हिन्दू कहें मोहि राम पियारा, तुर्क कहें रहमाना,
आपस में दोउ लड़ी-लड़ी मुए, मरम न कोउ जाना।
(Hindus say we worship Rama and Muslims say Rahman. They both die, fighting with each other without even getting a glimpse of him.)
Look at Facebook walls, flooded with posts about intolerance, religious hatred and you will realize the significance of what Kabir said many centuries ago.
As Kabir says, we have converted gods into our possessions and we have brought into limits the limitless.
If one looks at it closely, we stick to a god or a religion because it makes us part of a tribe, or a group. Belonging to a group gives us a feeling of tremendous amount of safety and security. Religious people are not at all interested in god, they are rather interested in this feeling of security that being part of a cult brings.
I can surely say that the intolerance is born out of a false understanding of religion. Rather, a deliberate and wrong understanding of religion which is born out of our insecurity as an animal.
All the spiritual masters spoke about religion at an individual level. Some masters like Osho and Buddha did talk about being part of a community of seekers; but there focus was always an individual.
It is quite clear that the kind of religions we have today, will lead to more and more tension and intolerance. As the times become more difficult, due to increasing population, limited resources, uneven distribution of wealth, people will be more concerned about their own religion and less tolerant about the others.
On a different level, the issue of tolerance is not only about religion. I would rather say, in this particular view, we are rather over tolerant- we tolerate it when people have no water to drink, work in unhealthy and unsafe work conditions, die without getting a morsel of food, are subjected to forced labor etc.
We discuss religious tolerance so much simply because we belong to a particular religion and are afraid of some other religion becoming more powerful than ours.
I look at the above couplet of Kabir in a much wider sense. A Hindu loves Rama, Muslim loves Rahman, Christian loves Christ and so on. Similarly, a capitalist loves situation to make money, a social worker loves the problems in the society, political leaders love divide among the people.
As Kabir rightly says, everyone loves what gives him security and a true religious man is one, who dares to face this insecurity, discovers his individuality and ceases to be a part of a cult.