Source: Mirko Grisendi from Pixabay 

Each nation has a main theme or ideal on which it runs, and in India, it is spirituality and religion. I say this with utmost confidence and pride that this forms the main ethos of our nation. Before I proceed with my story, I would like to put in a quick disclaimer that I do not wish to denunciate any political parties nor hurt any religious sentiments. The following story is only my interpretation of how religion is proceeding in India.

It all started a few years ago when my parents bought me my first smartphone. I was very thrilled as it had paved the way to some exciting and new possibilities in my life. Soon, I became an active member in all the major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It was a dream come true, and I had new friends and well-wishers in very little time. I enjoyed all the memes, comments and everything was going great until it was election time.

A few weeks before the 2019 Lok Sabha election, I could feel the political vibes on the social media platform and what happened next changed me and my mindset forever. I started to see that political trash-talking was very common here. People would go to any extent to support their parties. They would blatantly criticize others without being concerned about how their words would impact them. But the main thing that caught my mind was how people got divided on a religious basis. Until this point in my life, I never felt that a Muslim or Christian was different from a Hindu. But here I was experiencing the differences. I could see one thing common in all of them. They all were fearful and insecure. Out of this fear and insecurity came the separation. I thought that this was a temporary effect due to elections and that this would go away once the elections were done.

But now in hindsight, I have realized that it was only a precursor to what was about to unfold. It is sad to see that not a single day passes without hearing some hate speech or derogatory comments on religions and has become the new normal to me.

This actually changed me as a person. My childhood was filled with friends who were either Muslims or Christians. I hardly had friends who were Hindus. So, it was very hard for me to digest what I was witnessing. I saw my friends having views completely different from mine. Never in the past did I care for my friend's belief system or his customs and traditions. In fact, I was enjoying our differences. But now my mind was consistently running on those terms and made me feel that they are different from me. Never in the past did I feel that way.

Since then I have often been asking myself, whether we can create an ecosystem where everyone feels the true fraternity. I am not telling that it’s not there in India. But can we do more is my question. My hunt for the answers to these questions began by reading scriptures and trying to under my own religion. When I started to read books by great saints, I found some insights that helped me find some solace.

I feel that we need to make sure our next generation develops the habit of forming judgments unbiased by personal feelings based on facts. This has to be true as I speak from my own experience that people don't think enough. They get easily sold to the lies that are put out in the name of religion. They have become weak. Their minds have become lethargic and they need to snap out of it. This is the only way to drain away centuries-old contamination of superstitions and blind beliefs. This can purify and strengthen the rational and spiritual heritage of our country.

Ours is a country that had famous saints like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Kabir, and many more. These are the people who lived a life of renunciation and sacrificed their entire life for the welfare of humanity and our motherland.

I find that every religion has mystics who speak the same tongue and teach the same truth. This is the real science of religion. As mathematics in every part of the world does not differ, so the mystics do not differ and this becomes law. We need to follow their ideals. It has all been well documented and we only need to understand it. I would like to mention that faith in India as described by Upanishads, did not mean a cozy belief to rest by, but a quest to set the soul on fire with a longing to find out the hidden meaning of existence.

These days it is becoming very clear to me that the solution to any problem can never be achieved on racial, national, or any other narrow grounds. Every idea has to become broad until it covers the whole of this world covering the whole of humanity. We can observe that one of the main reasons that led to our degeneration was the narrowing of our views and narrowing the scope of our actions.

Hence, I would like to conclude by saying that there can be no clear solution but only a path of least resistance. And this path is already given to us which forms the basic principles of our religion. The unity among religions is absolutely necessary as the first condition of the future of India. We need to stop fighting over petty issues. The mind starts degenerating when we fight over small things. It is a sign of weakness. When this happens, the whole race gets wiped out. We need to lift the downtrodden. If we fail with this, then we have failed in fulfilling our Karma. And Karma has a very cruel way of getting back. This is the reason why we had been under colonization for the past 700 years. No political parties, religious bigotry can divide us if we elevate our thinking and leave our lethargy behind.

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