view of Sarva Dharma Samabhava has been turned into a political
principle in modern India. It has come to dominate the thinking of
the country and has been turned into the main tool of trying to
harmonize different, often conflicting religious communities.
However other countries in the world, notably nearby Pakistan and
Bangladesh, have not taken it up. Religions espousing an exclusive
or final revelation like Christianity and Islam have almost
uniformly opposed it.
They do not think that their religion is just one among many but
is the only, the last or the highest. They do not recognize genuine
diversity in religious beliefs but divide the world into the true
believers and the unbelievers. The
disharmony between religion remains and in many instances has grown
worse. Nor has this idea served to create an equality of views even
within Hinduism where different sects still compete with one
Therefore, one is compelled to
examine this issue further. Is the equality of all religions a
spiritual principle that is fundamentally true or a wishful
statement designed to try to create harmony in spite of actual
differences between groups? Can such mere wishful thinking eradicate
real differences and contrary beliefs? And is it the real meaning of
Sarva Dharma Samabhava?