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A Radio Talk
By Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh
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 wrong.

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 constitute Humanism.

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 and happiness.

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
Office:
Steinway Building, Charles Francis Potter
113 West 57th Street Minister
Room 909 Circle 8427 October 4,1929

To
Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh
The Humanistic Club of Bangalore India

Dear Sir,

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 and philosophy.

I congratulate you, Sir, upon the success of your movement, and trust you will let me hear from you soon.

Respectfully Yours

Charles Francis Potter
USA


Reply From
The Humanistic Club
Jaya Bhavan Bangalore South India

To
Rev. Charles Francis Potter
Minister, New York

Dear Sir,

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.
I am
Yours Sincerely
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. …


Preliminary Address
By Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh
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 of Faiths

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 nations.

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 World.

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.



 


 

 
 
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