Question: What is your view of religion? Why are so many religions not friendly with each other?

Sri Chinmoy: The essence of every religion is love of God. There is not a single religion that does not tell us to love God. The problem comes with the followers of religion. Very often they say, “My religion is by far the best, whereas your religion is very bad.” The followers of the different religions are like children in a family. The children have the same parents and receive the same affection, love and compassion from their parents. But still the children quarrel and fight. If one sister sees that another sister is more beautiful, then immediately she becomes jealous and quarrels with the other one. If one brother sees that another brother is more powerful, immediately the weak one speaks ill of the strong one. Again, in a family, many times one brother will say, “I know better than anybody!” and the other brother will say, “No, I know better than you!” Similarly, each religion will tell its brother and sister religions, “I know more about the Heavenly Father than you do.” Or they will say, “My way of loving God is the only correct way, and your way is wrong.” So, quite often it happens that there is quarrelling and fighting among the various religions.

But one thing all religions agree on is love of God. And if we really love someone, we feel our oneness with that person. So if we really love God and feel our oneness with God, we will also feel our oneness with God’s creation. In the inmost depths of our heart we know that we are all one, but then pride enters into us and we tell others, “I do not need you.” But we do need one another. We are all part and parcel of the same existence-reality. A tree consists of the trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. If the trunk says that it does not need the branches or leaves, then what kind of tree will it be? And if the flowers say that they do not need the branches and trunk, then how will they live? So unity has to be established.

When we enter into a garden, immediately we become aware of the beauty, purity and fragrance of the garden. Each flower has its own beauty, but the beauty we feel in the garden is the beauty of multiplicity. And this is the beauty that gives us immense joy. Similarly, God gets immense joy from the multiplicity of the flower-hearts of all His children.