On Religious Tolerance – A Re-post.

In my spiritual development,  I practice,  albeit superficially,   a combination of Confucianism,  Buddhism, Taoism and also Hinduism.   I value Confucianism for guiding me with its much-advocated value system – loyalty, reciprocity, wisdom, courage, righteousness, filial piety and faithfulness.  I have benefited from  Buddhism –  its methodical approach to meditation,  its life philosophy of impermanence,   its karmic influence of cause and effect,  the encouragement of abstinence from life pleasure indulgences, and the practice of great compassion.  Taoism appeals to me for its philosophy of nonintervention,  and especially for its highly effective Qigong methods.  From Hinduism,  I have learned about the chakra system and the energy prana.

It’s good to keep our minds open to learn about the other religions in the world and identify in them those positive teachings that could impact on our life and spiritual development.

Here,  I narrate a story which was only told to me recently by my learned friend, Bernard,   a Guru/Master specializing in Hindu system.  He told me that some time ago,  he helped a lady in a comma to regain her consciousness in a local hospital.  Before he went into the hospital ward to perform the prayers,  he was “challenged”  by two relatives of the patient who were staunch Christians;  among the other relatives and friends present were  Catholics,  Buddhists, and even Muslims.  Nevertheless,  with the assistance from the elder sister of the patient who had personally invited him to do the blessing, he drove out every one from the ward,   proceeded with the prayer session, and succeeded in helping the girl to regain her consciousness.  In his language.  my friend claimed he managed to retrieve the soul of the girl.   When he came out from the ward,  he told the other members of the patient that it was not only him or his Gods and Deities that helped  to perform the miracle but it was the “Religion of Love” of the combined effort of those people present in the hospital that collectively had expressed that much-valued ingredient of Love for the girl,  and prayed for her in whatever their religion and denomination  that had help the poor girl to regain her soul.

In my personal view,  in every religion, there are pockets of followers who not only have not fully understood the very essence of their own religion but also hold parochial views which are guilty of intolerance towards other religions and belief systems.   This is detrimental to maintaining peace and harmony in the context of our multiracial and multi-religious society.




Anthony Leong

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