What does it mean by being RELIGIOUS

Discussion in 'Queries on Religion & Spirituality' started by justlife, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. justlife

    justlife Silver IL'ite

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    What does it really mean, when someone says that they are Religious? Someone told me that during the Ketu mahadasha you should be very religious, I said I am religious, I chant hanuman chalisa, read ramayan go to temple, I was told that is not being religious, so can someone tell me what is does it mean?
     
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  2. dakshayaeni

    dakshayaeni Silver IL'ite

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    Ok..as philosophy is one of my favorite subject, I will try to share my thoughts on Religion with you and I firmly believe that my thoughts might be 100% wrong.

    'Dharma' the word has originated from 'root Dhri' or 'Dhatu Dhri'. Dhri dhatu implied 'Dharan'. This means whatever you have taken upon yourself as a practice to follow. This english translation is very broad. Learned scholars often interpretes that whatver our duties are towards our life, loved ones, society, polity and economy is our dharma, cause we have wilfully taken on ourselves to practice our duties. Now here my friend there could be discussions or debates on 'wilfulness'. If for example a child's dharma is to look after her aging parents then it is her religion. Or even a farmer's religion is to feed the world and to cultivate crop.

    In vedic times, people used to practice worshipping of natural forces like sun, wind, fire, water and earth...the basic of all 5 elements. At that point of time there was no idol worshipping. But people used to worship them mainly for two reasons:

    1. They were fearfull of the natural elements since there was no knowledge as to why lighting strikes in certain areas or even why floods occur. Hence pacify nature to buy peace, this was one of the main reason of practicing worship of natural elements.

    2. One other subtle reason was the vedic people realized that if we harm nature we will be extinct. To protect mother earth, to protect human kind we must save animals and trees. All living things are created for some reason any everything has a purpose. They realized this and hence slowly practiced 'yagna or homa' to please nature god.

    Religion was a manufestation of some guidelines to lead proper life in harmony, to obey tribal leaders, and basically to be good. The earliest proponents of such guidelines is obviously Moses or the Mosaic law. Slowly Judaism, Christianity, Islam came over. But at an philosophical level if we see, all the prophets taught us some basic stuffs, among which:

    1. Follow your tribal culture - during the birth of man kind people used to live in small groups or tribes. For survival war fare against other tribes, natural elements were very common. hence tribal heads needed to maintain some unity and discipline to control his tribe and to basically expand his tribe as well.

    Tribal culture varied due to many reasons including geography, habits and habitats, personal gains etc.

    2. Be good to fellow human untill the other causes you harm - more or less a very general rule of law in all religious books

    3. Respect other opinions, no matter even if they are conflictinng with yours

    And then there are others. But overall, the books of great prophets teaches us how to lead a good life. Complications came over when such philosophies got mixed with lot of other stuffs including astronomy and astrology - clash of views over calender, predicion of future, self purification process and process of pacifying natural elements clashed. Scientific evaluation of some thoughts led to further clashes among tribes, community, culture, countries and then the most important aspect 'money' when got mixed with rule of law, religion did not remain our duty, it simply became a way to prove which sect is pure, large, king and others.

    If we try to understand Hinduism then my friend we will know Hinduism again is not a religion like what most of us know. It is a culture a way to lead life. Unlike Moses, Muhammed, Christ, hindusim do not have any single prophet neither gives us a complete and comrehensive rule book to follow certain tribal culture. Whatever we practice today all, all of them originated from Vedas. And veda narrated not only how man kind took his birth in the world, but also narrated how our fore fathers used to lead lives, manage their own tribes, culture, economy, polity. It also teaches us to do our duty like what our prophets from across culture taught us.

    Now, if I am getting complex, boring I will try to answer your question in simpler words. Ketu mahadasha is an astronomical interpretation of some events that could happen when some planets are structured in a specific way. During this time, there are certain practices that we are asked to follow. But ask yourself, are the practices that are asked to follow bringing happiness to you, your loved ones. Are those practices contributing in any way to your neighborhood, larger society, polity? Will you be able to cope up with your household duties, professional duties and still could follow strictly what you are asked during such a dasha?

    Our duties and karma are the two things that will fetch us happiness and peace. Processes could be different, whenever and whatever suits you just do that, do not get anxious as there are nothing bigger than doing good to a needy.
     
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  3. navs23

    navs23 Platinum IL'ite

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    JustLife,
    That person might have been referring to just being 'spiritual' and not 'religious'. These two words, though essentially mean the same and gears towards the same purpose of connecting with the Almighty, as per my understanding, being spiritual is what you practice individually, just between you and God, prayers, chanting shlokas etc.

    Being religious involves practicing certain beliefs or rituals and strictly adhering to certain rules and regulations agreed upon by number of persons following a particular religion.

    So, what that person might have actually meant is that, during Ketu dosha, one must strictly adhere to certain rules, to successfully overcome the ill effects, if any. It might be simple things like strictly following the remedial measures like lighting lamps, chanting particular shlokas for Kedhu, visiting temples on particular days for Kethu, charity in any form etc.
     
  4. justlife

    justlife Silver IL'ite

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    Dakshayenei, Thank you for your patient reply. Loved the way you have explained it and it all makes sense to me. And yes reading your post, the first thing that came to mind was what is the definition of "willingly".

    Nav - Thanks for your reply, I guess you are right it may be more to be spiritual then religious.
     
  5. shree

    shree Silver IL'ite

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    hi dhakshayeni,

    overall liked each and every word of your post it really touched my heart. esp the last few lines.
     
  6. dakshayaeni

    dakshayaeni Silver IL'ite

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    I am overwhelmed Shree...'thanks' is too little word for the warmth that you shared with me friend...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012

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