Universal love in the times of terrorism

The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: 17 September, 2001

MEDITATIONS/ Swami Chaitanya Keerti

I remember a statement made by the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi more than a decade ago. He had said, “Man’s instinct for violence was reflected in acts of terrorism, the concept of power blocs, the arms race, and the practice of apartheid. We have exchanged the primitive club for nuclear missiles; we have not changed in our thinking.”

Yes, the root cause of all violence and terrorism is in the thinking – the flawed ideologies. Man remains a prisoner of his thinking and ideologies that he has always been taught. These bind him to the chains of actions that are unjustifiable nee abhorred in a civilized society. Meditation is going beyond this state. It is the ability to respond to the need of the moment. Meditation rises above all thinking and values life more than any ideology. Meditation is freedom unlimited – it is sensitivity and reverence towards life, beyond all boundaries of nations and religions. What is the role of meditation in dealing with terrorism? Does meditation help? Yes, it does. But by and large it helps those who want to be transformed. It does not help the ones who are religiously or fanatically married to certain ideologies and dogmas of religions.

Meditation is an openness to explore and understand life. Unfortunately nationalism and religions taught by the priests and politicians have been the reason behind most of the wars in history. The inhuman terrorist attack on America also has its roots in the same teaching and indoctrination.

People have been taught too much of patriotism and devotion to their religions that they have lost their individuality and sensitivity and have become suicidal slaves to ideologies.

Talking about priests and politicians, Osho says: “When they say, “Love your country,” they are saying, “Hate your neighbours.” But they hide their hatred in the love of the country. When you say, “Love your motherland,” nobody is going to raise any question about it. There is no question: everybody has to love his motherland. But deep down in the teaching of the love of the motherland, they are preparing you for war. Then you start hating the neighbours: they don’t belong to your nation, they don’t belong to your race, they don’t belong to your religion. Love your religion – then what will you do with people who don’t belong to your religion? Of course, it has to be understood that you will hate them. If you love your religion, you will hate other religions; if you love your country, you will hate other countries; if you love your color, you will hate people who are of a different color. If you really want to love human beings you have to stop loving the country, you have to stop loving the religion, you have to stop loving your colour…”

Meditation is the freedom to become a human being, with consciousness above instincts, caste and colour, nations and religions, just a pure human being who recognises others as human beings too. As the mystic saint Chandidas says: Sabaar Uper Manus Satya, Tahaar Uper Nahin.

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