Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 31 Oct 2019

     

Is it not wrong for other religions to try to convert Hindus?

[This question is part of a Mahā Satsaṅga (grand spiritual discussion) between Swami, Shri Parikshit, Smt. Bindiya and Dr. J S. R. Prasad]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Just as all human beings are similar in nature in that they have both good and bad qualities, all religions too are similar in that they have both merits and defects. The good qualities of a person are the result of associating with good people, while the person’s bad qualities are the result of associatiing with bad people. Similarly, every religion has acquired merits from the original establishers of that religion, who were Human Incarnations of God. Every religion has also acquired defects from the followers of that religion, who were ordinary human souls. Quarrels arise between two persons because each person sees only merits in oneself and only defects in the other person. It is the same mentality that leads to quarrels between any two religions. There is a small seed called the rosary pea or crab’s eye (guñja in Hindi). The upper half of the seed is bright red in color and the lower part is black in color. One seed, thinking that it is fully red itself, looks at the upper black part of another seed which is standing upside down, and mocks at the other seed. It does not notice its own lower half, which is also black. It also does not see the lower red part of the other seed. The other seed, thinking that it is entirely black itself, wishes to give up its own religion and adopt the religion of the first seed, thinking that the first seed is entirely red in color.

When another religion criticizes your religion, you think that your religion is entirely defective and that the other religion only has merits. So, you leave your own religion and convert to the other religion. You must realize that every religion is a mixture of both good and bad qualities just like every human being. You must also notice the merits of your religion, apart from the defects pointed out by the follower of the other religion. You must tell the other person that his religion also has some defects, which he is not able to see due to his blind fascination for his own religion. You must tell him that you are able to see the merits of your religion as well as those of the other religion. You must also realize and explain to him that the merits of both religions are exactly one and the same! This is an obvious conclusion because the same single God established both the religions by appearing in the form of two different Human Incarnations. The merits of both religions must be the same since they have come from the same God. The defects in both religions can be different because they arise from the human followers of the respective religions who are different from each other.

You must respect your friend’s father as you respect your own father. This means that you should not criticize or abuse your friend’s father. But under no circumstances, should you abandon your own father and say that the friend’s father is your father. If there are any defects in your father, you may politely request him to rectify them, but you should never abandon your own father. Similarly, you can appreciate the merits of your friend’s father, but you should never say that he is your father. Similarly, you should rectify the defects of your religion and appreciate the merits of the other religion, but you should never convert to the other religion.

If you follow the merits of any religion, including your own religion, you will reach the ultimate goal of God. Imagine that in a city, all houses are circularly arranged around the city-center. You can reach the city-center following the straight radial path from your house to the city-center. You need not travel tangentially, towards your friend’s house, to reach the city-center along the radial path that starts from his house! If you simply move tangentially from one house to another, you will only go around in a circle, without getting even an inch closer to the center. You must know that all religions are radial paths to reach the same center, from different starting points. This is true when you consider only the meritorious part of each religion, which is the original philosophy established by its Originator, who was a Human Incarnation. We must leave the wrong concepts introduced later by various followers, since these wrong concepts have adulterated all religions.

Both the Human Incarnation and the follower in any religion are basically the same human being. The electrified wire and the non-electrified wire are basically one and the same metallic wire. Only the mental setup is different in both. Both the shining diamond and black piece of charcoal are made of the same element carbon. The difference between the two is only due to the difference in the crystal structure!

Every religion says that its God has created this entire world of humanity. Unfortunately, there is only one world with only one humanity! If the Gods of different religions were different, then there would be different worlds with different humanities! But it is not so, which means that there is basically only one God. He only appears in different external forms with different names. This analysis will establish the correlation between different human religions. It will reveal the oneness in the philosophies preached by the different Human Incarnations of the same God. The languages and external cultures may be different, but the same subject is preached in every religion. The same subject, physics, is taught by different teachers in different languages. The difference is only cultural. It is difference of name and form alone. This Universal Religion, based on Universal Spirituality, must be realized by every human being in this world. It will establish world-peace. This creation has been established by God like a factory established by a factory-owner. The owner always wishes for his factory to run smoothly and in perfect peace. Hence, the primary aim of God is world-peace. Several devotees like Śaṅkara, Rāmānuja, Madhva, Sai Baba, Vivekananda, Buddha, Mahāvīra, Jesus, Mohammed and others, dedicated their lives to achieving this goal and became most dearest to God.

Shankara Ramanuja Mahavira Satsanga