SEVERAL principles laid down in Gita and Koran, both the sacred books are surprisingly similar, noted Sanskrit scholar Dr Mohd Hanif Khan Shastri has said.
Dr Khan, a devout Muslim who teaches at the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, a deemed university under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, was delivering a talk on ‘Gita, Koran and Civilisational Harmony’ organised by the Global Foundation for Civilisational Harmony (GFCH-INDIA), in collaboration with Vivekananda International Foundation on the eve of Holi on March 19, 2011 in New Delhi.
Maintaining that Gita held the key to entire Indian philosophy and ancient religious discourse, Dr Khan said the sacred book can be hailed as a source for all the existing religions in the world.
Dr Khan also recited extensively from his poetry collection in Hindi ‘Mohan Gita’ which has 700 poems based on 700 shlokas from the ancient Indian scripture. The book is under publication and will soon be available in the market.
“The extract of all the existing religions of the world has been accommodated in this small book (Gita) but still 90 per cent of people cannot read it. The messages of Gita are followed in all the religions in one way or the other,” said Dr Khan.
Asserting that Islam was no different from Sanatana Dharma, he pointed out that while Koran highlighted the importance of ‘Roza’ or fasting in leading a pious and virtuous life, the Gita in the Shlokas 59-62 of Part 2 elaborated the way and importance of Vrat (religious fasting). In Patanjali’s Yoga Darshan the importance and process of Namaz or offering prayers to the Almighty has been thoroughly elaborated. “While Koran emphasised on the importance of Namaz, the Gita in Chapter eight explained the spirit in which it is to be done, Dr Khan said, adding that all the religions were similar in their basic philosophy and guideline for leading a better life with harmony.
“What is Panchkarma (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Aprigraha and Brahmacharya) in Jain, Buddhist and Yam in Hindu tradition is Hukukul Ibaad or Hukukul Naass (The right of humans) in Koran. And the five Niyam (Shauch, Santosh, Tap etc) are Hukukul Allah (the rights of the God) in Islam,” argued Khan.
Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, Head Priest at the Delhi Jewish Synagogue, and founder patron of GFCH India said all religions taught good principles to enable human beings to lead a peaceful and harmonious life. “We must understand the principles of coexistence and harmony. One can not reform the society by speeches alone. We have to practice good things and attract the others to follow. This is the only way to reform the society particularly youngsters who are increasingly being driven by materialistic western philosophy,”.
Industrialist and philanthropist Puneet Dalmia highlighted the need to instill pride for our culture among the youth. He expressed satisfaction that that such events were being organised to maintain civilisational harmony when the entire world was suffering from greed, violence, terrorism etc.
KG Suresh, Director of GFCH (INDIA), said the organisation, which is a partner organisation of the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilisation, worked towards removing misconceptions about each other among followers of different faiths. Like its effort to highlight the service aspect of Hindu spiritual organisations, GFCH India now planned to organize in Delhi a fair entitled ‘Islam in the Service of Mother India’, he said.
VIF Secretary Mukul Kanitkar said it was easier to find differences and disparities but essential to highlight the commonalities so as to bring about better understanding and civilizational harmony.(FOC)