On Religious Tolerance

In my spiritual development, I practice more 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,  Buddhism with its methodical approach to meditation,  to the life philosophy of impermanence,   its karmic influence of cause and effect,  the encourage of abstinence from life pleasure indulgences,  the practice of great compassion,  and the Taoism also for its philosophy of non intervention,  and especially for its highly effective Qigong methods.

It’s good 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 would like to 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 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 staunched 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.

After-note:  In my personal view, the pair of “staunched Christian” who accosted my friend should not be made representative of their religion and Christians at large.  In every religion, there are pockets of followers who not only have not fully understood the very essence of their own religion but also held parochial views which are guilty of intolerance towards other religions and belief systems.

Anthony Leong

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