By Majid Parekh
31 July 2020
The tenth day of the 12th month of lunar calendar Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated worldwide to commemorate the sacrificial teachings of Prophet Abraham. The monotheist - whom the Almighty has referred to as most clement, tender-hearted, intent upon turning to God again and again – propagated peace and just social order.
Associating partners with God undermines the very spirit of a just social order. History and the present state of the world is witness to this fact. I believe the single major cause of human being’s misery and hurdle to achieve peace and growth is superstition/polytheism. The concept of the Vedas, Qur’an and all heavenly scriptures is that all human beings are equal and no one is superior to others.
Since everything in the universe is subjugated to humans, there is nothing superior to him except God, the Creator. Superstition/polytheism amounts to degrading man, destroying his God-given dignity and insulting the human intellect.
Parallel gods are created by humans in the hope these will fulfill their desire. The polytheist approaches his god to seek oblivion of accountability while the monotheist humbles himself to the God to seek His mercy and salvation being conscious of accountability.
Gullible followers fall prey to personality cults which emerge in the race to acquire wealth and power. Godmen, though we hardly see them as God-conscious, subjugate their followers resulting in trampling of humanity. As long as power and wealth are worshipped, mankind will suffer.
Superstition or polytheism devised another system which altogether denies the existence of the one and only one Rabb, Ishwar, or Sustainer. This system or ideology was experimented by man where the concept was of sharing, caring and a just society. The reason for its failure is the concept of accountability to the Almighty was not acknowledged rather held in contempt. Apparently, this system was for the welfare of all but ended up in tyranny and untold misery caused by a few on so many others .
Man of vision Shri Krishna emphasizes realizing oneness with the Eternal, one has to perform action through the force of Prakriti or Nature. He further emphasizes that perfection is attained not by ceasing to engage in action but by doing all actions as a divine offering more important than rituals imbued with a spirit of non-attachment and sacrifice.
Symbolic sacrifice of an animal is practiced throughout the globe as a divine offering. The Holy Quran says 22/37 “Never does their flesh reach God and neither their blood: it is only your God-consciousness and piety that reaches Him. It is to this end that I (God) have made them subservient to your needs, so that you might glorify Allah for all the guidance with which He has graced you.”
For human survival, God has provided four sources of sustenance on this planet. That which grows from Earth, sea-food, cattle and poultry. Each one of us has the liberty to make his food choice. Hence, associating non-vegetarian food to a religion is a myth as 75% of the world survives on livestock.
In this Covid pandemic to maintain the law & order of the land for the public welfare one can sacrifice his wealth curtailing his expenses to be careful of the fellow-men who are in dire need in this critical situation our country is facing. This will also be deemed as a sacrifice.
Finally, I believe polytheism/superstition in all its manifestations is the biggest hurdle in establishing the Divine system of justice, dignity and human rights. There is extreme violence, exploitation and untold misery in each and every corner of the globe. The cause is man has failed to worship, rather follow God’s guidance.
Let me reiterate that out of immense compassion and unfathomable mercy, God is not just exhorting us but also hand-holding us to make this commitment.
Thee Alone Do We Worship and Thee Alone Do We Seek Help.
Majid Parekh is Regional Secretary, Society for Communal Harmony, New Delhi