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of Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(elected President of India in July 2002)
in the programs organized by
Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
in Delhi and Mount Abu (Headquarters)

From: The World Renewal Magazine
(Brahma Kumaris Publication)
February 2002

Former Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt. of India, Bharat Ratna, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, at the end of his 2-day spiritual research visit to the Brahma Kumaris Institution's Shantivan Academy on Monday morning, addressed the congregation of around 15000 youth from all over India and abroad and administered to them a special oath titled "I the Brahma Kumar and My Nation" which read — "As a young citizen of India, armed with technology, knowledge and spirituality and love for my nation I realize small aim is a crime. I will work and sweat for a great vision — the vision of transforming India into a developed nation with double crown of value system, purity and prosperity. I am one of the citizens of India and will ignite the billion souls. The vision has entered into me that the ignited souls, compared to any other resource, is the most powerful resource on, above and under the earth. I will keep the lamp of knowledge and spirituality burning to achieve the vision of a developed India." Dr. Kalam had also administered this oath, under a different heading, to a group of school children from several schools of Abu Road whom he addressed yesterday.

Dr. Kalam agreed with Rajyogini Dadi Prakashmani, the Chief of Brahma Kumaris, to say that many of the problems of society were aggravated by media misinformations, unhealthy human intoxications and drug addictions for elimination of which Dr. Kalam said he and his team would also strive. Referring to his discussion earlier with Dadi Prakashmani, Dr. Kalam said that India with a civilization of more than 3000 years had withstood and would withstand many problems. What was needed now for all of us was to have determination to make India great in spirituality and economic strength, he stressed.

Voicing his whole-hearted support to the spiritual objectives of Brahma Kumaris, Dr. Kalam composed a couplet which said "if we have devotion and determination, if we want golden age to be ushered in India and the world in a couple of decades, we need to continuously think and work for it by spearheading spiritual purity and also economic strength." He commended the message of Brahma Kumaris on how to acquire and practise knowledge, yoga, virtues and good life for self, family, society and mankind.

Finally while reciting a poem of a famous Tamilian poetess and saint living one thousand years ago on "Celebrations of Human life", Dr. Kalam interpreted: "Without offerings, penance and tapas, human life, in spite of all knowledge, education, health and comforts, is worthless. When we do offerings and tapas, the doors of heaven (Golden Age) will open to greet all of us."

Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam meeting with Chiefs of Brahma Kumaris: Dadi Hirdaya Mohini, Dadi Prakashmani and Dadi Janki

From: Purity
(newspaper published by Brahma Kumaris)
January 2000

Science Conference in New Delhi

The conference was organised by the Scientists and Engineers Wing of Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation, a sister organisation of Brahma Kumaris. It was also supported by the ministries and departments of Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, Non-conventional Energy Sources, Power, Tourism, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Around 1,000 scientists and engineers from India and abroad participated in the meet.

Valedictory session
Need for Collective Ideological Vision

THE CONFERENCE concluded with the passing of a resolution by the participants who agreed that spiritual values had to be integrated in scientific endeavours to bring benefit to the entire humankind and nature. They also resolved that scientists should promote awareness and importance of value-based lifestyle in the society.

The session was presided over by two famous stalwarts of the intelligentsia — well-known nuclear scientist Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Principle Scientific Adviser, Govt. of India and Mr. R. Venkataraman, Former President of India.

Valedictory Session (L to R): BK Jagdish Chander Hassija, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt. of India. Mr. R. Venkataraman, former President of India, Rajyogini Dadi Prakash Mani & Hon'ble Ramvilas Paswan, Union Minister for Communication.

Dr. Kalam pondered whether man could live without war. He reflected that the 20th century had been a century of wars. The Second World War, which was based on ideological differences, had generated 10,000 nuclear warheads. He said that the 1990's had witnessed economic warfare that was being fought with the weapon of technology. So the basic question was whether the warring minds could be transformed, he queried. He revealed that his latest assignment was to reach the shining light of spiritual wisdom at the end of darkness. Sharing his experience of his visit to the Global Hospital and Research Centre at Mount Abu, he said that he was highly impressed by the hi-tech integration of physiology and psychology, of technology and spiritual lifestyle.

He suggested that there should be a powerful and collective ideological vision that could make the world a safer and happier place to live in. He asserted that a spiritual and technological vision born out of a billion minds could be a great power that would lead to a peaceful and prosperous world.

Science for Human Welfare

Mr. R. Venkataraman said that scientific advancement had resulted in a decline in India's share in the world market. Material progress had led to the exploitation of ecology in the developing nations. Sharing figures that illustrated the wide gap between the world's rich and poor, he said that scientists should seriously consider tapping the potential of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, underwater currents etc.

He said that science was not to blame but the misuse of scientific powers had to be checked. Spiritual knowledge was the means to check people from doing wrong deeds. A scientist imbued with spirituality would always think of the welfare of the society because he believed that spirituality was in essence the sharing of virtues with other human beings. Such fraternity and brotherhood of humankind would solve all the problems, he emphasised. He acknowledged that the Brahma Kumaris were examples of how spiritually empowered women could lead the world in a positive direction.

Rajyogini Dadi Prakashmani, Chief of Brahma Kumaris, said that when the time for a powerful idea comes, it becomes a practical reality. It was time for people to experiment with the power of silence and peace. She believed that the next millennium would be an age of the convergence of science and spirituality. The power of spirituality had to be used in order to remove sorrows and vices and this power came from the realisation that all human beings were members of one spiritual family. She queried whether science could give us the power to control our mind and sense organs. The call of the time was that each individual should realise the innate virtues of the soul and become a true child of the Supreme Father by reflecting His qualities in life, she asserted.

Science Yet to Probe the Power of Thoughts

B.K. Jagdish Chander, Chief Spokesperson of Brahma Kumaris, identified two roles of science — preventive and curative. He said that self-defence technologies were part of preventive role of science. In this sense, he opined that spirituality was also a preventive science because it eliminated negative tendencies and prevented conflicts and sorrow. He urged that scientists should recognise the primary reality of spirituality and apply it for solving the problems of the material world. Science had yet to explore the power of thought and its relationship with the thinker. The bottomline of all scientific endeavours had to be the welfare of humanity, and this is where spirituality could come to the aid of science, he observed.

Mr. Ramvilas Paswan, Union Minister for Communication said that science was linked with the qualities of head whereas spirituality was based on the balance of the head and the heart. He said that any work done with pure feelings gives joy to the doer and others and so he exhorted scientists to work with feelings of compassion and service.

Valedictory Address
Nation's Need and Technology
Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

I am indeed delighted to participate in this Conference organised by the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. And the topics discussed here such as Science and Technology in the Service of Humanity, Bio-technology and ethical issues, missing dimensions in research and development, the environmental pollution, the human factor, science and technology for exploration of inner space are of high importance.

Mount Abu experience

The topics discussed are diverse yet I can see the thread of linkage. The connectivity comes from our spiritual and cultural inheritance. I witnessed the coexistence of spirituality with modern technology when I visited the International headquarters of Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya at Mount Abu, particularly in the environment of Global Hospital and Research Centre. This Global Hospital left a lasting impression in me as to how the high tech hospital transformed into integrated life system care combining physiological and psychological elements. In this direction, the project of Global Hospital, Brahma Kumari Samaj and DIPAS (Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences) of DRDO is indeed an important experiment to improve the quality of life of the ailing hearts.

Technology and human values

In this connection, I would like to share with you some experiences where technologies and values can coexist and strengthen mutual growth. I attended a function on 3rd December, 1999, the International Day of the Disabled at the Vigyan Bhavan organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Our Hon'ble Rashtrapatiji (President of India) distributed awards to high performance persons with disability and also the technologists who were responsible in developing equipments and devices which assist in reducing the impact of the disabilities.

In the function, I met persons with disabilities and the awardees. Two events have ignited my mind which I would like to share with you. One, the electro-optical technology developed in one of our laboratories at IRDE (Instruments Research & Development Establishment), Dehra Dun for making night vision devices, which give thermal sights for assisting our soldiers. They also enhance the capabilities of our defence systems. The same laboratory has spin-offs from optical technology, resulting in design and development of plastic aspherical magnifiers. These magnifiers are intended to help those with low vision disability to see better. It helps them to read, thus providing them many unique opportunities in life which looked dark for long. This technology is simple and elegant and it is affordable by a large number of people who have this low vision disability. I found the same technology has fulfilled the defence needs and also in relieving a disability. In the same function I met a person with both his hands seriously handicapped, yet he has the will power to hold the pen in between two elbows and write fairly well. Of course, now there are technologies like robot hand with functional electric simulator which makes such persons lead a normal life. Technologies are the gifts for the needs of a nation with multiple dimensions.

It is essential to start a movement by technological, social and spiritual teams to remove the pain of the persons with disability. Also let us look at satellite televisions/telephony. It helped to bring information and connectivity to a large number of Indians in time, bringing many advantages in their daily lives. Some of the advantages are reaching a doctor or getting education. Telemedicine is one area that will be connecting rural hospitals. Efforts have just commenced in this area through a Project of DST (Deptt. of Science & Technology) and a hospital in Andhra Pradesh.

Mission areas with focussed targets in the fields of agriculture or in power sector or in bio-tech or in special materials will improve the quality of life of our people in a short time. Some of the papers addressed in this conference have given this illustration. I would like to emphasise the point that if we know how to focus the applications of science and technology towards the human needs, it would be possible for us to remove the large inequalities and to improve the quality of life and also prepare them to be useful human beings.

High technology and bio-diversity

Recently, I was in a beautiful environment in an island where on one side, thousands and thousands of turtles were rushing day and night travelling long distances in the sea for nesting to propagate in millions. On the other side, there is a beautiful bird sanctuary for thousands of birds, especially rare varieties. It is a nice sight to be seen. In the midst of this environment, there coexists nature and man's technological advancement peacefully. In this island we carried out a flight mission of AGNI-II which as you all know travels at hypersonic speed and re-enters the atmosphere.

This missile is an IRBM having manoeuvrable trajectory, re-entry, guidance and control and above all mobile launcher and launch control centre. The backbone to the entire AGNI testing is the massive communication network separated by large geographical distances and involving platforms and sensors on the ground, on the sea and on the space interconnected on real time with large bandwidth and high speed communication link. I have experienced, creative thrives in biodiversity environment.

Eminent Scientist Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam delivering the Valedictory address.

Developed India: the vision

I would like to share with you the work done towards realising a "developed India". TIFAC task team consisting of 500 experts generated 25 Vision Documents which give a road map for this transformation. To recapitulate, in order to become a developed India the essential needs are:
(a) India has to be economically and commercially powerful, at least to be one of the four top nations in terms of size of the economy. This means, the GDP growth rate has to be 7 to 9% and the people below poverty line must come below 10% from the present 40%.
(b) near self-reliance in defence needs of weapon and equipment with no umbilical cord attached to any outside world,
(c) India should have a standing in the world affairs.

With this vision of Developed India let us look at what we all should do to reach that status. It is the second major movement for the country after the great independence movement. In a movement everybody has a role. Five thrust areas have been identified around which we can take several econo-technological actions involved in such a movement.
(1) Agriculture and food processing
(2) Reliable and quality electric power for all parts of the country
(3) Education and healthcare
(4) Information Technology
(5) Strategic sectors.
These five areas are closely inter-related and lead to national security, food security and economic security.

Integrated action: I wish to suggest how each and every Indian, in different walks of life, can contribute towards realizing the vision for the nation. I had discussions with economists, agricultural experts, technologists from different fields, from industry, government administrators at various levels, non-government professionals and activists, media persons and political leaders at different fora. After discussions, I feel, concerted efforts in five areas can lead to a major movement towards transformation of the nation. These five areas are marked by strong interlinkages and progress in any one of them will lead to simultaneous action in other areas as well.

Concluding remarks

In the presentation you would have seen Indian minds instilled with spiritual bonds, healing touch and love for biodiversity. With the induction of technology thrust, transformation of India as a developed nation is possible. Spiritual and technological minds born out of billion people is indeed a unique strength similar to solar energy radiated in the universe. Only dreams lead to thoughts and thoughts result into action. Action is needed from every citizen and the leaders tuned to this doctrine. We will achieve our mission of a prosperous and spiritual India.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam addressing 15,000 young Brahma Kumaris students in the huge Diamond Hall.

For God and His Country
Glimpses of Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Imagine what APJ Abdul Kalam would be doing today had he not been making Prithvi and Agni. He would, in that case, be certainly meditating in some remote corner of India or doing yoga in the Himalayas. Nuclear warhead carriers like Prithvi are difficult to be associated with meditation and yoga, but life's truths do not always seem logical.

Abdul Kalam is an engineer by training but a spiritualist by temperament, and there does not seem to be any dichotomy between the two. What is even more important is that he does not recognise denominational distinction.

Kalam talks fondly of his childhood days in Rameswaram, an idyllic island in Tamil Nadu, where his modest ancestral home is situated in Mosque street. A famous temple stands close to the mosque where his father used to pray. The temple priest, a respected holy man, was a friend of his father.

He talks about a touching incident in Rameswaram. He used to sit in the front row in his classroom, but when a new teacher joined, he was shocked to see a "Malechcha" boy sitting in the front row. Kalam was ordered to go and sit at the back of the class. When the temple priest learned of the incident, he reprimanded the teacher for his communal behaviour. After that Kalam resumed sitting in the front row.

Kalam seems to be above worldly needs as he leads a spartan existence (he is a vegetarian). It is difficult to fathom why a man like him should devote his entire life to the development of weapons of mass destruction. He thinks that these weapons can promote India's development by deterring aggression and ensuring India's security. Thus an India reassured about its security, would direct all its energies towards development.

Kalam says that his success was because of the guidance of his seniors, the relentless hard work of his colleagues, the love of his old friends, relatives, teachers, his parents, the temple priest and God.

An appreciating nation honoured him with the greatest national award, Bharat Ratna. On his part, Kalam gave everything he had to the nation. He says about his life's journey, "This story will end with me, for I have no inheritance in the worldly sense. I have acquired nothing, built nothing, possess nothing, no family". Kalam, a bachelor, is right when he says he would not leave behind a family, or material possessions but he will certainly leave behind a nation that will remember him with reverence and affection.

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