|There should be
no effort to force any religion upon anyone. The first commandment of God should be,
respect the Divine Self in all. Secondly there should be no preaching. We should teach
what we know and let others discover for themselves whether or not it is true. We should
let them be influenced by our behavior and our personality and not resort to propaganda,
threats or promises.
We should not speak in
Gods name in order to entice or to condemn others. No religion should make it a
right or a duty to convert the world. We should welcome a diversity of spiritual
approaches and not take any as the last word.
Hindus are not exclusive in their religious, spiritual or
cultural views. They believe in the existence of many paths both inside their tradition
and outside of it. They are ready at any time to embrace their Christian and Islamic
brothers, without insisting that everyone becomes a Hindu. But one cannot embrace someone
who says, "We do not accept your religion, we condemn your gods and sages, we reject
your holy books and practices, salvation is ours and not yours, and we will not cease
striving to convert you to our way!"
This has been the main message of Christians and Muslims to
Hindus for centuries, etched in blood, and it remains so today, with a few notable
exceptions and modified according to the political exigencies of a secular world order.