World Religions and the Spirit of Tolerance
declaration the United Nations held the year 1995 as the year of tolerance. Now
we have come close to the end of the year. Tolerance is a permanent human
requirement. In this respect the subject of today’s discussion is very
great religions of the world can be broadly divided into two categories: Aryan
religions and Semitic religions. So far as I have studied I have found that
tolerance has been given equal importance in both these types of religions.
Religion makes a man a spiritually developed human being. One who has elevated
his spirituality can not afford intolerance. The behavior of a truly religious
person is always one of tolerance.
So far as
I have studied the difference between the two types of religions is that of
rationale of tolerance instead of tolerance itself. The philosophic ground of
tolerance in the Aryan religions is derived from their belief that truth is an
all-pervading reality. According to this concept, the psychology of a religious
person is that ‘If I am in the right, you too, according to your own tradition
are in the right." That is to say, tolerance in Aryan religions is based
on the concept of manyness of reality.
philosophic base of tolerance in Semitic religions is different from this, as
these religions believe in the principle of oneness of reality. However, so far
as the question of human respect is concerned, Semitic religions lay equal
emphasis on this value. That is to say, the difference in this respect in both
the branches of religions is one of philosophy not of practice.
To put it
differently the basis of tolerance in Aryan religions is on mutual recognition,
while its basis in Semitic religions is on mutual respect. This difference is
only one of philosophic explanation. So far as practical behavior is concerned,
there is no difference in either religions in this respect.
To sum it
up, the spirit of tolerance is the essence of all religions. The man produced
by religion can never be divested of the spirit of tolerance. Intolerance
appears to be directed at others, but it is akin to killing man’s own religious
personality. Then how can a sincere person be willing to kill himself by his