s I reflect on the life and work of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, "amazing" and "incredible" are the words which come spontaneously to mind. Their life together constitutes a saga of mutual devotion, the hallmark of which is their indomitable spirit and commitment to the ideal. The tensile strength of that commitment kept them unruffled through the rough and tumble of life.
Trials and tribulations, prosecutions and persecutions, adversities and onslaughts, imprisonments and incarcerations made him all the more resolute and firmly rooted in his basic ideas and ideals of how to change the world for the better and in his divinely ordained determination to help create a global culture of peace to bind humanity together. In that sense, peace and harmony occupy a proud place in the agenda of his life, and he has persevered in his pursuit of those goals with a determination that is indefatigable. A more joyous and purposeful consecration of life to the ideal of universal peace is difficult to imagine.
I am deeply impressed by his basic idea of the institution of the family and family values. His emphasis on the centrality of family values to human welfare and to peace and harmony is a pioneering contribution in our age and time when values are under attack. He has a universal vision which embraces the world with unbounded love. His spirituality, ethical insights and emphasis on interfaith understanding are vital to his worldview and his vision for shaping a new and humane approach to the uppermost task of achieving peace on earth in our time.
His vision of governance, transparency, rule of law, human rights, human responsibilities, mutual affirmation and acceptance of the religions of the world provide a framework for global dialogue among civilizations. I admire him as a philosopher, man of action and true citizen of the world which is struggling to be born. Hence, this brief annotation and encomium with love from India, the oldest cradle of human civilization and the heritage of human values.
The first question I asked Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Rev. Dr. Moon’s chief lieutenant, was whether the peace movement launched by Dr. Moon had a proselytizing agenda. If it did, I was unwilling to associate with it. His answer was an emphatic and categorical no. That is how my association with Rev. Dr. Moon started. His own views on religious sectarianism was best expressed thus:
As far as I know, God is not sectarian. He is not obsessed with minor details of doctrine. We should quickly liberate ourselves from theological conflict which results from blind attachment to doctrines and rituals, and instead focus on living communication with God. I think we urgently need to purify the religious atmosphere into one in which believers can have living faith and every soul can communicate with God. In God’s parental heart and His great love, there is no discrimination based on color or nationality. There are no barriers between East and West, North and South. Today God is trying to embrace the whole of humankind as His children. Through inter-religious dialogue and harmony we should realize one ideal world of peace, which is God’s purpose of creation and the common ideal of humankind.
That conviction found an eloquent expression in the life and work of Rev. Dr. Moon, even though he himself leads a church of his own. His work for peace today transcends all denominations. He is an apostle of love and affirmation of life in love and joy. His words have an exhilarating prophetic resonance:
There is no limit to joy. Happiness has no end. When you are standing in the love of God, every cell in your body jumps for joy. You breathe in and out with the entire universe. In this state, your life is fulfilled. God means us to live, intoxicated in love and joy. And through our joy, God receives His joy. The joy of man is the joy of God; and the joy of God is the joy of man.
The following poetic words from Adi Granth, the sacred scripture of the Sikh faith, capture the essence of life and work of Rev. Moon:
In the holy Word my heart feels joy and perpetually disports.
In the cave of spontaneous realization is it in trance,
Stationed on a splendid high cushion.
After wandering to my home (true self) have I returned.
And all of my desires have obtained.
Devotees of god! Completely fulfilled is my Self,
As the Master has granted a vision of the Supreme Being,
realized by mystic illumination.
Himself is He King, Himself the multitude;
Himself the supremely liberated, Himself of joys the Relisher;
With Him seated on the throne of eternal justice,
ended is all wailing and crying.
As I have seen, such vision of Him have I conveyed—
Only those who are initiated into this mystery have its joy.
As light is merged into Divine Light, has joy come;
Nanak, servant of God, has beheld the sole,
all-pervading Supreme Being.
Rev. Dr. Moon has found joy in his tireless pursuit of peace and righteousness in the teachings of Vedanta, Lord Mahavira, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ and Guru Nanak Dev. His pursuit of peace and righteousness is in accordance with the enduring dictates of all the noble paths of all the religions. Through his life and work he fulfills the true meaning of religare, the root word of religion, which means to bond and to sustain. That is his vision and mission.