Sometime in the ancient times was born a concept that God is somebody holding a thunderbolt in his hand which he will throw down at anyone; not anyone, really, but at your enemy. Lord Shiva, they say, has got bhoots, pesaaches, devis, devtas, suras, asuras, yakshas, rakshas, manavas, danavas and jeev-jantus at his beck and call. Ergo, everything in the universe is an aspect of God. There is no such thing as the devil personified or God personified; everything is part of the One. It is said that even when you harm someone who is bad, you are harming God himself because that person is also part of God. Since you are also a product of divine energy, in a way, you are harming your own self. When you kill someone or hurt an animal, you are harming yourself and that harm has been detailed in the law of karma; while inflicting pain your consciousness level may not be evolved enough to empathise with that pain at that point of time. With the passage of time, that karma bounces back and you will feel the pain. So, you are irrevocably bound to experience that very pain that you had inflicted. This is the reason why non-violence (ahimsa) was practiced and mandated in yog sutras by Patanjali Rishi.
Yog is the complete science of being. Yogic practices such as Sanatan Kriya bring you closer to yourself, and what you actually are. We all are part of One; by hurting something else which is part of that One, you are only going to hurt yourself in the process. God thus becomes a totality, a reality, both within and outside you.
There was no concept of forcible conversion in Vedic thought because there was no religion; there was nothing to convert to. As a matter of fact, the word ‘Hindu’ was born merely around 800 years back, originating from Persian. There was no such thing as a Hindu, according to the Vedic seers. The Hindu represented the entire human civilisation, the whole human dimension that encompassed all creation, all levels of existence and all the seven worlds (lokas.) Therefore if you want to remain happy and content, do not exploit or harm anybody or anything.
If you look at the present state, the way we are exploiting the resources of the world, the way we are exploiting others, it is all rebounding back on us. Pain and suffering is increasing in the world and we are looking for solutions through medical science. But the solution cannot be found outside, it lies within. Unless you regard all creation in totality, and unless you consider yourself as a part of that creation, you will be unable to comprehend this concept.
During the Vedic period, certain other cults developed. These were lower forms of thoughts which projected God as a human being and using Him to hurt or harm enemies. There is no concept of an enemy in Vedic thought since everything is a part of you. ‘Aham brahmasi, shivohum, tat tvam asi…’ ; concepts so advanced and developed that modern man cannot understand even a fraction of the meanings, because it is very difficult to understand that hurting somebody else is going to rebound on you. Universal elements are just five — prithvi, jal, agni, akash and vayu; the same elements exist in everyone and everything.
The elements could have once made up the earthly body of Lord Rama when he incarnated in this world, because the elements are constant — they do not increase or decrease, and simply change their form. Today, science tells us energy cannot be created or destroyed, it just changes form — a knowledge the Vedic seers had illuminated eons before. Fire has the propensity to change form; whatever is heated undergoes a chemical reaction. In chemistry when you balance an equation, the number of elements on each side become the same because you are neither removing nor adding, you are simply changing form.
Can you imagine this phenomenal knowledge was documented only few thousand years back and bequeathed to mankind even before that? What is the relevance of the arguments on superiority of cultures, forcible conversions or killing people in the name of religion? What religion are we talking about? The Vedic seer never recognised any religion, he recognised only creation and that also in totality. This proves that, till date, no other civilisation has been above to rival the superior concepts of the Vedic rishis.