“Awareness through the Himalaya”
The concept of Himalaya Awareness Channel (HAC), the special website run by the Himalaya Archive Japan, is "observing the Earth and considering the world through the Himalayan Wisdom." That is, HAC tries to think about the contemporary world and our way of living from a unique angle that is different from customary viewpoints dominant in our society, and gets people to become aware of a “new” and “creative” viewpoints.
The Himalayan Wisdom is the general term for Veda, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism and so on, which have been cultivated in the Himalayan region and guides for many people’s lives since ancient times.
HAC selects three important elements from the wisdom and makes them the viewpoints to consider the contemporary world.
Those are “WHOLENESS” “NON-VIOLENCE” and “REVOLUTION.”
Through the above viewpoints, HAC communicates various Himalaya-related information
in a variety of categories.
"Everything is connected"
“Wholeness“ is the basis of the viewpoints. It’s summarized as follows: “Everything is connected and related.” The Bhagavad Gita, one of the most prominent Hindu scriptures, which Mahatma Gandhi used it as a important guide for his life
and action,says, “One who perceives in comparison with the self, all living entities equally, in happiness and
distress; such a one perfected in the science of uniting the individual consciousness with the Ultimate
Consciousness is considered the highest. “ Dr. Albert Einstein, who loved Gita, left behind the famous proverb:
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” So, the Himalayan wisdom and the state-of-the-art science share
the same idea of “Wholeness” that we are waves of the ocean and superficially each wave looks independent but
fundamentally they are from the same source and connected each other. Unfortunately, according to Dr. David
Bohm ＊１, one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century and had an essential knowledge of
Indian philosophy, the large majority in the modern world hardly understand the principle of “wholeness” and dogmatic
thought of “separation” and “fragmentation” are decisively dominant there, whose bad influence penetrates through-
out the society such as health problem, environmental pollution, political and economic turmoil and
so on. In addition, Mr. Satish Kumar, a prominent Indian social activist practicing Gandhi’s nonviolence and idea
of self-reliance in this contemporary world, says, “Without reverence there can be no ecology, and without spirituality
there can be no sustainability. Unless we are prepared to make a radical shift in our thinking and act accordingly,
we will not be able to bring equilibrium between conflict and harmony, and attain wholeness.” Considering the
contemporary world from the viewpoint of “Wholeness” the basis of the Himalayan wisdom will also lead to rethinking the essential and today’s meaning of “WA” the spirit of Japanese harmony cultivated in the climate of Japan created through the deep relationship with the Himalayas.
The Himalayan wisdom including Bhagavad Gita unexceptionally preaches “ahimsa” (non-violence, non-killing). Gandhi named his non-violent resistance movement based on ahimsa “Satyagraha.” The Sanskrit word Satya means "truth" and Agraha means "insistence" or "holding firmly to." Therefore, “Satyagraha” roughly means "insistence on truth" or “truth force.” It is a way to
embody Truth in both individual and society through the practice of non-violence. In other words, it’s the way
like the following: People never resort to a violent means and try to achieve their goal through appealing to
others’ conscience, convincing them by benevolence and self-sacrifice. Many mistakenly believe that Gandhi’s
non-violent resistance movement is the passive one that people just grumble and make representations,
putting their hands in the air in front of others’ power. It’s actually a very active non-violent resistance based on Truth, clearly showing disobedience. Gandhi’s non-violent method’s superiority to violent methods has been proved
by various movements across the world: The civil-rights movement spearheaded by Mr. Martin Luther King Junior in
U.S.A.; Mr. Nelson Mandela’s racial reconciliation policy in South Africa; The democratization movement in Burma
led by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and so on. “ Gandhi in every case preached `reconciliation of conflict. ` He strongly
believed everybody is essentially equal and comes from the same Absolute fundamentally. That is, Gandhi viewed
the world including religion, race, country, etc. from not the viewpoint of `segregation/separation` but the viewpoint
of `wholeness.` This is the very essence of `ahimsa`.” (Noro, 2006) *2
"Rejecting Blind Obedience and Bondage"
More than 2000 years ago Buddha expressed his sharp disagreement with the caste system, which has ruled
people and still remains deeply rooted in both Nepalese and Indian society, and clearly preached the equality of
all people. Buddha cites ” Brahmin (The Holy Man) ” the top of the caste as an example and says, “Not by matted
hair, nor by lineage, not by birth does one become a holy man. But he in whom truth and righteousn-
ess exist – he is pure, heis a holy man." Mr. B. R. Ambedkar, a prominent Indian social reformer,
was one of the devotees of Buddhism. He was born into the “untouchable” caste but became Indepe-
ndent India's first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India. To fight against the social discri-
mination against Untouchables and conquer the dominant conventionality of the caste system, Ambedkar converted
to Buddhism with over half a million his followers and started the Buddhism revival movement in India. The event gave an enormous number of aggrieved people courage and hope. He said, "Religion is for man and not man for religion.” Ms. Malala Yousafzai, a genuine Muslim and the youngest Nobel peace laureate embodies the Himalayan wisdom, never relenting to the terrorism of Islamic fundamentalists. Through speeches at various places including the UN, She has condemned “sexism” “child abuse” “religious
misuse” “terrorism” ” injustice” etc. flourishing throughout the world, emphasizing the significance of education, and
furthermore Malala calls on people to change their consciousness radically: “No one can stop us. We will speak for
our rights and we will bring change through our voice. We must believe in the power and the strength of our words.
Our words can change the world.” “We must work… and not wait. Not just the politicians and the world leaders,
we all need to contribute. Me, you, we, it is our duty.” Gandhi left the pregnant words condensing Malala’s words: “We must be the change we want to see in the world.”
*1: Dr. Bohm propounded his unique view of the world through his longtime scientific research and dialogue with Asian philosophers especially
Jiddu Krishnamurti a prominent Indian philosopher. His famous book Wholeness and the Implicate Order is highly praised even
as a “bridge” between science and religion.
*2: Hiroshi Noro 2006. A Study of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-violence: Examining the Root of Gandhi’s Ahimsa