However, If you are open to
explore, and are secure enough in your own faith that learning
enhances your joy and devotion for the almighty, then I’d invite
you to join me in the journey of exploring each faith. This
paragraph is based on a simple statement that my son Jeffrey
uttered when he was about 10 years old. He exclaimed “ Dad, God
can be worshipped in so many different ways” as I translated the
meaning of Hindu prayers at the Temple in Irving, when he
understood the Baptist prayers at the Church in Richardson, when
he was delighted with the meaning and universality of Muslim
Prayers and when he sang along at the Gurudwara in Garland.
The above experience brought about
a statement that I have adopted in the mission statement for the
Foundation for Pluralism.
We honor, cherish and respect every
which way people have come to praise and worship the divinity,
including but not limited to the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian,
Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Judaism, Sikh and Zoroastrian systems of
During the thousands of years of
mankind’s history, man’s search for God has led down many
pathways. The result has been the enormous diversity of
religious expression found worldwide – from the endless variety
of Hinduism to the monotheism of Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and
Christendom and to the philosophies of Shinto, Taoism, Buddhism,
Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Confucianism.
Has this search for God been
Be prepared to go thru some serious
questions in the following pages
To study different religions need
not imply infidelity to one’s own faith, but rather it may be
enlarged by seeing how other people have sought for the reality
and have been enriched by their search.
Have you every thought or said to
yourselves – am I “follower of a certain religion” by default?
Religion is and ought to be a very
personal thing. Virtually from birth, religious or ethical ideas
are implanted in our mind by our parents and relatives. As a
consequence, we usually follow the religious ideals of our
parents and grand parents. Religion has almost become a matter
of family tradition. What is the result of that process? That in
many cases others have chosen our religion for us. It has simply
been a matter of where we were born and when. Historian Toynbee
had pointed out that, an individual’s adherence to a certain
faith is often determined by “the geographical accident of the
locality of his birth- place. Mahatma Gandhi had advised his
followers during a “fast until the communal riots stop” in
Calcutta. He advised that if the Muslim finds an orphan Hindu
child or vice-versa, then he would raise the child of other
faith in the faith that child was born. That is the strength of
acceptance of God’s creation that was strength in Mahatma’s
belief in mankind and God. Gandhi understood what Ahimsa meant.
And as an admirer of Mahatma I found an expression to my
thoughts …” if people can learn to accept and respect the God
given uniqueness to each one of the 7 billion of us, then
conflicts fade and solutions emerge. That is the Ahimsa Gandhi
practiced and that was the Ahimsa Lord Mahavira taught.
September 11 has further augmented
my conviction in the Universality of all Religions. During the
multi-faith prayers at various places, it was a pleasure and
delight for me to read the Jewish, Islamic and Zoroastrian
prayers at the BSS Swaminarayan Temple and then Hindu and
Christian prayers at another prayer meeting. The essence of all
prayers continuously remains the same while the rituals differ
as Toynbee had pointed out.
During the Radio Shows we did in
1995- 1997 where we explored the views of all religions on issue
by issue from Birth to death and in between.
We believe that the purpose of all
faiths is to connect the humans with the divine and strongly
defend the goodness of each Religion. We believe that the
political motivations have deliberately blamed the wrongs of the
world to religions, it is our commitment to identify and ascribe
the wrongs to the individuals responsible for it and uphold
honor of each faith.
I will continue to add items of
interest to this page; meanwhile my mission is to promote
Religious pluralism and to encourage studies in secularism.
* One has to spend time to form
friendships, one has to make the time to smell the roses to
enjoy the beauty of it - parphrased from Ray Bradberry