“HARMONY is the original state of humanity. This is why we long for it and work hard to find or create it. If there were no memory of that state of mind, there would be no sense of something missing in our world at this time. And if harmony is natural to man, then we need to consider why it is not currently the norm.”
With this viewpoint that she has expounded in a wide range of forums—from cultural traditions to climate change—Jayanti Kirpalani, European director of Brahma Kumaris, takes center stage with Bishop Joel “Bong” Z. Baylon of Legaspi City in an online conversation, “A Celebration: Hearts Open to the World” on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
The conversation will be anchored on what BK Jayanti also considers “the seed of harmony, and what enables us to create structures and practices that sustain it.”
Bishop Baylon is expected to align this with “Fratelli Tutti,” Pope Francis’ third encyclical published in early October. An emphatic plea to reject wars and “globalized indifference” through fraternity and solidarity, it proposes an ideal world of brotherhood in which all countries can be part of a “larger human family.”
An advocate of global unity herself, Vice President Leni Robredo, a special participant, will reiterate her position on human interconnectedness, which she has stressed in recent public addresses, should germinate at the country level.
Brahma Kumaris is a United Nations Peace Messenger Awardee.
“Hearts Open to the World” is the 31st and this year’s final episode of the “Lusog-Diwa” (mental health) conversations hosted by Brahma Kumaris Philippines’ wellbeing initiative, “Pause Muna, Peace Muna” (PMPM).
With the umbrella theme “Thriving in Covid-19,” the online exchanges seek to help individuals, institutions, and sectors cope with pandemic anxieties. The series was launched in May and is held every Tuesday via Zoom and FB livestreaming.
Merle Pimentel, PMPM coordinator, explains the finale’s thrust: “Our interconnectedness has never been more real; realizing its value has never been more urgent. Now, more than ever, we should think, act—and love—as one.”
‘Every storm passes’
In a recent message to his diocese, Bishop Baylon noted that the five latest typhoons to hit the province made his “fellow Albayanos” wonder “why all that had to happen, (when we are) already reeling from a worldwide pandemic.” These things are almost impossible to explain,” he said. “But in our hearts, we know that every storm passes, every disaster ends. Let us reach out to one another.”
BK Jayanti points out: “Within every human tradition, there is a concept of paradise, utopia or golden age—a world of peace, love and happiness, a time when human beings lived in harmony with one another and with nature. What has happened that we’ve come so far from that? How can we return to that natural state?”
Pre-COVID, in another gathering, BK Jayanti was asked about harmony and spiritual brotherhood. Her responses inadvertently described current conditions.
Why should human beings bother to reach out to one another when technology, while superficially bringing us together, has strangely made an island out of every person?
As spiritual beings, we are not supposed to exist in isolation. We are connected through an eternal bond with the Divine, the Parent of us all, and the source of all that is highest in human nature. When we connect with this perfect reference point, we also experience a deep and fulfilling connection with each other.
How does individual self-awareness benefit the world as a whole?
There is a continuum that works on the spiritual level and also manifests in the material world: “Our awareness defines our attitude. Our attitude colors our vision. Our vision dictates our actions. Our actions shape our culture. Our culture creates the world.”
If it is our nature to look at others as brothers, why is it sometimes difficult to show that we care?
Dadi Prakashmani, former head of Brahma Kumaris, once told me, “Only a powerful soul can offer love. Only a powerful soul can be humble. If we are weak, we become selfish; if we are empty, we take. But if we are full, we automatically give to all.”
Doesn’t self-respect dictate that we avoid certain types of people?
Harmony is the fruit and also the seed of true self-respect—self-respect that comes from knowing our true identity, our innate goodness and value, and our capacity to make a positive contribution. Quite independent of status, circumstances, or skills, harmony is the ease and contentment, combined with a quiet authority that comes from living with sincerity and integrity and relating to others and nature with respect, benevolence, and care.
Over 3,000 invited viewers from the government, church, school, business, and NGO sectors, as well as Brahma Kumaris students around the world are expected to witness “A Celebration: Hearts Open to the World” on Dec. 15, starting at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome via YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/HeartsOpenToTheWorld or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PauseMunaPeaceMuna.