Religion of Love

Written by Gede Prama

Following the death of hundreds of people in Paris due to the terrorist attack on Friday November 13, 2015, mother Earth was surrounded by the aura of deep sadness. Many people said that tears suddenly drop after the event. Countless peace lovers expressed their deep condolences. Some of spiritual seekers deeply pray for the happiness of suffering souls in Paris.

And in the midst of this deep sorrow, there is a spiritual friend from London who sent a beautiful e-mail which delivering this message: “religion never kill, ignorance that kill”. No religion which was born to kill. The true spirit that often kill is ignorance.

Ignorance keeps believing that material wealth can make them happy forever. Ignorance often assume that political power can provide everything. Ignorance mistakenly conclude that violence can be destroyed by violence.

The difference with the frightening terrorist attacks that occurred in the United States September 11 2001, this time there are far more people who respond in a much more calm way. And also far from dangerous anger. It simply means that the darkness of ignorance is no longer attacked by the other darkness of ignorance, but it begins to be illuminated by the beautiful light of understanding.

Quoting some research on the belief behind the fundamentalists, the fundamentalists assume that they are going to be attacked. For that reason, being angry to them will only strengthen their assumptions. At the same time, our anger will increase their energy to attack and destroy.

Being inspired by this, it is very worthy to be contemplated by many leaders and decision makers to illuminate the darkness of ignorance by the light of understanding. To make it concrete, learn to see the complicated network of suffering behind the violence. Behind the anger of terrorist, there are lack of education, family which is full of violence, childhood which is full of revenge. After their networks of suffering are opened, usually there is energy of compassion which arise inside. At the same time, that’s the most beautiful light that can be emitted to the darkness of ignorance.

After meeting thousands of prisoners in the prisons (some of them are terrorists), I come into the conclusion, what they truly need is not anger and punishment, but the energy of acceptance and compassion. A number of studies about the heroic gene (those who have the tendency to commit violence) also come into the same conclusion.

In the long modern human history, it appeared again and again that resolving violence by using violence would only invite the worse and the more dangerous violence. Being inspired by this history, it is wise to learn illuminating the darkness of violence with the light of love.

Jalalludin Rumi who grew in the family of Islam was asked about his religion, with a gentle and touching smile this author of many poems answered: “My religion is love”. Mahatma Gandhi was once asked by his secretary to immediately write a speech, with a smiling eyes this simple man said: “My life is my most honest speech”.

The Buddhist monk HH the Dalai Lama repeatedly revealed that his true religion is kindness. Mother Teresa who spent decades serving the poor were often said : “not how big your actions, but how big your love behind your actions”. In summary, the death of hundreds of people in Paris because of terrorist attack are of course make us sad. But sadness is not a reason to commit violence, sadness is an invitation to emit the light of love.

Author: Gede Prama.
Photo Courtesy: Twitter @PardueSuzanne.

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About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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