Kadamba Kanana Swami
(26 December 2011, Sasolburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Irreligion leads to materialism, selfishness and ultimately a world where man takes it that he is the proprietor. But unfortunately, disputes will arise between different proprietors that will create tension and war. Therefore irreligion, on the long-run, is not going to benefit society. There are many arguments for that, for example, the ecological issues. If you want to really improve the environmental issues, the difficulty is that you have to get people into the spirit of making sacrifice because there is profit to make.
Ok, maybe I cause some pollution but I make a lot of money. So, how could I let that go? And, you know, I don’t live so close to the factory that it bothers me personally. I make sure that I live in a nice area.
That’s how it works in the world… what to do!? So in all these environmental conferences, generally speaking, the topic comes up that we have to change the mood of people to a different spirit and how can we create this kind of mood of sacrifice. Inevitably, someone raises the point that only spirituality can really motivate people to make such a sacrifice. So that’s an ecological argument in favour of religion.
Some years ago in Manila, in the HIV conference, the point made was that the condom campaign had not worked. It had not really stopped the spreading of HIV and abstinence was the only thing. So then again, how can you get to that abstinence? Unless there is some spirituality, it’s very difficult… otherwise how can people be motivated towards that.
We see that on many fronts where the world is facing serious difficulties, that actually a spiritual orientation is offering practical solutions.