Parikshit H Singh-  Persuing MBA at Thakur Institue of Management Studies & Research , Mumbai

We believenot only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.

There never was my religion or yours, my national religion or your national religion; there never existed many religions, there is only the one. One Infinite Religion existed all through eternity and will ever exist, and this Religion is expressing itself in various countries, in various ways.

The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve the individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.

Swami Vivekananda

In the 21st century, People everywhere talk about money and material Value. That is important no doubt, but spiritual stability matters too. Material wealth Provides physical comfort, Mental Comfort can be provided by Faith. The call of the 21st century is to seek religious harmony in our increasingly pluralistic culture.

A disturbed mind is very bad for health, While a healthy mind health body go together. Material wealth alone will not bring happiness‖ says Spiritual leader Dalai Lama

Former India President A P J Abdul Kalam had said there ―there is need for a combination of economic prosperity and spiritual way of life‖.

INDIA — a stunning amalgam of ethnic and religious traditions — can be a model for the world in this regard. India’s ethnic composition encompasses myriad streams of culture and religious faiths and sects. As a multi-lingual and multi-cultured society, India has served as an outstanding example of unity in diversity among the fast maturing democracies across the world. Cultural diversity as a major component of secularism has been widely recognized and acknowledged in the recent past throughout the world when many countries have suffered ethnic violence and constant conflicts of faiths and beliefs.

One of the main problems about religion is its plurality or diversity. Each religion has its philosophy, mythology and ritual. The different religions differ from one another in many ways mainly at the level of rituals and mythology and at the basic fundamental level they share the common ideals and aspirations of the human mind and society. Each religion claims to show the right way of life and claims to provide supreme peace and fulfillment to its follower. The increased interactions and interdependence of the different religious communities in the modern technological global context have made it imperative that the basic ideals of the different religions be appreciated and the superficial differences between the religious practices be understood for their different historical origins and not only just tolerated but cherished for the diversity and breadth that they bring to the human society.

Since religious conflicts and communal disharmony have assumed serious proportions in present-day India, basic harmony of religions has become a most important and vital concern for all people. Interaction among the scholars of various religions and learned citizens with social conscience would certainly help bring about such harmony

It is a common and idealistically beautiful notion, that all the religions of the world essentially practice and preach the same teachings for the betterment of the world. In fact, this forms part of the spirit that makes harmonious inter-religious dialogue possible – when we choose to focus on the similarities of compassion and wisdom. If we are to harp on the differences to one another instead, there would be inter-religious conflict.

“Religion has not been a good thing, but it has been a great thing.” Religion is a key element in every culture and in every phase of history. I do feel there is a need of religious harmony today just as there will be if anything even greater thing to do in the century ahead. People should continuously strive to seek peaceful solutions to the various conflicts. Building and maintaining religious harmony as well as presenting enlightened examples of leadership are part of the requirements needed to settle conflict.

People object of love is not a clad of earth, but it is the veritable God himself; that man will love his greatest enemy who knows that very enemy is God Himself, Such a man becomes a world mover for whom his little self is dead and God stands in its place. If all mankind today realize only a bit of that great truth, the aspect of the whole world will be changed, and, in place of fighting and quarrelling, there would be a reign of peace.” this spiritual outlook is absolutely essential to the present age. There will be no place in a world of untold power and knowledge for anything but the broadest acceptance of all human cultures of all individuals, of all the varied ways in which human being search for truth. The future world will brook no barriers between persons, genders, creeds, races, cultures, and nations; for in the truth in the vast ocean of life there are no barriers, and truth alone will be able to survive in a world where no knowledge will be withheld from any person. We have seen a growing indifference to all spiritual values and the complete irrelevance of religious thought in the political life of all advanced nations, and also the menacing growth of religious fundamentalism in the different parts of the world, threatening freedom of expression and alternative view points. We have also seen the phenomenal growth of popular religions promising false hopes and legitimizing superstitions; and politicians, in connivance with theologians and priests, using religion to muzzle all voices of dissent. The quality of life of man will depend upon the relationship between different religions as well as on the extent of space that each religion can create to ensure and encourage freedom to question.

Swami Vivekananda renewed people’s interest in religion by bringing religion to center stage after infusing it with a new meaning. He promoted inter-faith harmony. Hence his teachings are of great relevance, particularly in the current context.

At the end I would say Religious harmony is a much needed ingredient in todays society.