Everyday, standing in a corner of super busy Juhu circle, a frail short person dressed in dhoti and kurta can be seen holding a placard that reads, ” Apne dharam pe chalo; sabse prem karo “, which can be translated as, “Follow your religion, love everyone.” He is neither a beggar, nor a preacher, but a selfless proponent of peace expecting nothing, but brotherhood.
Having stayed in Juhu for more than half a decade, Krishna Das was no stranger as we often came across him. However, our preoccupation with work and busy daily Mumbai life never allowed us to engage with the person.
His reference got refreshed today, when en route office while hearing FM, the jockey made a mention of him. The man, who can always be seen standing quietly with his placard, speaks so well, as I heard him on radio. When asked about dharma or religion by RJ, he gave an amazing explanation. He said, ” Religion is not Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christianity, Zoroastrian or Jew. These are artificial man made societal divisions. Religion is endless, continuous, immeasurable, vast, indivisible, indiscriminate like sky, earth or ocean. These natural elements have no beginning or end; they give their benefit or virtuosity to all humans irrespective of their caste, creed or religion.”
However, what he said lastly compelled me to ponder over and think differently. He said, “Religion is Sanatan or self created (God’s creation), like earth, sea or sky as no one knows how and when it came into existence.” I now know why our religion was always known as Sanatan Dharma, indicating an all encompassing, non discriminatory, auto created, in existence since time immemorial , the purest form of Hinduism. The message he conveys from his placard is that you love your religion, which is humanity, because only then can you love other human beings.