Sep 22, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
Continued from "Quest of Truth: The Absolute"
Religion is believed to be the foundation on which unity, integrity, cohesion, peace, happiness and progress of any society and welfare of the individual in this world and hereafter depends. Within a given space of time and parameters, all religions serve that purpose to a considerable extent. However, beyond those boundaries, a conflict between these objectives and reality arises because the religious faith is often elevated to the status of being God-sent, permanent and inviolable. With intent to keep that conflict suppressed, religions often do not permit any questioning on its beliefs on the ground that the faith is not a matter for questioning.
Rationality demands that a quest for truth must permit an enlightened and unbiased questioning. Therefore, let us question some of the practices, principles and beliefs generally common to all major religions of the world.
In all religions in which the Supreme God is believed to have some form, he is a male: and even in those religions in which he is believed to be formless, he is addressed as 'He' and not 'She'. In the trinity of hinduism Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are all males and so are his incarnations like Ram, Krishna, etc. Even 'Brahm', who is believed to be formless is addressed as male and not as female 'BrahmaaNi'. All the paighambars in semitic religions including Christ, the son of God (in Christianity), were males. Buddhism was given by Gautam Buddh - again a male. This defies logic that Godhood is an exclusive preserve of males in all religions. Further, it cannot be a mere coincidence and is an indication of bias that the proponents of all religions were males only.
All religions claim superiority of their God over all other Gods and semitic religions reject the existence of any God other than their own God. Since one God cannot be superior to or different from the other God, such beliefs create obvious contradictions as well as provide reasons for disbelief in the existence of God.
Principles and practices of various religions are considered generally sacrosanct, and the commandments of semitic religions are considered God-given and absolutely inviolable. Since some of these differ from one religion to another- sacrifices, jihad, keeping four wives, etc., - their sanctity becomes obviously questionable.
Most of the mass cruelties- Islamic invasions, inquisitions, Hitler's hate war against Jews, etc., - of the world, which caused immeasurable misery to human beings, have been perpetrated in the name of religion. Even today innumerable innocent persons are made to suffer in the name of faith, e.g., religious terrorism.
The religion has often been used as a tool of exploitation of the gullible, of personal gain of power and pelf, and of such abominable acts as organ-mutilation, human sacrifice and sexual orgies. Even in the 21st century such exploitation and cruelty in the guise of religion by gurus, swamis, padrees, maulavis, fakirs, khalifas, etc. continue.
The religion has almost always been used to ban or discourage rational and scientific enquiry- Socrates, Galileo, Eklavya, etc. Moreover, in the name of religion any knowledge gained has been kept confined to a few and has not been allowed to spread. This has helped perpetuate ignorance and backwardness in the world. It is since the 19th century only, when the humankind has started breaking free from the shackles of religion, the progress of human society has taken wings.
Therefore, one can reasonably conclude that while religion is useful to keep people contented even in misery, and disciplined and controlled like a herd of sheep, it is generally regressive so far as human freedom, human progress and enlightened happiness are concerned.
Continued to "Quest of Truth - The Baba Syndrome"
More by : Mahesh Chandra Dewedy
|One must not overlook the significance of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic religion. Here is a woman who is revered as the mother of God, no less. In church ritual she is acclaimed as the Queen of Heaven, the mediatrix of all graces, and it is only through her one comes to knowledge of Christ, God the Son. A special prayer, the Hail Mary, is repeated ten times for each decade of the rosary, and is recited by the faithful in private or in assembly, whose benefit is the salvation of the world. The lessening or abandoning of the salvific role of Mary in protestantism and evangelicalism, of man directly approaching Christ, accounts for the division rather than unity among Christians. The whole of Christianity would be united if re-oriented to her presence among us: 'to Jesus through Mary'.|
I think all religion is important only upto an extent where one develops discipline and faith in higher powers (morals, law of karma,Gods and goddesses etc). However if practiced orthodoxly it can shackle the free spirit. Unfortunately religion has been used by the selfish and power hungry to supress and manipulate the less fortunate ones for material gains (wealth/status/power)
Hinduism is perhaps the only religion where Goddesses are equal to Gods and in many case have the upper hand too, like devi Durga/Kali, who is the highest goddess in the Shakta/Tantric philosohpy.
The Upanishads , which are a part of the vedas, contains the lofty thoughts and highest truths of the spiritual world.
So it is not right to say religion is all bad !
|Dear Mr Sahai,|
No doubt that in HInduism- almost exclusively- the consort is also worshipped along with the God. Yet even in HInduism, Lakshmi Ji always sits near the feet of Vishnu in siesta.
Mahesh Chandra Dewedy
|I believe Hinduism is the only religion where all Incarnations of God are associated with female consort. I don't believe at the time of prayer, we even pay attention to 'form' of the God. |
Famous Indian song, lest we forget, "Us ko to nahin dekha kabhi, par is ki jaroorat kya hog; hey ma, teri soorat se alag Bhagwan...."
Mere presence of both the sexes in shrine speaks volume.