All religions have roots that are based on some basic principles related to kindness, compassion and other basic virtues that make the journey of travellers on this planet more meaningful. These roots manifest themselves through leaves and flowers. But strangely, the roots of a tree look very different from its flowers - the roots look ‘ugly’. However, their function is not to look beautiful, but to nourish the tree - the leaves, the foliage, the fruits and the flowers. The roots, though hidden underneath the ground, are constantly at work. In fact the flower is the fulfillment of the root; the root has existed for the flower. Without the flower the root’s existence would be meaningless. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity and Islam are flowers of the same root. For example, Moses went underneath as the root, and Jesus came up as a flower. However, to understand that Moses and Jesus are actually one, that the Vedas and the Buddha are one (and thus that Jesus and the Buddha are one), needs great insight - and a radical change in our mindset.
If we can love one enlightened person, sooner or later we will understand all the enlightened persons of the world. The teachings of Jesus can be seen as Buddhist. The language may be different, but the message is the same. When we go deep into Buddha, we are able to learn much about Jesus too. Where Buddha says ’Truth’, the same is meant when Jesus says ’Kingdom of God’. Where Buddha says ‘be a nobody’, ‘drop the ego’, ‘be a no-self’, Jesus says ‘drop your will, surrender your will to God’s will’. Once the will is dropped, we become one with the whole. Then, whether God exists or not does not matter. Only a man who is simply like a mirror can understand everybody and can become very much enriched by it. Yes, Lao Tzu may bring a unique breeze into our being, because he is a Master technician who can open a door that nobody else can, but our being is not sated easily. Why should we not claim all the enlightened people as ours? We can then one day read and learn Buddha, and another day Jesus or Lao Tzu. The effort of all of them is to make us feel enriched, to make available to us all the joys in the spiritual world, to make us capable of enjoying all kinds of ecstasies. Buddha brings an ecstasy through intelligence; Jesus, through love; Krishna, through action; and Lao Tzu, through inaction! These may seem very different paths, but they all come into us and meet in our innermost core. They all have one common root. They are just like the sun, the light. When we will open our eyes, they will be there. And when Jesus says ’I will be there forever with you’, he does not mean ’I will be there in opposition to Buddha or Krishna or Moses.’ He simply means ’I will be there as part of Buddha, Krishna, Moses, Zarathustra...’. They may have all disappeared as persons, but they have become One-ness. We can imbibe all their virtues by looking beyond the walls drawn up by different religions. We should simply be human, with no specific religious ideologies hanging around us. We have to drop all that dust and let our mirror be clear. Then, we will be in continuous celebration, because the whole of existence will be ours. Why go on worshipping one flower when all the flowers can be ours? And why go on planting only one flower in our garden, when all the flowers of the world can flower there? Why have we decided to be poor? Let us try and transform ourselves. Let us learn from any source that appeals to us, or from all the sources. Let us become as internally rich as possible. And let us do it now…rather than wait for the Day of Judgment. Let every moment be our moment of judgment.
In today’s world, Buddha sounds ‘right’ to many, because He is so logical and rational. Buddha’s words are very balanced and direct; He never exaggerates. His approach is of intelligence – that of a Master of the mind. Buddha is very contemporary. You can walk with Him with perfect ease; He will not create any trouble for you. Even if you want to argue, Buddha is the right person to convince you. He will not say anything that cannot be proved logically. Jesus has been forsaken by some because the world has grown more into logic than love. Love is seen as illogical. Jesus is so full of love that it overflows. Jesus speaks in metaphors, because love is a poetic approach to reality. Jesus speaks more to the common people - they understand love more easily than logic.
Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org