Religion is the highest truth
God is supreme and God is one. Everyone was created with the same light. No one is better or worse.
The prophets of God were divine messengers for humanity. They established the bond of unity, laid the foundations of oneness of God and taught the message of universal peace. Unfortunately, we have forgotten their messages and teachings, and we have fought wars in the name of religion and God.
Religion is the highest truth and truth never changes with time. Religion is not only faith. It teaches love, mercy and compassion toward other human beings. It helps to remove differences. Religion also promotes serving other selflessly. Serving humans means serving God.
Mother Teresa felt the existence of God in her heart and found the purpose of life in serving poor and sick children in India.
The Quran teaches tolerance of others and respect for their beliefs when it tells Muslims, "If Allah had desired He could have made you a single community. Instead He chose to create diversity so that we can vie with one another for virtuous deeds."
In 1947, Gandhi used "satyagrah" -- Sanskrit for true force -- against the British rule, and he was able to remove the British Empire from India without using violence of any kind. Gandhi's political methods had a religious base. He wrote, "My politics and all other activities of mine are derived from my religion. I go further and say that every activity of a man of religion must be derived from his religion, because religion means being bound to God, that is to say, God rules your every breath. If you recognize that truth, naturally God regulates every activity of yours."
All genuine religious paths are facets of God's pure love and light, deserving tolerance and understanding. Christ wanted us to receive his peace but not to impose it on others or even to force it upon ourselves.
Peace is not the absence of noise, anger, violence and war. Peace means silence within, even in the midst of turmoil. Silence is union with God.
It is time for forgiveness and peace. The bottom line is that the world in this new year will be as good or as bad as the people who populate it.
Events of 2007 have made us cynical, a prescription for future doom. Faith helps us see beyond cynical perceptions of life to fresh possibilities.
Faith also sees the presence of the transcendent in our broken world, and urges us to plug into a source that can produce a new creation. Without faith, we think we are being realistic, but such realism is the stuff of cynicism. Faith enables us to see people as they can truly be, creative peacemakers who have the capacity to grow in wisdom and love.
We are what we think, and what we think we become, so say all the prophets.
Raj Kumar follows Hinduism. He is the president of the Gandhi international Institute for Peace.