A Radio Talk
By Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur
at the National Broadcasting
Company, Chicago USA
(August 11, 1933 at 2:30 PM)
My American Friends,
I have come to Chicago to attend the
session of the World Fellowship of Faiths, which is to be
held as the second Parliament of Religions. The National Broadcasting
Company has invited me to speak to you on the Radio today
and give you my message, explaining my principle of Humanism.
My friends, let me make it clear at
the outset that I am not here to preach you the mystic doctrines
of the east. I have not come to tell you about the intricate
system of caste and creed in India. I have not come to forecast
the pleasures and pains of heave and hell, nor am I here to
foretell you fortune. I shall not ask you to sacrifice your
comfort and happiness here in the hope of a hereafter. I will
not ask you to give me a Dollar for which goodwill give you
a million in return. I shall not enjoin on you that you retire
into the forest and spend your life in Meditation. Nor will
I demand that your concentration and attention be exclusively
directed to such things as god, spirit and mind. Nor do I
condemn games, play and merriment. I do not dissuade the Epicurean
from his motto of eat, drink and be merry.
My philosophy, friends, is simple; 'Think
twice before you act' is my principle. I insist that every
act of yours be guided by your discrimination, reason and
judgment. I hold that every human being, in addition to his
or her animal impulse, possesses discrimination. It is this
faculty that makes us what we are as distinct from the animal.
It is to this faculty that I attribute the growth and progress
of the civilizations of the world. It is when we are headless,
inattentive to this great factor within us that we err, go
If we have not hastened as fast as we
wish on the path of progress, it is because we are inclined
to neglect, disobey this voice within us. You will ask me
'What will happen if we disobey this conscience, this discrimination?'
My answer is- you will fail to discharge your duty in fulfillment
of the first principle of life. By the first principle of
life I mean the innate desire of every sentiment being to
live and become portable and happy. I am sure you will agree
with me that this desire is common and universal among all
the living creatures. You will also agree with me if I say
that the animal having not developed the faculty of sufficient
reason and discrimination cannot judge the right action to
be employed for the maintenance of this first principle of
life. Man, however, cannot complain of this deficiency .He
knows excess in alcoholic drinks tells on his health and impairs
his longevity .He knows peace, unity and co-operation among
all the classes, sects, casts, creed and races of humanity
are the best means for the promotion of ones safety, comfort
and happiness .He knows that causing injury to others will
sooner or later react and result in injury to himself .In
spite of our knowledge of all this we are some times inclined
to act in a manner that endangers our life , comfort and happiness
.This I call ''Animalism''. And all those principals which
are calculated to prolong our longevity, comfort and happiness
I shall speak all about my deeper philosophy
touching upon the various aspects of human life in the World
Fellowship of Faiths meetings. My first address will be delivered
on the evening of August 18th at the Morrison Hotel, when
secretary Wallance of the Agriculture Department will also
speak. I shall also speak from time to time during the culminating
period of the World Fellowship of Faiths session from August
27th to September 17th. For the present I shall only ask you
to join hands with the World Fellowship of Faiths and myself
in devising ways and means to kill this animalism in man and
to promote the principles of Humanism for our safety, comfort
Believing as I do in the oneness of
the whole human race, I have been deeply stirred by the purpose
and planes of the World Fellowship of Faiths and I think that
the meetings convened by the Fellowship will soon come to
be recognized as the outstanding event of the century.
I am glade that the World Fellowship
of Faiths is sponsored by such eminent personages as Miss
Jane Addams, Herdert Hoover, the former President and Bishop
Francis J. Mc Connell. I hope that under the guidance and
support of these eminent people, the World Fellowship of Faiths
will achieve its object of uniting the several religions and
faiths in a common brotherhood.
The First Humanist
Society of New York USA
Steinway Building, Charles Francis Potter
113 West 57th Street Minister
Room 909 Circle 8427 October 4,1929
Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh
The Humanistic Club of Bangalore India
In the Monthly Magazine 'India' in the
September issue of this year, I find an article information
that you are a Humanist and have founded a Humanistic Club.
I wish to get into touch with you and receive complete information
about your Movement
Last Sunday morning we held the first
meeting of the First Humanist Society of New York. The attendance
was so overwhelming and the public interest, since its widespread
announcements in the press, has been most amazingly enthusiastic.
The world is turning to Humanism as its new hope in religion
I congratulate you, Sir, upon the success
of your movement, and trust you will let me hear from you
Charles Francis Potter
The Humanistic Club
Jaya Bhavan Bangalore South India
Rev. Charles Francis Potter
Minister, New York
I am in receipt of your letter
of 4th October. I am glade to learn that a mention was made
about this Club and its Monthly Magazine in 'India' in its
September issue. I am very much pleased to learn that you
wise to get into touch with me and my Movement, and receive
complete information about the letter.
I thank you very much for your
kindness in sending me a pamphlet of yours, which I read through
with much interest.
I am very much pleased to know
that your very first meeting was well and enthusiastically
attended, and personally I wish it every success in future.
I quite agree with you in the
view that Humanism is a New Hope in religion and philosophy,
and that the world is turning to it.
I thank you very sincerely for your congratulating me upon
the success of my Movement; kindly permit me to reciprocate
the same ardent feeling towards you and your organization.
In this connection, let me make
a frank observation as to my view of Humanism. The ideas for
which both of us are working seem generally to be similar.
However, to my mind, there seems to be one point of difference.
While you, as I understand your Movement from the pamphlet
you sent me, appear to make Humanism a separate faith or religion,
my idea is to make it a new interpretation of existing religions,
through discovering the common basis of all religions, so
that mankind, on the realization of its fundamental oneness,
may learn to live in peace, unity and co-operation for the
benefit and goodwill to all, without having the necessity
to pass through the process of conversion. As it is, humanity
is much divided and distracted; and, I fear, any thing appearing
like a new cult, faith or religion will only further widen
the yawning gulf. My object is to remind mankind of its human
nature as against its usual animal tendencies that very often
break out for the ruin of the human race, so that man may
know to live with man like man a brother.
I am happy to send you a copy
of each of the October and November issues of my Journal-
The HUMANIST, as also a copy of the speech I made in opening
this Club last year. If you so require, I shall glade send
you free back numbers of my Magazine. Copies of my other publications
I shall send you early.
Hoping to hear from you, and with
keen expectation for mutual co-operation.
Raja J. P. Bahadur Singh
New York Times
New York City
Address July 29, 1933
Rajah to Address Church Alliance
On way to world fellowship of faiths Chicago,
He tells of Humanist philosophy
SACRIFCED HIS THRONE
Ex. Rule of Bajang foreswore the caste
system and was scorned by his people. Among the 247 devotees
of many religions who will address the world fellowship of
faiths at Chicago next month is an Indian prince. This prince
has foresworn the age-old cast system because of his belief
in the brotherhood of man and has made himself, and out cast
among his own people.
He is the Rajah Jai Prithvi Bahadur
Singh, Ruler until his abdication in 1914, of the State of
Bajhang in the independent principality of Nepal, between
British India and Tibet, in the High Himalayas. He once presided
over a court in robes of oriental splendor. He is here now
with no retinue except a secretary, living in simple room
with bath and appearing only in occidental dress.
He arrived Wednesday on the Bremen.
He except to leave for Chicago in about ten days to appear
at the fellowship meeting sponsored by such men as Bishop
Francis J. McConnell, Newton D. Baker and Professor John Dewey.
Tells of philosophy
At the Hotel New Yorker, where he is
staying, he told yesterday something of his philosophy, and,
smilingly, in response to questions, some of he sacrifices
he has made for it.
He has named his philosophy "Humanism" and founded
humanistic clubs in many part of Europe.
By Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur
At the occasion of reception given to him
by the World Fellowship of Faiths, Chicago,
August 8, 1933
I am thankful to organizers of
the World Fellowship of Faiths for the honour they have accorded
me in organizing this reception. Personally, I would wish
they have done me no more honour than the rest of my fellow
delegates as all of you know, I have long ago renounced by
position of rank and wealth, choosing to serve humanity rather
than to rule any member of it. The retention of the titles
with which I am associated are only meant for my identification,
and not to serve my vanity.
I have to come to this great country
for the first time at the invitation of the organizers of
world fellowship of faiths. It had been my desire for a long
time to this country, and the people who have made it famous
in every part of the globe. You Americans, I know, are the
youngest of the world's great nations; but in wealth, it political
power, in science and invention you challenge comparison with
you for the first time publicly, my mind goes back to the
other end of the world's oldest civilization, as yours of
the youngest, the land on which flourished proud cities and
mighty kingdoms when yours was mantled under primeval frosts.
If one were to name two of the world's countries, which are
farthest, removed from each other physically, culturally and
spiritually one world naturally turn to India and America.
It is, however, not the sense of our difference or peculiarities
that has brought me to your hospitable shores across the great
seas-but on the country it is the deepest conviction, nay
the knowledge, that you and I are one for all our obvious
differences, that your interests and mine are bound up together
inextricably, as the whole of humanity is fundamentally one.
How did I come to this conclusion?
Is it a mere pious belief or is it the result of deep and
continued thinking extending over a sufficiently long period?
In this connection let me tell you that my birth and upbringing
were not calculated to encourage this belief-if mere belief
it be. I was born among a people who are jealous of their
natural seclusion and sovereignty. May upbringing also was
one that suited to make me a good ruler of my mountain state-
however small it may be a good ruler in my part of the country
being an autocrat though a benevolent governor of this people.
By race also, which I trace to Rajputs of India. I was endowed
with exclusive aristocratic traditions. If, inspire of theist
natural and early influences. I am today a believer in the
fundamental oneness of all human beings, and have been so
far a good part of my life, it cannot be possibly be said
that I was born into their respective religions. No, it must
have been the result of my reflections since my boyhood, that
slowly gathering strength, have ultimately condensed into
one supreme conviction.
As a further testimony that I
have thought over this subject coherently and, to some extent,
exhaustively, I have brought with me a number of copies of
a book in three volumes entitled "Humanism" wherein,
with the aid of the collaborator, I have embodied my philosophy
of life touching all the aspects of human life and endeavor.
The manner, in which I developed my philosophy of "Humanism",
I shall deal with at later meetings. Before concluding, let
me say a few words regarding my impression of this World fellowship
For nearly four years in India,
we have been hearing about the World Fellowship of Faiths,
to be held as a second Parliament of Religions during Chicago's
second World's Fair in 1933. For two years I have been looking
towards and preparing for my participation in this second
Parliament of Religions. I remembered having written to the
General Executives of the World Fellowship of Faiths that
I believed these meetings would soon come to be recognized
as the most outstanding event of the century.
Never before have the representatives
of all faiths, races and countries come together to seek for
spiritual solutions to the urgent present problems, which
impede human progress. The first parliament of Religions in
1893 was really a competitive parade of rival religions. Representatives
of the several of the principal religions boasted each of
his own faith, and declared that other faiths were not to
be compared with his faith; or not even to be recognized as
real religions. This new and greater Parliament of Religions
in 1933 turns away from the comparison of religions and challenges
all the representatives of all faiths to manifest the power
and vision of their religions by showing that they can really
help to lift the burdens, which suppress the world. Such an
understanding is absolutely new in the world history.
What the economic conference in
London has recently undertaken in the field of practical politics
and international industry, the World Fellowship of Faiths
is undertaking in more basic field of human consciousness
and conviction-those inner spiritual forces which determine
the outward practical activities of individuals, races and
It is obvious that the world has
reached a stage where a narrow nationalism will not suffice.
This is no less true in religion than in economics, industry
and political government. The World Fellowship of Faiths recognizes
these modern situation and calls the various religions together-not
to waken anyone of them but to strengthen them all by enabling
them to realize their necessary relationships in a united
In conclusion, let me thank Mr.
Weller for a kind word with which he introduced me to the
audience. I have also to thank you all the present here for
the honor you have shown me.