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Sunday, August 17, 2014
Happy Janmashtami | Lord Krishna’s birth celebrations.
Every human goes thru three major phases of life; birth, life and death. It is also defined as creation, sustenance/preservation and destruction, and is acknowledged and honored in the Hindu tradition. They see God in each aspect of life as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma reflects the creator form of God, and Vishnu represents the preserver aspect of creation that inspires one to be righteous, and Shiva brings a finite ending to life. It is a part of the life cycle: every human is born, lives on and finally disintegrates. Much of Hindu philosophy revolves around the preservation aspect of life; two of the most common and well known reflections are in the persona of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama, both incarnations of Vishnu. It is not multiplicity of God, but multiplicity of his (her or it) role in relation to our lives.
As a Muslim, I see Krishna as an exemplary human, a representation of finite wisdom, a man who I admire, and am inspired by his teachings encapsulated in Bhagvad Gita as a dialogue between him and Arjuna on the battle field of Kurukshetra. It is one’s jihad, the internal struggle to be righteous against the temptations to take revenge, do wrong, and or holding on to one’s angry reactions. At the end do the right thing for the common and universal good, as we all are a part of the large family. In Islamic terms, we were all from the same couple created into different nations, communities and groups and asked to know each other to create harmony and peace. I am sharing the picture of a Muslim woman with her kids dressed up as Bala (Youth) Krishna in the City of Varanasi which just celebrated its pluralistic heritage, and I regret not attending the event. (http://foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com/2014/08/varanasi-spreading-inclusive-and_12.html ). This picture has gone viral.
A true Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew or other don’t see each other’s religions as a barrier but a different experience to be in tune with the spirit of the creation. Most people get that right, and a few in each group don’t get it, and sulk in the arrogance of being superior without realizing that arrogance ends with one’s last breath, and no one is superior from that point forward.
This appeals to me a lot when people of different faiths admire each other’s traditions and become a part of it, without being religious. Religion is a personal belief in how an individual relates with his or her creator, the social structure brings people together. Apparently I was dressed up as Baby Krishna when I was a toddler, and have been blessed to visit his birth place in Mathura.
If you are blessed to have an open heart and mind to stand up for every one of his creation. You will enjoy the life to the maximum. It was my pleasure to take up an issue against Russians who wanted to ban Bhagvad Gita (http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/12/bigotry-against-hinduism-in-russia.html) and wrote to the Mayor of Moscow to give back the Krishna Temple land they had usurped and restoration of Krishna Temple in Lahore (http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/01/krishna-temple-lahore.html) and there is a whole lot more we all can do collectively.
Open your heart and minds, and cherish the celebration s of fellow humans. Happy Janamashtami!
More about it in my article at Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/sri-krishna-birthday-celebration-janmashtami_b_1762997.html
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.