Have you ever realized that festivals from different religions often coincide? Today, the world is reeling from religious violence, communal clashes and all sorts of political debates and propaganda that might provoke enmity between people of two different religions. People barely think before spreading hate over some religion or its practices. Some might not like what the other person eats or how he/she dresses, they might be against a certain practice that might be unique to a certain religion. Does one have the right to discredit a certain religion or community just on the basis of their likes and dislikes or because they do not understand some aspects of it? People today focus on how the religions are different, but wouldn’t it be more peaceful if we focused on the similarities?
Take a look back to when human civilization had just began. They didn’t have any Gods or Goddesses or Gurus. They only worshiped the natural elements like the Sun, Earth and the Moon. And even today most religions are based on the same phenomenon. People with different faiths might eat different, look different and follow a different lifestyle and celebrate festivals in unique ways, but all marked important days are based on the weather and movement of planets and stars.
If thousands of years of studies are anything to by, it is said that the alignment of the planets often affect humans emotionally and physically. We all know how different weathers affect our biology. Amazingly, all religions that were emerging all around the world realized this one crucial facts and created days, weeks and months when following a certain lifestyle will minimize the impact of certain planetary arrangements.
Lets take a look at the month of April, the apparent month of Ramazan. But this month is not significant just for Muslims. It is also the same for Hindus, Jains and Christians as well. While this year, Ramazan began on April 2, so did Chaitra Navratri for Hindus. Muslims fast for a month and Hindus follow certain dietary restrictions for 9 days. Jains have their own marches and Diksha ceremonies. And who can forget Good Friday and Easter celebrations for Christians?
Notice a common theme among all the festivals? April usually brings with it the peak of summer, and people might have to tweak their lifestyle to tackle the heat. That is exactly what all the religions end up doing. These all festivals call for praying and meditation in the name of God. Staying calm and cool, while avoiding certain foods or fasting at a certain time are the main themes here. None of these festivals call for feasts and parties. Lets leave those for the winters, shall we? This is a month for self-reflection, meditation, forgiveness, thankfulness, pious ceremonies, healthy and simple living.
Considering all the religions are based on similar principles of truth over lies, good over evil, being a lifestyle rather than a strict regime, it is unbelievable that people wont take the time to understand each-other. One step to know your neighbor can make you best friends, so why can’t it be the same for religions? It is time we self-reflect and come to the realization that religions do actually have more in common than they are different. After all, we all share the one Earth, the Planets, the Moon and the one almighty Sun.