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Faith, I believe, is what each individual develops for self, aside from religious and cultural, conditioning, passive or aggressive. Our Earth is a blip in an ocean of Creations that are all moving without crashing into each other, occasional comets or falling stars apart.

On our planet, developing panorama of natural systems operate with unique precision. Most awe-inspiring is the development of human bodies from birth to death and the way a body makes space for an embryo and then a pulsating new life, all the way to childbirth and lactation.

Did all these systems emerge automatically? From nowhere! It is impossible to escape the sense of some Power, some Essence that guides all these.

Perhaps that is how Faith was born. Later it got usurped for power. The unearthing of deeper layers of knowledge brings forth more and more news of the evolution of the planet we live on, split in countries, natural and political systems and religions.

Each one of us grows up in a religion thanks to parents and their religious beliefs. Not a question of choice.

I am was thus born and bred a Hindu, learning "do good and be good" from a Vivekananda impressed father, a monthly satyanarayan katha mother who told, I now realize severely edited stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, tailored for little ears. Studied first in a Catholic, then Methodist, Sindhi and Parsi institutions and alongside did extensive readings exploring different thought processes.

It is not so difficult to accept the reality of the three religions of the Book, Judaism which is the oldest, its offshoot Christianity and next offshoot, Islam. All three follow laid down prescriptions, especially the fear of eternal hellfire after the day of Judgement.

There is no such fear of hellfire in my native Hinduism, that offers an evolutionary path, a hope of rebirth and injunctions to do good n be good, without prescriptions of any compulsory dogma, customs, strictures, fasts, etc; not even faith in one particular god from the million names on offer.

The unfortunate part is that:

Still, we quarrel for no rhyme or reason, only to insist that because I follow X god, I am better than you, a follower of Y god. What happened to the faith in rebirth? How many people are even aware that the rebirth phenomena were at times endorsed by two non-Hindus ages ago?

Their followers papered over their declamations of rebirth, perhaps unsuitable to respective political climates and the aims of ambitious followers. One was Isa, aka Jesus after whom the religion is named, based firmly on the fear of hellfire.

And the other was a thirteenth century Sufi, Rumi, the inspiration behind the Whirling Dervishes.

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Comments on this Article

Comment sorry, please read "our parents and their religious beliefs"...
infamous typos!

Yes, i do know about Rambas and Menakas. What is there on offer for us women? Otherwise grossly unfair when all the gods drew shakti from their women.
Yam raj is also revered. but if his rule continues forever, what happens to the rebirth part of our beliefs? too many riddles too?

The essence is a Hindu faith encompasses many different streams of thoughtincluding even agnostics. and promises rebirth

07/05/2019 01:44 AM

Comment "There is no such fear of hellfire in my native Hinduism, without prescriptions of any compulsory dogma, customs, strictures, fasts, etc."

On exploring further one may find other scenarios. We were taught that good people go to heaven and will be welcomed by devatas that include Rambha, Urvasi, Menaka and life will be filled with luxury. Whereas, bad people are taken by Yamaraj visiting on his he-buffalo with a rope and put you in boiling oil in hell among other punishments.

P. Rao
07/04/2019 00:20 AM

Comment I enjoyed reading the vignette on faith and religion. Our Earth is a blip in an ocean of physical creations that are all moving and sloshing in space without crashing into each other. On our planet is a developing panorama of natural systems that operate with unique precision.

We get our religion, thanks to our parents and their tedious beliefs. I got a chuckle when you said how you received severely edited stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, tailored for little ears. Thanks.

P. Rao
07/03/2019 23:39 PM

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