Civilisation Is To Hold Mutual Affection And To Respect Each Other

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“Civilisation is neither to have electric lights, nor airplanes, nor to produce nuclear bombs. Civilisation is not to kill human beings, not to destroy things, nor to make war; Civilisation is to hold mutual affection and to respect each other.” – The Most Ven. Nichidatsu Fujii

Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii (1885 – 1985), or “Guruji” , was a Japanese Buddhist monk who founded the Nipponzan Myohiji Buddhist Order at 1981. He strengthened Buddhism in India and spread the doctrine around the world. In 1933, he met Mahatma Gandhi and joined him in his peaceful protest against the British. He is known for his Peace Pagodas and Peace Walks around the world in a time of worldwide conflict.

Guruji chose to be a Buddhist monk at the age of 19 despite the tremendous pressure of signing up for the armed forces. During his life as a monk, he realized his role in the society: to spread peace through the Japanese prayer “Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo” which means “to devote oneself”. He travelled where there is chaos and urged people to join him in marching and chanting the Japanese prayer of peace with the beat of a drum.

He lived in an era plagued with riots, bombings, and genocides. He used his wisdom and influence as a monk to educate the world of the Practice of Non-confrontation, chanting words of peace instead of dispute. Like Gandhi, he used hunger strike to express his opposition against the war in Japan. He believed that the true origin of war is the result of spiritual dissatisfaction that robs men of conscience and humanity. He strongly maintained that war, specifically the use of nuclear bombs, would only leave the world in ruins and regret.

“I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” – Roger Ebert

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