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“The 9 Petalled Flower Of Peace”

EXPLANATORY INTRODUCTION: This declaration has arisen out the recent conference in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, hosted by the Anuvibha Jain organisation, in which eminent educators and peace activists from across the world, and from India, were invited to come together and discuss models for a peaceful, nonviolent and sustainable world society. After several days of discussion, the following Declaration sums up the fruits of our deliberations, and is couched in the form of the Anuvrat concept of small vows (anuvrat), to be undertaken by non-specialist religious practitioners, who want to help mankind advance to a more peaceful path. The declaration consists of a number of “small vows” which are realistic and feasible, and which apply to the many areas of life we discussed at the conference, and in which human beings are experiencing violence and suffering at the present time. Not all of us could hope to adhere to all these vows, and some of them are really quite large in their implications. We issue them as a kind of guidepost to how we might achieve a peaceful and nonviolent world, and how each of us, in our own sphere of activity, can play our part. Everyone is welcome to make use of this Jaipur Declaration in their own geographical or spiritual community, and to add in clauses or additional small vows which you find appropriate. Those of us attending this conference came from Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Secular, Humanist, Gandhian, Druid, New Age, Shinto, and many other spiritual and intellectual paths, as well as from many countries, languages, and regions of the world, and also from many different professional backgrounds. The Declaration is conceived as a flower with 9 petals and a central area. Each petal concerns a particular area of importance that needs working on, as we see it. We invite you collaboration with this project. Together, we can share the fragrance of the 9 Petalled Flower of peace and transform the violence that the planet is experiencing, into a passing phase, ushering in a deeper era of peace and enlightened wisdom. We hope children and artists can draw and paint on walls, murals and websites all around the world, this 9 petalled Flower of Peace and get our message of hope out into circulation far and wide.

PETAL 1. HEALING: We vow to abstain from actions and habits causing ill health or illness to ourselves or others. We vow to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle. We vow to use our medical knowledge to help alleviate suffering and illness. We vow to research all health regimens and medicines that assist healing. We vow to understand the spiritual bases of health and well being. We vow to help find healing for those suffering from mental illness. We vow to abstain from medical research that harms patients or animals. We vow to explore complementary and preventative medical models for healing that involve treating the whole person, in a peaceful and nonviolent way, and take account of the complex emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of the patient.

PETAL 2. POLITICS: We vow to abstain from corrupt political practices; we vow to tell the truth in all our political dealings. We vow to work for the well being of all society, local, regional, national and international. We vow to find the best practices for peace inherent in any political system – democracy, aristocracy, monarchy, ecological politics, world federalism etc. and to find ways for all of them to work towards planetary political well being, global justice and peace; we vow to abstain from all violence of thought word or deed to advance our political goals; we vow to search out a global politics of enlightenment.

PETAL 3. PHILOSOPHY: We vow to work to synthesise, reconcile and appreciate the best aspects of all philosophical schools of all ages and peoples. We vow to abstain from negative criticism, attacking or denigrating other’s thinking or philosophical systems to instead seek to draw out the seeds of enlightenment embedded within them all; we vow to practice the love of
wisdom in humility and faith and energy and commitment. We vow to abstain from the fear of wisdom (sophiaphobia) and to accept the duties that true philosophy inculcates on her devotees.

PETAL 4. EDUCATION: We vow as teachers and students to seek to advance our highest possible knowledge and enlightenment in a cooperative truth seeking spirit; we vow to abstain from violence in all educational settings, including rudeness, bullying, abuse, verbal violence, subtle manipulation, humiliation and corrupt misuse of power, or undermining (of either pupils or teachers). We vow to actualize the highest educational potential within us all. We vow to help advance towards a world which spends more energy and funds on education than on militarism and defence. We vow to include peace education in all schools, colleges, universities. We vow to develop appropriate curriculum models for planetary enlightenment including global values and spirituality, truth, nonviolence, cooperation and emotional wisdom and love. We vow to favour arts in education (music, fine art, dance, poetry, drama, literature) as much as scientific and technological education, recognizing that all human beings have aesthetic needs stemming from our spiritual natures. We vow to include playfulness, humour, kindness, and emotional wisdom in our teaching and learning experiences. We vow to de-emphasise competitiveness as the sole criteria for educational excellence, and instead to honour cooperation, group activity, citizenship skills, communication, empathy and social responsibility as part of true education. We vow to work to include spiritual, ethical, moral, philosophical and religious knowledge as an important part of educational provision ion all contexts, and that the idea of value free knowledge is logical impossibility.

PETAL 5. SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY: We vow to abstain from scientific research based on violent experimentation against animals or humans; we vow to acquire and use our scientific knowledge to help advance human well being, happiness and moral intelligence, and to free mankind from the threats and fear of violence. We vow to develop social and natural sciences conducive towards a planetary civilisation capable of peace; we vow to end the huge expenditures on scientific research for military weapons and defence, and to see instead a shift of expenditures towards socially beneficial sciences for social and ecological development in a world based on peace and nonviolence. We vow to work for a world in which all universities have more funding available for peace orientated scientific research, than for military oriented scientific research. We vow to assist the development of a career path fro
science graduates who wish to abstain from all military and defence related scientific employment and who choose instead to take a vow of scientific non-violence. We vow to not harm or pollute nature and to abstain from all acts of violence against Mother Earth and to develop green, sustainable and non-invasive technologies that can work in harmony with natural environmental systems. We vow to develop alternative sources of energy that are non polluting and non harmful to nature. We vow to refrain from activities which destabilise weather systems. We vow to refrain from cruelty to animals. We vow to use our scientific knowledge to work for harmony and peace between humanity and nature.

PETAL 6. BUSINESS, WORK, ECONOMICS: We vow to abstain from economic violence, exploitation and oppression against others (and ourselves); we vow to work towards a world where everyone has enough for their need but not for their greed; we vow to work, in whatever our professional capacities, whether as lawyers, judges, teachers, architects, civil servants, bankers, financial experts, in retail, management, business, agriculture, tourism, the arts, IT,
communication, media, industry etc. in a way that is without violence to our fellow man or to the environment and to nature or to the Divine Reality, in a way in which our work is conducted with integrity and honesty, and which serves the well being and happiness of society as a whole; we vow to help use our professional careers as service vehicles for planetary
enlightenment, and to factor in the ethical side of our professional practice at all stages of our careers, so that we can see the contribution to peace that we are individually and collectively making. We vow to help assist the development of a green economics in which wealth is understood as the fruit of natural systems plus human ingenuity, to be shared peacefully and morally by us all. We vow to abstain from all criminal economic activities which denigrate, destabilise and destroy human culture and happiness.

PETAL 7. MEDIA: We vow to produce and consume responsible media that shares the good news of the human story as well as the bad news; we vow not to produce or consume media that discourages, disheartens, misinforms or de-energises people, but to seek out news that inspires, enthuses and informs people, giving them hope in the possibility of a better world; we vow to abstain from disseminating media stories based no lies, falsity, half-truths, we vow to
tell stories from all sides; we vow to report peace as much as war, good news of peace events and breakthroughs as much as wars and terrorism; we recognize the power of the media to co-create reality, to use this power responsibly, we vow to develop a peace media that can encourage the transformation of the world into a place of peace and nonviolence.

PETAL 8. FAMILY AND GENDER: We vow to abstain from violence in the family and in all gender based relations; we vow to celebrate the beauty and magical of sexuality and to engage only in lawful, non-violent, loving and sublime sexual experiences, and to abstain totally from all sexual violence, include rape, violation, exploitation or sexual abuse of any kind; we vow to build loving and faithful families and marriages in which children can feel secure, loved and appreciated. We vow to try and understand the mysterious power of love in our personal and
social lives. We vow to take parenting seriously and to strive to be good parents to our children. We vow also to take childhood seriously, and to strive to be loving, dutiful and caring children, honouring our parents in return for all their kindness. We vow to abstain from all family violence of thought, word and deed and to develop our families as safe spaces in which
to cultivate enlightenment in the real world; we vow to develop models of social security systems in which there is greater benefit in remaining in marriages and families than in being single parents; we vow to appreciate our family members, as fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, relatives, as precious gifts for our mutual enlightenment. We vow to abstain from all family bullying or domestic violence. We vow also to honour those religious who choose the path of celibacy and to devote their lives to the wider family of humanity –for they too are part of the great family of mankind.

PETAL 9. RELIGION: We vow to work for the healing, reconciliation and mutual understanding of all religious and spiritual disciplines; we vow to work for a world of inter-religious and intra-religious peace, where religious violence becomes unthinkable and incomprehensible; we vow to work to help religions mediate their differences by forming peace teams of mediation practitioners from their ranks committed to ahimsa and nonviolence in action; we vow to help everyone to focus on common core spiritual values and practices rather than focusing on differences and trivial contingent peripheralities; as religious practitioners we vow to abstain from all religious violence of thought, word or deed including preaching of hate or hate crimes; we vow instead to pray for the divine mercy to come
upon mankind and to realize the best and brightest dreams of all the prophets and sages and saints; we vow to help reopen the Golden Gate in Jerusalem and usher in an era of interfaith peace; we vow to abstain from all religious corruption or misdeeds or abuses of power, and instead to focus on prayer, meditation, deeds of charity, study, teaching and good examples of peace, nonviolence and spiritual wisdom that can turn the sufferings of mankind
into joy, wisdom and enlightenment.

FLORAL AXIS 10. PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE: We vow to work for the transformation of all military forces worldwide into minimalised non-offensive defence forces. We vow to transform all military intelligence forces worldwide into peace gathering and conflict resolution services. We vow to transform all police forces and security services into violence prevention patrols and neighbourhood self-esteem community outreach workers. We vow to transform our prisons into moral re-education centres where prisoners are taught the tools for personal ethical transformation and where restorative justice replaces punishment or retribution; we vow to enable military engineers and scientists worldwide to change their career paths to high-tech peace related industries. We vow to shift budgetary expenditures of military forces worldwide towards sustainable development expenditure for a peaceful world. We vow to enable military forces to train up brigades of environmental forces equipped to handle environmental disasters such as the Fukushima disaster. We vow to remove nuclear weapons from planet earth and to explore non-nuclear sources of energy so that we can remove nuclear power as a necessary source of power worldwide. We vow to transform the world from a conflict ridden, over militarized planet, into one in which tiny defence forces operate largely as peace education reminder remnants, with military museums showing the tragedies of world wars and in which our military bases are transformed into centres for non-violence training and conflict resolution skill sharing and cultural and artistic workshops and areas of productive and creative activity. We vow to work for a world in which military conscription is replaced by social civilian services in which young people give their time for socially beneficial activities for a couple of years instead.