Religion is the most relevant topic of discussion today when religious fanaticism is shaking the world. Widespread misunderstanding about God and religion is the reason for the divided world of today. Re-engineering God and religion through a great spiritual revolution that fosters secular ethics for a united world is the need of the hour. God is one, and everyone should realize this one. He is the creator and He is the one to be known. We need to regard the whole of humanity as the family of God. If we want to please God, we will have to love all.True religion unites, it never divides. The conflict in the world today is between one man’s religious belief and another religion. “Love must not blind you. It must make you think with greater clarity.” When there is no caste for Sun then how can there be a caste for its rays?
Generally, instead of embracing outsiders, we distrust them. We also insist they become like us. This is made clear by this story ‘The Country of the Blind’ by H.G. Wells. The people of a mountain community suffered from a strange disease. The eyesight of the old diminished, the young children could see only dimly and the newborn were totally blind. One day a mountaineer fell into a valley. He was saved by them. When he started explaining to them the beautiful landscape, they scorned at him. When he tried to tell them that the world was vast and diverse, they disbelieved him. They declared that he was indeed mad. To cure him of his madness, they wanted to blind him too. They believed that this was the only way to make him a good citizen of their community. They summoned their doctor to remove his eyeballs which made him behave in a peculiar manner. The blind thus considered anything divergent as negative and dangerous. Their limiting beliefs made them reject even other superior ideas of life. The minority groups are forced to sacrifice their basic tenets to be accepted by the majority.
The following story ‘Walk with a crutch’ too highlights the same thought process. A man broke his leg. He was forced to walk with a crutch. Finding it useful, he taught all his family members to use it. Slowly, everyone in the village started using it as they found it very convenient to use the crutch. There was a great demand for crutches made of ivory and adorned with gold and silver. People were trained in special schools on how to use them. The few people who refused to use them were considered absurd and social misfits.
They were reprimanded and even punished. Using crutches in this manner for generations together, they forgot that they could walk without crutches. When anyone dared to show that they could walk even without crutches, they turned it down saying it was a figment of their imagination. As, by now, the cripples were becoming blind too as they were not willing to see.
The purpose of our lives is to be free of all addictive traps of diverse religions. Religion is the kindergarten of Spirituality. Religion is the foundation on which is built the superstructure of spirituality. If we want to please God, we will have to love His creation, the mankind, irrespective of their religious affiliations. Lord Jesus Christ said, “Only those will get salvation, only they will be closest to me, who offer me water when I am thirsty, who lift me when I fall down.” Men are wasting their precious life slumbering in ignorance, bearing hatred, engrossed in material pursuits and worldly affairs. They fail to give importance to God-knowledge, humility and selfless service. Religions of the world must not be seen as the conflict of one man’s belief against another. It must rather be seen as an opportunity for all humans to reach the one ultimate source. As the seven rainbow colors come from one white light, all religions of the world are an expression of the same divine source.
Many mistakenly believe that every religion does not tolerate other religious beliefs of the world. Religious tolerance for people of other faiths is found in all religions. This fact is made clear by this verse of the Quran:
“To you be your religion, to me be mine.”
“It strictly condemned any maltreatment of people of other faiths.”
True Religion Unites
Like the white light of heavens, religion stands broken into many colors fragments by the prism of man. There is an urgent need to reunite these fragments and guide the humanity towards the white light of Truth.
There is no need to convert to a new faith. But there is a need to revert to one’s respective faith with added firmness to acquire a deeper understanding of our holy scriptures in all vital philosophical details so that we can live together in a spirit of peaceful and harmonious existence.
Our world is too small for walls
Religion in the true sense must start with cleansing one’s mind and thoughts. It is said that there is no religion better than to do good to others and there is nothing worse than causing pain to others. Walls of hatred and fear have been created to divide the human family. Such differences are first created in the mind. Which requires a change in thought process. Once a person has gained the awareness of the truth, he regards the whole of humanity his own. This is an inner state within which a person ceases to see outwardly differences, but begins to see all as one.
Let us demolish the man-made walls and enjoy the sense of liberation that results from it.
The Real Religion binds mankind together.
“Shed all dogmas and superstitions, and realize God; this is the eternal religion.”(Adi Granth)
Any religious instruction short of this is the husk and not the kernel part of the religion. The Prophets and the great Seers preached only one religion i.e. the religion of love and humanism. “To be pure and unselfish, that is the whole of religion.” said Swami Vivekananda. Tolerance is the practice and capacity of recognizing and respecting the religious beliefs or practices of others that conflict with our own religious beliefs or practices. It is intolerance that fuels so much violence, unrest and isolation worldwide. Nothing can be more dangerous to our efforts to build peace and development than a world divided along religious, ethnic or cultural lines. We must work to promote unity based on our shared humanity.” – Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of UNO
Let us live as world citizens embracing the world religion called Humanism, the religion that unites and never divides.
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