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Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'M FREE

When I was in my primary school, I grew with the very simple thought in my mind that ‘God is one’, but living my life in such a multicultural environment in India always confused me as a kid and I used to wonder if whatever my teacher taught in school was logical or not? I could hardly understand any religion at that time, but while walking across the main bazaar street I used to see- a temple, a gurdwara, a shrine, a mosque and a church, all on my way back to the house from the school, and everywhere I used to see different people praying. Different?? What different?? You might be thinking what I meant by saying them different. Yes, from the perspective of the primary school going kid, I had unleashed the harsh reality of our society as they all looked different in what they were wearing, they all were praying in their own different ways and postures, and even the gods they were praying were all different.

One day on a fine evening, while my mother went to the market to buy the grocery, I stayed back with my Christian land-lady. I used to call her- “Aunt Clara”. Aunt Clara gave me biscuits and Bournvita-milk, and told me to keep quiet for couple of minutes as she wanted to pray to the god. I followed what she said at the same time I kept myself busy with my special snacks offered by Aunt Clara, but I was watching her while she was busy praying. When she was over with it, I went to the picture she was praying and I asked her- Is this Krishan Bhagwan(God)??( Krishna is a famous Hindu god). She smiled at me and said- “No” then, I told her that my teacher in school told me that all Gods are only the same and every god is Lord Krishna only. She smiled on what I said and then she told me that this is ‘Lord Jesus’, pointing out on the picture, which I was referring earlier, and that confused me even more about the concept of-“God is one”. The very next day, I narrated the same incident to my teacher, who taught me this concept. On listening my complete story she also first smiled and then she said-“God is one only but different people call the almighty with their own different names”, and I got more confused, then I asked her that I saw the pictures, its not just the name, they all looked different. My teacher laughed and she said Ok, and she said still the “God is one”.
Few years later as I grew up, I understood the big picture but I admit, the concept of “God is one” still remained a mystery. I found the concept totally bookish, though I met a lot of people talking about it but practically, there wasn’t even a single set of evidence that came in front of my eyes to believe it. At the same time, I had spent my life in a nice open environment where everyone is treated equally. Though, the concept of “God is one” always made me hard to believe it, I inculcated a strong belief of equal status for all the Gods and religions. It made a strong impression in my mind and I started believing that every god from different religion is so special, and in fact, I started treating each one of them in a way their people do. Even today, I’m not sure with the idea of “God is one” but one thing I’m really sure is each and every religion is special, and it’s our moral duty to give equal respect to all of them. As a strong impact of my belief, today when I pray to God, I pray all of them, and I pray to them in the exact same way the people from different religions do. I don’t know what a person who believes in all religions is called but, I don’t want to be called by the name of a specific religion, I want to be called as free. Yes, I’m free. My soul feels the real freedom and energy within when I say the Hindu Gayatri Mantra- “Om Bhoor Bhuwah Swaha, Tat Savitar Varenyam Bhargo Devasaya Dheemani Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat” or the famous Sikh Mool Mantra- “Ik onkar, satnam, karta purakh, nirbhau, Nir vair, aakaal murat, ajooni se bhang, Gur parsaad. Jap. Aad sach jugaad sach, Hai bhi sach naanak hosi bhi sach” or the holy Islamic and eternal lines- “La ilaha illallah Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah” or the Lord’s Prayer- “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen…” They all impart me with positive vibes and I feel really blessed to be blessed from not just one god but all the gods. It makes me feel really good, I enjoy all the religions and their festivals. There are so many inspiring stories from each one of them, it inspires me to be a good soul and help me to explore what I really want when I’m in a difficult situation. I love all the people around me for not just because of their religion but because what they are, as I have already crossed my line of being associated with any single religion but with all of them. In my soul, I’m just free. Today morning I read an interesting article and it had this really amazing saying of a sufi poet called Rabia Basri. I could very easily connect to what Rabia said. So, here it is-
In my soul, there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church, where I kneel. Prayer should bring us to an altar, where no walls or names exist.
Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is, illumined nothing, where ecstasy gets poured into itself, and becomes lost, where the wind is fully alive, but has no mind or, body?
In my soul, there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church that dissolve, that dissolve in God. ~ Rabia Basri (A.D.801) 
*****SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF LOVE, FEEL FREE. RESPECT ALL RELIGIONS AND LOVE ALL GODS*******

38 comments:

Desi Bander said...

Nice post buddy! Hope more people see it as you do...world would be alot different.

Nalini Hebbar said...

Great write from a questioning mind...hope your growing mind gets all the inputs it needs!

Anonymous said...

Well said Vivek,

India is the only country in the world that teaches this and we peacefully co-exist respecting each other's religion without hurting each other.

Except for some dirty politics that want to hurt sentiments.

There is a part of the work where if people are fasting, you are also not supposed to drink water. I cant understand this logic, but we are told to respect other religions and we do

Vivek Nanda said...

@DesiBander, thank you for appreciating what I have shared and I wish the same. I hope more people read it and feel the way I do. Thanks for visiting here.

Vivek Nanda said...

@Nalini, thank you so much. Yes, I wish my mind gets all the inputs it needs to share something that can make a difference to the society. Thanks a ton for visiting here.

Vivek Nanda said...

@Anonymous, thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I do agree that India's vast multicultural environment is something unique in the world, but at the same time the dirty politics has taken its toll on the people by just toying with the idea of hurting the sentiments of people of a certain religion, and at that time the common man has also joined those politicians rather than standing against them. I feel we can only overcome all such clashes by declaring ourselves free from all religions, when there wont be any boundaries, there wont be any trespassing as well.

jemina said...

Love the message, beautiful and poignant, have a blessed weekend my friend, xoxo

Vivek Nanda said...

@Jemi, thanks for finding the message beautiful, I'm glad you liked it, but it is in the eyes of the person who is watching it :)
God bless you too, take care

Roopam said...

hi vivek,
its a good post on good topic.i have an other view at first this should be known that how we know about the concept of god , obviously by our parents or by our society and in this matter everybody is unclear because they are also human like us.
second we are saying about totally unphysical concept and every religion has foundation on physical things , so nobody can be right.
we are far away from real truth because we want a answer because the god(concept) is not a question to be answered.
it is purely natural and everything man made may be names , may be statues ,pictures etc. can not be natural so can not be truth.
now point is in you think - how you are lively , how the parts of your body moves, how the heart is pumping, without any effort this unphysical is the identity that you searching for. body is nothing but the energy by which we and all beings are driven is the truth.
and energy is one in its whole because it cant be separated,thats why some people says its unexplainable like lao-te-je ,the buddha etc.
you can live the god ,you can enjoy the god you can feel the god in your own . any definition,any object, any question cant help you.

Vivek Nanda said...

@Roopam, first I would like to thank you for taking out time to read my post and for giving equal time to leave your detailed views here.
Second, you are absolutely correct the concept of God is unclear, but the God is not the question to be answered and I would reiterate the fact that I'm a firm believer of God and I never questioned the "Concept of God".
In fact, dear friend God is beyond a concept to me and the thing in question was the belief of mankind if the "God Is One",as I narrated in my post how since the childhood its been a mystery to me. Of course, the God is what you want to believe, how you want to live it, and I dont even want to question anyone's view on it, but what I wanted to emphasize is on the fact- how the divisions of various religions has divided the mankind; And to abolish any kind of divisions I had taken a path where I'm a person who is a follower of not just one but all religions.
It was really nice to read what you said, and I thank you once again for sharing your thoughts. Take Care.

Swarna said...

WONDERFUL THOUGHTS FROM A WONDERFUL PERSON.

Vivek Nanda said...

@Swarna, I'm glad that you liked the post so much....Thanks for visiting here and reading the post with so much interest. Take Care n God bless :)

Tamanna A. Shaikh said...

You are very right, Vivek! I'm a Muslim but I happily partake in Hindu/Christian or any other festivals, go to temples, etc etc. God can never be selfish so it doesn't matter whatever place you go to or whichever God you bow down to! :)

Vivek Nanda said...

@Tamanna, thanks for visiting here and sharing your views. Its really nice to hear from you, I feel really happy to meet people like you...thanks again for taking time to read this post, take care.

Gagan said...

I am really happy that i have a friend who has so pure and selfless feelings to every religion.
We are the only beings on the planet who lead such rich internal lives that it's not the events that matter most to us, but rather, it's how we interpret those events that will determine how we think about ourselves and how we will act in the future.

Vivek Nanda said...

@Gagan, hey thank you so much for visiting here, I'm really glad to read your comments. You rightly said its how we act to the events, I have seen a lot of religion related violence in our country and my believe is only we can come out of it, we have to think positively and broadly so I'm just trying to spread the message.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and I'm thrilled to see your comments, keep visiting :)

Soni said...

Nice one Vivek... absolutely true!!!!!!!!!

Vivek Nanda said...

@Soni, thank you for taking time to read it.

jittin kapoor said...

I think saying and following are two different thing. We can prodly say India is the only country where all religion co-exits in harmony, then why are people here are against inter religion marriages. We can study with them, can eat with them, can be friends with them, can work with them but cannot marry them????????????

Vivek Nanda said...

@Jittin, thanks for taking time to read it and sharing your thoughts...Hmmmm I dont agree completely with what you said,it varies from person to person, in fact I have seen inter caste marriages, but yes the general view is still what you said and that is what we need to change bro :)

Gayatri H said...

Vivek that's really a good one..I think you'll very soon understand that GOD IS ONE.. Spiritual education is the thing that will really help you to understand GOD IS ONE or SUPREME MASTER or ULTIMATE SOUL. Mind it Spirituality is completely different from any religion.. Religions may claim their God's as best but spirituality explains the supreme knowledge (God is One).. Infact Bhagavad Gita, Koran, Bible.. all of them conclude with the same thing.. which indicates their similar preachings then how could God be different? Its just different religions look from different aspect.. What matters is what you believe.. Spirituality helps you to observe the fact with unified vision so no confusion.. Infact if you'll read Dan Brown's novel "The Lost Symbol" you'll realize how beautifully he has tried to explain God is One (using some Mason facts)..ALL THE BEST :)

Vivek Nanda said...

@Gayatri, thank you for finding it good, I'm glad you said it :). May be I have to take your suggestion and read "The Lost Symbol", and I have too read all the religious books as well, but thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me pointers that might be useful. Take care n God bless.

Nensa Moon said...

Very nice posting...wth very interesting thought..
talking about religion... everybody must have their own view or thoughts...and we should appreciate it with one another.
but for me myself Islam is the best religion for me as I'm a muslim..
Thanks
have a wonderful day

nensa

Miss Caitlin S. said...

what a dynamite post!!! I adore it. I think questioning religion is totally healthy and wonderful. You seem to have gotten to a very peaceful place with it. I love your honesty and your whimsical way you were searching for truth... but most of all, I love your acceptance

Digital Point said...

Nice post about gods and religion, funny that the amazon MP3 is playing Katy Perry's "I kissed a girl" at the same time. :P

Gayatri H said...

Hello vivek,
Thanks for good wishes.. I just wanted to add that Deepak Chopra's different books on spirituality may also help you. All the books are available on net. You can have a glance & select the one you want..
Take care..
:-) :-)

Vivek Nanda said...

@Nensa, yes I second you on your views..everyone have its own views and we should appreciate it. I'm glad to know your views. Anyway thanks for visiting here and taking time to read the post. Take Care n God Bless :)

Vivek Nanda said...

@Caitlin, thank you so much..I'm thrilled to read your comments, I admit I felt really great after reading them :-). Just to add, I wouldn't be able to write honestly and accept the facts if I'm not true to myself, but at the same time its I have to say that- beauty is in the eyes of the one who is watching :)..thanks again for visiting here and leaving your comments.

Vivek Nanda said...

@Digi-Point, lol..gr8 obseravation but sometimes the discussion gets too heated help..these things help,isn't it :)?? Anyway, thanks for taking time to read it.

Vivek Nanda said...

@Gayatri, thanks again for visiting here and yes, I do read Deepak Chopra, he is a very inspirational man undoubtedly. Anyway, thanks again for the tip :-), God bless!!

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Mutual respect is the basis, the staple, of all human relations!!!

Vivek Nanda said...

@Julia, well said dear friend, I second your noble thought..thanks for visiting here.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vivek,

It's a very thoughtful post, and the sentiments are very nice. I have a question for you: how can you reconcile the Muslim belief that God is a single person and the Christian belief that God is three persons? How can you reconcile the Jewish belief that Jesus was a mere man and the Christian belief that he is the savior of the whole world? How can all religions be equally right when they are mutually exclusive? We can respect people of all faiths, but can they have the truth?

Vivek Nanda said...

@Anonymous, the post is "Thoughtful" but yet "Questionable",isn't it? Its a complete puzzle if I see all your questions, and reconciling all the different facts together is a bigger challenge, but how can I do it?? Well, may be I will keep my belief at the top, may be I will act like a "syncretist" as referred by my very close friend. A syncretist combines the elements of different religions and believes they are essentially speaking about the same things. My close friend very nicely put these lines and I agree to them completely- I believe faith concerns one's relationship with God, while religions are man-made. They are attempts to explain and define the divine in the terms of human language(s). Therefore religions speak about holy issues, most of them the same, but the human language used in expressing them creates all kinds of differences.
Anyway, thanks for visiting here and sharing your thoughts. Take Care.

Praveen said...

It was really a nice thought, One world,one family,one god,one religion for Humanity!!! such similar thought is propogated by one of Hindu saint in kerala Guru Narayana Swami.

May Gods grace be on All!!!!

Vivek Nanda said...

@Praveen, thanks for visiting here and sharing your thoughts. I'm really happy that you liked this post, and about the Guru Narayana Swami, I never heard anything about him..thanks for sharing may be now I will him..thanks again for commenting..take care :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Vivek,

I appreciate your thought construction, however, merely by beleiveing every religion doesn't answer your question. In my opinion,anything which divides humanity should not be entertained, be it religions as religions have divided humanity into many halves...Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Buddist, christains,etc. The list is too long. Instead of these respecting these divisions can't we aspire for Universal Brotherhood or macro cosmic brotherhood. Everyone knows God is one and He is definitely beyond these religious boundaries. Believe in Spirituality.

(Sumit SINGH.)

Vivek Nanda said...

Dear Anonymous Friend, first thanks for taking time to read and leaving your valuable comments. Second, ideally there could not be anything better than what you have said, in fact I'm also a believer of same fundamentals of Universal Brotherhood, but after witnessing the history of mankind and practically speaking it is impossible to attain what we are discussing here. So, instead asking people to leave their religion and follow something new what we both want is very difficult thing to do, but asking them to do what they are doing and making them follow other religions with equal respect and dignity is more feasible option. Moreover, everyone learns and enjoys the best of the religions i.e. why I had a little different thoughts then what you presented here. Nevertheless, if something like Universal Brotherhood can happen then its Nirvana!!
Thanks again for visiting here.God Bless:)

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