Dr Mohd Hanif Khan :GITA & KORAN COMPLEMENTARY TO EACH OTHER:
several principles laid down in both the sacred books are surprisingly similar, noted Sanskrit scholar Dr Mohd Hanif Khan Shastri has said.Dr Khan, a devout Muslim who teaches at the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, a deemed university under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, was delivering a talk on ‘Gita, Koran and Civilizational Harmony’ organized by the Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony (GFCH-INDIA), in collaboration with Vivekananda International Foundation on the eve of Holi on Saturday, March 19, 2011 in New Delhi.
Maintaining that Gita held the key to entire Indian Philosophy and ancient religious discourse, Dr Khan said the sacred book can be hailed as a source for all the existing religions in the world.Dr Khan also recited extensively from his poetry collection in Hindi ‘Mohan Gita’ which has 700 poems based on 700 shlokas from the ancient Indian scripture. The book is under publication and will soon be available in the market.“The extract of all the existing religions of the world has been accommodated in this small book (Gita) but still 90 percent of people cannot read it. The messages of Gita are followed in all the religions in one way or the other,” said Khan.Asserting that Islam was no different from Sanatana Dharma, he pointed out that while Koran highlighted the importance of ‘Roza’ or fasting in leading a pious and virtuous life, the Gita in the Shlokas 59-62 of Part 2 elaborated the way and importance of Vrat (religious fasting). In Patanjali’s Yoga Darshan the importance and process of Namaz or offering prayers to the Almighty has been thoroughly elaborated. “While Koran emphasized on the importance of Namaz, the Gita in Chapter eight explained the spirit in which it is to be done, Dr Khan said, adding that all the religions were similar in their basic philosophy and guideline for leading a better life with harmony.
“What is Panchkarma (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Aprigraha and Brahmacharya) in Jain, Buddhist and Yam in Hindu tradition is Hukukul Ibaad or Hukukul Naass (The right of humans) in Koran. And the five Niyam (Shauch, Santosh, Tap etc) are Hukukul Allah (the rights of the God) in Islam,” argued Khan. He further said that it is very easy to find the differences as all the humans dead and alive have their different fingerprints but difficult to find similarities which can be done only by following the path shown by our sages and great souls.
Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, Head Priest at the Delhi Jewish Synagogue, and founder patron of GFCH India said all religions taught good principles to enable human beings to lead a peaceful and harmonious life. “We must understand the principles of coexistence and harmony. One can not reform the society by speeches alone. We have to practice good things and attract the others to follow. This is the only way to reform the society particularly youngsters who are increasingly being driven by materialistic western philosophy,”.Industrialist and philanthropist Mr Puneet Dalmia highlighted the need to instill pride for our culture among the youth. He expressed satisfaction that that such events were being organized to maintain civilisational harmony when the entire world was suffering from greed, violence, terrorism etc.Mr K G Suresh, Director of GFCH (INDIA), said the organization, which is a partner organization of the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilization, worked towards removing misconceptions about each other among followers of different faiths. Like its effort to highlight the service aspect of Hindu spiritual organizations, GFCH India now planned to organize in Delhi a fair entitled ‘Islam in the Service of Mother India’, he said.
VIF Secretary Mr Mukul Kanitkar said it was easier to find differences and disparities but essential to highlight the commonalities so as to bring about better understanding and civilizational harmony.GFCH India was launched in Delhi on January 22, 2008 at a function attended and addressed by great religious and spiritual masters belonging to all faiths including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, founder of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Art of Living Sri Sri Ravishankar, renowned yoga guru Baba Ramdev, the chief of Akal Takt Jatthedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, the President of Chinmaya Yuvak Kendra Swami Mitrananda, Jain Muni Sumermal, the Arch Bishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the chief of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband Moulana Mohammod Ali Madani, Rabbi Ezekiel Issac Malekar and Swami Prajnan Mitranand of Mata Amritanandamayi Mutt. The GFCH was launched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam delivered the presidential address at the function and blessed the initiative. The spiritual masters and religious scholars who attended the function are the now Patrons of GFCH India.
K G Suresh
Director, GFCH India