Mohanji’s speech on day 2 of Peace Pledge Project, The Hague, Netherlands
11-14th September 2017
M: It is my honour and great pleasure to get together with and listen to such great masters who have assembled here. So, what more can I add now? It is a dream come true, but it’s a powerful unification or a statement that we are giving to the world. To accent that, Brigitte, I wouldn’t call this a bridge, I would call it a platform.
M: On a bridge, you keep moving, platform is where we stay. That’s why I was deeply impressed when Swamiji was explaining, because Swamiji predicted this before the whole thing happened.
In 2012 when I visited Kailash, I stayed in his ashram in Diraphuk. I had never met him earlier. I am much younger in that respect, so meeting you here is a big honour. Likewise, I’ve heard about Salman (Syed Salman Chishty) from various people, but coming here and meeting him is a big honour. Jonathan (Granoff) gave me a lot of different dimensions about Sufism that I never knew. As he was talking about it, I was reminded about Advaita (Hindu philosophy of non-dualism). So, at the end of the day, it’s one story, one philosophy. What Sheikha Nur Artiran told in the morning today, I felt it coming from a mother’s heart into the world. The world needs motherhood today. The world is suffering so much probably because of fatherhood!
M: It’s a bit insensitive. Motherhood is the answer for most of the calamities today. I have great respect for Bhai Sahib. A short while ago, my wife texted me, “So did you actually meet Bhai Sahib?” She was also with me at the Gurudwara (in London where Bhai Sahib is based). I said, “I did and I also handed over the book.” And she said, “Excellent. This is beautiful.” So, it’s all coming together. It’s a dream come true as well. Brigitte, I cannot begin to explain what you are doing now. I don’t think this end here. What you have become an instrument for or what you’ve come forward for with the blessings of Dr Murshid Karimbakhsh Witteveen (Chairman, Universal Sufi Council) for sure and Hazrat Inayat Khan.
It is the sankalpa (the intention) of Hazrat Inayat Khan that is represented through all of us here. This team of people have come together, because of the sankalpa, the intention of a great master who transcended time. How do you know whether a master was great? When his body is not bound by his intention. When the intention transcends his body and travels to people like us. We are all united here for one purpose. Call it peace or harmony, or whatever you want to, but the intention brought all of these people together. So, the power of sankalpa can never be underestimated.
Murshid Karimbakhsh put this together and you became an instrument – this is no ordinary thing. This is a very powerful composition. We have all come together. What the Rabbi was telling me today, as well as our brother from Pakistan – I was feeling so good that everybody was speaking the same language. Chief Imam (Dr Umer Ilyasi) was talking about the Rohingya Muslims.
Two days ago, I saw a short video of a small girl crying and I felt so deeply that I couldn’t watch it fully. Crying for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter. She was crying. That is the main point. And I have lost a daughter. She was run over by a truck in 2000, so I know what it feels to have that feeling. Most of the things I tell the world are my experiences. I have not read anything that important to tell people. I convey only my experiences. I was very attached to my daughter. She was four-and-a-half years old and she was crossing the street and was run over by a truck.
Based on that, I started ACT Foundation which is now in many parts of the world. I had no intention to start any charity organisation because there were plenty. But when I tried to help through certain organisations, I found out that there are people within those organisations who siphon money more than they give to people. It means highly paid CEOs and that kind of stuff. So, I thought this is not what I want to do. I started a platform. I said, no membership fee, no compulsory payment.
We will just talk about events or the needs. Somebody comes and invests. It has been working for the last 14 years. I started it in 2003. When I saw this small child crying I had the same feeling that I had when I went to the World War Memorial in Washington. They said, “Never again in history should this happen.”
M: It happened again in Cambodia, China, Russia, Iraq, Serbia, now in Myanmar. So, what are we talking about? Where were we? It’s written on the outside, ‘It should never again happen in history. People should not be killed.’ So why are we killing people based on religion? Because we cannot see ourselves in other people. There is a very important line in the scriptures that says, ‘When you see people outside of you, you have a lot of work to do. When you see yourself in everybody, you are home.’ So, if I see there are people outside of me, I am nobody. I am just another useless person in this world. But the moment I see everybody as a reflection of myself, then I have arrived. Only then do we have the right to talk about peace. Otherwise, we do not have peace within ourselves.
Then, what are we talking about? It’s just a theory we are talking about – from books or from some idea. But, if we have a look at all the human and non-human beings of this world, everybody is asking for peace. If you ask, “What can we offer you?” The answer is, “Just leave us alone, just let us be peaceful. But we don’t do that. We don’t allow that, you know. We try to conquer, we try to capture and then we try to put our ideas into somebody else’s life making a mess of it. We have nothing to teach the world. This is what I have always felt. I spent six years in silence before I started giving lectures and I never intended to give lectures. When I was working until 2012 in the logistics industry, I never thought I would come in front of people and talk. It was a bit of dilemma for me to come to people and say, “I’ll tell you something.”
I never thought I was eligible for any of this. Then, I was communicating with certain masters. They said, “You know, people will come to see the silence in you. All you have to do is to keep quiet.”
M: (laughs). That is the most difficult thing. We are eager to say something to everybody. I always tell people, “You are not supposed to speak like that. God has given you two ears and one mouth. Listen more, speak less.” This is more important today. Tajinder was talking about Bhai Sahib doing so many things in Africa, etc. That moment I said, “I must meet you. We will come there.” The point is that you are setting examples.
You have already set a lot of examples. I can’t even begin to explain how that will impact. But one point I wanted to say about Murshid Karimbakhsh, Bhai Sahib and Pujya Swamiji – their life is their biggest message. All the masters of the past and, as I said, the sankalpa of Hazrat Inayat Khan brought us here. It doesn’t matter what we believe in but the power that put us together is this intention. Like that, this intention will go a long way. What we sow will later on become a tree. We have sown the seeds.
I can’t even express my gratitude to Lakshmi (Bhatia Menon). She introduced me to Brigitte, an amazing soul – completely selfless! She doesn’t do anything for herself. She asked me, “Would you like to come?” I had a bit of thoughts. See, people invite me (even from the commercial world) to speak, although I left the commercial world a long time ago. Like, I had an invitation from China about the role of IT in the logistics industry. I said, “I’m not an expert on IT.” So, I thought, “What would I do if I come here?” Brigitte and I spoke, and then, I got a message from her. I read nothing from it except sincerity. The words were not important. Her conviction about this activity, this gathering and the sincerity, was enough for me to take a decision.
Then I told my team to change my other appointments, I’m going. It’s a language which we don’t speak, which brings us together. Language always separates us. Usually language, colour, ideas – separate us. But it is sincerity and honesty that unites us.
When I talk about forgiveness, I ask the person, “Are you playing with your mind?” Usually we forgive people for a few hours, then we say, “No, that guy was really bad.” I say, “Do not manipulate forgiveness. Let go. Let go of the event, the person and the whole situation. Then you are free.” Otherwise, forgiveness can be a mind game. The more you play with your mind, the more you are stuck. That is why we remember.
We do not move with time. Body moves with time, we become older. Mind stays behind. If we don’t take the mind with us, equally, when body is moving, we have pains. That’s a recipe for pain and all the feelings in life which are basically dividing people. I think we should let go of the past because we can do nothing about it, it’s finished.
I heard from Jonathan about the master who he was with for 15 years. He transformed himself into another person when somebody came to meet him, not as a mirror reflecting, but he becomes that person. If we can strive for that, which means the ‘you factor’ is diluted so much that we become everything – the flower, the tree, the plants, the animals, the birds – everything at every point in time, I guarantee there will be no borders. And I always believe there should not be even a passport.
There are actually too many borders these days, too many passports. I initiated a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office a while ago, where we said, that rulers in olden days used to support missions of peace and messengers of peace. Now no one supports. No airlines give us any free passes, free airline tickets or no hotel is giving us any discount. But if the government takes care of all of us, I guarantee you at least 80% of the philanthropists as well as true spiritual masters, not even spiritual, but peace messengers with a good hearts, will opt not to have any cost of payment for their services to the world. They will not have to charge for their presence or time. This is important to consider.
Because we are not meeting too many saints today who are free to just spread the message of peace because all are bound by mundane costs of life and are forced to charge to survive. We need much more peace makers. That’s why in the Mohanji Youth Club, when they asked which meditation should they practise, I said, “Don’t practise any meditation. Just be good, do good. Enough.”
M: There is nothing to talk about. Just be yourself. If you are naturally yourself, you are 100% good. Because you wouldn’t want to harm anybody. The moment you wear the robe of religion, community, country, class, colour…then we have flavours. I always say, religion is something that applies from when you wake up till when you sleep while spirituality is your nature. If you have a soul, you are spiritual. There are five aspects: physical, emotional, intellectual, personality (which is ego) and spiritual. These are five major aspects.
The physical – we eat food and we have all the requirements of the physical body as long as we are alive; emotional – the mind factor; intellectual – the analysis factor; the ego – personality is what we are trying to protect all the time, giving the ’right’ image to the world. What we are projecting is not us.
What we project outside may not be 100% us. It can be what we choose to project, not what we are. This is what we are trying to safeguard all the time. Then comes the spirit. The moment you realise that without the spirit, the physical, emotional, intellectual and personality do not exist, we are spiritual. Only one awareness is needed. Being spiritual is being aware of your spirit which is running the whole show. That is our every-moment thing. It is not something which we can cultivate.
But religion, according to me, is a road map. You can choose any roadmap to reach the ocean. Various rivers reach the same ocean. So I believe that everything has value, equal importance, equal relevance and is good for somebody. It may not be good for everybody. But the aspect of respect must be there. Everybody has the same pleasures and pains, etc.
That’s about it, I’d like to thank you for making me speak, I was actually reluctant to speak because I did not know what to say especially when I heard all the people speaking. I didn’t know I could speak so much!
Watch a short video here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCcYn8AT-LM
Transcribed by Biljana Vozarevic