Vision for A Universal Religion
- Dr. Satya Pal Singh
Vision is the ability to see beyond the present. It is the foresight to see clearly through walls of years, decades and sometimes even centuries. It is an attribute, not just to predict, but to lay ahead a map of the future. Can we have such a vision for a universal religion? All the technologies and knowledge in the world are converging. Today we have a single Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Astronomy for ourselves. How can then one humanity have different religions? During 2001, the U.N. convened a conference for World Peace - a congregation of World religious leaders. More than a dozen of major religions were represented, leave aside hundreds of sects and personalised cults.
It raises one basic question - being mooted for more than hundred years. Are these different religions, sects and cults opposed to each other? If the answer is in affirmative then to have World Peace through religions is hoping against hope. But if these religions are not against each other and equal in all aspects, especially the welfare of man, then what is the need of so many religions? The fact is that all these religions echoe almost the same righteous conduct - truth, nonviolence, non-stealing, etc. but differ belligerently in their rituals. Rituals are unfortunately being given the real face or the core of present day religions. Our dress, mode of worship and the language of rituals have become the symbols of our purity.
The common experience of all people is the foundation of our knowledge. The basic instincts and requirements of man are the same throughout the world. Hunger, fear, sex, sleep, etc. are common to all. So is the penchant for honesty, and fraternity. The code of conduct for progress and peace underlies the importance of patience, tolerance, control of mind and senses, non-stealing, purity, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, truth, non-anger, non-violence for entire human society professing any religious belief. This is the core of all religions. This core is called Dharma. Dharma is pure religion bereft of any rituals. It is the essence of human progress.
There are four essential attributes for a universal religion. Equality, universal brotherhood, harmonious development and scientific base.
Equality means treating everyone equally and good behaviour with others without any fear or favour. This principle of equality removes the barriers based on age, community, gender, area and the country in all matters, temporal or terrestrial.
In the field of religions, the "tenet of equality" flows continuously, breaking all barriers of time. The Universal Religion begins with the very inception of human race on this earth. It is co-existensive and contemporary with the birth of the first human on this planet. This religion cannot originate hundreds or thousands of years later, with the advent of a 'great man', incarnation, Rasul or Paigambar (God's Messenger). If it being so, then there could be only two reasons for it. Either, the God has not acted with equality (or equity). He has done injustice to all those millions and billions of people who were born, lived and died, before its inception. Or in the beginning God was not mature or knowledgeable enough. Like a worldly man, He was gaining experience to launch His religion. God can never be thought of as being partial and unjust to millions of people. Secondly, looking into this perfectly designed world, only an insane person can think about the inexperience or lack of knowledge of God. In a similar manner, the religion preaching equality, cannot be partial to some particular countries, people or places.
The religion, accepting Universal Brotherhood, instructs everyone in the world to interact with others with a feeling of amity, fraternity and affinity, as amongst brothers and sisters. It cannot selectively provide education and instructions and divine messages to some and not to others. The religion, following this principle cannot be partisan, by calling some people of its own, and insult and denigrate others by calling them atheists and nonbelievers or inferiors or calling them criminals and hence saying that they deserve punishment.
The third golden speciality of Universal Religion is Hannonious Development. It desires an all round progress and flourishing of the entire humanity. Such a growth must be in equilibrium and tune with the powers and forces of nature. "It means harmony in development and development in harmony". It speaks of the necessity for a well-developed life science, which can produce harmony among the body, the mind and the soul, and can provide a long, full and healthy span of life. A religion that can stand this third test will lay down a code of division of labour, depending on the physical and mental capabilities of a person irrespective of birth or race.
The last criterion of a Universal Religion is its scientific basis. In all its principles, beliefs and tenets and practical working procedures, scientific temper or attitude must pervade. None of its beliefs and preachings should be contrary to the laws of nature. All its sacred God-given books and tenets must be in harmony with the universally accepted scientific principles.
The aforesaid elaboration proves that there is a common thread linking all four tests together, and there is a mutual interdependence or symbiotic relationship. These tests cannot be shut away in isolated and separate compartments. In each of these unique specialties, the other three are inseparably linked and one embraces the other three.
Such a Universal Religion alone can be the Religion of the present technological era. Thus, Universal Religion and Scientific Religion cannot be distinct from each other. Acceptance of such a religion will ensure the end of all kinds of racial and religious conflicts. Will the leaders, saints and intellectuals of all major religions come forward, by shedding their egos and interests, for universal peace and progress ?