Narrow interpretation of religion is the hindrance to harmony: Seer

Session on harmony and Kannada in the All-India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana on the`Kanaka-Sharif- Sarvajnya’ platform organised

January 06, 2023 09:10 pm | Updated 09:10 pm IST - Belagavi

A narrow interpretation of religion is the biggest hindrance to communal harmony, Sri Shivamurthy Shivacharya Swami of Taralabalu Brihanmath, said in Haveri on Friday. He was speaking on a session on harmony and Kannada in the All-India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana on the `Kanaka-Sharif-Sarvajnya’ platform.

Recalling an experience where he suffered caste discrimination in Banaras Hindu University, the seer said that it was ironic that some of the highly educated persons in universities were very casteist.

“It is very common for all us to be proud of our social, regional and cultural identities. We are all drawn towards people of our own caste, region or religion. However, we should make sure that such feelings do not make us hate others, he said. Religion should help us become better human beings by allowing us to understand our limitations and overcome them. It should not make us develop narrow outlooks,” he said.

Educationist Gururaj Karjagi lamented that increased levels of education had failed to strengthen harmony in society. “It is very sad to see that educated individuals are unashamedly casteist. I am surprised to find visible signs of casteism that I had not seen in childhood,” he said. He said that saints like Sri Basaveshwara, Kanakadasa, Purandaradasa, Sharif and Sarvajnya had crossed barriers of caste.

Resource person Y.M. Yakolli spoke on the world view of Kanakadasa that advocated a Bhakti marga that was not linked to any caste or religious ideologies. He quoted from works like Hari Bhakta Sara and Mohana Tarangini. Kanakadasa did not identify himself with any caste group. That enabled him to achieve reach great heights in literature in the midst of a cultural environment that was dominated by saints like Vadiraja, Purandaradasa and Ramanuja.  Kanakadasa did not negate any existing ideology. Nor did he attempt at discriminating between Shaiva and Madhva philosophies, Dr. Yakolli said.

Adiveppa Wali, spoke of the life and contribution of Shishunala Sharif. He was born a Muslim, was groomed by a Hindu Guru and imbibed Hindu and Islamic thinking. He stands out as a poet of the people. Harmony defines not only his life, but also his literature, he said.

Mahesh Joshi, Kannada Sahitya Parishat president, spoke on the cordial relations between Guru Govind Bhat and Shishunala Sharif.

Nagaraj Dyamanakoppa spoke of the contribution of Sarvajnya to the literature and culture of Karnataka. He identified Sarvajnya as a poet in the tradition of the Vachanas of Sharanas like Sri Basaveshwara. He spoke against idol worship and accumulation of wealth, Dr Dyamanakoppa said.  

Dr. Doddarange Gowda, Sammelan president, K.S. Siddalingappa, Shanmukhappa Muchandi, Mahadevi Kanavi, Vardhamana Kalasur, and others were present.

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