An Interview on Radio

Name of the Programme:
Moscow - A Multinational City

prepared and broadcasted with cooperation of the
Committee on Public and Regional Connections of Moscow Government

Interview taken by the correspondent and programme director Kim Kukholev, in the month of April 2000 from Sis. Sudha, Sis. Santosh, Bro. Vijay at the launching Programme organized in connection with the International Year of Culture of Peace in Moscow

Song in Hindi.

Corr.: I don't know what the Indian girl is singing about, but no doubt that there is love and peace in her heart because she belongs to Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University that teaches particularly love and peace. Today our report is about a ceremonial event in life of the Moscow Centre of Brahma Kumaris. Today in the hall of Finance Academy under the Russian Government, sisters and brothers from Brahma Kumaris gathered together. This is not an ordinary event. To draw the attention of society, to gather all sisters and brothers the administration of the center came here to this big hall.

Sis. Santosh: This programme is devoted to the International Year of Culture of Peace (IYCP) declared by UN. UNESCO is made responsible by UN to promote this Year of Culture of Peace all over the world. For this purpose, Manifesto-2000 is also created. Brahma Kumaris is a member of UN having a General Consultative status. Now we have signed the partnership agreement with UNESCO in order to help in fulfilling the programme of Manifesto which helps to establish the culture of peace and non-violence. Today the opening ceremony of this programme is taking place.

Corr.: I think some comments are needed to make it clear what is this programme of Manifesto 2000. In my hands there is a document signed by David Adams, the Chairman of the working group of IYCP, Culture of Peace Section. This is the material from UNESCO. It says that the aim of the IYCP is to unite the world community and consolidate activities in such aspects like human rights, democracy, non-violence, solidarity, equality of women rights, sustained development of humanity, national equality, friendship of people of different nations.

Corr.: Talking about friendship between nations and national equality, what is the contribution of the university to this aspect?

Bro. Vijay: We all know very well what unites people. Friendship is there where is mutual understanding, when we go beyond the physical awareness of things like religion, country, nation, culture, traditions, etc. There are common values in our relationships, culture, in our work for the world, that are close to all of us. That is why when we talk about relationship between nations, we specially stress on one particular thing: mutual understanding and cooperation. And we have to sustain this value.

Corr.: Students of how many nationalities come to your Moscow centre?

Sis. Sudha: Many nationalities. Actually, we have never counted, because we do not pay much attention to this thing. Some are from Armenia, some others are from Ukraine. But we never counted this, because this is not so important for us — who belongs to which nationality. We see the soul and that's all.

Corr.: Why does this idea of unity, this idea of your university come from India? Why does it come from that particular country.

Sis. Sudha: The whole world accepts that India, whose ancient name is Bharat, is mother of spiritual wisdom. This spiritual wisdom makes this unity possible. All people say we are brothers, but what is the basis of our brotherhood — nobody explains it. It is spiritual wisdom that explains why we all are brothers, why we all must love each other, help each other, share with each other. Because India is a mother of spiritual wisdom, this idea comes from that place.

Corr.: I want to turn these last words into a question: why we all must (exactly must) love and respect each other and all living on this earth?

Sis. Santosh: The answer is very simple. We talk about the main and universal needs of a person. Whether we live in America or India or Australia, what we want to have in our life? We want to be loved. We do not say that we want that someone should hate us or quarrel with us. Love and mutual understanding are very natural needs of a person like a breath. That is why we must bring them into our life and our relationships so much that they could become a basis of the growth and positive development of humanity. Without this atmosphere of love and understanding we can't make even one step in development of culture of peace.

Corr.: Now it is clear what you are for, but what you are against for?

Bro. Vijay: We are against the anti-cultural behavior of a man. Today we are celebrating a festival of culture, and I would say that now we should deeply understand this aspect and follow it fully so that humanity becomes a cultured society.

Sis. Sudha: We are very much against violence. Not only violence in its narrow sense of the word. Violence can be committed through thoughts, through words, through actions. For example, someone didn't use any weapon to hurt another person, but he used such words that hurted another more than any weapon. This is also violence. A person should be able to control his tongue. The same is with our thoughts. If I have bad thoughts about someone, these thoughts create negative vibrations and these vibrations also bring harm to the soul of another person.

Corr.: It means, we should not force upon somebody our own ideology?

Sis. Santosh: It is really important that first of all we should try to create harmony in our own life. And then also try to understand the needs of those who are around us and act accordingly. If the ideology according to which I am living brings me peace and happiness, I can inspire others to accept this ideology but only through my example. Not through force or violence.

Bro. Vijay: I think, not only I don't like, but nobody on the planet earth likes civil wars, conflicts, quarrels, poverty and such like. How can a person fall down to such a state that he has nothing to eat? Why it happens? Now we must find out the reason and put things on the right path.

Corr.: Where there are more beggars in India or in Russia?

Sis. Sudha: I think this poverty is everywhere. As far as material poverty is concerned, perhaps, in India it is more, because the population is very large there, almost 1 billion. Besides, there are some historical reasons also. We know how many times India was invaded and robbed and now we see what stage it has reached. Still we say that main poverty is the poverty of moral and human values. When a person becomes rich in this, not only he can become rich in terms of material wealth also, but he can make others rich too. The main wealth is the wealth of elevated character and elevated behavior.

Corr.: Can you compare the situation in Moscow and that in St. Petersburg in terms of poverty?

Sis. Santosh: Now everywhere in Russia the number of beggars is increasing because, as you know, there is economical crisis, not only because of unemployment or lack of money but also because there is a lack of moral strength. There are many vices and bad habits in people like alcoholism, because of which person looses the ability to work, to adjust with his family and very quickly finds himself in a street. In St. Petersburg also, it is increasing.

Corr.: When I asked you what you were against, you did not mention alcoholism. And your university was created to fight with such vices like alcoholism, narcotics, etc. Isn't it one of the main aims of your university?

Bro. Vijay: You are speaking rightly. No one should cause the moral damage to any person. Let it be your son or daughter, but you don't have a right to cause pain to anyone.

Sis. Sudha: On the other hand, the time has come when people begin to understand everything. Look at this Manifesto. There are six principles. People began to think about these principles. We can imbibe these principles only when we understand deeply why we have lost them.

Corr.: Could you acquaint me with the main principles of the Manifesto, please.

Bro. Vijay: To respect all life, to reject violence, to share with others, to listen to understand, to preserve our planet, to rediscover solidarity — these are the main six principles of the Manifesto-2000.

Corr.: Would you like to add something here?

Sis. Santosh: I'd like to add, that when we say to respect all life it includes all living beings animals also. Because if there is a desire to kill an animal, then the desire to kill human beings may arise.

Corr.: Our programme is coming to an end and according to our tradition I request you to say a few words of advice to our listeners on this occasion.

Sis. Sudha: I have only one pure desire that may you always be peaceful, loveful and happy and give this happiness, peace and love to others.

Sis. Santosh: If we remember a small lesson: not to give anyone sorrow, not to take sorrow from anyone, our life would become filled with peace and happiness.

Bro. Vijay: Don't forget the word “culture” and every day of your life will become a festival.

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