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In India, every citizen has a right to choose and practice any religion. Pixabay

By Devakinanda

Ashtottaram 44) OṀ SAMAIKYABHĀVABHŨMYAI NAMAH


Ashtottaram 44: OṀ (AUM) –SA-MAI-KYA-BHAA-VA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA

Ashtottaram 44: समैक्यभावभूम्यै नमः

(Samaikya: Unity, harmony; Bhāvam: Attitude, feeling, a notion, frame of mind)

Samaikya is a Sanskrit word that reflects the meaning of unified, united, or equality. Most often used as the name of female babies – ‘Samaikya.’

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Peace, unity, and harmony are at the core of India’s philosophies. Religious harmony in India is a concept that indicates that there is love, affection between different religions in India. The Indian constitution supports and encourages religious harmony. In India, every citizen has a right to choose and practice any religion. There are examples of Muslims and Sikhs building temples. In India, different religious traditions live harmoniously. Seers of religions call for religious harmony in India. For popular film stars in India like Salman Khan, festivals of Hindus and Muslims are equal. According to Dalai Lama, India is a model for religious harmony. He mentions that “In the last 2000-3000 years, different religious traditions, including Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism flourished here.”

The old adage ‘Kalasivunte kaladu sukham’ meaning –there are happiness and joy in living with unity and harmony, was first stated in our motherland when other countries were engaged in wars. Whether in books like Pancha tantrum or in schools, in movies and songs; wherever you look in India, living with unity and harmony is emphasized. Our unity and harmony kept the culture and us together for millennia. Nuclear families (three and four generations living together) are a common theme.

Ashtottaram 44

Peace, unity, and harmony are at the core of India’s philosophies. Pixabay

Peace, unity, and harmony are at the core of India’s philosophies. Pixabay

Our Sanātana Dharma is ever alive and active, ever than before in India and abroad. Our Swamis and their discourses are revitalizing our values and our way of life. Our media is working very hard in re-establishing our Hinduism on TV and some TV stations are completely dedicated to religious programs. Millions of Hindus participate in Hindu festivals, religious worship, and programs. This shows our unity in keeping our values and culture. Indians live as an example to the world showing unity in diversity.

With a population of over 1.5 billion people out of which about 400 million are Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and other religions; and the conflicts between them are minuscule when compared to the religious conflicts in the world. India is home to different religious practices. Indian culture has always accepted the good of the invading cultures and showed communal harmony for centuries. Indian culture is like an ocean harboring all kinds of creatures.

Even in the purāṇās, itihāsās, and epics, there are many stories that teach us unity, friendship, and harmony along with morals and ethics. For example, in Mahābhāratam, when King Duryodhana was captured by a Gandharva (a class of deity), his cousin Bhīma fought the Gandharva and released his cousin. This also teaches us that no matter what differences we have among ourselves when the time comes, we should stick together against an enemy.

ALSO READ: Ashtottaram 43) OṀ ĀYURVEDABHŨMYAI NAMAH

Hinduism has survived despite several invasions, proselytizers, and colonizers. We cannot accomplish that without unity and harmony among us. It also shows the strength of our commitment to the way of life. Even Hindu-Indians abroad are building temples, performing religious rituals faithfully, and celebrating our Hindu festivals with greater enthusiasm than ever before.

They are conducting classes in Indian languages and BālaVihār (Sunday schools) for the children, in order to keep our Hindu heritage. This shows that whatever adversities we may have among us, we always try to maintain our unity when it comes to safeguarding our religion, culture, and way of life.

Our motherland, which taught us to be together in harmony, and united, is ‘Samaikyabhāva Bhūmi.’


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