THE SACRED READINGS ARCHIVE
Topic: “SOCIAL JUSTICE“
INVOCATION Toward the One The Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty The Only Being, United with all the Illuminated Souls Who form the Embodiment of the Master The Spirit of Guidance.
HINDUISM - Rig Veda
O God, let us be united; let us speak in harmony; let our minds apprehend alike; Common be our prayer, common the end of our assembly; Common be our resolution; common be our deliberation. Alike be our feelings; unified be our hearts; Common be our intentions; perfect be our unity.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Wisdom.
BUDDHISM - "The Power of Compassion" The Dalai Lama
Genuine compassion is based on a clear acceptance or recognition that others, like oneself, want happiness and have the right to overcome suffering... You develop some kind of concern irrespective of the other person’s attitude to you, simply because that person is a fellow human being and has every right to overcome suffering. Whether that person remains neutral to you or even becomes your enemy, your concern should remain because of his or her right... All sentient beings should be looked on as equal. On that basis, you can gradually develop genuine compassion for all of them. Genuine compassion is not like pity or a feeling that others are somehow lower than yourself. Rather, with genuine compassion you view others as more important than yourself... Human compassion, or what I sometimes call ‘human affection’, is the key factor for all human business. Just as you see that with the palm of our hand all five fingers become useful, if these fingers were not connected to the palm, they would be useless. Similarly, every human action that is without human feeling becomes dangerous. With human feeling and an appreciation of human values, all human activities become constructive.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Compassion.
ZOROASTRIAN - From the "Yasht" and the "Zend-Avesta"
We worship the Spirits of the Virtuous to withstand the wrong done by the oppressors who corrupt power and authority; to withstand the wrong done by the dead-in-conscience who forget the social good; and to withstand the wrong done by those yielding to passion, wrath, war and violence.... To enjoy the benefits of providence is wisdom; to enable others to enjoy them is virtue.... The best way to worship God is to ease the distress of the times and to improve the condition of humanity. This is true religion; to cleanse oneself with pure thoughts, pure words, and pure deeds.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Purity.
NATIVE RELIGIONS - Ojibway Prayer
Grandfather, look at our brokenness. We know that in all creation only the human family has strayed from the Sacred Way. We know that we are the ones who are divided, And we are the ones who must come back together To walk in the Sacred Way. Grandfather, Sacred One, teach us love, compassion, and honour That we may heal the earth and heal each other.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Nature.
BAHA’I - The Baha’i Universal House of Justice 1986 Peace Statement
The inordinate disparity between the rich and the poor, a source of acute suffering, keeps the world in a state of instability, virtually on the brink of war. Few societies have dealt effectively with this situation. The solution calls for the combined application of spiritual, moral and practical approaches. A fresh look at the problem is required, entailing consultation with experts from a wide spectrum of disciplines, devoid of economic and ideological polemics, and involving the people directly affected in the decisions that must urgently be made. It is an issue that is bound up not only with the necessity for eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty, but also with those spiritual verities the understanding of which can produce a new universal attitude. Fostering such an attitude is itself a major part of the solution.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Saintliness.
JUDAISM - Jeremiah 22:3, 13-16 Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures
Do what is just and right; rescue from the defrauder him who is robbed; do not wrong the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow; commit no lawless act, and do not shed the blood of the innocent in this place... Ha! he who builds his house with unfairness And his upper chambers with injustice, Who makes his fellow man work without pay And does not give him his wages, Who thinks: I will build me a vast palace With spacious upper chambers, Provided with windows, Paneled in cedar, Painted with vermilion! Do you think you are more a king Because you compete in cedar? Your father ate and drank And dispensed justice and equity- Then all went well with him. He upheld the rights of the poor and needy- Then all was well. That is truly heeding Me. -Declares the Lord.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Covenant.
CHRISTIANITY - Matthew 25:31-40 New Jerusalem Bible
When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Self-sacrifice.
ISLAM - Surah 16:90, 97. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali
Allah commands justice, the doing Of good, and liberality to kith and kin, And He forbids All shameful deeds, and injustice And rebellion: He instructs you, That ye may receive admonition... Whoever works righteousness, Man or woman, and has Faith, Verily, to him will We give A new Life, and life That is good and pure, and We Will bestow on such their reward According to the best Of their actions.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Unity.
Gayan, Vadan, Nirtan, Hazrat Inayat Khan
My conscientious self: Keep to your principles in prosperity as well as in adversity. Be firm in faith through life’s tests and trials. Guard the secrets of friends as your most sacred trust. Observe constancy in love. Break not your word of honour whatever may befall. Meet the world with smiles in all conditions of life. When you possess something, think of the one who does not possess it. Uphold your honour at any cost. Hold your ideal high in all circumstances. Do not neglect those who depend on you.
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the light of the Divine Truth.
BLESSING May the Blessing
of God rest upon you; May God’s Peace abide with you; May God’s presence
illuminate your heart, Now and forever more. Amen
SUPPLEMENTARY PAPERS: The World Brotherhood - Hazrat Inayat Khan
A few words I would like to say to explain to you a little more about this our activity which is called the World Brotherhood. Today it is more than necessary that the activities in bringing about a brotherly feeling in humanity are of more value than any other activity in the line of culture. And although there are many societies and institutions which are established and working along this line of Brotherhood yet our contribution to this great service of God and humanity has its peculiarity owing to its ideas being based on spiritual ideals. We believe that the brotherhood brought about by coming to an understanding of exchanging the good of one another in the interest of one another is not sufficient. The reason is that the nature of life is changeable, where there is a day there is a night, and there is light and darkness, and therefore the interest in life is not always even. If two persons are friends to one another and they make a condition that we shall be friends and we shall love one another, if each wishes to regard justice, they will quarrel a thousand times a day. Because who is to be the judge?
When two people quarrel both are just, both think they are on the right. And a third person has no right to interfere. Therefore brotherhood cannot be brought about to satisfactory results only by teaching the law of reciprocity based upon self-interest. Because even if they said: "I will give you a pound in gold and you will give me in return a pound" and the exchange is made there is a dispute. Because, "I gave you the pound in gold and you gave me the pound in notes." A friendship which is based upon selfishness is not secure, it is not dependable. Because seemingly they may be friends, in reality each is wanting for himself. They are not the friend of the other, they are the friends of themselves.
However they greatly show friendship to one another, in reality they are showing friendship to themselves. No, the brotherhood from spiritual point of view that may be learned is the brotherhood of rivalry in goodness, in kindness. It is not weighing what good have they done to me, but it is trying to do more for another and not thinking what he will do for me. The ideas of the Sufis in all times have been different from the man in the world and yet not too different for a man to practice. The Sufi ideas are that when one does an act of kindness to another it is because he wishes to do it. Because the action itself is his satisfaction, not a return even in the form of appreciation. Any form of appreciation or any return he thinks consumes, takes away that act of goodness or kindness that one has done. And when one thinks that one does some good expecting that another must return it then it is a business. And a person who thinks that 'perhaps I shall do twice more good to another from whom I received half from the good I do for him' he is in a very bad situation, for sooner or later he will be disappointed because he shares goodness which cannot be shared in this way. As soon as man begins to think that 'has another person treated me like a brother, why should I treat him as a brother', he does not know what brotherhood is, he will never be able to act as a brother.
The Sufi point of view is that man must be concerned with himself, if he does right that is what he is concerned with and not whether another person takes it right. The trouble at this time when humanity is so vastly divided is that brotherhood seems so very difficult to bring in practice. And yet I do not think, if we saw the idea of brotherhood in this light, that it would seem very difficult. For no sooner man says: "If another person will do as I wish," he creates his displeasure, but the one who says: "I will do what I think right and good and I am not concerned with the other person, whether he takes it rightly, I have determined to do what I can", that is quite sufficient.