God, Guru, & Religion: Some Pertinent Queries

Religion- Is it a subject to be scared of or To Be Considered as sacred with man sticking to a set of some practices?

Today, the word 'Religion' is viewed by many as a synonym of dogmatism, cultism, sectarianism, terrorism, bigotism, and likewise. It is said that like colourism (referring to bias within the African American community favouring light-skinned individuals), ageism (referring to bigotry on the basis of age, like the elderly are often victimised), a new term seems to have been  added in the English vocabulary- 'Religism', which means bigotry towards other religions or belief systems. Carrying somewhat the similar tone is also the word 'Religiophobia' referring to religiously motivated fear, hatred, animosity, conflict, oppressions, intolerance, etc.

However, contrary to this perception, just read the following closing words of Swami Vivekananda in his address on Hinduism, on his ideal of a future religion, which he stated at the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893, and which was greatly appreciated by the huge gathering of logical and intellectual representatives from all across the world:

It would be religion which would have no place for persecution or intolerance... and would recognise divinity in every man or woman and whose whole scope, whose whole force will be centred in aiding humanity to realise its divine nature.

As a matter of fact, religion is neither to be scared or nor should be confined to a set of practices. In the research paper, titled 'Concept of Religion according to Swami Vivekananda,' R. A. N. Fernando, a lecturer in Philosophy, Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, the University of Sri Jayawardenepura highlights the clear cut definition of Religion, that- Religion is the manifestation of the divinity already within man. ...The essence of all religions is the realisation of the One reality. That One reality is "the Self of our own self."

In the words of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the one who is acknowledged as the Father of the Indian Constitution- "Religion is another name for compassion, love, and sacrifice. It acts nectar-like to give peace and poise to the agitated mind. Religion is the tool to establish Brotherhood and righteousness in society."

Verily, these are profound perspectives of 'Religion'. These are presented by those who know how crucial a role 'Religion' plays in the wellbeing of society. For them, it is not Religiophobia; instead, it is non-religiophobia; meaning, fear,hatred, animosity, conflict, oppressions, intolerance, etc. which plague a society when it is bereft of 'Religion'. ...

Thus, we can see a vast contrast between the two perspectives. So, the next imminent query comes up-

How can this stark contrast with respect to religion be overcome? To know this and furthermore read the complete article in the Dec'16 edition of English Akhand Gyan Monthly Magazine.

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