Respect all religious faiths

In today's world of strife and competition, the game of one-upmanship is not restricted to material acquisitions and power alone, but is seen in the sphere of religion too, with claims, counter claims and charges being traded over the supremacy of one religion over another, over the antiquity of one religious institution over another and so on.  What seems to be truly lost amidst all the din is the  underlying principle of the oneness of vision of all religions.

Among the innumerable great minds of India, the "Silent Sage of Sringeri", Sadguru Chandrashekhara Bharati , whose silence was more eloquent than his rare speeches stands out for demonstrating the highest spiritual truths in the most lucid manner. 

Two instances will go to show how strongly he believed in the need for man to respect all religious faiths and understand the undeniable truth of a single, nameless, formless supreme entity .

An accomplished scholar once submitted to him a lengthy treatise written as a rejoinder to the claims of another sect, with a searing commentary on the so called "deficiencies" of the other sect. The scholar was of the hope that it would win the approval of the sage with all its attendant rewards and recognition.

With a mere glance at the text, Chandrashekhara Bharati immediately grasped the tone and direction of the work and immediately kept it aside.

With a pained expression, he said "God has gifted you with the power to write. Why then do you waste this talent on this work which brings no merit either here or hereafter? Do you understand the pain this will cause to the believers of that group?

Being a learned man yourself, do you not know that our Acharya has enjoined upon us to shed passion and hatred toward other religions? Henceforth, please desist from hurting the sentiments of other creeds.”

On another occasion, commenting on the powerful dialectics of scholars in expounding the religious texts, he said "At the stage at which we are today, why do we have to argue about the nature of the absolute being? Suffice it to say that the being has a form, at least for our understanding. Presently, we are very far away even from his feet.

The path towards those feet is long and arduous and if and when we finally reach those feet, we can look up at that form to see what mark of religious identity is on his forehead if there is one at all. Until then why cannot we be content to traverse on the road of Dharma which commands us to view all creation as one and humanism as the only religion?”

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