“A terrorist always chooses his time, place, and mode of destruction. It is not a straight declared war. That is why nobody can protect himself or herself against terrorism. It is the same when there is an organized effort to destroy religions and cultures of the world.”
Protect The Non-aggressive Traditions
By Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswathi
Last year I went to Egypt. I had seen pictures of the pyramids and I used to wonder what people saw in a pile of stones. Because it is said the pyramids are one of the world’s seven wonders. And what I saw was a real wonder.
But everything has been destroyed except the pyramids. Because, to destroy a pyramid another must be created. So at least that much wisdom was there.
I wondered who could have built such colossal structure without cranes, without modern lifting machinery? What could have moved those arms to get those stones to the top? Each of them is a huge block. What kind of devotion moved people to do what kind of work? It had to be more than just ordinary devotion.
I wanted to see one of those people who enjoyed such a religion, such a culture, so I asked the archaeologist who showed me around if I could see at least one of these people. She said I could not see even one of them and was very proud of the fact. And it is this which makes me sick – to do something wrong and feel proud about it. She said they did not believe in this religion and culture and that is why they wiped it out. They had value for only the pyramids because without them who would go to Egypt?
I thought just like this so many cultures have been wiped out. And even the surviving cultures are endangered. If an organization is out to destroy you, it is very difficult to protect yourself. That is why a terrorist always chooses his time, place, and mode of destruction. It is not a straight declared war. That is why nobody can protect himself or herself against terrorism. It is the same when there is an organized effort to destroy religions and cultures of the world.
You are sitting there non-aggressive and you become a sitting duck. That is why the non-aggressive religions are disappearing. Because, they cannot change the genus of their religion or culture. They cannot do what the aggressive religions are doing. Therefore there must be certain legislation in every State to protect the non-aggressive traditions, to preserve them against aggressive religions.
Strictly speaking these aggressive religions do not have anything to offer. But that is not my topic here. They seem to satisfy the people who follow them and that is good enough for me to respect them and their traditions. And even though I can prove that every belief is silly and non-verifiable I am born of parents and not sin, and I was not even born when someone was supposed to have died for me.
These are the beliefs of all denominations. Then, someone says later, ‘this is not true. I am the latest and the last also’. In order to believe there is heaven after death, I have to survive my death. That I will go to heaven is another belief. That there is a heaven is another belief. That there is a heaven is another belief and that I will go there following this person, is another huge and non-verifiable belief. Having gone to heaven, that I will like heaven, is another belief. It is one non-verifiable belief against another non-verifiable belief. On what basis do I make a choice? If someone says that yesterday God came to him or her in a dream, your response will be to wonder what has happened to him. You will talk among yourselves and maybe wait another day, but if he persists, you refer him to an appropriate hospital.
Let people have the freedom to believe. This conference is meant to safeguard that freedom to believe. You can believe pending discovery but not something irrational. One cannot believe what is illogical. What is pending understanding can be believed. There fore, some believes I can prove are wrong. But that is not the point here. Whatever somebody believes, I respect him or her and their freedom to believe and follow.
In the name of freedom of religion, nobody has the right to destroy another religion. Not even God. Not until someone can prove my belief is wrong. For that, he need not destroy me; he needs to enlighten me. If he has something better to believe, he has to come and enlighten me. If he can, then I will be ready for it. Don’t just ask me to believe.
We can only help a person to enjoy and be proud of his culture. And this conference will definitely be a success if all of you that have come feel better than when you arrived. We have heard that Africa was called a black continent; yet we have learned that it is an all- sunny continent. If you feel better than when you arrived, then this conference is successful; diversity will be retained.
This aggression is going to be stopped. We are going to stop it. We are not going to allow it any more. These people have had their days, had their ways, because they had the colonial governments to support them. But not any more! It is all over. Your colonies are over, your colonization is over. And if you want to help us, just help us. If you want to start schools, just start schools. Appoint professional teachers; not priests. Then I will consider you mean business and want to help. But I would rather starve and die than take help from somebody who wants to destroy me in the process.
We don’t want any help. You help yourself. Be happy being you. Don’t have the pressure to destroy others. What is that pressure? Why do you feel pressure to increase your numbers?
It is the organized attempts that bother me. You should see the Internet, the programs they have; it’s ridiculous. That person who is aggressive has the right to live his religion but without being aggressive.
That freedom is what we want to preserve and protect so that tradition can be preserved. This conference is meant to protect the right for Hindus to be Hindus, Parsees to be Parsees, Muslims to be Muslims and Christians to be Christians, for everyone to be whatever they are. As Sri Sri Ravishankar said everyone is okay is his own sthana’, his own religion. This conference is meant to preserve, forms, traditions, lifestyles, culture, music, dance and everything. This is why I requested everyone to come in his or her traditional attire.