Come out into the broad open light of day, come out from the little narrow paths, for how can the infinite soul rest content to live and die in small ruts? Come out into the universe of Light. Everything in the universe is yours, stretch out your arms and embrace it with love. If you ever felt you wanted to do that, you have felt God.
- Swami Vivekananda
Is it a mere soliloquy that I hear in the breeze, rustling through the pines or does it echo the voices of thousands winding their way through Lum Sohpetbneng?
We cannot say unless we delve deep into the annals of the vast peninsula that stretches below the Himalayan range into the confluence of three oceans. The land has been a home for thousands of races and fostered cultures for centuries together. The immense cultural diversity is evident from changing dialects or even the language in every couple of hundreds of kilometres. Scholars were left to wonder how despite this diversity the Indian nation thrived, whereas the Soviet Union was shattered to pieces. There were times when dark shadows hung over the land, bloodshed – with pen and sword – swept across it and burnt it to ashes. Internal rifts moved towards full-blown crises. Pandemics, just like the ongoing COVID-19, pushed the country into depths of peril. But again, the nation lifted itself just as Phoenix rises from ashes.
This points to some elixir that the nation has dearly held to its bosom. What is that? Though it may sound paradoxical, it is nothing but religion, pure and simple, that has been running through the veins of this nation. Questions may arise, how can the element which has caused much strife in societies, be held responsible for breaking the barriers. We admit that what went by the name of religion has allowed differences to fester and divisions to run deep. In spite of that, we know that those will be regarded by posterity as mere aberrations than precedents. Religion, stripped off its non-essentials, is universal and is synonymous with spirituality. The innate human goodness cannot be buried eternally. The shadow that looms over human nature can only be shattered with the light of spirituality. In the times when storms blur our vision, threaten to uproot us from the holds, we need the light evermore, the light – that engulfs without drowning, cheers without inebriating and enlightens without burning.