ARYA SAMAJ IN INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE
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Arya Samaj SA participated in the first of a series of inter-faith dialogues hosted by the Denis Hurley Centre in central Durban. Director of the Centre, Raymond Perrier, said the Cathedral and Centre were situated at the heart of Durban’s cultural and historical crossroads. The mosque, Gandhi’s law office, Jewish and Muslim cemeteries are all within walking distance of the Centre. Perrier said the aim of the dialogue is for adherents of the different faiths to gain a better understanding of the philosophy, customs and religious practices of the major world faiths. Members of the Christian, Islamic and Hindu faiths attended the launch of the first dialogue.
Dr B Rambilass, President of Arya Samaj SA, explained the symbolism of the clay lamp which he likened to the body. Clay represents the body, oil – the sense organs, and wick – the intellect. When wick burns it creates a bright flame which is symbolic of the light of spirituality within us. Hindus pray, Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya – Lead us from darkness to light.
Questions ranged from, how many ‘gods’ do Hindus have, is there a hierarchy in the types of meat a Hindu should consume, fasting in Hinduism, are young Hindus opting for a more fanatical approach to their religion, are fireworks an integral part of Diwali, and who are the ‘prophets’ of Hinduism. All questions were conclusively answered by Dr Rambilass who emphasized that the Vedas (eternal knowledge) were acknowledged by scholars as being the oldest scriptures in the library of mankind and that Hindus take their lessons from observing the immutable laws of nature. For example, the sun, trees and rivers, shine, bear fruit and provide water respectively to everybody without discriminating against anybody.
Lekha Jadoo guided everybody through a short meditation session which left all feeling very peaceful. Traditional Diwali fare – sweetmeats, samosas, pies and puri patha were shared with all present. Arya Samaj SA expresses its deep gratitude to Paddy Kearney and Raymond Perrier for initiating the “Dialogue” series which can only contribute to creating a more tolerant society with respect for the customs and practices of all major faiths.
Posted by on Friday, October 28th, 2016 @ 9:29PM