Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 4 (UNI) The modern day world, driven by technology and a changing value system, needs spiritual guidance to ensure that these changes are harnessed in a harmonious manner for a better living order, Karnataka Assembly Speaker Jagdish Shettar said today.
Inaugurating the 'Navapoojitham Meeting' at the Santhigiri Ashram as part of the 82nd birthday celebrations of Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru, the founder of Santhigiri Ashram, Mr Shettar said the world had witnessed tremendous changes in the past decade. New technology had given rise to new ambitions and attitudes and changed the thinking pattern of people.
''Some of these changes are good and some are bad. We have to see how these can be contained in a civilised manner to ensure peaceful co-existence of people,'' he added.
Later inaugurating a culutral meeting, Karnataka Textiles and Youth Affairs Minister Gulathi Sekhar stressed the need for the world to have a ''moral shield'' to protect it from the ''modern chaos'' that threatens to engulf it.
Mr Gulathi said the world had reached a paradoxical stage where humankind had conquered the outer space but was ignorant about the inner space. People lived in fancy homes but faced broken households.
''The need of the hour is to have a moral shield of spirituality and commitment to values, which alone can save the world from the modern chaos that faces it,'' he added.
Stating that Karunakara Guru had given the world a blueprint for a new order through purification of the life force, Mr Gulathi said the Guru had laid particular emphasis on the right upbringing of children through inculcating the right values and virtues.
Santhigiri Ashram, which is now headed by Shishyapoojitha Amritha Jnana Thapaswini, is also laying the foundation for a true social transformation by encouraging active participation of women in all spheres of activities, he added.
Presiding over the function, Prof P J Kurian, Congress Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha, lauded Santhigiri Ashram for adopting a holistic approach for the uplift of humankind. The Ashram's activities addressed the needs of the mind, body and soul through its three-pronged activities of 'annadanam', 'athurasevanam' and 'atmabodhanam', he said.
Regretting that true spirituality was being lost in the face of burgeoning religiosity, Prof Kurian said communal tensions in Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir were a manifestation of this imbalance.
Delivering the keynote address, noted poet and thinker Prof O N V Kurup said Santhigiri Ashram was literally the mountain peak of peace. The Ashram had struck a balance between the spiritual and material planes of life and this was evident among the devotees of Karunakara Guru.
He noted that since ancient times, India was known for its spiritual prowess. The country could still offer the world its treasure of spiritual knowledge. In this context, Santhigiri Ashram's work was extremely relevant as it provided a holistic lifestyle approach to humankind, he added.
Noted Gandhian thinker and recipient of the Rajeev Gandhi Sadbhavana Award, Dr N Radhakrishnan, was honoured by Santhigiri Ashram at the function. He was presented a citation and a shawl by film director Rajeev Anchal and Ashram AGM Jaikumar.
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