Is your God different from mine?
Satbir Singh Bedi | 02 Aug 2013

I read a somewhat old news today in which it had been

mentioned that some really educated person had filed a

petition in the Kerala High Court challenging the

constitutional validity of taking of Oath of

Allegiance to the Constitution in the name of Allah as

Constitution allows that the oath sould be taken in

the name of God or it should be solemnly affirmed. 

That made me wonder whether Allah is just another name

for God or does it mean something else.

I must admit that I am a rustic man and have always

believed that Ram, Rahim, Krishan, Karim, Allah,

Khuda, Ishwar, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh etc. were all

the names of what we call "God" in English.  However,

I find that I was being too simple.  Many articles and

may be books have been written by learned men to prove

that Brahma is not Allah and Ram is not Rahim and so

on.  That made me wonder whether there is some

deficinency of gray matter in my brain or whether my

skull was so thick that such philosophical intricacies

never penetrated it. 

Well, I was never a brilliant man and failed to

understand the subtle symbolism of various religions. 

In my naive attitude, I thought that what the

Christians called Angels and Muslims called Faishtey,

were the same as Hindus called dieties.  Once, as a

child after listening to Radio Multan, I started

reciting the couplet, "Kadir Yaar, Shabbir Thitham. 

Jehrha Sabh Peeran Da Peer Thitham."  I thought that

this means that creator is all powerful and he is

teacher of all teachers.  However, my father was

rather annoyed at my singing this couplet.  He chided

me and asked me to recite the first stanza of "Japji

Sahib" (A collection of Holy verses by Guru Nanak)

instead. I agreed to do what he wanted me to do but

picked up courage to ask whether I could sing the

couplet,"Farida! Khak Na Nindiye, Khakun Jerh Na Koye.

Jeevandiyan Pairan Tale, Moiyan Upar Hoye" (Oh Farid,

do not treat dust with contempt.  It is below our feet

when we are alive but it is above us when we die).  My

father replied that I could sing this couplet because

Farid ji's verses were recorded in the Holy Guru

Granth Sahib (Holy Book of the Sikhs).

Well, I have not had an analytical mind right from my

childhood and could not distinguish between various

names of God.  I remember that my father who was a

Trade Unionist was once implicated in a false case and

I went to Court with him to meet our lawyer.  Our

lawyer was busy taking tea with another lawyer.  My

father told me, "Let us wait.  Our Lawyer is having

tea with the Government Lawyer who is on the other

side."  I replied to my father, "Let us engage another

lawyer.  This lawyer must not be reliable as he is

drinking tea with our opponent."  My father laughed at

me and told me that it was quite one thing to fight a

case and to maintain good relations.  However, I was

not convinced.

When I went to college and came to visit my father in

my holidays, his friend who was a police officer asked

me, "Do you know the difference between "Viceroy" and

"Governor General"?"  I replied that there was no

difference between the two as they were agents of

British imperialist Government.  My father's friend

heaved a deep sigh and replied, "Well, you will never

make to IAS."  And he was right.  I could never become

an IAS. Now, I am an old man but I have not changed. 

Despite the arguments of learned scholars, I still

hold the view that my God is not different from your

God.  To be more precise, I still hold the view that

Ram, Rahim, Krishan, Karim, Allah, Khuda, Waheguru,

Ishwar, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, etc. are names of the

same God. I am ready to greet a Muslim with "Aslaama

Lekum" but I would certainly feel hurt if he does not

reply with "Wa Lekum Aslam" as once a Muslim colleague

of mine had done.  Similarly, I am ready to greet a

Hindu with "Ram, Ram."  provided he also replies to me

with "Ram Ram".  In this regard, I am a follower of

Gandhi who said, "Ishwar, Allah Tere Naam.  Sabko

Sammati De Bhagwan".  Of course I do not agree with

the economic theories of Gandhi but I once again state

that I am in agreement with him over Ishwar being