By Brahmakumar Nikunj
We live in a world where violence has become so pervasive that most of us don't even know, or care about insurgencies and civil wars raging in different parts of the world.
But this was not the case a few years back when any incident of violence on a large scale anywhere in the world received much attention and was treated as a matter of great concern. This was mainly because such incidents were very few are rare.
However, today, the scenario has changed with modern armoury built up by majority of the countries who are striving hard to expand their borders or control within, as a result of which, we have been witnessing many armed conflicts that have been going on for years and have killed or maimed lakhs of people.
If not the rest of the world, one would expect that those indulging in the violence would be having second thoughts about what they are doing. But that is not so. The reason is that behind most of this violence lie political, social, economic or ideological factors, and the perpetrators think it is justified to use it to achieve their goals. Thus they commit the most heinous crimes in the name of a just cause.
It is said that religion is supposed to uplift man from the artificial divisions devised by humans and elevate him to a stage where he realises the oneness of humanity and its link with Almighty. But unfortunately, most of the people do not ponder over these philosophical matters.
Their link with religion is limited to its superficial ritual aspects. As a result, they identify with people who have the same religious beliefs as themselves but regard people of other faiths with indifference, suspicion or hostility.
With the advent of the 21st century, many people in the world have started leading purely materialistic lives and have no link at all with the concept of religion. But they begin to identify with religion when communal divisions become heightened in a society. Thus, instead of being a unifying force, religion has become the basis of fragmentation in society and has emerged as the most potent tool for motivating violence.
History has shown that since time immemorial, every religion in the world has propagated non-violence, because real strength lies in non-violence. Hence reacting to the slightest provocation is not considered as a sign of strength, but our inability to tolerate.
Those who have imbibed the essence of religion in their lives will never take to violence, however great be the provocation, as they know for sure that truth can never be defeated by force.
Remember, the essence of a religious life is soul-consciousness, or the awareness that we are all souls. Once we gain this awareness, and realise that we are all One Almighty's children, we would start radiating positive energy all around, thereby making the world free from the dark shadow of violence forever.