Social justice is found the society that is firmly rooted in fairness, solidarity, and the upholding of human rights. The principles by which social justice is established and sustained, derived from and deeply embedded into our spiritual practice and cultural tradition, are universal and meant to be embraced by all. It is our moral, ethical, and spiritual duty to uphold and maintain social justice, in order for our society and our people to truly thrive.
But to effectively make an authentic and lasting positive change for true social justice in our society, we must first correctly identify what exactly that is, and from where it comes, in order to actually work towards its establishment. Real social justice, as the Bhagavad Gita states, emerges from the view of true “equal vision” – that is, of seeing every living entity as a pure spirit soul, as a spark of the same divine Creator, as possessors of the same inherent spiritual essence that lies within us all.
While we inherently possess a common spiritual essence, we as a society have paved the way for social injustice to flourish in our world by neglecting it, burying it under various material perceptions of ourselves and each other. Rather than accept that common essence as who we really are, we have chosen to adopt various temporal labels to identify ourselves and each other. These labels divide us into various categories – such as the rich and poor, East and West, male and female, and many more – that pit us against each other, with the perceived “superiors” exploiting the supposed “inferiors” of each division.
This is the real root cause of social injustice in our society – what renowned social scientist Bhakti Vasudeva Swami of ISKCON rightly calls the “identity crisis” that pervasively attacks our whole society. We permit ourselves to enter a contaminated state of consciousness, in which we fail to see each other with “equal vision” by neglecting the pure, spiritual essence we all have in common. We have, in a sense, permitted social injustice to take root by forgetting our true selves, and the pure spiritual nature that all of us share. To truly uproot social injustice, we must combat the darkness of ignorance that allows it to thrive with the light of the knowledge of who we all really are, and what it means for how we should relate to each other.
This is how we must work for true justice and social change. We as a people must actively work to raise awareness – in ourselves, and in each other – of the pristine spiritual identity that is inherent in us all. We must diligently pursue the time-tested methodologies, such as transcendental education and sonic therapeutic intervention, that effectively dismantle social injustice from its very roots by purifying the pathological states of consciousness that enable it to exist. This is the way for us to establish authentic social justice in this world.
by Shruti Gopal Kulkarni
Prabhupada, A.C.B.S. (2006). Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Alachua, Florida: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
Bhakti Vasudeva, S. (2010). “His Holiness Bhakti Vasudeva Swami Speaks on Religion and Social Justice”. Sanctum: The Undergraduate Journal of Religion at Columbia University. New York: Columbia University InterPublications Alliance