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ACHARYA TULSI

Not everything in the world is variable; there are things invariable too. Nature is perennial; so is human nature. It consists of different habits at the back of which are elements like anger, vanity, deceit and greed. Good as well as evil are eternal. Only their form keeps changing. When objects and worldly phenomena change, why does man not change? Anuvrat is the philosophy of change. Its sole purpose is to enable man to introspect, understand his own nature and to make efforts to transform it.

Violence is not a new problem. It has been there for thousands of years. It is part and parcel of human nature. Therefore it is not possible for everyone to live non-violently. One way leads to complete violence, another to complete non-violence. The former is harmful for both individuals and society. Lord Mahavira suggested a new way. He said "If you cannot give up violence altogether, at least don't wilfuly kill men, animals etc." Anuvrat does not demand more than this, even though it aims at much more. Its goal is to avoid unnecessary killing of even the smallest being. Both from the ecological and a healthy society's points of view the Anuvrat of Non-violence is extremely important.

Violence inheres in man; it manifests itself in social life. It is precisely because the seed of violence is there that it springs up whenever it gets an occasion to do so. The result is the outburst of riots and acts of vandalism.

Violence assumes many forms, one dangerous form being hatred. It is spurred by egoism. But for hatred and egoism humanity would never have got divided and the feelings of touchable-untouchable or high-low on the basis of colour or class would never have arisen.

What a paradox that the sun meant to dispel darkness began to spread it! Religion (dharma) was born to end violence but itself began causing it. The spirit of religion - the most sublime part of life - got suppressed and overcome by uncompromising sectarianism. For the same reason violence grew in the name of religion. Innumerable pages of history are smeared with blood let in the name of religion.

Religion shorn of morality encouraged sectarian bigotry. Religion was pushed into the background and sectarianism gained ascendancy, just the reverse of what should have been. It was against this background that Anurvat came forth with a new outlook. It gave the concept of religion free from sectarianism. Anuvrat is pure religion (dharna) and no sect; nor is it associated with any sect. It is not Jainism, Buddhism, Vedic injunctions, Islam or Christianity. It is a religion without a denomination.

Religion without morailiy is intellectually incomprehensible. Unfortunately religion stripped of morality gained acceptance. That is why a person claiming to belong to a religion also practises dishonesty. It is amazing that a man devoid of integrity or morality in the practice of his trade or profession is regarded religious. Anuvrat has tried to shatter this illusion and firmly stated .the impossibility of being religious without being moral.

Worship is a means of following religion. Those who took to mere worshipping to the exclusion of religion ended up by giving primacy to the former and reducing the latter to a secondary position. Places of worship became centres of conflict. Anuvrat declared primacy of religion consigning worship into the second place.

Today we see that no restraint is observed in social and educational fields, as a result of which like use of drugs, gambling and other socially permiscious, customs are spreading. Our students can be given a new; direction if from the very beginning they are introduced to the practice of Sayam : Kalu Jeevanam (Life is verily restraint), and if the same principle is firmly established in society. This is the objective of including and giving importance to, the practice of (Science of Living) in education.

Of late a new form of violence has emerged electoral battles fought through resort to 'Imororal practices. Elections constitute the backbone of democray. How can one conceive a healthy democracy with a diseased spine?

The twentieth century has been characterized by the importance given to the concept of socialism. The concept has been developed and refined with the result that attempts are being made from all directions to build a healthy society. So far as Anuvrat is concerned, it aims first at building individuals or human character. Building society, according to it, is the second step.

It is the individual who manages a programme, institution, social group or nation. Should he be deficient is moral qualities, the best of organizations will collapse. Efforts at building individual character are of basic importance. Anuvrat is progressing keeping this vital fact in mind. It proclaims Sudre Vyakti, Samaj Vyakti Se (If the individual is reformed, society will become better and the nation will automatically improve). Social reform is possible through the reform of individuals and then the nation as a whole registers regeneration. The dream of social and national reconstruction is entirely dependent on individual reform. The main plank of the Philosophy of Anuvrat is building individual character.