Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Many religions spotlight guidelines and practices. When these guidelines are followed or those rituals are performed, the person is attempted to be made just with His Creator or earn His Blessings. Some religions focus more on observing rituals while others on following rules. Analyzing different religions, I have come to believe that somewhere and somehow everyone wants a better world, a better society and ultimately a better humanity.
No matter which country I go to and no matter where I plan to live, all the humans have the same basic requirements and concerns. There could be a distinction among individual human beings, from size and shape to skin tone and eye color. But we are much more alike than we are different. We sob when we are sad, and we mourn when we have pain or when we go through illness. We live together here on this earth with the intention of leading a happier and better life. We share the same air, sun and the same ancestors. We may never agree with each other about who Created us, or whose interpretation of religion is correct, however, one thing we can all agree on is our humanity.
Though this emotion is commendable, the contrary is prominent on the pages of human history and even nowadays; wars, assassinations, genocide, violence against women, hatred against others and crimes against humanity in Jerusalem and Sarajevo, genocide of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, and the Kashmir's strict lock-down; all of these are directed by those who claim to believe in loving their Creator. Yet the way people treat others who are different from them is totally contrary to the love they preach. How can One Creator differentiate among its own people and prefer one race over another when humanity was Created with the sole purpose of existing in harmony.
With all the cultural similarities, all the parallel feelings and mutual interests how do you explain the atrocities that are inflicted in the name of that One Creator? It is the interest of the few that poisons the majority’s minds. The religious divide is established, nurtured and promoted because it suits a certain group. Over the years, religious emotions have been exploited by these stubborn people who consider themselves superior to the rest.
The story of human pain and suffering is world-wide that it is not bound to any civilization, color of skin, faith or a geographical setting. One suffering cannot be placed above another because of its cultural or environmental settings; whether Bethlehem or Syria, Hiroshima or Baghdad, whether the Kashmir's struggle for freedom or a refugee with a full gear of trauma on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, whether it's a terrorist attack in the west or the east. The accounts of these incidents that are everywhere makes our hearts bleed with sorrow. Human ache and misery are truly universal, and thus it calls for a collective, unconditional love to comprehend, feel, understand and eventually heal its wounds.
It seems that religions do not have a pretty history. Unfortunately, most religious people are not educated, or well versed in the religions they follow. They depend on what they hear from their leaders and ancestors. I believe that there are three types of religious people. The first is the hardheaded sort and the other is the mindless people’s category. The hardheaded rigid people create fear in the minds of the ignorant of the doom that shall befall them for not acting against people of other religions. These unaware people deviate from the path of love to hatred out of this fear of being punished. These misled ignorant and hard-core people are in fact working against the principles of their own religion.
I fail to understand, how God can provide special treatment to those who follow a particular religion just because they happen to be born in the family who follows it. It is surprising that their religion has cursed those who are created by the same God but happen to be born in a family following a different religion. Then there is a third kind of religious people who practice patience towards other religions and mature with time only to realize that the true essence of their religion is humanity and their mutual Creator does not require careless utterance of His praises and mindless prayers to be happy with them. Some of these mature people are bound by their egos and fear of being cast out, so they follow their rituals mindlessly keeping life safe and playing safe through mindless prayers. They could free themselves from any curse or doom, in case their religion did speak the truth. Whereas some of these people defy the strict rituals and go on to live with Love and mindful awareness. They become more flexible in their religious rituals and teach modesty to their generations keeping their cultural morals intact. They believe in giving respect to the society and its culture by sharing their love for mankind.
They realize that men were not created to protect religion rather it is the religion that protects and disciplines lives. Religion is the soulful purpose of their conscious existence. Their religion conveys a message of affection, mutual awareness, patience, care, acknowledgment and service; showing compassion and empathy to everything that lives without judging others for their color, beliefs or culture.
People can acquire immense power to come closer to their spiritual nature through their Love for others and conscious living. Humanity is the common factor that unites different people. We are all human beings who want to be happy, so we search for love and ways to discipline our spiritual progress. We give comfort only to receive it in some way. Then why not treat others as we would have them treat us.
It is great to be a spiritual person with rituals but even greater to be a conscious human with passion. Even if you learn to find your own peace through religion, your struggle should continue till your practices are helpful in generating awareness, love and compassion. The true essence of one’s spiritual journey comes with finding balance and discipline which is the real purpose of religion. These can be developed by anyone inside or outside one’s spiritual practice. All religions pursue the same goals: those of cultivating goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might seem different, the ends are the same.
So, let us enjoy life with no fear of being judged; making mistakes only to learn from them, listening to others only to show empathy, observing patience only to treat others with respect, supporting freedom only to live in harmony with compassion.
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