Read the countless dailies of Kerala and you will come across reports of violence and sexual abuse, alcoholism in young and old, increasing number of suicides, and corruption in schools and colleges, hospitals and public offices! We are celebrating Onam and this time, it coincides with Ramzan.
Allah, the merciful stands for world brotherhood, cosmic fraternity and divinity by practising humanity.
No Muslim is a true follower of the religion unless he shares his wealth with brothers and sisters.
So, too, no Buddhist is a true disciple of Great Buddha unless his heart shares the suffering of the poorest.
The great religion of Hinduism, through its Upanishads and Advaita philosophy, tells us the same lesson of practising compassion and sharing, and not preaching.
The realisation of global agony is the true religion.
In short, be your religion what it may, you are truly pious only when you see in yourself your neighbour’s vicissitudes.
This was the great teaching of Swami Vivekananda, who while addressing high-class Hindus in Madras, feelingly observed: Aye, Brahmins, if the Brahmin has more aptitude for learning on the ground of heredity than the ‘pariah’, give to the weak, for they need all the gifts.
Our poor people, these downtrodden masses of India, therefore, require to hear and know what they really are.
Aye, let every man, woman and child, without respect of caste or birth, weakness and strength, hear and learn that behind the strong and the weak, behind the high and the low, behind everyone, there is that infinite soul, assuring that infinite possibility and the infinite capacity of all to become great and good.
Let us proclaim to every soul, ‘Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.
’ This sublime fraternity is what we learnt from the Buddha - not to worship his bones, teeth, hair as we now do by building temples for them and lose the cosmic comity and divinity, which is latent in that Supreme Soul who made a prince give up everything.
Of him Vivekananda said: “Let me tell you a few words about one man who actually carried this teaching of Karma- Yogi into practice.
That man is Buddha.
” He is the one man who even carried this into perfect practice.
Buddha said: “I do not care to know your various theories about God.
What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines about the soul? Do good and be good.
And this will take you to freedom and to whatever truth there is.
” He had the deepest sympathy for the lowest animals, and never put forth any claims for himself.
He is the ideal Karma-Yogi, acting entirely without motive, and the history of humanity shows him to have been the greatest man ever born.
Beyond, compare the greatest combination of heart and brain that ever existed, the greatest soul power that has ever been manifested.
He is the first great reformer the world has seen.
He was the first who dared to say: “Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because it is your national belief, because you have been made to believe it from your childhood, but reason it all out.
And after you have analysed it, if you find it will do good to one and all, believe it, live up to it, and help others to live up to it.
” He works best for who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor for anything else.
And, when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform the world.
This man represents the very highest ideal of Karma-Yogi.
A true humanist is a Gandhian.
A true Gandhi disciple is a Buddhist.
The world of Buddha is the world of Jesus Christ, who commanded us to love our neighbour; why our enemies too? Islam is the well-being of everyone.
He who cannot contain in his bosom the entire wonder of creation is no Muslim.
Fanaticism, terrorism and hatred of all religions other than one’s own is not Muslim.
He is a leader.
Today, we see all humanity as equal, poor or rich, sharing the wealth of all and wiping the tears of everyone else.
It is this fundamental duty of compassion towards all living creatures that the great religion has proclaimed.
This is enshrined in the Indian Constitution as a fundamental duty, and plead with mankind and statesman everywhere to live in their generosity or fraternity or identity of humanity which is truly socialist, secularist and democratic.
“He prayeth best, who loveth best; All things great and small; For the dear God who loveth us; He made and loveth all.
” (The views expressed in the article are the author’s own