Once a zealot. I remained an office bearer of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP), during my student days at DAV College, Chandigarh.

My perspective however changed when I was invited to pay a visit to the magnificent temple of International Society For Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

I was gifted a fascinating copy of “Bhagavad Gita” by the management of the centre cum temple.

I started reading, ruminating over Lord Krishna’s sermons to Arjuna.

The following श्लोक (verse) in Chapter 18 was really an eyeopener :

ईश्वर: सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया

(Lord Krishna says that He is present everywhere, in every being)

If Lord dwells in the heart of every creature, is there any room for fanaticism, to denigrate the followers of other faiths?

I have pondered over, amazingly found that the scriptures of all the religions teach only brotherhood & love.

A truly religious person, who has thoroughly read, brooded over the holy texts will always be :

(a) broadminded.
(b) compassionate.
(c) oozes with love for others.

I have written the following composition :

(क) रूह को चैन, ज़हन को सुकुन देता है,
हरि चरणों का अमृत हलका हलका सुरूर देता है.

(ख) दिल के करीब हैं ईद की सेवइयां लज़ीज,
बड़े दिन का रम-केक है मुझे जन्नत से अज़ीज़.

(घ) गुरूद्वारे के लंगर को बेहद तरजीह दी है,
अपनी ज़ुबां को मैने हर स्वाद की तालीम दी है.

(ग) अब सारी धरती बनी है मेरा आँगन,
अब मैं तोड़ चुका हूँ सारे बंधन.

Translation :

(a) By partaking the holy ambrosia from the feet of Lord Krishna, my mind and soul experience heavenly bliss.

(b) I have special place in my heart for the sweets prepared on Eid.
The rum cake of Christmas is more dear to me than the joys of heaven.

(c) I have always accorded highest respect to the community food at Gurudwaras.
In fact, I have educated my tongue to savor foods of all kinds!

(d) Now that I am no more a fanatic, the whole earth has become my courtyard.

~ Sanjay Gargish ~

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Sanjeev Gargish

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