NEW DELHI: Noting that terrorism, climate change and inequality are the key challenges facing the world, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today hailed Lord Mahavir Jain's principles of "ahimsa, anekant and aparigriha" as the solutions to these issues.
"There are three key challenges before us. Terrorism, climate change and inequality. And it is a coincidence that, if we identify, three things (principles) come to fore in Mahavir Darshan, ahimsa (non-violence), anekant (unity in diversity) and aparigriha (renunciation). If we look for solutions to these problems, then those are lying in these principles," Swaraj said.
The minister made the remarks while addressing 'World Peace Harmony Day' organised by Jain spiritual leader Acharya Lokesh Muni-founded Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti here.
The event was also attended by Union ministers Najma Heptulla and Ravi Shankar Prasad, actor Vivek Oberoi and religious and spiritual leaders.
Swaraj said those engaged in spread of terrorism consider their ideology as "superior most" and kill people who don't believe in the same.
The minister underscored 'anekant' as the principle to tackle the menace of terrorism as it talks about giving right to a person to select and follow his/her own values.
Swaraj said the idea of secularism is that "one becomes a good Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Jain" or any other religion the person follows and not impose that ideology on others.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Swaraj said, "Nature can fulfill one's needs, but not greed" to stress that natural calamities that occur when human beings seek more.
"Ever since human beings became greedy, this issue of climate change has surfaced. Nature is ready (to) offer what we need. But we are cutting trees, reclaiming seas, rivers are being polluted. We forget this leads to calamities like tsunami and others. In this context too, Lord Mahavir's message to seek only what is needed is important," she said.
Stating that inequality goes on increasing if one focuses on "excess" gains, Swaraj underscored the need to pursue aparigriha which focuses on storing only what is necessary to combat the imbalance.
"Lord Mahavir said acquire enough to survive but avoid anything in excess. Inequality increases when stress is given on excess. Rich become richer, while poor become poorer (if one focuses on excess). Mahavir Jain's message of aparigriha is relevant in dealing with the issue of inequality," she added.