Rivalry in Religion!!


It’s our common observation, “Where there is religion, there is no love: Where there is love, there is no religion”. Sadly, there is a furore over the Arabic phrase, “la ilaha illa allah”. People weren’t even aware that such a term even existed, leave alone knowing its meaning. Naturally, when we are clueless about our own religion, how can we be expected to be experts over some other religion? Let’s assume, many Muslims considered Allah to be supreme, so, what is so special about it? They joined Islam precisely for that very reason. Haven’t we heard of the people following Madhwa philosophy (also ref as Dvaitins) that Vishnu alone is supreme and that HE alone is to be worshipped? Isn’t there a constant tussle between the shaivites and the vaishnavites ? Doesn’t ISKCON describe Krishna as the source of all the avatars ofGod? Aren’t there 330 million Gods, 330 different names, in Hinduism? Why are we even bothered about who is whose God and by which name he refers to him?

 Why can’t a Hindu, who can accept 330 million other names, accept one more name of ‘Allah’ as yet another God, is the question. This may be because, the Hindus, feeling let down and oppressed for all these years, and having seen minority appeasement politics under British and the Congress, do not want to yield an inch. They now assert, ‘enough is enough and nothing more’.

 The idea of religion, when initially conceived, was meant to unite the people and not divide them: People doubting its ability to do so are opting to shun religion altogether. In a recent survey, conducted in the USA, people opted for “no religion” as their choice of practice. As an alternative, people are also advocating what is known as, “syncretism”, a philosophy that professes “pick and mix” approach of combining traditions and practices of many cultures and religions. Of the many things that I like about the army, its success in forging bonhomie between the people of multi-religious backgrounds is the foremost: In the army, religion is not relevant.

 It’s very interesting to observe that elephant, primarily a herd-animal, tends to change its group after every six months. It remains with elephants, but the set of elephants changes after every six months!! Likewise, in Burmese Buddhist religious order of Mahayan sect, every monk is sent to a new monastery after a period of nine months and this goes on for first twenty-four years of monkhood, called Bonija, in Burmese. The purpose is to expose the monk to new religious orders and philosophies continuously so that he doesn’t find a particular idea either boring or that he doesn’t end up convinced of it as the only idea.

 To put Sir Aldous Huxley’s famous observation slightly differently, ‘ Every teaching is eventually a bore.’ To get a balanced view of all religions, we must “rotate the religions”. We will not only bore ourselves with the same thoughts, but also not get fixated with the same thoughts.

 These are just my thoughts!! Think over!

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