Mosque and Synagoge

To you with a different Religion: why I love you for who you are

All religions must be tolerated… for every man must get to heaven in his own way
~Epictetus

Last week I requested Harvey Lisse to shoot this picture for me of the Mosque and Synagogue in Paramaribo. I wanted to write about something deeper than it is often seen.
First of all, this is one awesome picture!
Everyone knows the story behind this picture. The image shines peace and shows two places where people from different religions worship side by side. That’s just one side of the story. In our country these two buildings never caused any issue (for so far I know). These two buildings can be compared with two people from different religions. Of course buildings don’t speak while people do. Problems arise when one thinks that their religion is superior from others. It usually boils down to the following immemorial argument: I’m right and you’re wrong. My religion is The Truth.

Religion should end hatred and violence, but instead we see more hatred, more violence, no unity, more divisions between different religions and even divisions within the same religion and if you believe that only your religion is the Truth, you are using it in the service of the ego.

I’m from Indian ancestry and I’ve been brought up with Hinduism, from which I know more or less the basics of. For most parts of my life, my parents allowed me to make my own choices. During the first 12 years of my elementary education I went to catholic schools. So unwillingly I learned about Christianity too. For the last four years of my life I have also experienced more of the Muslim religion. Most of my friends and colleagues are of a different religion. I celebrate together with them on their holidays and pray with them in their way if needed and I don’t wish to focus on where we differ. Most of us in some part of our lives will experience dealing with people of different religions and we have a choice how to deal with it.

We like to focus on what differentiates us, when we should focus on what we have in common. And this is something that exists in every layer of our society.
When we do this we are disabled in a way, because we know what’s right and what’s wrong but refuse to do what’s right.
Remember this phrase:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Wars have been waged in the name of religion and it’s still happening, right this very moment. There are plenty examples (think for e.g. 9/11) of how people from certain religions are being labelled, just because an individual or group has wronged humanity in name of that religion. If one Muslim or Christian does something wrong, they will label every Muslim of Christian as being wrong, which is a hasty generalization fallacy. In my opinion, the wrongdoer ultimately harms himself

Most of the time, it’s we the people who give religion a bad name. We select parts from our Holy Book which seem convenient for that moment or time period and live accordingly. What does not suit us is left in the books or leafed over. We think that we are doing this to please others or the creator. By doing this is, you’re only being dishonest to yourself.

If I’m not wrong the foundation of every religious book comes down to this: love unconditionally, peace and non-violence, respect, no killing, lying or cheating and so forth.
A powerful phrase from the bible:

“Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Trust me, the world would be a much better place if we tried to put your differences aside and love one another.

Even if someone treats you badly because of your religion, show you’re big-hearted and smile. Smile, because they don’t know how to treat and love another, but you can! Win over someone who hates with love!

In the end the “good” will always prevail over evil even though a lot of good will lose their lives during that process. If in any way your religion requires you to hate someone, you’re doing it wrong and you need a new religion. We are all humans regardless of our religion and our goal should be to lift others up instead of breaking them down.

Don’t be afraid to share this story. People need to become more aware of this.

We are pieces of the same puzzle!

What can we learn from the above:

  • There is one creator and we all are a part of “him”.
  • Accept people as they are and love them for who they are regardless of what or who they represent.
  • Respect other people’s religion as you want yours to be respected.
  • If you can’t do right, don’t do wrong either.
  • Be honest to yourself.
  • People give religion a bad name, don’t blame religion for that.
  • The foundation of every religious book: love unconditionally, peace and non-violence, respect, no killing, lying or cheating and so forth.

 

Thanks to Sasha for screening and correcting my story and Harvey for the picture.

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church,
Vishant Poeran

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5 comments

  1. Another splendid lesson wrapped up in the most convincing words Vishant! And most of all I totally agree with you, no religion teaches cheating, betraying, judging and other wrond deeds, these values are in a human himself and when he gets questioned, he mostly pushes the fault to religion, sigh! Thanks a lot for taking time to make up such a good convincing story.

    1. Dear Priya,
      Your welcome and thank you 2 for your awesome words.
      Take care.

  2. Ohh man, this blog site has sooo many mind-blowing lessons and I just love them.
    THANK YOU for writing and sharing this with us! It’s something everyone should read and seriously think about…

    Can’t wait for the next written piece, take care 🙂

    Sherani

    1. Dear Sherani,
      Thanks again for your kind words. I have enough reasons to write now and you are one of them.
      Many thanks 😀

  3. very beautifully written!
    I am the same as you and the same as everyone else, “my religion is Love and my heart is a place of prayer.”

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