interfaith

 

India is a great country. India is a mixture of multitudinous cultures .

What makes India so special?

The following story would help you get a cue.

About two centuries ago, the Pope of Rome made a tall proclamation that all the Jews had to leave the city. There was a big uproar in the city and all Jews were worried.

So the Pope made a deal with the Jews

“Let us have a religious debate. If I win, you have to leave the city—and if you win- you can very well stay back in this great city of Rome”. The Jews tried looking out for a champion who can defeat the pope in this religious battle but couldn’t find any.

                                    They finally turned towards an old frail and feeble farmer named MOISHE and pleaded “Moishe- you have got nothing to lose- you have to challenge the pope”. “Brothers, I’m very old and I’ve got no subjective knowledge of religions- I think this is an ill favored thing brothers- an ill favored thing- but, as you are insisting- I have nothing to lose – so let me have a SILENT DEBATE with the pope”, replied Moishe.

Fortunately, the pope agreed for a silent debate.

It was an auspicious day with  royal members all around and 2 beautiful chairs laid down for the Pope and Moishe and that signaled the start of the great silent debate.

  • After a minute the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moshe looked back and raised one finger.
  • The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground.
  • The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple.

The Pope stood up and said, “I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay.”

All the royal members gathered around the pope and asked him why did he lose the debate?

As the puzzled cardinals clustered around the Pope, he explained: “First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He held up one finger to remind me that one God is common to both our religions. When I waved my finger around me to show that God was all around us, he pointed down to show that God is also right here with us. When I showed him the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins, he showed me an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?”

Meanwhile, the Jews had crowded around Moshe. “What happened?” they asked. “Well,” said Moshe, “He says to me, ‘You Jews have three days to leave.’ So I said: ‘Not even one is going to leave!'” Then he tells me the whole city would be cleared of Jews. So I said to him, ‘Listen here, Popey baby, the Jews … we stay right here.” “And then?” asked a woman. “Who knows?” said Moshe. “He took out his lunch so I took out mine.

This is how the debate got concluded and Jews were allowed to stay in the city of Rome.

This story brings the fact as to how we bring our own interpretations into our daily discussions and debate. We’ve got so many drawing lines in the sand many divisions everywhere on the subject of thoughts beliefs and actions. I don’t like what you say and you don’t like what I say and so we have got the liberty to fight with each other.

The question is how do we control this? …We can control this only through a great sense of diplomacy and interfaith. What is this interfaith? …. If a person A has got a liberty to demonstrate his conviction in spite of the fact that B believes in something different & still A & B  live in peace and harmony- that is interfaith.

This is what India is famous for.

Let us all agree to disagree on various issues but still learn to live in peace and harmony.