Principles To Be Observed for Religious Harmony
and Emotional Integration
From Science and Spirituality
by Raja Yogi B.K. Jagdish Chander:
In order to have unity among people of various religions and faiths, the following code of conduct has been charted out. It is hoped that if this code is observed, it will build up good-will and will lead to emotional integration. Since communal disharmony or friction is a major cause of peacelessness and, if inflamed, can create great upheavals, a code for preachers and followers of religions seems necessary.
Principles to be observed by preachers and followers of various religions for inter-religious and social harmony
- We will consider all men and women, to whichever religion they might belong, as souls, and, as such, our brothers, and will, thus, consider mankind as a family and will, therefore, maintain our relations on the basis of spiritual love, sympathy and co-operation.
- We will give supreme importance to non-violence, tolerance and forgiveness in our inter-religious relationships and will respect other religions as we wish our own religion to be respected.
- We will not discuss sore spots of any religion publically, especially in gatherings in which persons belonging to that religion are present and never will we discuss it in a manner or in language or with the intention to inflame the feelings of others against that point to which the believers of a religion are susceptible and sensitive.
- We believe that everyone has the right to have a comparative study of religions, including our own, and has also the right to criticise it in sympathy, politeness, and fairness in order to evaluate and assess its merits and demerits but no one has the right to condemn, or calumniate, or belittle, or use abusive language for beliefs, tenets, practices, symbols, holy places, revered prophets and saints of any religion, including his own, or to spread hatred against these.
This, however, does not preclude one's right to denounce the acts or historic role of persons, who, in the name of religion, whatever be its name, perpetrated cruelties, invaded countries, persecuted others or committed inhuman crimes, and we will consider these as enemies of mankind and religion, even if they profess to belong to our religion, but even this act of condemnation will not be directed against any religion or founders of religion.
- We will not support or participate in, or have sympathy for any act of forcible conversion, or of proselytisation of illiterate and uneducated people by alluring them with any wordly reward, or for building a place of worship supplanting the one which belonged to another religion, nor will we compete with building activity or religious acts of others in a manner as is likely to create suspicion, bitterness, hatred or hostility, but, instead, we will always offer voluntary co-operation for a humanitarian cause.
In this sense, we will co-operate with the government and the people to take out our processions, and hold our gatherings and celebrate our special occasions, taking precautions that these do not create ill-will, or tension, or public nuisance, or disturbance nor do they forseeably hurt the feelings of followers of other faiths, and, if these processions, celebrations, etc. are by a group belonging to a religion other than our own, we will not create any hindrances but will maintain an atmosphere of harmony and good-will.
- If some people professing our religion commit violence, arson, looting or acts of spreading hatred against other religions, we wil not hide them or give them shelter in our sacred places nor will we try to justify their acts, for killing a man, to whichsoever religion he might belong, or committing other acts, fore-mentioned, is committing sin and is downgrading religion and is revolting against a kind, just, loving and compassionate God, who is God of people of all religions.
- We will consider religion as a moral force and will use our religious bent of mind to keep politics free from corruptive influences, but we will not mix dirty politics into our religion and will not allow certain scheming politicians to exploit religion as a vote-catching device, or for satisfying their lust for power, or use religion for anti-national activity of any sort, nor will we use religion to influence people to give us certain benefits illegally, nor will we use violence against other people, for we believe that war, under any name, is an evil.
- We will consider religion as a means of inner transformation, elevating spiritual experience, self-illumination and purification and will, therefore, consider it as one's right to choose or build a religion which suits one's conscience, and we will practice religion to raise ourselves morally and will inspire others towards this aim of religion rather than to performing meaningless rituals, etc.
- We will not encourage divisive tendencies on the basis of castes, cults or creeds nor will we consider persons engaged in certain unclean professions as "shudras" nor will we debar them, or followers of any other religion, from gaining access to religious places, scriptures, etc. if they maintain reasonable personal cleanliness and are genuine seekers of truth.
- We will treat women as of equal social status and will look upon them as an important and useful part of society and will consider disparaging and derogatory comments on the role and status of women in certain old scriptures as defunct and unfair, and will not mind sincere and polite philosophical evaluation of any religion, including our own.