Should You Indulge in Religious Hatred?

Krishna and Arjuna

by Jayaram V

Notes: I have translated the Bhagavadgita twice. The first one was a loose translation. The second one was a word to word translation with a detailed commentary. The commentary is however different from what you will find here. In this section I will share with you my thoughts about the knowledge, philosophy and wisdom of the Bhagavadgita as I understand it from my perspective. Jayaram V


Nowadays it has become a fashion for people to indulge in religious hatred and rivalry. If you visit social networks  you will realize how far this practice has spread. Hatred begets hatred, and this is very much true in case of religious hatred also. One can debate and discuss about the merits and demerits of a religion. One may also defend one's own faith.

However, using abusive language to describe other religions or attack their religious figures is perhaps degrading for those who indulge in it and who encourage it. The purpose of your religion is to make you a good person and strengthen the divine nature in you. Instead if you use religion to bring out the filth in you, you will only spread disorder and chaos and serve the demons.

The Bhagavadgita (2.67) says that when the mind is obedient to the senses, it carries away the wisdom of the person like the wind carries away a boat on the waters. Many people mistakenly understand that obedience to senses or moving among the sense objects simply means indulging in the pleasures of life. It is actually a very insignificant aspect of your sensory activity.

Spiritually speaking, dwelling (dhyayata) upon the sense-objects (visayan) means not only enjoying the pleasures of life but also getting involved with the world itself with passion and attachment.

The world that you experience exists because of your senses. It is not a small world. It goes as far as your mind and senses go, which means it can extend beyond the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars into the deeper space, as far as you thinking and imagination can go.

Sense-object are anything that you can perceive and think of, which can be even your religion, and your religious and spiritual leaders. Hence, taking any interest in the world, or anything around you,  means following your senses and dwelling upon the sense-objects.

Why it is not good? The Bhagavadgita and so also many Hindu scriptures suggest that if you are drawn into this world, you have no chance of finding your inner Self or finding peace. You will remain drawn outwardly into people and things and find no respite and opportunity to know yourself.

Therefore, spiritually it is not good to remain focused upon the world and become involved with it, even for religious purposes. If you want to do it, you must do so with detachment and dispassion, with your mind focused upon the Self or God.

The same principle applies even when you want to defend your religion or your religious leaders. You cannot do it with passion, anger, vengeance or aggression or indulge in religious hatred even if you think it is in defense of your religion.

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