Swami Agnivesh is a swami with a difference, a holy man who is also an untiring social worker and political activist. In Applied Spirituality, he discusses his views on religion and spirituality from the vantage point of his religious learning, leavened by his decades-long work with the underprivileged. He reasons how religion and spirituality can be applied in our day-to-day lives so as to make them resonate in a more practical manner. Addressing issues as diverse as religious intolerance, Naxalism, social injustice, human rights, world trade and women's empowerment, Swami Agnivesh calls for a transformation of society through a multi-pronged approach that involves extensive interfaith dialogue. Impeccably argued and inspiringly written, the book articulates his vision of what he calls 'proactive socials spirituality against the many ills that plague our country and the planet: alcoholism, casteism, religious obscurantism, political despotism, communalism and corruption.Swami Agnivesh, winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award) 2004, looks like a sadhu, talks like a politician and, most importantly, voices the cause of India's underprivileged millions. He abandoned a promising career as a professor of law and management in Calcutta for a life of activism. Later, he gave up a coveted ministerial position with the Government of Haryana to work for the oppressed. Now seventy-six years old, Swami Agnivesh has inspired many young minds to strive towards making the world a better place to live in. In 1994, he was appointed the chairperson of the UN Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. He is better known across the globe for his crusade against bonded labour, and is founder-chairperson of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front. He has led numerous initiatives to foster peace and interfaith harmony in Kashmir during the worst periods of violence. In 2010, Swami Agnivesh was appointed by the Government of India as the mediator between the government and the Maoist leadership. The Sarva Dharma Sansad or All Faiths Parliament established by him in India in 2007 is the first interfaith movement that includes both women and men leaders. Currently, he is on the board of directors of the first-ever intergovernmental, interreligious, intercultural, international Centre for Dialogue - KAICIID - based in Vienna.
|Applied Spirituality: A Spiritual Vision for the Dialogue of Religions
|September 15, 2015