Thursday, June 30, 2005

Replying on "Bridging the Gap" issue

In one of the blog, I expressed my thought on bridging the gap between different religions. This is something which draws me very much from my earlier understanding of world religions and philosophies. At the end of the post i wrote, "Reading Upanishad is greatly inspiring me to research on it and write something in order to bridge the gap between Islamic monotheism, Sufi philosophy and Vedant Hindu philosophy."

This triggered two comment, one from Mark Walter, another from Hijabi Princess. Mark liked my thought and he said, This is a great gap that needs to be bridged: the gaps between religions. Hijabi Princess said, "Bridging gap"... I wonder what that means... If that means increasing the understanding, awareness and tolerance about other religions, then I am totally for it! (Infact I consider this century to be THE century of racism in the basis of religion). But IF "bridging gap" means trying to merge the ideas of religions and re-defining the central ideas of religions from your own perspective... I would step aside... True religions are of the people, for the people, but not by the people, it is by the Lord of the people!


What I really mean by bridging the gap::
I personally believe that in every single religion has a purpose (as everything on earth has purpose, including human life). There may be distortion of the teachings and idea (because of time or by materialistic controllers) of a particular religion, but the underlying philosophy is always for the good of mankind.

Thanks Hijabi for pointing out two paths how bridging the gap between religions can be done. First we should increase our understanding, awareness and tolerance about other religion. And every religion on earth asked its follower to respect other religion. How can you respect if you are not aware? How can respect come in practice if you are not tolerant?

Now in order to do that, first we should remove any preconceived negative notion about other religion. Most of the time, the follower of one faith gets a very negative, all bad, all condemning idea about other religion from their own religious community or church. Have we ever cared to learn that religion from that faithÂ’s perspective?

For example, how many Muslims asked or tried to learn by reading Hindu texts, why on earth, Vedantic (Hinduism) which is a very strong Monotheistic religion worship so many deity in the form of idols? What is their point to support idol worshiping? The answer is almost none.
Now one of my idea of ‘bridging the gap’ is to read and understand by being very neutral. And what I do is when I want to learn about Hinduism, I pick up one book or two by a Hindu writer, not from a Christian writer criticizing hHinduismism is so bad. Isn’t that reasonable.

Secondly, merging the idea of religions is some thing which is of higher order. Prematurely its hard to appreciate the underlying truth of all the religions. It requires opening of heart, opening of mind and a higher perspective. It will come only when we take ourselves one step higher than day to day conventional religious practices, rituals, dogmas; because these are only the outer appearance.

But the good news is human intellect is in evolution and we have matured enough now to grow and act like one global village. As publication, communication, exchange of ideas improved across humans, it will inevitably bring us to that point where all faiths will come to learn from each other, will share form each other. That has happened in the past. And it will happen in the future as well. And by the grace of God, and by the promise of His messenger, ultimately the whole world will realize the truth before the end of this world. There will come a time and most probably the Messiah will fulfill that mission, when the whole human race will submit to one common understanding (or you can call it religion).
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