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*******