The Answer Lies Within


What Is the Relationship Between the Science of Meditation and the Practice of Human Rights?

Roundtable In Observance of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Friday, 24 October 2008; Noon—1:30 p.m.


How Can Meditation Affect the Practice of Human Rights?

Sharon Hamilton-Getz


My spiritual name is Saranagati.

My spiritual master is H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami and his spiritual master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who built the entire foundation of the International Society for Krishna Consciusness (ISKCON), on the holy name.

Who may believe in the power of the chanted glorification of the name of God in order to awaken love of God, and to one's neighbor. ISKCON reminds us of the hidden power of "hallelujah", of the glorification of the divine name.

There is no difference, Krishna or Christos, there is the name, and, according to the Vedic scriptures, it is recommended to chant the name of God in this age.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not God's Law. It is God's hope. It is not a law; it is a goal... 'a common standard of achievement'... something to strive for. When all people have read it, understand it, and come into alignment with its teaching and wisdom, there will be peace on earth, goodwill towards others, and people will act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Signs of Bhakti are supreme perfection of divine love. The pure function of the soul is to love God so through the expression of it comes devotion. The devotion is expressed in many ways some of which are chanting, dancing and rendering service. The ways of rendering service is God Consciousness.

When you love God you are fearless, but you do not practice war; you are fearless in your love for others. You are not afraid of ideas and you are not afraid of the truth or your own ignorance. You want to know how to improve as a human being so you are humble in your beliefs, knowing that you are not perfect, that you sometimes make mistakes that you do not always understand.

When you and the nation you live in come into alignment with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all citizens in your country will be free to think and speak and learn and grow according to the truth of their own experience, and do so without denying others the freedom to do the same. And it is in that freedom that people will learn to live together in peace and justice.

All things are possible where there is freedom being expressed in a spirit of brotherhood. In all nations there will be freedom of religion and that means there will be no such thing as a Christian nation or a Muslim nation or a Jewish nation. All peoples must be free to think and to change and to grow and to love. Practicing religion does not give you permission to rule anyone but yourself.

God loves you no matter what religion you practice and God loves you if you don't practice religion. God is not small. God is great. God is present and closer to you than your own breath.

While we are here on earth, we have an incredible opportunity to recognize and rejoice in the unity of all being, to stand in awe and wonder at the glory of all that is, and to bring forward as much consciousness, love, solidarity, creativity, sensitivity, and goodness as we possibly can.

Developing and refining this kind of consciousness is a central element in what it means to develop an inner life. And this is one of the central aspects of spiritual practice.

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