Swati Singh-  B. E. (Computer Engineering) , Perusing MBA at Thakur Institute of Management Studies & Research , Mumbai

“God proposes, Man disposes”. The creation of the living beings, world, nature and the entire universe was done by the Almighty. We all came into this world in our birthday suits devoid of any pre- conceived notions or cultural discriminations. If we trace back our history, Man has evolved from the apes. Our ancestors lived the nomadic gypsy life which is very different from the civilized and sophisticated life that we enjoy. But one more point of distinction between the life then and now is that the Stone Age man lived a life free from any differentiation amongst the individuals. A very beautiful line quoted by renowned writer Javed Akhtar which goes as ‘no boundaries or borders can restrict flow of rivers, flight of birds, or the flowing breeze.’

If we take the preaching of any religion, then we would find that they all converge to same principle of giving and taking of love. They all teach us to be kind, merciful, peaceful and truthful. They teach us to take pride in ourselves, for who we are, for the family we are born in, for the country we reside in. None of the religions teach us to disrespect others or their values and beliefs. Yet we see communal disharmony all around us. The most recent and horrific incident of severing the head of Indian soldiers Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh. The immediate aftermath is borne by their family who will never be able to come over the loss of their young son, a brother, a husband, a father and most significantly “son of soil”. The incident became a nation- wide rage infuriating the countrymen. It’s not just about India and Pakistan, it is much more beyond that. Why is there any need to be known as a person of a particular religion, why can’t we just be known as being human! The biggest religion in the world is of ‘Humanity’. When a patient goes to a doctor, he is given every possible treatment which would be best for him. It is never enquired to which caste or creed he belongs to, or the region he hails from. Religion is a personal belief which tries to bring out the best from an individual. It aims at creating values, nurturing ethics and making a person sail through all difficulties with his head held high on his shoulders. It should not be treated as criteria for evaluating an individual or distinguishing feature. We have seen various examples of social workers like Mother Teresa, Baba Amte, Karl Marx who have always stressed on the fact that all individuals are one and that Humanity is the greatest of all religions. If every individual practiced only one religion and he could see every person as his fellow being then the world would be a better place to live in. A lot of social disharmony can be done away with this. There is a need for religious harmony to add value to our lives, create value for others, and change the picture of the world where peace is diminishing. Feeling of oneness and brotherhood needs to be prevalent not just for our countrymen but for every human worldwide.

Religion and gratitude are connected in two ways: The very core of every religious tradition is gratefulness; if we have caught on to this basic unity of all religions, we will be grateful for the variety by which they express and celebrate their shared essence. This provides a firm basis for religious harmony. We humans experience spiritual reality under three aspects: as the unfathomable mystery that surrounds and transcends our life, as our own innermost being, and as the life breath and love energy that flows through the universe and holds all things in harmony. Different traditions emphasize different aspects of this continuum. This alone creates a great diversity, within which historical, geographic, and cultural conditions make for amazingly rich variations. The closer we are to the heart of our own tradition, the more freely we will appreciate the forms in which others celebrate the supreme mystery for which every human heart longs. Swami Vivekananda said, “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”. He too referred to religion of mankind. “The whole world of religions is only a travelling, a coming up, of different men and women, through various conditions and circumstances, to the same goal. Every religion is only evolving a God out of the material man, and the same God is the inspirer of all of them.” If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity, and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of their resistance: “Help and not Fight,” “Assimilation and not Destruction,” “Harmony and Peace and not Dissension.”

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” Even if a single individual of us embraces the religion of Mankind and propagates to other, it can definitely make a difference. It may seem like a drop in an ocean but every single drop will contribute to making world more peaceful and harmonious. “It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.” Very aptly said by Helen Keller.