"If you worship the Lord, it means one thing and one thing only, that you serve His people, you serve mankind." - Dr. Verma at the Interfaith Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Dr. M. M. Verma, founder of the Interfaith Foundation in India spoke at the Global Interfaith Forum prior to the Global Peace Convention 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“The entire gathering looked like a garden of different flowers creating a spiritual ambience, generating a feeling of social cohesion and human brotherhood." He later wrote in his reflection. "It was indeed a scenario of one-world family, emanating from one Fatherhood. Besides panel discussions, there was ample time for the religious leaders and scholars of different persuasions to exchange their knowledge with each other. Such like conferences must be held again and again. They will go a long way in reducing chasms among mankind and reducing miscommunication, to say the least.”
Dr. Verma “dreams of a world, free from religious limitations, boundaries and conflicts” and has dedicated his life to the study and pursuit of interfaith cooperation. Using the core principles of the world’s scriptures, he proposed to the Interfaith Forum that “commonalities are more important than the distinctions.” He used dogmas and traditions that normally keep us apart to hold us together.
Dr. Verma embraces the idea that each faith is a gift from God. “All of the world’s philosophies are meant for all of humankind,” he said. Although prophets were sent to different people at different times, they were sent by God with “a message of love, unity and brotherhood.”
He brought the focus back to the soul of humanity that originates from the same source. “God created all of us from the same soul,” said Dr. Verma quoting from the Holy Quran. He went on to assert that God may go by many names: Allah, Jehovah, God, Adonai, Elohim, Krishna, but as Sheik scripture writes, “God is one.”
Dr. Verma also emphasized that simply praising the name of God and adhering to the tenants of faith is not enough. “If you worship the Lord, it means one thing and one thing only, that you serve His people, you serve mankind,” he said. We were meant to praise and worship the works and nature of the Creator, and so we must also be the keepers of His creation, including our brothers and sisters.
In a world set on divisions and differences, Dr. Verma’s message is healing. If we love God, we must love one another. “If we praise his name, but harm His creation, we have committed the greatest disservice to the One that we love. As God is our parent, we are closer than just cousins. We are brothers and sisters.”
While we may not be able to fix all of the world’s problems alone, together many things are possible. With a desire to praise our Lord, with the heart of service and love for one another, we can break down the walls that separate us. We must let one another in, so that we can embrace the beauty that God has placed within each of us. We simply have to take that leap of faith, to know that we are more similar than dissimilar, that we were created to be beholden to each other.
Below is the LIVE stream from a session of the Interfaith Forum prior to the Global Peace Convention 2013. Dr. Verma speaks at 00:34 and 1:22.