God created the world and mankind. There is but one creator and one human species. So doesn’t it follow that we are all part of one big universal world family? If we firmly believe in one God of all creation and mankind, then it would be logical to conclude that the world is united, bound together by mutual love. To put it succinctly, the Universal Creator is one and so is mankind―one and united.
The scriptures say: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. Unity is the very essence of the Creative Being.” Let us all say the following prayer so that brotherhood and unity prevail on this planet: “We have learnt in recent years how to fly through the air like birds and how to swim under the ocean like fish. Teach us, O, God! how to walk the earth like men in brotherhood and the dignity to live together, to work together and to share together life’s experience for ourselves and our children. Amen.”
It may seem difficult for us to live together, considering that each one of us has special desires, beliefs and attitudes. In a family, a society, or a city, a state, and the world, at large, different people have different views and tastes. But there is one way by which we can live together―by trying to blur the differences between us. It is said that religion divides people and breaks the unity of mankind. But this is not what religion and its practice does, if we follow its spirit.
The practice of religion must be closely integrated with daily living. Our every action must bear in mind that the Almighty is watching us with loving kindness. Goodness and religion go hand-in-hand. If we separate goodness from religion or religion from goodness, then it is tantamount to keeping God out of our everyday life. Religion is a way of life; a daily practice. Religion is not like wealth that we acquire and preserve in a safe deposit box. Religion is not a commodity to be placed in a freezer to be defrosted for use. Religion must be used constantly to be of significance and to make a difference to us and mankind.
Religion is based on peace, universal brotherhood, tolerance, mutual respect, compassion, self-sacrificial love, harmony and unity. There is absolutely no room for hatred or violence in religion, even if somebody hurts your religious sentiments.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “My religion is based on Truth and non-violence. Truth is my God and non-violence is a means of realising Him. All religions are true and equal. Humanity is the only true religion.”
Perhaps, the best way to sum up the unity of mankind is with the Sanskrit phrase, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam―‘The world is one family’.
As a shloka believed to be from the Vedas says: “We are birds of the same nest. We may wear different skins. We speak different languages. We may believe in different religions. We may belong to different cultures. Yet we share the same home, our Earth. We are born on the same planet, covered by the same skies, gaze at the same stars, breathe the same air. We must learn to progress together, or miserably perish together. For, a person can live individually, but can only survive collectively.”
Beautiful words that go to show what a Beautiful World we live in.
Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar has been conferred Doctor of Jewish Welfare, Ambassador of Peace and Mahavir, Mahatma Award for his contribution to inter-faith activities for the last 35 years.
(Excerpted from the book How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life, edited by Oswald Pereira and published by Vitasta Publishing Private Limited)