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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Sabka Malik Ek" - Shirdi Sai Baba

One Message Runs Through All Faiths: Only Connect
by Rajinder Singh Ji

A desktop or laptop can connect us instantly to vast knowledge sources. A computer can link us to the news, stock reports, airline bookings, shopping, medical breakthroughs, and information in almost every sphere of knowledge.

The information connectedness that we experience with computers is a small sample of the potent connections we can make with our empowered soul. The empowered soul experiences universal connection with all beings. Becoming aware of this unfying force can help us realize our essential unity.

Walls of division separate people. If we are born in one part of the world we say, "I am a citizen of this country." If we are born into a certain religion, we say, "I am a follower of such and such religion." Religions are man-made. There was no Buddhism before Buddha. There was no Christianity befor Jesus. It was the followers of the great saints, mystics,and prophets who organized their teachings into a religion.

Most often, we become a member of a religion based on our parents' beliefs. A Hindu infant who is orphaned and who is later adopted by a Christian family may become Christian. Similarly, the way we live is dictated by the peculiarities of the region we live in. Many people worship God through prayer. But the way they pray is different. In some warm climates, it is customary to remove shoes before entering a holy place; in colder climates, going barefoot may be impractical. Over time, customs that originate for climatic reasons become sanctified and become part of religious law. People tend to use those differences as a basis for prejudice and hatred.

Another dividing factor is language. When people in different religions use different words for the same concept, it becomes an excuse for thinking the other religion is not as good as one's own. Each religion has its own name for God, based on the language or culture in which the religion originated. God is Allah to Muslims, Wahe Guru to Sikhs, Paramatma to Hindus, and God to Christians. Whichever the language, the words refer to the same God. Yet, we make these language differences a source of contention and separation. We forget that God existed before language was created.

By drawing boundaries we limit ourselves. The soul, however, is limitless. There is a unifying force beyond the physical plane, connecting all life. We are full of the love of God. It is only at the human level that we make divisions. The souls is a part of the Creator. For us to be able to truly understand ourselves, we need to recognize all the divisions as walls that surround our true self. These walls keep us from truth.

Sant Darshan Singh spoke of Oneness: "What does it matter if I am called a man. In truth, I am the very soul of love. The entire Earth is my home, and the Universe my country."

Through lack of self-knowledge, we create separation. Through our soul, we can experience connectedness and create more peace and harmony among the inhabitants of this planet.
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