|Thursday, July 6, 2000,
FLURRY OVER CTBT
religion and values
AFTER considerable confusion and speculation, the Centre has set the record straight about its presumably varying views on the highly sensitive demand of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for a larger dose of autonomy. The Union Cabinet has unanimously rejected as "unacceptable" the June 26 resolution of the State Assembly in this regard. It has rightly stated that the acceptance of the resolution would "set the clock back and reverse the natural process of harmonising the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the integrity of the nation". Indeed, the Centre could not have accepted any proposal which reverses the evolution of relations of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. After all, the series of the post-1953 developments cannot be undone at one go. They too represent the will of the people as expressed from time to time. Who is fooling whom? The tragedy of Kashmir is that the valley politicians have manipulated the strings of power to perpetually create a climate of uncertainty in the state. They have never cared to bother about the feelings of the Ladakhis and Kashmiri Pandits living in different areas.
By suddenly striking a defiant posture, the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has apparently been playing a deep-rooted game for his political survival. It is a fact that he has badly managed men, matters and issues. Instead of addressing himself to numerous problems facing the state, he has, more often than not, indulged in gimmick to keep himself in the business of power. This has been his style. This has been his strong as well as weak points in his long political innings. The timing of the June 26 resolution has mercifully exposed him. During the past two weeks, he has been saying different things at different places, just to confuse the persons who matter in Srinagar and New Delhi. He has now dubbed the Union Cabinet's decision as "unfortunate". What is, however, unfortunate is the way he has raked up the autonomy issue to the embarrassment of the Central leaders.
The question of autonomy cannot be viewed in isolation. A delicate matter, Dr Abdullah should have discussed it informally with the Central leaders. If he has had any genuine problem, it could have been tackled. In any case, the answer to the problems facing Kashmir is not greater autonomy but better governance. The Chief Minister has failed in this primary task. In fact, he could have silenced his critics and militant leaders by improving the quality of administration and apt political management. Also as Chief Minister, he should have been alive to the sensitivities of the people in Ladakh and Jammu. As of now, they have been discriminated against in all areas of governance.
It is, however,
noteworthy that while rejecting the autonomy resolution,
the Union Home Minister has said that the Centre is
willing to discuss the devolution of financial powers. In
fact, the whole exercise needs to be directed at this
vital area. Genuine devolution of power, both financial
and otherwise, should enable the states, Jammu and
Kashmir included, to function more efficiently and with
initiative, responsibility and accountability. It is time
Dr Abdullah stopped playing game and worked for the
larger good of the people. Gimmicks, if stretched too
far, becomes counter-productive. He should learn a lesson
or two from his father's mistakes. This will do him a lot
Saudis in rescue act
SAUDI ARABIA has launched itself on a solo crude price stabilising mission, provoking most OPEC members into vituperation but earning unconcealed admiration of big consuming countries. It stunned everyone by expressing its readiness to pump out an additional 500,000 barrels a day, and the market promptly brought down crude price from $30.40 a barrel to $29.70. This is a token fall but newspapers and analysts deployed superlatives like tumble, plunge and crash to hail the development. It was an exaggeration, but it accurately reflects the huge sense of relief in the western world. In fact, it is more than that. The biggest oil producing country has signalled that it would do anything to bring the price down to about $25 a barrel and keep it there. And it has the spare production capacity to accomplish it. The Saudi action is sensational for several reasons. One, it is acting on its own and did not consult or inform even its friendly neighbour, Kuwait. Only last Sunday that is, hours before the dramatic announcement a senior Saudi prince was in Kuwait to sign a border pact and later did the traditional sword dance of the region. Two, this hush-hush method cannot be fully explained by its extreme vulnerability to western pressure. There are other OPEC members in the same league. Actually, OPEC as an organisation is committed to maintaining crude price at the comfort zone of $25 a barrel and only a few days earlier agreed to increase production by 708,000 barrels a day to raise total production to 25.4 million barrels. The volume of extra crude may be marginal but it sent out a strong signal that there is unanimity to manipulate the outflow to rein in the price. The June decision was preceded by a similar move in March which pushed the price down to $25 a barrel from above $30 a barrel. Saudi Arabia obviously feels that many OPEC members will oppose a second price-cutting measure within 10 days and hence has decided to go it alone.
Saudi Arabia has
unutilised excess production capacity of more than two
million barrels and only Kuwait and the United Arab
Emirates have this luxury. The UAE has said it too will
pump out more crude if the price does not respond
positively. Kuwait has complained of being ignored but is
yet to come out with its reaction. If it joins hands with
the other two, there will come into existence a mini OPEC
within OPEC, a sort of ganging up to manipulate the
price. The oil cartel is not as united or strong as its
critics fear it is. The latest Saudi action will only
further weaken the organisation. But oil importing
countries are greatly relieved in the firm knowledge that
the price will not go up even if it does not quickly come
down. European nations have increased the interest rate
to combat oilprice-induced inflation. There is raucous
public protest in Britain over the steep rise in petrol
prices, 97 cents a litre. Americans who claim a birth
right to buy gas at a dollar a gallon (nearly
five litres) are very angry at the extortionist rate. It
is the combined effect of popular mood, government
anxiety and stalled economic activity that has worked on
Saudi Arabia to take the plunge. India has reason to be
happy. If the price rolls back to $25 a barrel, it will
have a favourable impact on the oil import bill, budgeted
at Rs 70,000 crore for the current year.
Joint power projects
THE plan for the setting up of joint hydroelectric projects by Punjab and Haryana in Himachal Pradesh has been in the air for quite some time now but is bogged down in the bureaucratic labyrinth, thanks to ego hassles at various levels. Stripped of these avoidable roadblocks, it is a good idea indeed. Such inter-State cooperation is not only desirable but also mandatory if the tremendous hydroelectric potential of the hill State is to be exploited. Of the total 80,000 MW hydel power potential in the country, nearly one-fourth is located in Himachal Pradesh alone. But due to financial restraints, only a fraction of this resource has been utilised so far. After allowing the precious national treasure to virtually go down the drain all these years realisation has dawned on the powers that be that it is a criminal waste that must be stopped forthwith. Himachal Pradesh cannot harness the power alone because of the cost factor. The choice before it is to either hand over the job to private entrepreneurs or to join hands with neighbouring States. Of these options, the latter is much better for obvious reasons. Himachal Pradesh will be paid a royalty of 12 per cent by Punjab and Haryana for tapping the hydroelectric potential. In fact, Chandigarh is also interested in financing a similar project. These huge projects will not only generate new jobs but will also earn the hill State sizeable revenue. That can change the financial prospects of Himachal Pradesh, which has only the hydroelectric potential and tourism to fall back upon.
Some States of the
Indian Union have lived like adversaries for far too
long. It is indeed a matter of national shame that our
share of water has been flowing untapped to a
neighbouring country while we fight among ourselves. At
the same time, the economy of Punjab and Haryana has been
hit in the absence of sufficient power. The joint
projects can be a panacea for all these ills. Now is the
time to revive congenial, mutually beneficial relations.
In fact, the potential available is so vast that it will
be worthwhile to include Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh as
well in the joint ventures. At a later stage, the entire
northern region can be converted into a large power grid,
quite similar to a free trade zone. That will be in every
States interest. The cost of generation and
distribution can be brought down considerably this way.
However, the enthusiasm about the venture has to be
tempered by the fact that so far the discussion has been
only at the official level. No memorandum of
understanding has been signed between the electricity
boards of the three States. One hopes that the political
masters will be as enthused by the proposal as the power
officials are and the rivalry displayed for the sake of
garnering votes will not be allowed to become an
NEEDLESS FLURRY OVER CTBT
ALL of a sudden the CTBT, or rather the need to build a national consensus on it, seems to have acquired a remarkable degree of urgency. On his return from the India-European Union summit in Lisbon, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, made it a point to stress that consensus building on the test ban treaty would be accelerated. And in reply to a question he even indicated that the process might be completed by the end of the year.
His Foreign Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, went a step further. For, he announced that the CTBT would be placed before Parliament during the monsoon session, due to begin in a fortnights time. Now, there is a certain dissonance between his assertion and the timeframe Mr Vajpayee has in mind. This is so because to hold a discussion on the CTBT in Parliament before evolving a consensus on signing it behind the scenes will be hazardous, to put it mildly. It would indeed be worse than putting the cart before the horse.
In any case, before proceeding any further, Mr Vajpayee and Mr Singh have to answer a pertinent question raised by the Congress: Why this flurry and hurry about a treaty that is, for all practical purposes dead? After all, the US Senate has rejected it decisively, and it cannot come into force until this decision is reversed. China, too, has done nothing to implement its declaration that it would ratify the treaty regardless of the US Senates decision. To be sure, the Congress itself is confused and incoherent about its overall nuclear policy. But that in no way detracts from the relevance and salience of its query about the CTBT.
One does not have to be a sleuth of Sherlock Holmes distinction to discover that the Vajpayee government continues to be under pressure from the USA and its European allies (to say nothing of such countries as Japan) not to delay the signing of the CTBT any further. While the Prime Minister talked to the EU President in Lisbon, Mr Jaswant Singh was engaged in a palaver with the US Secretary of State, Ms Madeleine Albright, in Warsaw. In the course of these talks some kind of an assurance that the CTBT will be on Parliaments immediate agenda appears to have been given. Nor is it a pure coincidence that Mr Vajpayees year-end deadline for a consensus in this country on the CTBT suits President Clinton who has set his heart on Indian adherence to the CTBT before he exits the White House on the third of January 2001. For its part, the Vajpayee government has led Mr Clinton to believe that it is serious about converting its voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests into a de jure international legal commitment as soon as possible.
All efforts to improve relations with the USA, Europe and Japan are welcome and must be supported. But energies devoted to persuading the country to sign the CTBT at this stage can only be wasteful. For, dead at present the CTBT could be irretrievably buried very soon. If this is not sufficiently realised here, the reason is that, outside the arena of some of our bilateral relationships, we tend not to follow international developments of even very high import.
In the midst of the election campaign, the USA is moving towards the highly controversial and divisive National Missile Defence system (NMD). Mr Clinton is cautious about it but the sentiment in his country and compulsions of electoral politics are driving him on a dangerous course. Russia, in the person of its dynamic new President, Mr Vladimir Putin, has put America and the world on notice that should the US go ahead with NMD, he would cancel not only Russian ratification of the CTBT but also withdraw from other arms control commitments.
Chinas anger against NMD, and indeed against its cousin, Theatre Missile Defence (TMD) in Eastern Asia, is even greater. For the understandable reason that the latter system is devised to downgrade the Chinese nuclear deterrent. What is more, TMD is supposed to defend not only Japan and South Korea from North Korean missiles but also to give the same cover to Taiwan. This is a matter of the greatest sensitivity to China that has already blocked all work at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
Back home the nuclear discourse such as it is remains as vitiated as ever. No one yet knows what the fate of the draft nuclear doctrine is. The Command and Control system also continues to be opaque. There is no sign of the armed forces being involved in nuclear policy making in any way. Nor has anyone in authority made the slightest attempt to counter the vehement criticism of nuclear weapons by a fairly large section of the intelligentsia that is clearly out of sync with the support to overt nuclearisation by a vast majority of the people.
Above all, the steadily escalating discord between the BJP-led ruling alliance and the principal opposition party, the Congress, is such that to hope for a consensus on any issue, leave alone the CTBT, is to fly in the face of reality. The situation is complicated further because the RSS is totally opposed to the CTBT.
Even within the highest echelons of the government the understanding of the complexities and delicacy of the nuclear question is sadly lacking. Mr L.K. Advani, who had made a most ill-advised statement immediately after the Pokhran-II tests, repeated the performance during a visit to Israel. He told the media that growing cooperation between India and Israel would extend to the nuclear field. Arab friends of this country were alarmed, and said so. Even the Israeli hosts were embarrassed. The statement had to be retracted.
Unlike the CTBT, this countrys bid to get a permanent seat of the Security Council, which has to be expanded as part of the long overdue reform of the United Nations, causes no controversy here. On the contrary, there is unanimity that this might happen although there may be differences on how to go about it.
However, the Vajpayee government deserves credit for going ahead with the task with the necessary vigour. The Prime Minister personally took up the matter with his EU hosts and secured the support of at least Portugal, if not of the European Union as a whole. Earlier, the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, had discussed this issue with the top Chinese leaders during his official visit to China.
His hosts were supportive of the idea of UN reforms and the Security Councils expansion. They were also for great representation in the world body of Asia. But they were totally non-committal on Indias candidature, and were even reluctant to spell out the criteria for including new members in the expanded Security Council.
On a visit to Moscow,
the Foreign Minister had better luck. Russia gave
unqualified support to Indias permanent membership
of the Security Council. But this was only to be
expected. And it does not change the fundamental fact
that international support for Indias claim to a
permanent seat on the worlds top table is still
limited. America, the global trendsetter, is not in
favour, notwithstanding an atmosphere of virtual
honeymoon between India and the USA that prevails more in
New Delhi than in Washington. However, there is no reason
to give up and throw in the towel.
ANNUAL confidential reports (ACR) in the army are no laughing matter they are formal documents that can make or break an officers career. Hence, they are initiated by Commanding Officers (CO) in all earnestness and are reviewed by senior officers in the reporting channel to ensure objectivity and justice. However, like in all else in life, humour sometimes sneaks in.
As the story goes, a CO endorsed several negative remarks in the ACR of his Second in Command (2IC). Seeking to moderate the report, the Brigade Commander wrote: I do not agree with the COs remarks; it is obviously a clash of personalities. The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division provided his own unique insight: I do not share the perception of the Brigade Commander because neither the CO nor his 2IC has a personality. It is not known what the Corps Commander thought of this tongue-in-cheek reporting.
While operating in the field important landmarks are given suitable names so that they can be used as reference points for orders and instructions to subordinates, particularly personnel below officer rank. Naming landmarks correctly comes with experience, which most of us sorely lacked during our training days as Gentlemen Cadets at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, in 1971. During a tactical exercise without troops, Balasubrahmaniam, who was, well, different, was called upon to give platoon commanders orders for launching an assault on a mock enemy position. While indicating landmarks, he produced this great gem: Look to your front. At 400 metres, there is round mango tree. Call it lemon tree.
The whole squad spontaneously burst out laughing. The instructor was not amused. He ordered us to sprint up to the mango tree and back. It was a long run slithering down the steep bank of Tons River, dodging the boulders on the riverbed and then struggling up the bank back to the training stand. When we returned panting, Bala had us in splits again. The instructor asked him why he had chosen to call a mango tree a lemon tree. A couple of seconds passed before Bala replied, Sir, to confuse the enemy. Back to the tree we went this time for two rounds.
During Indian crickets infamous summer of42, I was attending the Driving and Maintenance course at the Army School of Mechanical Transport, Faizabad. The food in the student Officers Mess was wholesome but lacked variety and could certainly not be termed delicious. Obviously, it was a sore point with most of us. Whenever the mess secretary came along, he was besieged by the students and had to put up with numerous suggestions.
One afternoon, after a
rather gruelling day training in the sun, we were
pleasantly surprised to discover that a fairly sumptuous
Chinese meal had been prepared for us. However, our
appetite vanished with the first few spoonfuls, as almost
every dish was decidedly unpalatable. I wrote in the
Suggestions Book: We appreciate the mess
secretarys culinary endeavours. However, we will be
even more grateful if he does not attempt to serve
Chinese food to us again. The establishment was not
amused. I was marched up to the Commandant for writing
frivolous complaints in what was meant to be a
Odds against small industry
BROADLY speaking, small-scale industry given favourable conditions can enlarge employment for the work force as well as supplies for the satisfaction of essential domestic consumption needs in India. It must, therefore, be assigned a key role in economic policy-making. In any rational scheme of things in the present level and stage of socio-economic development of India, large-scale industry which is capital intensive and labour-saving must be properly regulated and developed mainly for the purpose of competitive exports.
It is ironic, however, that the small-scale industry and handicrafts have been playing a major export role even as big industry has tended to cater to the effective demand in the market of upper strata of the population. The government policy has lately also become brazen in favour of liberal arrangements for the entry of transnational corporations, directly or in collaboration with domestic large-scale industry, for the same purpose. This is what market-oriented economic growth and reform policy is all about.
When the process of economic growth of India was planned, after gaining political independence, three important tasks were visualised for the development of Indian industry. First, to generate a large number of centres of capital accumulation. Second, quickly to enlarge employment opportunities. Third, spread industrial activities to reduce income disparities between social strata as well as geographical regions. It was laid down that the production of consumer goods should, by and large, be reserved for the small-scale industry and the long-gestating and technologically more difficult and complex capital goods production should be undertaken in the public sector. This limited the scope for the expansion of private large-scale corporate sector in the process of industrialisation.
But, in practice, while the private corporate industry took advantage of subsidised inputs from public sector, it made inroads into areas demarcated for the small-scale sector to grow. The development of ancillaries as well as small industries development schemes were exploited for this purpose. This helped the private corporate industry to gain strength and enlarge its economic as well as social and political base.
The large corporate sector in industry in India has succeeded over the years in subverting the industrial policy as originally conceived and delineated. It succeeded to do this because of bureaucratic distortions and political weakness in the implementation of the policy and five year plans. In the case of the small-scale industry, this was done by the ancillarisation and subcontracting arrangements. Ancillary relationship which has to be between firms of unequal economic power has been exploited by dominant firms to control the production and marketing pattern of industrial products. The big firms selling under their brand names the products of even small-scale industry and have been regulating the sale of products and flow of credit and payments in the industrial sector. The private corporate has also found opportunities to gain from tax concessions and exemptions ostensibly for the small-scale industry.
In spite of an elaborate licensing system and controls on prices and distribution of the products of the industry, the industrial structure in the country as it has evolved, has tended to rest on a narrow base of elitists consumption demand. Any shrinkage in this demand and the sign of emergence of consumer resistance which manifests sharply in the wake of bouts of high inflation or the deflationary measures adopted by the government to arrest inflation from time to time have resulted in weakening the bargaining position of the small-scale industry and dominance of the private corporate sector in the industrial structure. This has gravely hit the development of small-scale industry on healthy lines as originally conceived.
After the Indian market has been opened up for the imports of goods, services and capital on a preferential basis, however, optimal utilisation of the existing capacity and expansion of the capacity of not only small but also big corporate Indian industry too has come up under serious constraints. Competition of powerful multinational corporations in the domestic market has become a major disincentive for the growth of the Indian industry. The position has become ominous with the freeze, preparatory to disinvestment of public investment in industry. The small-scale industry is suffering most grievously in this dispensation.
hesitation, the NDA government headed by Mr A.B.
Vajpayee, has also fallen in line for the implementation
of schemes to further undermine the small-scale industry.
The raising of investment level and deservation of items
for production in the small-scale industry have been
proposed. The small-scale industry has also been opened
for foreign investment. The implications of these
proposals are highly adverse in respect of labour
absorption as well as costs and prices of goods
manufactured in the industrial sector for the mass of the
people. They are gravely damaging and distorting the
crucial role that the small-scale industry can and should
play in a socially broad-based industrial development
process in the prevailing socio-economic conditions in
Reason, religion and values
FOR many, reason, religion and values seem to contradict each other. However, it is not so. On the contrary, they complement each other. Religion held its sway until the 19th century when in the western world reason took over and religion came under a shadow. For long, religion was misused by powerful vested interests. Religion also became part of the ruling establishment. In fact, for long it was the church which also held political power until Martin Luther a German Christian theologian challenged the authority of the church, both religious as well as political. Since then the church has been coming under open attack.
Also, the bourgeois revolution further weakened the authority of the church and gave supremacy to reason. The bourgeois class asserted its independence and the faculty of reason was of supreme importance to them. The bourgeoisie in Europe became the agent of change and scientific revolution. The church had, so far, subordinated reason and given supremacy to dogmas which could not be questioned. The scientists who were the products of far-reaching changes in society began to attack religion as it was thought to be the main culprit in devaluing reason. Reason was not perceived as a new god. It began to be worshipped as it delivered quick results in material terms.
However, it is worthy of note that neither religion nor reason by itself can serve useful purpose for humanity. Religion, without reason tends to become a dogma, a blind faith which can neither be examined nor questioned. It results in superstition on the one hand, and stagnation on the other. And it is much worse when religion as superstition and blind faith becomes a powerful tool in the hands of vested interests. It, therefore, came under attack from rationalists who condemned religion per se. However, for many, rationalism also became religion and their faith in reason was no less dogmatic. They totally disregarded the importance of values and spirituality.
Today, when the progress of science and technology is at its peak, it is being as much misused as religion by vested interests. Nowadays, either we have people blindly following religion (who have come to be labelled as 'fundamentalists') or we have those who worship reason blindly. Also, the collapse of communism and liberalisation of the economy and globalisation have led to consumerism.
Material comforts and consumption are new gods for many. Values like compassion, justice and equity have no meaning for the worshippers of consumerism. All religions have emphasised some values. Hinduism and Jainism emphasise non-violence, Buddhism compassion, Christianity love, Islam justice and equality and Sikhism truthfulness and equality.
These values are complementary to each other rather than contradictory. If we imbibe all these values we will not only develop respect for all these religions but also become sensitive to others sufferings.
Sensitivity to others suffering is fundamental to humanity and unrestrained consumerism of the modern society makes people indifferent and insensitive. Reason is very important and a great necessity for a successful life but is not enough for making life meaningful.
Our emphasis today is on making life successful rather than meaningful. To make life meaningful we have to emphasise these fundamental values. Science can unravel many mysteries by discovering causes of phenomena but it cannot provide direction to life, nor can it find answers to many philosophical questions.
Many prophets and seers came for our spiritual guidance but our material interests reigned supreme and we spent more efforts on earning material comforts even at the cost of others than on discovering our inner world and spiritual universe.
Erich Fromm, a noted psycho-analyst and disciple of Freud, once remarked that we have acquired great proficiency in exploring the universe out there but have totally neglected exploring our inner world.
I am not proposing that we should not explore the outer world but I am saying that we should not lose ourselves in it. Reason should be tempered with values and faith should be wedded to reason for making life both successful and meaningful.
A successful life without meaningfulness can lead to violence and exploitation, oppression and ruthlessness. Success is often at the cost of others in our competitive world. What we need is togetherness of entire humanity, fellow feeling and sensitivity.
AN open clash between a Catholic priest, who is a college principal, and a nun, who teaches in the college, has been averted following intervention by the church authorities and social activists in Keralas Kottayam district.
The issue came out in the open when the nun, Sister P.V. Rosy, took the unprecedented step of holding a press conference and unleashing a barrage of charges against the principal, Father Sebastian Alappattukunnel.
Sister Rosy, who heads the Zoology Department in the college, accused the principal of mentally torturing her for several years and said that if the college and church authorities turned a deaf ear to her complaints, she would be forced to move court.
She said that on June 28, the priest caught hold of her hand and dress in the exam hall in St. George College at Aruvithura in Kottayam district in the presence of her students. Sister Rosy said she was forced to go on one years leave with loss of pay due to continuous threats and the humiliating behaviour of the principal.
Father Sebastian countered the charges by holding another press conference. He said the nun had been a constant source of trouble and she discriminated among her students. He denied that he caught hold of her hand and dress to get her out of the exam hall and said he would lodge a complaint with the university authorities.
Social activist Joemon Puthenpurakkal, who heads the Action Council following the case of Sister Abhaya who was found murdered in the well of a Kottayam convent, and Poonjar legislator P.C. George initiated reconciliation moves even as the nun was contemplating legal action against the priest.
Joemon and George convinced the warring parties that their fight would not only tarnish the image of the principal, the teacher and the college but also of the church.
According to the agreement reached, the college management will not take any disciplinary action against the nun and both parties would desist from making public allegations. The nuns complaints would be looked into and proper working environment ensured. It was also agreed that those who took part in the reconciliation process would not discuss the matter with mediapersons.
All problems have been discussed and solved. Neither the principal nor the teacher has any complaint against each other. There wont be any complaint in the future also, George said.
The issue cropped up
even as the Kerala church is facing a tough time on
account of growing suicide or murder cases among nuns,
disputes over liturgical changes, a newly introduced
cross and a set of rules placing church properties at the
disposal of the clergy. India Abroad News
Know the Self as the Lord of the chariot, and body as the chariot. Know intellect as the charioteer, and mind as the rein. Senses are said to be the horses, and sense objects what they range over. The Self, united with senses and mind, wise men say, is the enjoyer.
Katha Upanishad, III, 3-4
We must be like the fountain or spring that is continually emptying itself of all that it has and is continually being refilled from an invisible source. To be continually giving out for the good of our fellows undeterred by the fear of poverty and reliant on the unfailing bounty of the Source of all wealth and all good this is the secret of right living.
Abdul Baha, The New Garden
In the forge of continence,
Let patience be the goldsmith,
On the anvil of understanding
Let him strike with the hammer of knowledge;
Let the fear of God be the bellows,
Let austerities be the fire,
Let the love of God be the crucible,
Let the nectar of life be melted in it;
Thus in the mint of Truth,
A man may coin the Word,
This is the practice of those
On whom God looks with favour.
Nanak, our gracious Lord
With a glance makes us happy.
Guru Nanak Dev, Japuji Sahib, 38
What gain, what benefit greater that virtues can man obtain? Know ye for certain that there is no greater gain than virtue and no greater loss than to forget the same. Strive with ceaseless effort to work your way along the path of righteousness as far as you can in all aspects of conduct.... Know ye, that what ought to be done by each is virtue and that what ought to be shunned by each is vice.
Tirukkural, Chapter IV, 31-33, 40
The sons of Adam are formed from dust; if not humble as the dust, they fall short of being men.
Sheikh Saadi, Gulistan, 2.42
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