Thursday, 31 January 2013

Faith and Forgiveness

I read an excerpt from Mahabharata that set me thinking about the question of Hindu Terrorism:

एकवर्णं यथा दुग्धं भिन्नवर्णासु धेनुषु |
तथैव धर्मवैचित्र्यं तत्त्वमेकं परं स्मॄतम् //

जिस प्रकार विभिन्न रंगों वाली गाय एक ही रंग का दूध देती हैं उसी प्रकार सभी धर्म अलग प्रतीत होते हुए भी एक ही ईश्वर का संदेश देते हैं

। ------महाभारत  


Just as cows of different colours give milk of same colour similarly even though all religions appear different yet they give us message of the same God.

That is why Hindus don’t try to convert people; Hindus don’t attack people of other religions to force them to convert to Hinduism.  It is the most secular religion in the world (that doesn’t denigrate other religions and it is sad that some people try to portray otherwise simply because of vote-bank politics.

Hinduism may have influenced other religions but never have we attacked or killed people.

Isn’t it evident from the fact that the Hindi/ Sanskrit word for religion also means righteousness and duty?  In fact, Hinduism is not a religion in the strict sense of the word.  It is a philosophy.

Now compare it with other religions.  We have heard of Crusades ( ( and Jihad ( (   Have you ever wondered what are these and from where these terms originate?

If you see the definition of Jihad in Merriam Webster, you’ll notice that the word Crusade is used there as well:


: a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also: a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline


: a crusade for a principle or belief

We know how active some people have been on the name of Crusade and Jihad.  They’ve forced/ enticed/ attacked people of other religions simply to convert them to follow their belief.  Why can’t (or couldn’t) they be happy with the diversity prevalent in this world?
Have you heard that Hindus attacked other countries in order to convert them to Hinduism?  Undoubtedly there must have been a time when they could have done so but did they do so?  Hinduism has an inbuilt check for such things.  We are allowed multiplicity of beliefs.  Nothing stops us from going to religious place of another religion (and not with an aim to destroy it) and pray because we believe that God is everywhere.  Still those who believe in omnipresent and omniscient God try to destroy places of worship and beliefs of others.  Why?
I believe that God is so powerful that he/she doesn’t need us to protect him/her.  My faith is strong enough in that Supreme Being that I can go to a church and pray to my Krishna.  I don’t need to destroy the place or convert others around me.  If the poison given to Meera could become ‘amrit’ (nectar) then why wouldn’t the wine and bread in church be converted to ‘charnamrit’ and ‘prasad’?  All that is required is faith that it’s the same God everywhere and everyone needn’t believe in the same things in which I believe.

I am a Hindu.  I don’t feel the need to convert others.  My faith is strong enough that external factors wouldn’t affect it.  So regardless of how many temples terrorists/ missionaries of other religions destroy, there is one temple that they can’t destroy… and that temple is in my heart and soul. 

My Krishna resides there and keeps me on the right path – the path of love and forgiveness.  But I am not a weakling.  My faith is also my strength.  Remember, only the righteous and really strong people have the power to love and forgive eternally.  On the other hand, if there really was a crusade by Hindus where will the world be today?