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Eminent Speakers

Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Former President of India and Eminent Scientist
I am delighted to participate in the Conference World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality organized by the SREI Foundation, Business Economics and Institute for Inspiration and Self Development Kolkata. My greetings to all of you. I am happy that the World Confluence of Humanity Power and Spirituality will be discussing peace and harmony from the religious perspective, scientific perspective and arts and music perspective. I am sure, such an analysis will provide direction to multiple constituents of the society to develop a road map for promoting prosperity, peace and harmony at a time when the whole world is experiencing turbulence of various types. I would like to share few thoughts on the topic "Birth of World Enlightened Citizens". Origins of Life Life originated 600 million years ago and continental drift occurred 200 million years ago creating five continents. Mammals evolved 140 million years ago, Hominids that is the human type,evolved 26 million years ago but modern man only arrived on the scene some 200,000 years ago. He migrated and colonized the world only in the last 50 000 years. The spoken language is some 10,000 years old while writing evolved only a few thousand years ago. All this phenomenal progress has been achieved only within the short span of 200 to 400 ,generation-s -rhat- is in just 10,000 to 5,000 years. Newer DNA technologies have given us better insight in retracing the history of man. 'The DNA of a human being is his history book ever written'. Nowadays intelligence, cognizance, drug response, behavioral problems everything is related to genes: disease gene mapping is progressing at a faster pace with new age DNAtechnology. It is probably during the 50,000-30,000 years of co-existence that societies have evolved adopting newer innovations and cultures. Challenges of Modern Society Advances in genetics demonstrating great similarity in the genome of man and animals shows that the limbic brain perhaps is the cause for all conflicts within and outside. So far human society, from origin until now has always been at war within and between groups and has led to two World Wars. Presently, terrorism and low intensity warfare are affecting many parts of the world. Can we find methods by which we can the remove these conflicts? Unity in Diversity India is a country which has over the years learnt to evolve and maintain a unique unity amongst diversity. It has become an inspirational model and an example to emulate for every region in the world. India supports a social form of economic development and encourages a model of growth with equity. We are conscious of the need for growth to respect the environment and make it sustainable for future generations. With this valuable experience of centuries behind India, we can bring a doctrine of global cooperation built over the foundation of regional collaborations and core competencies of people and society of many nations. Evolution of Enlightened Society With this spirit of universal brotherhood, I would like to put forth to this important gathering, a methodology for evolving a happy, prosperous and peaceful society in our planet, which I call as "Evolution of Enlightened Society in Planet Earth". How do we create such an enlightened society, which will have three components (a) Education with value system (b) Religion transforming into spirituality and (c) Economic development for societal transformation. Let us discuss. Education with value system: We have seen that the seeds of peace In the world have their origin in the righteousness in the heart of every individual ... Such -Tighteous-citizens' lead to the evolution of enlightened society. Education with value system has to be so designed that the righteousness in the heart is developed in young minds. That should be the mission of education. The prime learning environment is five to seventeen years of age. This reminds me of an ancient Greek teacher's saying, "Giveme a child for seven years; afterwards, let God or devil take the child. They cannot change the child". This indicates the power of great teachers and what good teachers can inculcate in the young minds. Parents and teachers must inculcate moral leadership amongst children. It requires the ability to have insights into the uniqueness and universality of human consciousness. True education is the acquisition of enlightened feelings and enlightened powers to understand daily events and to understand the permanent truth linking man, to his environment, human and planetary. While I was in college, I remember the lectures given by the highest authority of a Jesuit institution Rev Father Rector Kalathil of St. J oshep's college, Tiruchirappalli, Southern India. Every week on Monday, he will take a class for an hour. He used to talk about good human beings present and past and what makes a good human being. In this class he used to give lectures on personalities such as Buddha, Confucius, St. Augustine, Califa Omar, Mahatma Gandhi, Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and moral stories linked to our civilizational heritage. In the moral science class, Father Kalathil used to highlight the best aspect of, how the great personalities have been evolved as good human beings through parental care, teaching -and companionship of great books. Even though these lessons were given to me in 1950's during my college days, they inspire me even today. It is essential that in the schools and colleges, lectures are given by great teachers, of the institution once in a week for one hour on civilizational heritage and derived value system. This may be called as Moral Science Class that will elevate the young minds to love the country, to love the other human beings and elevate them to higher planes. This will ensure embedding of righteousness in each citizen with eternal goodness and wholesomeness in conduct. As we say in our country: Righteousness Where there is righteousness in the heart There is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, There is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home. There is an order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, There is peace in the world. This is true, for the whole world. When we need peace in the world, we need order in the nation; we need harmony in the home. The origin is righteousness in the heart. Now, let me take up the area that is transforming religion into spiritual force. Many in the world believe, it is a difficult mission. I "Wouldlike 0 share an experience that I have witnessed which has convinced me that it is possible. Religion Transforming into Spirituality: Universal Mind: Religion has two componen ts.theelogy .and spirituality. Even though theology is unique to every religion, the spiritual component spreads the value to be inculcated by human beings for promoting a good human life and welfare of the society, while pursuing the material life. I would like to recall one incident, which commonly occurs in some parts of our country. I have witnessed this event when I was a young boy (10 yrs], In our house, periodically I used to see three different unique personalities meet. Pakshi Lakshmana Shastrigal, who was the head priest of the famous Rameshwaram temple and a vedic scholar, Rev Father. Bodal, who built the first church in Rameshwaram Island and my father who was an Imam in the mosque. All three of them used to sit and discuss the islands problems and find solutions. In addition they built several religious connectivities with compassion. These corinectivities quietly spread to others in the island like the fragrance from the flowers. This sight always comes to my mind whenever, I discuss with people on Dialogue of religions. India has had this advantage of integration of minds for thousands of years. Throughout the nation and the world, the need to have a frank dialogue among cultures, religions and civilizations has been felt now more than ever. This incident, what I have narrated gives me the confidence that religions definitely can be bridged through spiritual components. We have to spread such "Glad Tidings" to every part of the world. Let me now talk to you on the message of "Giving". Science and spirituality- meets: It was during early 1960's, the founder of Indian Space Research Programme Prof. Vikram Sarabhai with his team, had located a place technically most suited for space research after considering many alternatives. The place called Thumba in Kerala, was selected for space research as it was near the magnetic equator, ideally suited for ionospheric and electrojet research in upper atmosphere. The major challenge for Prof Vikram Sarabhai was to get the place in a specific area. As was normal, Prof. Vikram Sarabhai approached the Kerala Government administrators first. After seeing the profile of the land and the sea coast, the view expressed was that, thousands of fishing folks lived there, the place had an ancient St Mary Magdalene Church, Bishop's House and a school. Hence it would be very difficult to give this land and they were willing to provide land in an alternative area. Similarly the political system also opined that it would be a difficult situation due to the existence of important institutions and the concern for people who were to be relocated. However there was a suggestion to approach the only person who could advise and help. That was "Rev Father Peter Bernard Pereira" who was Bishop of the region. Prof Vikram Sarabhai, approached the Bishop on a Saturday evening, I still remember. The meeting between the two turned out to be historical. an of us witnessed the event. Rev Father exclaimed, Oh ikram zou are asking my children's abode, my abode and God s abode. Ho is it possible?" However, both had a unique quality that they could smile even in difficult situations. Rev Father Peter Bernard Pereira asked Prof.Vilerarn -Sarabhai to come to church on Sunday morning at 9.00 AM. Prof. Vikram Sarabhai went to the church with his team again on Sunday. At that time the prayer was progressing with the recitation of Bible by Father Pereira. After the prayer was over, the Bishop invited Prof. Vikram Sarabhai to come to the dais. The Rev Father introduced Prof ikram Sarabhai to the people, "Dear children, here is a scientist, Prof. ikram Sarabhai. What do sciences do? All of us experience, including this church, the light from electricity. I am able to talk to you through the mike which is made possible by technology. The treatment to patients by doctors comes from medical sciences. Science through technology enhances the comfort and quality of human life. What do I do, as a preacher? I pray for you, for your well being, for your peace. In short, what Vikram is doing and what I am doing, are the same - both science and spirituality seek the Almighty's blessings for human prosperity in body and mind. Dear Children, Prof Vikram says, he would build within a year, near the sea-coast, alternative facilities to what we are having. Now dear children, can we give your abode, can we give my abode, can we give the God's abode for a great scientific mission?" There was a total silence, a pin drop silence. Then all of them got up and said 'Amen' which made the whole church reverberate. That was the church where we had our design centre, where we started rocket assembly and the Bishop's house was our scientists' working place. Later the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) led. to the establishment of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)and the space activities transformed into multiple space centers throughout the country. Now this church has become an important centre of learning, where thousands of people learn about the dynamic history of the space programme of India and the great minds of a scientist and spiritual leader. Of course, the Thumba citizens got the well equipped facilities, worshiping place and educational centre in an alternate place at the right time. When I think of this event, I can see how enlightened spiritual and scientific leaders can converge towards giving reverence to the human life. Of course the birth of.TERLS and then VSSC gave the country the capability for launch vehicles, spacecraft and space applications that have accelerated social and economic development in India to unprecedented levels. Today, among us, Prof Vikram Sarabhai is not there, Rev Peter Bernard Pereira is not there, but those who are responsible for creation and making flowers blossom will themselves be a different kind of flower as described in the Bhagwat Gita: "See the flower, how generously it distributes perfume and honey. It gives to all, gives freely of its love. When its work is done, it falls away quietly. Try to be like the flouier, unassurmng despite all its qualities". What a beautiful message to the humanity on the purpose of life reflected the spiritual component. I will be ery happy to know and hear, similar events where science and religion have come together for great purpose of humanity. Economic development for societal transformation: Indian Economy is in an ascent phase. There is considerable growth in the manufacturing and service sectors. We have a mission of spreading this economic growth throughout the country including the rural sector. early 300 million people have to be lifted by upgrading their quality of life in both rural and urban areas. Even though the GDP growth indicates our economic growth, people\\\'s participation is essential for achieving the required targets. It is essential to ensure that the citizens are empowered with good quality of life encompassing nutritjous food., good habitat, clean environment, affordable healthcare, quality education and productive employment, integrated with our value system drawn from civilizational heritage leading to the comprehensive development of the nation that will bring smiles in one billion people. These are indicators for the growth of the National Prosperity Index. To achieve that growth rate, we have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Education and Healthcare (3) Information and Communication Technology (4) Infrastructure development such as power, transportation, and communication and including Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) and (5) Self reliance in critical technologies. We propose to realize the vision of transforming India into a developed nation before 2020 by energizing and igniting the minds of all the 650 million youth of the nation. So far we have discussed the three dimensional approach of providing value based education, religion transforming into spiritual force and economic development for societal transformation leading to the evolution of an enlightened society. This integrated three dimensional methodology of evolution of enlightened society, will pave the way for peaceful, prosperous, happy nations and thereby a world, free from extrernisrns and further seeds of extremism. Conclusion I have explained in detail how the world can get into action a three dimensional approach for prosperity and peace of the world. The three dimensional approach for happy world are combination of; education with value system, spirituality is the bridge of the religions, and economic prosperity free from poverty. When I see today such an important gathering, I would like to suggest five actions of a project for happy society based on Surat Declaration of 15 October 2003 held at Surat by 15 religious leaders. They are; 1. celebration of inter-religious festival 2. multi-religious community projects 3. education in and with the ambience of unity of religions 4. continuous interfaith dialogue 5. formation of national level independent and autonomous organization managed by religious and spiritual leaders as well as scholars and enlightened citizens. World Confluence on Spirituality may discuss the above projects and arrive at action oriented decisions, so that next year when you meet again it can be reviewed. This annual spiritual conference should lead to having prosperity without poverty, peace without fear of war, green-clean environment without pollution and a happy place to live for all citizens of the nations of the world. My best wishes to all the participants of World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality in their mission of spreading compassion and understanding. May God Bless you.
Dr. H.P.Kanoria
Chairman - World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality
Welcome Address 2013 Honourable Dr.Prof A P J Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, Revered Swami Jitatmananda Ji , Hon'ble Mr.Hujjatul Islam Wal Muslemeen Agha Mahdi Mahadavipour, Hon'ble Dr.Mustafa Oman Ismail and eminent guests on the dais and in the audience, brothers, sisters, dear youth and dear children... Good afternoon. I welcome you to this Confluence. Season's greetings and best wishes for a happy, prosperous and peaceful ensuing New Year. May God bless us with peace, harmony, unity, righteousness, integrity, truthfulness, austerity, simplicity and love for all. Let us work hard for human excellence through spirituality and science. World assets have to be built up to generate wealth to provide food and jobs for all (7 bn population). For this, we have to work hard with discipline. We organise this Confluence every year for the propagation of humanity, awakening of inner power, balancing trinity of power through spirituality. Swami Vivekananda said, "manifest divinity within you"; Mark, if you give up spirituality the result will be that in three generation you will be extinct". Spirituality develops a fine type of manhood. It strengthens your struggles of life and gives strength to be on the journey of life with joy and showering joy. You are indestructible consciousness protected in the bosom of spirit's immortality. He said "Not Socialism! Not Politicization! India needs spirituality to create fearlessness in new generation, discipline hard work and service to the nation". All the enlightened saints took the suffering of the humanity on themselves like Jesus Christ, Paramhansa Sri Ramakrishna. Some had afflicted their own bodies to relieve others of suffering. They have been reaping the harvest of delight and illumination for all living beings. This Confluence will ignite the spirit of service to the humanity and to the nature. Swami Vivekananda said that - do not neglect the living God, the man who is the infinite reflection of God. Quote "who neglect the living God and His infinite reflections with which the world is full. Him worship - the only visible, knowable, real Omni present, break all other idols. Vedic scriptures (Hinduism) "Jiva Seva is Shiva seva" (Service to Humanity is Service to Lord Shiva). Isha Upanishad says - "If one sees all beings in one self and oneself in all beings, how can one feel repulsion for the other? Bulle Shah Spare only the human heart Which is the house of God. Gospel - St.Mathew Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the pure in heart For they shall see God Blessed are the peacemakers. Women are reflection of God's love. They have been subject to humiliation, suffering, physical abuses and mental tortures. Crimes against them have been increasing. Nation must punish the accused with severe punishment including death. No acquittal under provision of doubt of evidence or mercy petition. They have strength mightier than that of men. History confirms their courage and strength. They need to be awakened through spirituality. Children and youth are needed to be ignited and inspired to be alchemist to have the virtues of spirituality. They have to be an excellent human being. They have to harness the infinite power, which God has endowed each one of us. Let them march the journey of life with adventures of joy, pain, happiness, love and service. Spirituality develops finer type of manhood. Your spiritual manifestation will always glorify whatever you do. Spirited eye enables us to see our connection with every condition of life. Patience, endurance, courage come when spiritual eye opens. Swamiji's dream was to inject the eternal spiritual ideas in all spheres of life, education, business, patriotism and more so in the ritualistic religions. During historical Bengal famine (perhaps men created) Swami Vivekananda wanted to sell the land purchased to build Belurmath to serve the hungry and dying people in hunger. He said "work, work, work". I care for nothing else. Work, work, work even unto death. Be useful, not only yogi. Various religions are flower of different colours to be tied with a cord of love into a beautiful bouquet to be offered at this alter of truth. Spirituality develops fine spirit of unity. Let us march ahead with the flag of humanity and unity through spirituality to serve the purpose of creator. We must have the whole education of our country, spiritual and secular. Let us arise, awake and work hard. Om ! Amen ! Amin ! Ek Onkar ! Ahura Mazda !
Shri Rahul Varma
Director - World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality
Fourth World Confluence of Humanity, Power & Spirituality 2013 Distinguished speakers on the dais, Ladies & gentlemen: As we come to the close of the Fourth World Confluence of Humanity, Power & Spirituality, I realize that we are now firmly set on our path to serve humanity and through this means to achieve God's purpose. The journey that began with a marathon five day session in 2010 is proving more than fruitful, spreading on its way the message of hope and goodwill. I recall with much satisfaction the background and excitement of the First Confluence when the Chairman Mr. H.P. Kanoria unfolded his vision of peace, harmony, love, righteousness and caring for Mother Earth, while having faith in ones religion and respect for other religions, thereby awakening inner power and igniting selfless dedication for common welfare and growth. The Chairman attached considerable importance to the awakening of women reflecting Gods love and the last session just concluded devoted to gender violence justice and empowerment bears testimony to his commitment. As we move ahead, it is my privilege to inform that this confluence has attracted over 600 speakers so far from different faiths and vocations, from different parts of the world including humanists and illuminates, dignitaries and professionals, leaders and learned men. They all came and utilized the confluence platform to convey their thoughts on how to enrich the mind, spirit and body in its integrality and to make life more meaningful and purposeful. So far from January 2010, over 8,000 students have participated in the events. We believe that the youth holds the future and it is they who will make a difference. We approached over 25,000 schools in India and abroad, giving them an edifying theme on Spiritualism for an Essay competition for which we received a hearty response. This was classified according to different age groups and successful candidates were awarded cash prizes and their essays printed in our magazine. Our effort has been to inspire the youth to tread an ascending path which leads them from the human to the divine. We believe that true humanness consists in cultivating our spirit that gets reflected in intellectuality, morality and humility. These impulses act as motivations and deepen our relationship with fellow human beings. Hence, in every conference we organize a debate on Spiritualism with a focused theme where several schools have participated. In every confluence we have initiated hundreds of physically challenged children who take part in the 'Sit and Draw' competition which brings out their creativity and lightens their burden to carry on their journey with a smile - we are thankful to the reputed artists who act as judges and spend their day with them. About a thousand students have become members of this confluence who are regularly updated on Spiritual articles. In recognition of outstanding service to humanity in specific domains we have instituted the Swami Vivekananda Srei Samman award from 2012 to be conferred for exceptional contribution in the fields of Education & Literacy Excellence, Health Care and Social Service. We have also been able to make this conference accessible to a wider audience by documenting the proceedings of all the Events in a friendly coffee table book form which is easy to handle. The messages from of all the distinguished speakers have been circulated to thousands of people all over the World. It is a matter of pride and honor to mention that our mission and vision have been greatly applauded by the President of India, by the Prime Minister and several Union Ministers, Religious Leaders including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Secretary General of Missionaries of Charity, Vice Chancellor of various universities from India & overseas. We have had a positive response from the President of Singapore, the President of Finland, Secretary General of the UN and many more. Our journey will continue & we shall keep on marching, holding the flag of the Confluence high. We gratefully acknowledge with deep respect our debt to the Chairman of the WCHPS for his inspiring vision and deep commitment to the cause that has given shape to this conference. Further I thank my colleagues and coworkers, the entire team, and above all the participants and the audience whose presence strengthens our resolve to carry on with this onerous and noble task. Thank you.
Shri Hemant Kanoria
Vice Chairman, World Confluence of Humanity, Power & Spirituality
Dr. Amit Mitra
Hon'ble Finance Minister in charge, Dept. of Finance & Excise, Govt. of West Bengal
Shri Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary
Hon'ble Governor of Meghalaya
Shri Sunil Shashtri
Former Rajya Sabha Member
Mr. C.M. Chang
IAS V - Rtd., Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Master Minood
Founder, Temple of Inner Wisdom
Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil
Former Archbishop of Guwahati
Swami Supurnananda ji Maharaj
Adhyaksha, RKM, Narendrapur
Mr. Alessandro Giuilani
MD - MISB Bocconi University
Mataji Pravrajika Amala Prana
Ramakrishna Sarada Math and Mission for excellent contribution in service to Humanity
Swami Tyagarupananda ji Maharaj
Principal, Vidya Mandir, Ram Krishna Mission
Swami Jitatmananda ji Maharaj
Vice President - Ramkrishna Satyananda Alambazar Math
Syed Wahid Hussain Chisti
General Secretary Anjuman, Dargasharif Ajmer
Hujjatul Islam Wal Muslemeen Agha Mahdi Mahadavipour
Representative of Iran's Supreme Leader
Ms Nagma
Actress, AICC Member and Social Worker
Shri Pandit N. K. Sharma
Founder President, Universal Association for Spiritual Awarness
Mohammad Anwar
CEO, CAMO, Kuwait representative - Shaikh Sahab Salam Alsabah Advisor King of Kuwait
Dr. Sanjeev Kanoria
MD, Advinia Health Care (India)
Shri Shekhar Dutt
Hon'ble Governor of Chhattisgarh
Swami Sudhananda
Yogoda Satsanga Math, Dakshineshwar
Shri Sukhendu Sekhar Roy
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
Swami Sadyojathah
Director, International Affairs Art of Living
Sister Brahma Kumari Kanan
Sister Brahma Kumari Kanan
Brother Nizar Juma
Brother Nizar Juma
Swami Saradatmananda Maharaj
Secretary of RK Satyananda Alambazar Math
Rt. Revd. Kumara Illangsinghe Bishop Emeritus
Diocese of Kurunagala, Church of Ceylon - Anglica
Smt. Nrithya Jagannathan
Trained Yoga Therapy Consultant
Dame Dr. Prof. Meher Master Moos
Founder President, Zoroastrian College, Mumbai
Swami Mitrananda
Project Director, All India Chinmaya Yuva Kendra
Mr. Paul Palmarozza
St. James School UK
Ms. Jessica Pulmarozza
Oxford University, U.K.
Mr. David Hodkinson
Head of Classics, UK Schools
Shri Sujit Kanoria
Managing Director, Shrishti Hotels Pvt. Ltd.
Shri Sunil Kanoria
Chairman Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd.
Ms. Mahima Khanna
Indian Economist & Cambridge Common Wealth Sector
Shri Mahesh Kumar Varma
Vice Chairman, Acid Survivors Foundation India
Dr. Ron Hlies
Plastic Surgeon, Trustee, Acid Survivors Trust International, UK
Dr. Prasanna Poornachandra
CEO (International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care)
Shri Rahul Varma
Director - World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality
Prof. Alok K. Gupta
Emeritus Prof. VP, Indian News Science Association
R. Karthikeyan
Research Service Provider, Vedic & Scientific Research Foundation
Smt. Aditi Kohli
Managing Trustees, MCKS Pranic Healing Trust, West Bengal