India is an incredible place to discover new cultures. I was lucky to witness celebrations of birth of Lord Krishna in Mumbai. I was really amazed and happy to see that. During my whole trip in India, I learnt about different sects of Hinduism, the practice of Islam in the country and other related religions such as Sikh but there is also a strong presence of Christianity in states such as Goa and even some traces of Judaism. But in New Delhi, I encounter the Lotus Temple, house of the Bahá’í Faith, a monotheistic religion that I will tell you more about.
The latest stop on my Indian trip last year was New Delhi. I remember it very well as I was received by my friend Purnima who hosted me for the night with her lovely family. I’m very glad I could spent the night with them and learn so many things but also freely ask about their opinions about religions in India.
Purnima’s mum has a small temple at home. A sacred part of their flat, kept clean from any negative waves. I felt a positively relaxing atmosphere in there. The next day, I planned to visit New Delhi and I was told to see the Jama Masjid mosque and the Lotus Temple.
I got lost while getting to the mosque. So I just ditched it and went straight to the Lotus Temple. It is quite grandiose by its size and stunning architecture. It is also quite obvious why they call it the Lotus Temple… But only when I got there, I learnt that it is not a church, nor a hindu temple nor a mosque. But a temple for the Bahai religion.
I was surprised to see, however, the mix of all 3 religions in one temple. I saw some obvious characteristics of mosques, a seating hall of a church and the atmosphere of a synagogue. Although, the temple is very simple inside. Bahai Faith is actually the fourth monotheistic religion, following Islam. It emphasises on the unity of all humans.
Bahai Faith suggests that there is only one God who is source of all creation, also that all religions converge to the same God and come from the same source. It also praises the unity of all humans no matter their races and cultures.
After walking around a hall annexed to the Lotus Temple, I was able to draw my own conclusion on the Bahai Faith. I simply think that it is a religion designed to unite all of us with a strong message of peace and tolerance. It also seems like it’s a religion made from all good things about the 3 monotheistic religions that we are used to and promote them as a single united religion.
Before boarding a plane for Hong Kong, I walked for a bit around New Delhi. I was surprised to see how well organised the city is, compared to other places in India. I saw their gigantic Central Park and the iconic India Gate. Then, I walked just randomly around the city as I felt safe even alone. Their transport system is also quite developed, I took the metro to get from a place to the other mostly. And sometimes, the one and only: rickshaw. It was sad to leave India. But after 2 weeks, it was quite intense and the right time to move on see something else. I will go back for sure now that I know that it is land of all religions…