Sri Radha Binod Pal
[ RADHA BINOD PAL (1886 -1967): Radha Binod Pal was an Indian judge on the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal who dissented with the other judges to claim that the trial was an exercise in retribution by the victors of the war and that Japan's wartime leaders were not guilty. Pal's contribution to India-Japan relations is remembered even today. Following the war –crimes trial, he was elected to the United Nations’ International Law Commission, where he served from 1952 to 1966. Pal was the only Allied judge who exonerated Japanese war criminals. Pal’s Tokyo judgement is proof that nothing could sway him from what he believed to be true, right and just. In 1966, Pal was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure First Class by the emperor of Japan, one the country’s highest honours. ]
Dear Acarya jee,
I must, thank yourself and the members of the Saḿgha for doing me this great honour by remembering me on this happy occasion. I know how the members of the Samagha have been inspired by noble ideals in their efforts to educate our youth for the new world. May I be pardoned if I venture to add a few words in this respect; I believe a few words coming from an outsider like I will not be quite out of place on an occasion like this, especially when the dominant standards of society as a whole seem to be somewhat in conflict with the standards of culture generally and of education particularly.
Nature in the modern age, come to be looked upon as a realm to be conquered by man. Prophets of the new Science began to claim that in scientific investigation man must put nature to the rank in order to wring from it an answer to his questions. Successive successes in this respect prompted man to congratulate himself over and again on all this. The most dubious achievement of this dynamist, however, has been its success in having dragged down all mankind to a technological fate. At last the stage has arrived where we have been called upon to explore what lies hidden behind all this dynamism
I would urge upon your Saḿgha thinking back in our youth sense of this value. It will not do merely to assert blindly that the tension of this dynamism has to be relaxed somehow, we need to know what in our fundamental way of thinking needs to be changed so that the frantic will to power will not appear as the only meaning we can give to human life.
There are indeed two principle methods of looking at life which stands in Communication to each other. The one is the method of regarding the system of nature as the final reality to the final reality to which man must adjust himself. The other regards nature from the human perspective as either chaos or a meaningless order from which man will have to be freed wither by his reason or by some power within him higher than reason.
Every people passes through stages of mental clarification, and each has to find its solution of the eternal problem with which nature confronts man, in order to find its own response to the challenge of Nature. The Orient never aspired to put the world in order. It has never been the Orient’s aim to conquer the out world, but to understand it and to adapt man to its order and working. We must, however, remember that history has never allowed man to return to the past in any total sense. We shall be equally blind if we do not recognize that ever major step forward for mankind must entail some loss, must mean some sacrifice of an older security and some heightening of new tensions.
I am sure that under your guidance our youth will be able to avoid the otherwise fateful encounter with Nothingness.
-Radha Binod Pal (18th July, 1966)