बाटें। उनके अनुसार समृद्धि को समुदाय के साथ बांटने से, समाज सम्मिलित रूप से समृद्ध, संतुष्ट और नैतिक रूप से सुदृढ़ बनता है।

गुरु नानक देव जी ने Share and Care की हमारी पुरानी परंपरा को सामाजिक नैतिकता का आधार बना दिया। Share and Care के इस नैतिक संदेश ने पिछले 550 वर्षों से हमारा मार्गदर्शन किया है। आज भी हम देखते हैं कि किसी भी आपदा के समय सिख युवा किस प्रकार राहत शिविर लगाते हैं, शहरों के मेहनतकश मजदूरों को सांत्वना, सहायता देने के लिए शिविर लगाये जाते हैं।

श्रम और श्रमिक का सम्मान उनकी शिक्षा का मूलभाव था। करतारपुर में अपने प्रवास के दौरान उन्होंने स्वयं खेती की और किसान का जीवन अपना कर, अपने परिवार का भरण पोषण किया। गुरुद्वारों में लगने वाले लंगर, किसी भी प्रकार के भेदभाव से परे एक आदर्श सामुदायिक जीवन का अप्रतिम उदाहरण हैं। सहानुभूतिपूर्ण करुणा, विनम्रता तथा श्रम का सम्मान गुरु नानक देव जी और नौ आदरणीय उत्तराधिकारी गुरुओं की शिक्षा का सार है।

Guru Nanak Dev ji taught ethical and compassionate ways to lead a life of satisfaction and fulfillment.  He gave three Golden Principles to us- Kirat karo (Earn Your Livelihood with honest ethical ways with earnest effort), Naam Japo (feel the divine benediction every moment, around you and realize it within your heart) and Wand Chhakko (Share with other selflessly). He taught us that those who are well off must earn righteously, they should be socially responsible and relevant, they should always submit in humility for the divine benediction bestowed upon them. They must hold and use their wealth in trust and share it with the community. For him, sharing the prosperity with the larger community made the society collectively prosperous, happy and satisfied and ethically upright. 

Guru Nanak ji made our age old tradition of Sharing and Caring the corner stone of our social ethics. This ethical foundation of Share and Care has guided us for last 550 years. Even today we see groups of young Sikh man and women promptly arranging relief in case of any disaster or accident; camps are set up to provide succor and solace to hardworking labourers in cities. Dignity of labour was at the core of his teaching. During his stay at Kartarpur, he himself took up the life of a farmer and cultivated lands, earning a righteous living for his family.  The community kitchens at Gurudwara, the Lungers, are the best example of an ideal community living without any type of discrimination. This compassionate humility and dignity of labour has been the has been the integral part of the Guru Nanak Dev Ji and his Nine respected successor Gurus. 

He preached for the equitable shared prosperity of the community and an inclusive society and made the objectives of economic prosperity converge with an ethical compassionate society.

Friends,

ये कालजयी शिक्षा न केवल शाश्वत है बल्कि आज कहीं अधिक जरुरी और प्रासंगिक है। आज जब हम अपनी अर्थव्यवस्था को तीव्रतर वृद्धि दर से बढ़ा रहे हैं -हमारा प्रयास है कि हमारी अर्थव्यवस्था इतनी विस्तृत हो कि वह सर्वस्पर्शी, सर्व समावेशी भी हो। प्रधानमंत्री नरेन्द्र मोदी द्वारा दिया गया मंत्र ‘सबका साथ सबका विकास, सबका विश्वास’ – वस्तुत: महान गुरुओं की उदार शिक्षाओं से ही प्रेरित है।

These timeless virtues are not only immortal but are ever more relevant today as we seek ever higher growth rates for our economy. We seek to expand our economy to include every section of the society. When Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave the mantra of “ Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”, his mantra of economic growth draws inspiration from the Teachings of Great Gurus.

Our Growth has to be compassionate, socially inclusive to be sustainable. Polerisation of wealth and prosperity will make our economic growth unsustainable and will eventually cause social disruption. Money is only medium of redistribution of wealth in a community. It will lose its value and relevance if it is hoarded by only a select few in the society. Such a society despite having wealth will not grow, as the aggregate demand, which is the engine of growth and wellbeing, will remain constricted. Inclusive and equitable redistribution of community’s wealth is essential to generate aggregate demand.   Therefore equal and regular redistribution of wealth is not only ethical but is also important for sustainability of growth momentum in economy.

Friends,

As we grow faster, we must ensure that no section gets marginalized in our fast moving economy.  The economy must move faster but must also expand to provide adequate opportunities to the marginalized. As a society, it is incumbent upon those who are better-off to look after the needs, interests, respect and dignity of those who live at the margins of our society. 

Prosperity, well being and happiness are essentially measured in terms of entire community. Individual prosperity will be considered only an aberration if there is overall misery and poverty in the society and therefore will be unsustainable in longer run. 

मित्रों,

समय के साथ तकनीक बदलती है, आराम के भौतिक साधन बदलते हैं-लेकिन हमारी नैतिक आस्थाऐं वही रहती हैं। नैतिकता – समुदाय की सम्मति से निर्धारित होती है। हमारे नैतिक मूल्यों को पीढ़ियों आर्शीवाद प्राप्त है। वे पीढ़ियों केअनुभवों, आदर्शों और परंपरओं पर आधारित हैं। गुरु नानक देव जी के तीन शाश्वत स्वर्णिम सिद्धांत आज भी उतने ही सार्थक हैं जितने 550 वर्ष पहले थे।

मैं, गुरु नानक देव जी की 550वीं जन्म जयंती मनाने के लिए इस आयोजन से संबद्ध हर किसी का अभिनंदन करता हूं। यह आयोजन गुरु नानक देव जी की शिक्षाओं के प्रचार-प्रसार, विशेषकर युवाओं के बीच प्रसार में सहायक होगा। हमारे युवा हमारी समृद्ध और उदार नैतिक आध्यात्मिक धरोहर को अपनाऐं। उस विरासत को अपनाऐं जो महान संतों द्वारा हमें प्रदान की गई है और उन शिक्षाओं को जीवन में उतारें।

With time only technologies change, material comforts may change but we remain anchored in our ethical moorings. Ethics is moral laws based on a social consensus. Our ethical foundations have the moral force of generations. The three eternal teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji  are as relevant today as they were 550 years ago.

I compliment everyone associated with this commendable initiative for celebrating the 550 Birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev  ji as an occasion to spread the light of his teachings among people particularly the youth of our country, who must be grounded in our rich ethical. They must own up the rich spiritual legacy left behind by our Saints and live up to those ideals.

I thank you, for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with this momentous occasion.

Thank you.”

June 27, 2019

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