Monday, December 14, 2009

So, that is what you said

I can sacrifice myself for religion:

Twelve percent of my readers responded in this category, and I am shocked.

You are in the USA, the year is 2010ish and twelve percent of you can die for religion? What good is that religion that sends you to death?

Religion is for wo/man, wo/man is not for religion. If we all die for religions who will worship God?

Please, please, please write me, call me names, send charmed words to my ancestors, but please explain what is the rational for your stance!

The Quran says there is no compulsion in religion (2:256). It also says: Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who believes in GOD, and believes in the Last Day, and leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve (2.62).

When such is the case, why do you want to die for your religion?

Organized religions that seek dominance over other faiths are inherently evil and create dissention in people, not harmony. Jews say Moses is the last prophet, Christians say Jesus, and Muslims claim Mohammed. What about the 23 million Sikhs, 7 million Baha’is and other smaller groups that are among us? Is religion purely a number game, the more the followers, the superior it is?

At the present time there are 2.1 billion Christians, and 1.5 billion Muslims inhabiting the planet earth. Third largest group of people in the world numbering more than the Hindus who form the fourth largest group, are peoples who are banded as Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist. Since Buddhists are atheists as well they too may be added to this group. Together, this group shall have nearly as many members as the Muslims and when the closet Agnistics/Aethists are taken into account, their actual numbers may surpass that of the Muslims. Shall we still play the number game?

If superiority is measured in the contribution to human progress, Judaism is unquestionably the greatest of all religions, for 14 million people ranking 12th as a group has given the world illumination far beyond its proportion to the world population.

God created wo/man, wo/man created religion. At one hand religion brought peace, on the other hand it waged war, war against other religions in broad-spectrum, nonetheless, at times against a dissenting group or individual of the same faith.

Religion is for human beings, and not the other way around.

It is the center piece of my life:

Thirty percent of the respondents are in this category. Pretty much middle of the line, shall I say?

If it is the center piece of your life you are a traditional God-fearing person who wants to live and let live others. Perhaps it is time for you to seek and find the true religion? In the 21st century, you are lucky to call home this country that we call the USA. There is no other place on earth that offers you greater opportunity to practice your faith in peace, and at the same time opens up the opportunity to explore at length outside your own faith. Please avail of this opportunity.

Whatever your faith is, if you want to be true to it, you must dive deeper and contemplate at the inner core of your belief and discover the universal message that your denomination has brought to this world.

If you want to understand your own religion, study other religions, embrace people of other faith as your own kin, seek the common travail. God created division just to test people, He could create one Nation if He so desired, albeit, His Mission is to Test and Reward His true followers.

Like it takes a mason, a carpenter, a plumber, and many other folks to build a house, it takes all denominations to build the House of God. Do not confine yourself in a small shell, shatter it, spread your wings in the sun-drenched breeze and wonder in the unexplored openness. God has created this universe for the humans to study and discover, and only through that study can we reach God. There is no other way.

I need it to live in the society:

Thirty percent of the respondents are in this category, tying up the position with the previous group.

Absolutely. We all need to make peace at the cost of our own personal desires for the greater interest of the society. Anyone who finds home in this group is potentially living ahead of her/his time. You have made the decision to sacrifice your own convictions for the greater good of humanity. Interestingly however, this attitude demands greater honesty and morality. If you do not have this intrinsic quality then you have not yet evolved, and you are not ahead of your time. If you are not ahead of your time you are in danger of leading a self-centered life, sinking, rather than perching to a higher plateau.

The glad tiding is, wherever you are, you are at the crossroads of fulfillment, ready for the transformation to embark on a glorious journey, if you can let go your ego and reach beyond yourself.

I do not care:

Twenty seven percent of the respondents are in this category, forming the second largest group from my survey.

If you are here, to you I say, been there, done that.

The question is, you may not care, notwithstanding, can you live outside the influence of religion? And if your fellow voyager does care, how do you interact with that person, in peace, in love, and in harmony?

You are probably responding with the assumption that we are confining ourselves to organized religions, and your answer denotes that you do not care for any organized religion. You nevertheless, akin to the Buddhists, can yet be marching to a religious band, sublime, and profound.

The Hindus coined the term dharma for religion in their religious scriptures known as Sanatan Dharma. The word dharma has dual connotation, in one sense it defines the attributes of something, or the very being. When you take that aspect of religion it does not matter whether you care for it or not, because in that paraphernalia the religion is all encompassing, and the goal and the journey is the same, as in the case of ancient Chinese belief in Tao.

Were the pre historic Taoists and the Hindus so far ahead of their times? Were they ahead of our times? Can we take a leaf out of their garden?