After a long break I’ve just been catching up on posts and comments here at Mutiny.
Based on the comments that I have read on this post, it seems that there are lots of people who are more passionate about religion than their jobs, kids or even their spouses.
Like most people, I do believe in a higher power and have my own personal religious beliefs and rituals.
But I’ve always felt that the average person doesn’t care too much about “religion” (however spiritual they may be) because they are too busy with life and don’t have the time to engage in rants or insults against the few “religious” folks (fanatics) that give religion a bad name.
I’d like to present a different side to religion where the purpose is not to hate other faiths but to respect all faiths which is the true essence of secular India.
The first is a story of a pujari in a small village deep in Andhra Pradesh
The pujari at the Durga temple a small village called Payakaraopeta in Andhra Pradesh is like any other pujari. The ONLY thing that sets him apart is his name – Sheikh Mira Sahib
Every Monday, over a hundred people from several nearby villages climb the unpaved steps of Seethamma hill to pray to the goddess. Mira Sahib guides them all in performing various rites and the worshippers acknowledge him as their pujari .
With a shaven head, bare-chested and wearing a dhoti, Mira Sahib begins his day at the temple at 7 am and spends his time till late afternoon in saying prayers and helping the pilgrims.
He then returns home and attends to his chores. His earning is the dakshina that is given to him by devotees
The other story is of Dawood Khan, who has studied Tulsidas’s Shri RamCharita Manas and is spreading secularism and preaching communal harmony across Raipur a step at a time.
In his own words,
“My teacher inspired me to appear for the Ramcharit Manas examination and I was declared the winner, attaining marks of first division. Since then I am preaching Ramcharit Manas. I am opposed by many orthodox people but I tell them that this is what I have been doing and I will continue to do,”
I love the way Dawood thinks…He maintains that service to mankind is the best religion one can practice and says he wants to continue his discourses on Ramcharit Manas till his last breath.
These are just two examples that have been highlighted out of the countless that exist in secular India.
Everyday, there are thousands and more living examples of secularism in India whether in Gujarat, Mumbai, Hyderabad where people of all faiths interact on a daily basis.
Let’s start practising Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji’s philosophy of “Serve everyone as service to God – Worship your own and respect all”