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Foreword


 

* Editor in Chief *

Pt. Padmashree Sumatibai Shah
President
Shravika Sanstha Nagar,
SOLAPUR - 413 002

Padmashree Sumatibai World Peace Academy
Shravika Sanstha Nagar, Shravika Chowk,
Padmashree Sumatibai Shah Marg,
SOLAPUR � 413 002
Maharashtra ( India )


FOREWORD

� A Laser Beam Towards Global Peace �, edited by Padmashree Pandita Sumatibai Shah, the founder President of Shravika Sanstha Nagar, Solapur, is a collection of research papers and articles, presented by the delegates in the World Peace Conference, held at Shravika Sanstha Nagar, Solapur on 9th January 1991. This anthology is very useful contribution of Padmashree Sumatibai Shah, who has dedicated her life for women�s education, Jain religion, literature and culture. She has devoted more than 60 years for education, religion, peace, prosperity, love and brotherhood in the society. Her philanthropic consciousness and spiritual attitude have their roots in the predominant inspirations, received by her from her father Shri Nemchand Shah Nimbargikar, mother Hirubai and aunt Rajulmatibai. As a student of religion and ethics, she was deeply impressed by the views of Swami Vivekanand, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Shri Shantisagar Maharaj. Under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, Sumatibai participated in the national movement of India�s Freedom. She was among the first women to unfurl the tricolour, national flag, in Tilak Chowk of Solapur, when it was under martial law. Thereafter, she went underground and helped the freedom fighters secretly. Mahatma Gandhi, in one of his letters to her, wrote, � In you dwell together knowledge, power and enthusiasm...... Work inspired by women like you will bring nation on path of overall development. �



Political leadership was not the destiny of the life of Sumatibai. She was born for higher values and noble ideals of human life. In fact, she was born for women�s education, religion and social service. Accordingly the Shravika Sanstha Nagar, established by Rajulmatibai, came into existence and Sumatibai led the institution. It started functioning with only S women, who enrolled their names in the �Sanstha� for education. Each of these �students� had a child, hence the first lot of furniture, acquired by the Ashram was 5 cradles ! The children were allowed to rest and sleep in the cradles and the mothers were taught the reading and writing of alphabets and numericals. Today, more than 5,000 students, including girls from foreign countries, are on roll in more than 15 educational institutions and training centers run by Shravika Sanstha Nagar. These students are taught not only for S. S. C. or H. S. C. examinations but are also given practical training for income-generating diploma courses like tailoring, embroidery, book keeping, accountancy, typing, computer and printing etc. The Shravika Sanstha Nagar has a printing press, run entirely by women workers. There is a beautiful series of school and junior college buildings� ladies� hostels, Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, library, music and dancing center, auditoriums, a temple of Bhagwan Mahavir, Mahavir Research Center and an underground meditation hall along with play grounds for the students on the campus of the Shravika Sanstha Nagar.

The inner consciousness of Padmashree Sumatibai Shah has far reaching effects of the religious outlook of her parents and Acharya Shree Shantisagar Maharaj. j. She observed silence ( Maun ) for two years at Girnar. The experiences of the great saints, sages, sadhakas and the noble souls certify that the observation of silence or�maun� is the best opportunity for introspection, search of the self and direct dialogue between one�s intellect and individual consciousness. Sometimes the �maun� joins the individual consciousness with the cosmic consciousness and the rays of divine light enlighten the mind and soul of the observer of silence. Padmashree Sumatibai Shah had this experience. She decided to dedicate her life for education, religion and social service. She delivered lectures and prepared books, circulated I throughout the world. She read research papers in the U.S.A. and Input for promotion of vegetarianism, and was given �Order of Merit� in the U. S. A. The Government of India conferred the title of �Padmashree� on her in 1972.

Padmashree Sumtibai Shah has, to her credit, 24 published books and several articles in Marathi, Hindi and English. She is also the founder of �Shravika�, a monthly magazine in Marathi, edited by Bal Brahmacharini Vidyullata Shah, the Vice President of Shravika Sanstha Nagar. The contribution of the Management, the teaching and non-teaching staff, specially Vidyullata Shah and Principal P. B. Agre in overall development of the Shravika Sanstha Nagar is commendable, as all of them work with dedication for the organisation of the literary, educational, religious, social and cultural activities in the institutions.

The present book is an outcome of the World Peace Conference, invited by Padmashree Sumatibai Shah, the founder of the Academy of Global Peace, with the help of the Rotary Club of Solapur. This is, infact, an humble attempt in the series of events in the history of human race, where countless efforts have been made by all types of saints, sages, preachers, prophets, philosophers, poets, thinkers, writers, critics, politicians, social workers, historians, educationists, anthropologists, religious heads and well wishers of mankind including the League of Nations and the U. N. O, in search of world peace. But the tragedy is that peace is available no where. From times immemorial, the human soul is craving for peace and is suffering from war.

The war is a serious problem. According to the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences, �the term war is generally applied to the armed conflict between population groups conceived as organic unities, such as races and tribes, states or lesser geographic units, religious and political parties, economic classes.� 1

The above sentence provides us not only with the definition of war, but also suggests the causes of war, such as racial and tribal conflicts, political or regional struggles, religious, social or economic enemity. A number of wars, with horrible blood shed were fought for women, wealth and kingdom. The Ramayana, the Mahabharat or the recent war between Iraq and Kuwait, are noteworthy references in this context. In certain cases, the oral hot discussions or anger-oriented quarrels ( Vaka-Yuddha ) sought their solutions on the battle field. The human nature and the history of human race prove that war is essential and unavoidable. Even prophets and incarnations could not stop it.

If we peep into the psychology and human behaviour, we feel that war is a biological, psychological and natural need of

l. Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences . Editor-in-chief : Edvin

R.A. Seligman. Vol. XV. The Mac Millan Company, New York, Chicago. Fourteenth Printing. 1962, Page - 331,

human race. The sentences like, � Man by nature is brute and selfish �, �Struggle for existence and survival of the fittest� or �Might is right� indicate the causes and need of the war and above a11, there are politicians, who talk of peace and work for war. The famous slogan �Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai� and the Indo-China War may be remembered in this context. All this prove that there are logical reasons and natural causes, with solid grounds for war. That is why, most humbly and respectfully, I would like to submit that �divinity of man� is a pearl, hidden in the depth of human nature, behaviour and conduct, while war is a destructive typhoon, produced by the wild waves of perturbed emotions, sentiments, feelings and bitter experiences in the ocean of day to day life of a man. The result is that the physical needs of the body invite war and the inner voice of the self is seeking the peace. Thus, the problem of war and peace is directly linked with human nature, human life and its existence.

According to the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, �War itself is an institution, which has been involved in the struggle for existence, in which violence is used for the settlement of a quarrel. � 2

In modern context, as per Reader�s Digest : Great Encyclopaedia Dictionary, � War is a quarrel between nations, conducted by force.... attack or series of attacks by army, navy or air force or all three. � 2