Oneness

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I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit - Khalil Gibran

As a child, I loved playing with Lego. The colored blocks could keep me busy for hours constructing different shapes and figures. I believe it instilled focus, discipline and creativity amongst others. As an adult, I see Lego as synonymous to human beings, in a limited way of course. The way Lego is made of plastic, we are made of body, emotions and intellect. We all serve a purpose in the movie playing in the world and there is always a talent within each of to add value to the world for and make the picture perfect. Alone, we are of no use; together we can create magical images.

In this world of Lego, I often wondered how do I add to the world. After years of seeking, I believe that my faith is my offering. Faith in the knowledge of my true nature, faith in the Universal Power, faith that there is goodness in all and we are all loved unconditionally and we get what we deserve. My expression as a person arises from faith, my creativity of as a professional arises from faith, my ability to be fearless arises from faith, my ability to love arises from faith.

I always saw myself as a religious person. I believed in the existence of God and observed rituals like prayer, fasting and going to the temple. In all this, did I truly understand religion? No, I did what I observed or learnt but never questioned or analyzed. Neither did I attempt to understand the import or difference between religions. I adopted my religion as Hinduism since I was born in a Hindu family. I visited the Gurudwara, Church, Mosque to worship as well. I believed in and experienced His Existence wherever humanity gathered to pray. This simplistic faith in God gave me a foundation for life wherein I always believed in His love. My love for the Universal Power, God, The Supreme, The Creator, however undergone a tremendous shift – earlier it was based on blind love; now it is based on understanding and conviction.

As I have read about other religions, my understanding is that all religions lead to the same Universal Truth and all religions teach the principles for happiness, peace, compassion and love. Religions are expressed and interpreted in different languages and ways and recommend different practices or rituals but they all respond to the same quest - how to express love freely and how to live a happy life.

The knowledge of any discovery or invention has always been shared through different media like drawings, writings, artifacts, dance, music etc to make life easier for the next generation. Religion too is a knowledge that is to be shared for the progress of communities. Different communities have different dialects, cultures, clothes, cuisines that bring them together and create a sense of belonging. Human beings have a basic need to belong. Religion too is a binding force at a deeper level of emotions and love.

I am not a doctorate in religious studies and neither am I a saint, however, I believe that the saints who are revered as the founders of religion could not have wanted people to distinguish and fight over religion. As an expression of their love, they showed people a path to live with love, forgiveness, courage, solidarity, compassion etc. They recognized that life could be replete with suffering unless people understood the purpose of life.

We claim to be religious and believers, yet we talk about discrimination and superiority. The moment a discrimination or sense of superiority arises in our mind, we have fallen out of love. People in their ignorance adopt translations that create divide between human beings. This is not an expression of Universal Love. No religion asks us to be either subservient or aggressive. It repeatedly tells us to do the right thing and listen to that voice within to know what is the right thing to do. The voice of Truth can be heard when we silence our plethora of thoughts and allow the voice to speak and believe in that voice within. This voice is present within each one of us and is a gift available to all of us. Religion teaches us how to access that voice and live from there. Spiritual Masters have shared their expression of love through different religions as their expression of love for humanity.

The way technology has given an access to communicate faster and live with ease. We can either get obsessed by technology and blame the father of computers or use it prudently. Similarly, we can either understand the import behind religions or sue them to create divisions in society. Religion teaches us how to live life as human beings and how to fulfill the purpose of life. It teaches us how to express our love and live together, recognizing our inter-dependencies. I cannot express my humanity without another!

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together - Desmond Tutu

Testimonials

Knowing and working with Ashu has been a personally and professionally enriching experience. Her worldview has a deep philosophical underpinning and is informed by clarity of thought and tempered by strong sense of honesty, compassion and generosity. Ashu has the desire and the ability to make a difference.

Mr. Jaideep Khanna

CEO & Country Head India, Investment & Corporate Bank, Barclays Capital India

Ashu has worked as a coach with my team on a few occasions to help improve teamwork and team dynamics. Working with a group of type A investment bankers can be pretty tough. Ashu was able to draw out the team to share their views openly in a constructive manner.

Mr. V Anantharaman

MD & Regional Head - Origination and Client Coverage & Co-Head - Wholesale Banking, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank

I find that Ashu has a knack for cutting to the heart of the matter, no matter how complicated it may be. Her direct approach towards stating the issues up front, and then exploring solutions works very well in a business environment, where time is short and issues are complex.

Mr. Ashok Bajpai

Regional Director, Essar Steel

I have known and worked with Ashu Khanna for a number of years on various programs and have found her to be a very effective coach and trainer. Her programs on leadership and Branding are particularly of high order and clubbed with her unique individual style have proven to be quite impactful.

Mr. Awdhesh Krishna

Global Head - HR, Nomura India

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