The sum of religion is peace

“I find the concepts in ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity’ most appealing, coming as they do from an agile mind which has managed to embrace cultures usually seen as competitive, or even enemies. This book should provide a precious contribution to mutual understanding.” – James Murray, SSC, Religious Affairs Editor, The Australian, a national newspaper.

I had written to Mr. Murray, after reading his interesting column for years, because of his spirituality. He was ecumenical in relation to the sects within Christianity, and a freethinker in relation to all other religions. He was a remarkably understanding man. Only Dr.Barbara Thiering, with her pesher method in interpreting the Bible, had ever upset him.

I share Mr. Murray’s approach, mainly because of my upbringing. As well, I feel deep in my soul that I have been a Jew in the Middle East, a Muslim in Central Asia, and a European Christian. Both geographical features and architectures in these regions somehow feel familiar. No, I am known to be a very rational person, to the extent that I am unable to write poetry. Anyway, when the soul speaks, how could I ignore the message?

Ignoring any divisive aspects of religious dogma, whether unintended (in the main, surely) or intended, our innate spirituality would intuitively begin to flower. As said by the editor of my book ‘Raja Arasa Ratnam’s ideal is the Aussie Family of Man, evolving from the recently achieved cultural diversity. There are signs (footprints) that exist, but we must seek in order to find them.’ My reference to Australia reflects its fabled ‘fair-go’ ethos, which seeks to treat everyone equitably.

I conclude the chapter headed ‘Which way to the Cosmos?’ in ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity’ (refer Amazon Kindle) thus. “Meher Baba summarised it all beautifully and succinctly: ‘The finding of God is the coming to one’s own self.’ An important corollary is provided by Kahlil Gibran when he said: ‘For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?’ Of relevance too is the view of Erasmus, the great philosopher of the European Renaissance: ‘The sum of religion is peace, which can only be when definitions are as few as possible, and opinion is left free on many subjects.’ “

I commend the advice from Erasmus! There has been too much emphasis on who said what, and whose words take us all to God. Let spirituality, and not religiosity, rule!