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I have always been very critical to Hinduism. When I was young, I used to feel – Ramayana and Mahabharata are well written novels. However, slowly my perception is changing. When I try to relate historical places (such as Panchavati, Nashik or Ujjain) and incidents around those places, you may call those incidents as stories, I think perhaps there is some veracity to these. The other thing I got to know about Sri Lanka tourism is places they show about the time of Ramayana Check Sri Lanka launches new product – Ramayana Trail – http://www.srilanka.travel/travel_news?news=267

Those all points apart, I have always been critical of Hinduism. However, recently, I was listening to some hymns in Sanskrit. The hymn sounds so different and interesting. I could only understand a part of it when I heard it for the first time. Naturally the hymn is in Sanskrit so it was not straightforward for me to understand. The part which I could make out was – “Vanaspateya shanti”. The hymn speaks about peace of biological life or plant beings. It had stanza for peace for everything.

I started searching for this hymn.

I would relate this hymn to another Sanskrit shloka –
ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |

In the above shloka and Shanti mantra, the scholars are praying for peace for every living being. When we see the kind of violence around us – terrorism or wars – this kind of philosophy fascinates me. The religion evolved in India have the concept of inner search, peace and renunciation. This is something whole world needs to learn from Indian religion.