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Home IOUF Press Science & Spirituality Conference Silk Road by Gulab Kothari, PhD, February 17, 2011
Silk Road by Gulab Kothari, PhD, February 17, 2011

Rajasthan Patrika

January 17, 2011


It is my privilege to welcome you all in this historic Pink City, and the land of Rajasthan Patrika. And, it is the spring season when your hearts would be full of love and romance to travel the Silk Road of peace and harmony based on awareness. I am particularly thankful to Prof. Jan and Dr. Fay Hakemulder for bestowing this opportunity to hold this conference in Jaipur. We are honored.



It is my experience that in life it is easy to achieve what we want, but difficult to enjoy it! Now we will talk about the Silk Road. Every road must lead to a destination, even a blind alley. If there is no destination, there can be no road. Unfortunately, people travel everyday in life without knowing what or where their destination is. This is why they cannot enjoy what they have or achieve. They run after what they do not have and at the end of the journey of life they are nowhere.

We want to globalize ourselves and would prefer to be free from any form of cultural bondage. We want to remain free, independent of every norm which society wants to impose on us to regulate our lifestyle. We immerse ourselves in television, internet, or mobile phones without thinking about anything else than our own selves. From this self-centered attitude we desire to dream of a Silk Road of peace and harmony in the world.

When we no longer value our society or nation, our cultural basis undergoes erosion as well. No longer do the ethics or moral values derived from our tradition and folklore figure in shaping our lives. There is no more norm or yardstick to judge good from bad, right from wrong. We want to move with the crowd. The mass media decide the road we take, with no goals to achieve or destination to reach. There is no timeframe for any achievement – individual, social nor national. There is no sense of social belonging among people. When we do not want to belong to our parents, how can we belong to a nation or to nature? Who will clear the thorns from our path? Why then are we dreaming of a Silk Road? When science and technology and globalized trade have opened endless vistas in all directions, why are we looking for another Silk Road? The answer is: we need a human heart to use these products for human wellbeing, for peace and harmony. What is the roadblock which obstructs us?

The answer lies in our system of education. It kills the humaneness in human society. It takes away all natural strength and potential one is born with, so that we can no longer lead a natural life, a life in tune with nature. We cannot connect with people, we do not feel connected with them, and we have no time to think about anyone or anything except in terms relating to our own selves.

We are “educated” to live for ourselves. Information and knowledge are the input we receive through education, and these cannot build the strength of the human heart. No words of wisdom or vision can be borrowed from the outer world. These come from the inner self only, from the emotional and the spiritual core of each of us. This spiritual core is not limited by the external environment. It has, of course, a moral and cultural basis where values are adjudged, accepted or rejected. It contains messages from past centuries, and sometimes it travels with the soul. Like the laws of karma, like the state of evolution in a former life, like one’s fate concerning matters such as birth and death, children, reputation etc, this too travels with the soul from birth-to-birth.

Our body gives shelter to our soul and mind inside. These are invisible, but control the visible body. We are all governed by the invisible. When we travel deeper and deeper inside, we all see our Oneness, the Absolute. The education we need today is the type which can show us the oneness in all things, both animate and inanimate. We need to include this ever present invisible in our educational system.

Every result in life is directly related to a person’s sense of belongingness. We need to start our work from this point. A person should belong to some part of this earth - a society or a family. Then only can he or she contribute something concrete to humankind and nature around him or her. Compassion should go beyond physical wellbeing and family only. Belongingness does not relate to the physical body. It relates to the subtler worlds of five energies, the energies of emotions, sentiments, and experiences. This is where the desires are first contacted, accepted and transformed into action, and finally into results. It may be said that results are directly related to belongingness of desires.

The Global Silk Road warrants a new form of education, which creates a total competence for people to live a hundred years in any environment. The total outcome of life is a set of desires accepted by the brain. These desires keep changing every moment. Each sense organ creates a set of desires as well as ever recurring repetitions of old desires. There are desires resulting from fate which we cannot change, i.e. the major events of life and the time cycles attached to them. These relate to our karmas from even past lives. Awareness and understanding are conditional to escape this world of desires. Desire is the core of everyone’s life. When the sense of belongingness begins to live hand in glove with desires, the prospect of achievement is limitless. This is where our educational system should lead us to.

Education just cannot be limited to the physical and intellectual level of men and women. It must - once again – also take care of the emotional and spiritual aspects of life, which once was left to the realm of religion. As the situation is today, we are creating an imperfect human society, devoid of heart and spirit, which cannot feel and share the pain of a fellow being. There is no compassion; there is no empathy, no harmony and no peace. We should teach more about the heart, the desires it inspires to fulfill the purpose of a full life of a hundred years, and educate people on how we humans and all things in nature are interconnected. One should be able to enjoy all things and beings nature has produced and we should learn to respect them. Then, each and every road becomes a Silk Road.