The resonance of OM in catholic monastery
On October 11, 2007, in the 12th century monastery of Pedralbes a unique event took place with the Inter-Religious gathering of spiritual leaders from Barcelona/Spain. This meeting was organized by UNESCO of Catalonia as part of an initiative to cultivate a culture of peace between religions and to demonstrate the possibility of unity in diversity. Although most of the faith representatives were from the local region, representing India and Sat Sanatan Dharma, was His Holiness Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda.
Round-table talks were held with each representative sharing the spiritual perspective and characteristics of their faith - Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Bahai and Sufi. Following is an excerpt from His Holiness, Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, who spoke on the universal principles of Sat Sanatan Dharma.
"Salutations to the cosmic light. We are very happy to be here in this divine monastery where many holy souls have prayed and meditated for centuries. Beautiful thoughts of peace have brought us all together here today.
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in existence and it is based on the universal principles of Sat Sanatan Dharma - the principles of one universal God to whom we all belong. That one God has no name or form - the names attributed to God are given by humans. The word Sanatan means ancient / beginning, thus there is one cosmic consciousness that governs the entire universe and every living entity contains the light of the Almighty God within. God is the creator of all and so we see the light of God in all beings.
Sanatan Dharma therefore allows all to believe as they wish to believe. Sanatan Dharma is like a pomegranate apple, covered by one skin that contains all the fruit within it equally. On opening the skin one can see there are many, many beautiful seeds.
Hindus are they who understand and can feel the pain of another. One shall never cause pain to any creature, for all creatures love their life and have fear of suffering and death. Hindus practice Ahimsa (non-violence) and pray for the welfare of all beings. It is the greatest mistake to only care for human beings and to neglect other species, as they too are our brothers and sisters. Therefore, non-violence is the way to live life. God incarnates on earth from time to time and may even take an animal form. This can clearly be seen in the depiction of Greek paintings where there is the manifestation of creatures with extra-ordinary powers.
In Sanatan Dharma there is no mention of praying to statues but after some centuries we humans created the figure of our God as we like to believe, because we are unable to see God in nothing. But that God we pray to in statues is the same one and only God. Mahatma Gandhi had a favourite song: "Ishwara or Allah, all is your name Oh God - keep the good name of God." The Supreme and the individual soul are no different - all entities in this world are my self. My Master used to say, "All in One and One in All" and Adi Guru Shankaracharya used to give the example to imagine twenty tea cups filled with liquid. Within each cup is the reflection of the full moon however, in the sky there is only one moon, not twenty. Therefore we should not forget that in the Jewish, Hindu and Islamic faith we all come to the same point of one-ness.
Hinduism is open and tolerant of everything. Within Hinduism is forgiveness and love. Our aim is to unite, not to fight. With this attitude Hinduism educates respect for all religions. If we are in a mosque, temple, church, synagogue or monastery, we see no difference for we are all believers in one God. We are all sailing in the one boat and we learn a lot from each other by gathering here together."
After all speeches the representatives from different faiths lit a candle from the same source as a symbol of unity and distributed this flame to individual candles held by the observing audience in the rectory. His Holiness Vishwaguru Maheshwarananda then chanted holy Vedic mantras and the divine sound of OM resounded throughout the whole monastery.