Source: News Bharati English16 Apr 2016 14:48:51

Ram Navami, Religion, & Country

By Danish Kaneria


Today (15th April, 2016), we are celebrating Ram Navami—the birthday of Bhagwan Ram. Ram Navami is the last day of Chaitra Navaratri (Vasant/Spring Navaratri). This is one of the most important festivals of Sanatan Dharma/Hinduism. Bhagawan Ram is the most celebrated and followed God in daily social life of Hindu households around the world.

A celebration of Ram Navami is very special for me and my family since I sincerely follow the divine words of Bhagawan Ram "Janani Janma-bhoomi-scha Swargadapi Gariyasi" ( जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी)— "Mother and Motherland are superior than Heaven." These words are also the national motto of Nepal.

Being a member of Pakistan’s minority community, many people ask me what is more important in my life, “Religion or Country?” The answer to this question lies in the divine words of Lord Rama stated above. Let me clear the air on my religious belief, my country and my views.

Confusion is created when people start interpreting religion as a faith and clubbing all different spiritual practices into a religion.  Christianity is the religion, Islam is the Mazhab, and Hindutva/Hinduism/Vedic/ is the Sanatan Dharma/Dharma. Each has its own identity and interpretation. Thus, we should not club them as the religion.

 Since I belong to the Dharma, for me, my faith, belief, social life, family, country, views, ethics, and profession are not different entities but one. Thus my life, my mother, my motherland, my Bhagawan is one entity. I do not need to look at religion and country separately and evaluate them to prioritize which one to give more importance.

 In fact, as stated above, "Mother and Motherland are superior than Heaven." I love my country as much as others do. Thus, it would be injustice to me to ask the question, “What is most important in your life, “Religion or Country?”

Danish Kaneria is an international cricketer of Pakistan and regularly appears on TV as an expert, teaches "Sports and Ethics" to young cricketers and school kids, and participates in social services for underprivileged children around the world. He can be reached at: [email protected], @iDanish_Kaneria, or