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A HINDU CALL FOR RELIGIOUS
in religions does not require that we reduce all religions to a common mold in which their
distinctions disappear into an amorphous unity. It certainly doesn't mean that we have to
practice all religions or bow down to all their leaders as great and holy. Pluralism in
religions does not mean that we have to believe in or accept all religions as true,
regardless of what they teach. Pluralism means freedom. There should be freedom in the
pursuit of the spiritual life, even if it allows others to arrive at a different
understanding of truth than what we ourselves honor.
that we should not bar people from changing their religious beliefs, nor should we seek to
impose religious beliefs upon people by force or propaganda. We should give people the
space to discover the truth without our interference.
After all truth is the truth and has the power of eternity. It is not a fantasy
that has to be protected. If we allow people the freedom to discover what is real they
cannot avoid it. On the other hand, if we try to impose truth on people, what they arrive
at will not be their own truth, their own discovery but a mere doctrine, label or fantasy.
Truth is self-evident. The truth that fire burns
does not require a religious sanction or political law to protect it. It doesn't need a
priestly order or a police force to enforce it. We don't need to use persuasion to make
people believe that fire burns. We need only let them work with fire and discover what it
is. The same is true of all the great laws and powers of both nature and the Divine. Hindu
pluralism does not deny the unity of truth or the fact of cosmic law but regards it as a
matter of self-discovery and self-knowledge, not the enforcement of a mere belief or