Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: Sir, please tell us how we can keep a fine divide between the religious and the secular, and grow holistically as an individual and as a society?
Acharya Prashant: There is no divide between the religious and the secular.
True religion is about eliminating all divisions.
How are you trying to have a division between religiosity and secularism?
What do you mean by ‘Secularism’?
You mean that no person should be blinded by his creed or belief. No person should just turn unjust, or biased, or prejudiced, because of his ideological or religious inclinations.
But that which you are trying to achieve through Secularism, can actually be never achieved through Secularism, because that you are trying to achieve — an unbiased and just mind — is exactly what religion and only religion can give you.
So, Secularism is self-defeating.
You have to understand this.
When you say that you want a secular person, or a secular state, what is it that you want? You want someone who is not prejudiced, not blinded by belief, who can keep a distance between his duties and his conditioning, who must know what the right action to do is, in spite of what his religious condition is. Right?
You want a person who does the right thing, irrespective of whether he is a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or whatever. Right? That’s what you want to achieve through secularism.
When you say that X is a secular person, what you mean is, that he is prepared to read the Quran, even if he is a Hindu. And that he is prepared to respectfully go to the Upanishads, even if he is a Muslim, right? When you say that a country Y is a secular state, what do you mean? You mean that in that country, people are not discriminated on the the basis of their professed religious association, right? If this is what you want, then you should be deeply religious.
What teaches you equanimity? Religion.
In Secularism, you want to be equanimous. But what teaches you equanimity? Religion.