Monday, July 31, 2006

Religion



For a long time now, I have been studying and reflecting on Religion (i.e. all religions), sensing the awesome, profound truths and edifying content of the scriptures of Judaism and Buddhism, the Gospel of Christ, Islam. Not as a 'scholar' but as a seeker. My attitude was to implicitly accept what I was reading, without question or critique, and to try to understand what was written.

Also the sacred texts of the faith I was born into, 'Hindu', like The Upanishads. Thus, for instance, I felt the Srimad Bhagavat - was a scientific treatise on the origin, creation and evolution of the universe.

Advanced human life (of the mind, of spirit) is far more ancient than the western world believes, much has happened which is entirely unknown today, but with clues lying around for those who wish to know and observe.

Exchanges - commerce of soul - have taken place between peoples and cultures from ancient times, exhibiting a sweetness of intercourse incomparable to anything in contemporary life. So much of the wealth of 'secular' (i.e. non-religious) life - is the fruit of spiritual fabrication over millenia. Ordinary life is impregnated with the sacred. Everything around us - is sacred.

I don't like to use the terms 'Hindu' or 'Hinduism' - since that is etymologically and otherwise meaningless. Just like harmonising the 'scientific' and 'spiritual', there is the challenge of harmonising the spiritual and social aspects, retaining spiritual inspiration while working to analyse social mores (with their pseudo-religious trappings).

'Reading Temples', for instance, or 'Reading Ritual' - could be themes for projects, to prepare curricula and learning modules for school students.

Karl Marx wrote: "I hate the whole pack of gods in their heavens..." That was perhaps a more fundamentally spiritual articulation, than all the pious hypocrisies of the so-called religious-minded! If only Dr Marx had actually visited India and lived and travelled here - its interesting to imagine the transformations he might have undergone, from the over-conditioning of Europe. Extraordinary scrutiniser that he was - unfortunately he did not get down to scrutinising the very notion of what is human, which he simply received and swallowed lock, stock and barrel, from his culture, overemphasising the 'material', the 'rational' and the 'economic'.

Bringing up, 'educating' and sensitising future generations properly – is the simple solution to all the sufferings plaguing the world. And here, its as much a question of what not to do, as of what to do. What needs to be done – is simply to follow nature, and the human being's fundamental nature. But centuries of obfuscation have taken their toll...

I had written earlier about Sri Aurobindo's view that "all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony". And the primary means for achieving harmony is the human personality.

Thinking about Darwin - some years ago, it struck me that while he had worked on the Evolution of the Species - what about the evolution of the human personality (in the image of the Maker)? Study of animal BEHAVIOUR and social life would give powerful leads. Lord Buddha's Jataka Tales - may be seen as a study of evolution of the human personality. In human form and guise, the world is actually full of animals of different kinds. But where is MAN?! The purpose of life on earth - is the realisation of the human personality. Love, knowledge and action (in their most profound sense) – are the three means for the perfection of personality.

5 comments:

Yves said...

Rama you have been busy and inspired. In this post in particular, there is a wonderful integration of different threads, and some brilliant ideas about the direction we need to go. I am preparing a post which will reflect, albeit in very different ways, a similar attempt at integration.

Bonita said...

Yes, man must come to know his nature, both the lofty parts and the baser parts, so he will know about those forces that can corrupt or inspire. We have much learning to do here. Great things await, if we learn our lessons well.

Deb S. said...

A very thoughtful post. This one is definitely a keeper.

Vikram R K Nandwani said...

very thoughtful indeed

Sadiq M. Alam said...

beautiful thoughts.