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Religion for dummies....

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by sujathaumakanth, May 5, 2010.

  1. sujathaumakanth

    sujathaumakanth Bronze IL'ite

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    This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
    - Dalai Lama


    [JUSTIFY]Yesterday Madhu wanted to know what religion she belonged to. If she had been raised in India, it would have been a moot question. By her age, she would have been indoctrinated into the religion she was born into - the religious festivals, the rituals and customs of life back in India would make her no stranger to religion or faith. However she is here being raised by a mum who is in a perpetual crisis of faith and a dad who is a non-believer.

    I used to be teased by friends that as a family we had all major religious bases covered :). My mother, is a devout Hindu and my father is more benevolent towards Muslim faith, given his 16 years in the Middle-east. As for myself, the Virgin Mary has been my security blanket ever since I was a kid.

    However, when I hit my late twenties, I had a crisis of faith that I never seemed to have gotten out of yet. I questioned the need for religion seeing the wars it fueled, the animosity it fostered among humanity, the divisions it brought into society. Besides it is hard to keep your faith when you see the pain and suffering around you - I am not merely talking of the wars, the famine, the tragedies, the slow but steady destruction of the universe happening beyond the realms of my immediate world, but of what takes place right around me. Everytime I hear/see relationships falling apart, a child abused, a life cut short, a hope squashed, a betrayal around me, people not caring enough, I question why? Perhaps our strength in handling these situations have been overestimated by Divinity.

    I am a mere bystander of religion now. I want something beyond thou-shall-not-break commandments, beyond promises of eternal life, beyond narrow minded bigotry. I want something that works for the collective good of humanity and not against it. But despite my stand on religion, I am unable to give up on God Himself - like most people, I too need a support mechanism to fall back on when things go wrong in and around my life. Perhaps to answer miracles....and perhaps to bring the prodigal daughter home :(

    When I doubt His presence, I see Him reflected in the deep compassion and forgiving spirit of Anna, in the innocence and unconditional love emanating from my children, in the belief and trust of my parents, in the goodness of my friends when they turn their other cheek to me, in random acts of kindness from total strangers, in the collective hope of like minded people around me that the world will turn into a better place. If it is true that He created us in His likeness, then I am here searching for Him not in religion, not in theology, not in the vast expanse of universe above me, but in the people around me.

    So right now, it is my version of religion, built on kindness, selfless love, compassion and respect for human life that I am trying to instill in Madhu. Perhaps I might be a hypocrite still, in not practising totally what I preach, but someday I hope to get there.[/JUSTIFY]
     
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  2. Arunarc

    Arunarc Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sujatha
    So we have a very good writter among us all. You posted 3 wrte ups of yours and all 3 were really good to read.
    This was a good one on Religion I would love to follow your religion, and I do so.
    Yes sometimes we all need a place where we can go and complain what is happening with us and thank when something good happens to us. that time i go to HIS photo and do all my gella sekawa
     
  3. sujathaumakanth

    sujathaumakanth Bronze IL'ite

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    I am glad you like my writings......yeah, it is harder to keep faith in today's world and especially for people like us when we are so moved away from our own culture and heritage. I believe u live in Cairo? Is it so? I live in Australia. I should learn to navigate more around this site, see if I can add people as friends for private messages :)

    Cheers.
     
  4. Arunarc

    Arunarc Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Sujatha
    Communicating this way with members you can make friends. Yes at present i am in Cairo but before coming here I too was in Australia for 3 years.
     
  5. knot2share

    knot2share Gold IL'ite

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    I think we can all benefit a bit with a doze of Religion for dummies. I am forever struggling to figure out if I am religious or not. What does it mean by being religious? Am I doing the right thing or not? I feel you are being a fantastic guide to Madhu. Those are the things that matter most and the essence of any belief for that matter. You can't go wrong.
     
  6. radsahana

    radsahana Silver IL'ite

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    hi sujatha

    very well written and nicely summed up.

    Yeah i too feel the base of all religion is compassion, and respects towards fellow human beings, irrespective of their religion, caste or status.

    If we teach our children to have compassion, tolerance, patience, kindness, i think then there is no need to teach them about religion.

    Dont you think, these mere act of compassion, kindness is in itself is a religion.

    Following certain religion is a matter of perspective and it is personal act.
    But then saying that it is a greatest of other religion is the root cause of all the problems in the world.

    keep writing. have a gr8 day.
     
  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sujatha,

    This is your second thread that I am reading. I must say that your writings make my grey cells slowly stirring themselves back to life! I have numbed them long back through my over dependence on a light-hearted approach to problems, surely an act of escapism! I never face them squarely as you do but go round them like a suspicious dog and run away if they are beyond my might to handle, probably barking in frustration back to the safety of my abode!

    Divinity is what you perceive as Divinity. It does not involve saying our prayers regularly or visiting temples on festive days. It is not the Mantra our lips chant but the thoughts our minds keep visiting. It is good for your wonderful daughter Madhu that her mother herself is rather uncertain and is still in the process of evolving. Your crisis of faith will surely help her find her own answer to the great mystery. Non believers and people with a crisis of faith have turned out to be the epitome of divinity. As you have rightly pointed out, ‘kindness, selfless love, compassion and respect for human life’ are the ingredients and purpose of all religions and if they don’t take us to these ideals, it is better to be irreligious. If misguided youth like Kasab can go about gunning down people on religious grounds, it is difficult to accept them as ‘Divinity’

    It is more important to lead a good, honest life than saying our prayers regularly. But having said that, I have realized now that our efforts to establish a bond with the Divine make that task easier. It is only in this context of establishing a bond with the Divine that religion makes sense!

    Sri
     
  8. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Nice analysis of what is religion, and how it is being used for destruction.
    In that place, your teaching to Madhu also teaches us the same.
    Thank you Sujatha.:)

    sriniketan
     
  9. Padmini

    Padmini IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sujatha,
    A thought provoking and wonderful post. In a very wise manner you have narrated the experience of a person, who has been brought up in different religious surroundings. You have nicely have given the finishing touch with brilliant thoughts.
    Religion can be defined as “belief in God or gods to be worshiped, usually expressed in conduct and ritual” or “any specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics.” Well over 90% of the world’s population adheres to some form of religion. The problem is that there are so many different religions. What is the right religion? What is true religion?
    True religion is neither rules-based nor ritual-based. True religion is a relationship with God. Two things that all religions hold are that humanity is somehow separated from God and needs to be reconciled to Him.
    My religion is kindness," said the Dalai Lama; you can have faith that moves mountains, says St Paul, but it is worthless without charity; Rabbi Hillel said that the Golden Rule was the essence of Torah: everything else was "only commentary." Muslims begin every reading of the Qur'an by invoking the compassion of God. But the religions also insist that you cannot confine your compassion to your own kind; you have to have "concern for everybody," love your enemies, and honour the stranger.Accoriding to me this is the " True religion !!
    with love
    pad
     
  10. sujathaumakanth

    sujathaumakanth Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Padmini,

    I think I believe in God but not particularly in any religion.......dont know how it works but I seem to get along ok with this concept :) But respect and regard is what I strive to maintain for other people's beliefs and perceptions.......basically tolerance even if I don't totally see eye to eye on some issues. And this is basically what I am trying to teach my kids :) and I hope I succeed at that.

    I love your lines "the religions also insist that you cannot confine your compassion to your own kind; you have to have "concern for everybody," love your enemies, and honour the stranger.Accoriding to me this is the " True religion !!". If only people followed this wont things be perfect in our world........ah well wishful thinking or perhaps wistful should I say :)

    Thanks for your wonderful feedback and your ideas on this post.
    Regards,
    Sujatha
     

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