What are religions made of ?

There is so much talk about the religions and most of the terrorist activities are the result of religious intolerance. What really is a religion? do you we actually need them? what role does it play in our lives in this society? Can we choose or drop a religion just like buying vegetables? Why do religions compete with one another to convert people and make their religion world’s number one ? what role does it play in changing our lives?

I had to shift to Gujarat a short period and I being new to the apartment, my neighbors gathered around me for general introduction. The first question one Gujarathi women asked me was ” Are you Hindu”. I went there the year after the communal riots and i knew how religions plays a major role in that part of the country. I was a Hindu and so i shake my head with discomfort. The women who asked me that question now smiled at me comfortably, while the next door neighbor asked, “do you eat non- veg”. I had to lie here as me and my kids eat though i don’t cook at home. we were basically into a vegetarian community but we started eating with friends. Later one day my next door neighbor found out that we buy non- veg and eat inside the house and from then on she and others stopped talking. Her daughter got married and i was the only one not invited among the 80 houses. All because i was non- vegetarian.reli

This incident still lingers in my mind as i wonder how  a religion or a habit can make someone your enemy or most unwanted. India is said to be a secular state and we are know for religious tolerance. Being of the same religion they couldn’t permit me eating meat, hence one can imagine how people of other religions would have been treated. Why such intolerance when we are all human and the color of blood is still red be it a Muslim or a Hindu. Is being born into a particular religion my fault? Will this attitude change the very next moment i convert into yours??

What should a religion do to its followers? Which religion teaches tolerance and respect towards fellow humans?  If you like a religion i have my own preference too i respect your religion and why cant you respect mine??? The essence of Christianity is the bible, for the Muslims the Qur’an and for the Hindu it is the Vedas and Gita. Name any one person who understood his own religion 100%. He is ready to throw his judgmental views on others but if you ask what his religion says he will not know. Animals and other living being don’t have religions and only man is governed by the so called prophets, priests and sadhus. Who are they? are they directly appointed by God or who gave them the power to govern the religion?

A man cannot choose his parents or his sex but he can choose what faith he likes and wants to follow. Every individual must be allowed to know about the different religions and he should study about them and then choose which suits him. Even if he is not interested he must be freely allowed to be a non believer. No one is going to die or burnt in hell for being a non – believer of religions. It is a belief and everyone is entitled to choose what he likes. Today more and more people are converted in the name of jobs and special benefits. If you convert then you might get a job, get funds or even eligible for government schemes. How pathetic is this conversion? If you want to help people for a good cause then why ask them to convert.

One of the families i knew converted because they felt their son can get a better job according to the quota. Many lovers convert because their spouses want them to? why didn’t they realize of this difference while they were in love? Why cant they accept as they are without the intervention of the religion. The governments support this because all they aim is only vote banks and not human beings. In this selfish world do we really need a religion? Even religions are selfish, they want their sect to grow and hence all they could do is  to convert or instil fear in minds to keep them in the religion. The bomb blasts, women abuse and almost 70% crimes are religion based. Who can question them? who is ruling these religions? we talk of individuality and self esteem, is that respected by the so called religions?? Time to think and act like real human being folks… think think think!!!!!

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Enlightenment Mania

Why is this sudden demand to get enlightened? People from all walks of life are bitten by spirituality virus and there is so much talk about enlightenment, soul and seeking. Why is this sudden spurge in spiritual seekers? is it because they are very satisfied in life or fed up with the life problems? The world as it is today has reached the maximum potential in all fields. Be it communication or science and technology the advancement has offered this world so much comfort and ease of life. His chase for money and for comforts is so great that he is stressed out. What gives him a feeling that enlightenment would save him?

Ancient Rishis and saints took to sainthood due to their own suffering or of others. Buddha was a prince and seeing others suffer he wanted to be enlightened to find a relief from suffering. The mythological Hindu stories talk of how Lord Shiva comes and transforms even thief’s and murderers to turn towards him. Even Jesus suffered a lot to bring light to sinners. All religions and their sacred books preach enlightenment as man’s ultimate goal. But no one really cared until recently where it has become a fashion to talk about higher truths, follow some new-age sect and practice something which they feel and trust would take them to enlightenment.

Even youngsters are crazy about sacred divine dancing and following some Spiritual group. Seeing the demand the Guru’s have also opened shop and this is one of the leading and most profitable business in India and abroad. Westerns are attracted to these groups and fail to doubt their authenticity. Many such groups are run like small governments with state of the art infrastructure. Who are these people who follow blindly and become very staunch devotees? do they ever question what is being done inside the Ashrams? why do they behave as if they are very pure and good and show attitude towards others who dont come to their groups? why this holier than thou attitude?

I feel people who are insecure follow such groups as they want people around them and someone very powerful who can back them up. These people have not read any philosophical literature, nor have the guts to question something which might not be acceptable to normal social stigma. The people who belong to such groups are brainwashed to believe that staying together they are safe in an cruel insecure outside world.

I know a close relative of mine who was termed as a total failure in life become a top devotee to a famous guru. He left his family with his wife and only daughter lived amongst a group in a corridor did all the ashram work for no salary. Ate the limited food there and wasn’t even allowed to meet the family until they were assured that he is a 100% insider. His daughter was slowly brain washed to become a sanyasin and she shaved her head and wore ochre cloth. The threesome now have a very blank look and lack any form of expression nor humour. The smile is gone as they are always serious and talk very little.

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Why should they leave home? Did he feel that he need not work or prove himself inside the ashram premises? wherever you go you must face life and reality. Everywhere you are expected to offer some service for the food and accommodation they provide. Why not do the same work and be contented with whatever you get and live a simple life outside. Many people find spirituality as an escape route from normal life which they cannot face or find it difficult to accomplish. What if cant earn a million? what if other people laugh at you? you be content and satisfied with what you are. That is true spirituality and just because you visit an ashram or do some service once a week or month, you are not surely going the enlightened way.

Just because you mediate or do some yogi sadhana does not make you special from others. True spirituality must bring humility and simplicity. The attitude towards life and other must be of love and kindness and compassion. I know of another group which restricts food and asks its followers to not communicate or relate to others who dont follow them. A young boy whom i know feels and thinks he is some great being, restricts his food and has become so thin. He has fainted and broken his ribs few times still he feels he should not eat well. He feels his own parents are sinners and don’t talk to them or do any work.

In this competitive world average humans do find it difficult to cope. But then escaping from life is not the solution. We are developing a new sect of spiritual seekers who will very soon stop all kinds of work and simply sit in the name of meditation hoping to be enlightened one day. Is enlightenment going to save them? What happens after that? How many have successfully reached there and how powerful is it going to be? What happens if you fail? will you be able to return to normal life and earn a living?  What if suddenly you realize your Guru is a rough can you face the humiliation?

My friends brother was coned and brainwashed by a saintly couple and being the only son to his parents he left home and started serving them. He used to wash, cook, sweep and mop the floor. He was a computer engineer and the couple used him to bring in more western crowd and made him serve them too. The boys family tried to abduct him, talk him back to senses, gave police complaint but to no avail. He disappeared when the police came for enquiry and the saintly couple said there was no one inside and took them around the ashram. This happened for more than 12 years and one fine day the women saint committed suicide and the reason only She knows. No suicide note was found and no one was around in the ashram. The plight of this boy is unknown from then. Some say that he must have burnt have down and escaped knowing about her.

Be as you are, read a lot, think a lot more. Look around you nature can be the best Guru and nothing can match the lessons you learn from nature around you. Develop compassion, love and kindness. Help others in need and most of all be satisfied as you are, with what you have and how you live. Don’t compare with your neighbor or try to reach for the stars when you know your capacity and limit. Spend atleast 5 minutes in silence and mindfulness. Every breath you take in is the surrender of yourself to your inner self and every breath that goes out is a surrender to the almighty. Enlightenment can wait, and it will come as and when it should even if you don’t think or do anything to attain it.

 

 

 

Playing the Blame Game

Mahatma Gandhi said ‘ we always blame others for our short comings’. How many times a day do we blame others for something we did. do we stop from blaming one another as humans. No, we blame God when there is a problem, we blame our karma or ancestors, our nations, politicians, etc. Are we always wrong in blaming others? are we at fault at any given time? Need not be but then we forget to analyze the situation and our ego plays dirty and hence the easiest way to feed our ego is to blame others.

I watched a program on alcoholism and the comments i saw under the video shocked me. one person defended his drunken habit. he blamed modern woman who failed to stay home and change his ways, he blamed the society for selling liquor, he blamed the failure of joint family. He spoke as if he could not have touch alcohol if he was in joint family. What i ask is, isnt he an adult how can he blame others. he must have common sense to stop something which he knows is bad for him and others. No one forced him to drink, it is a habit which he himself choose but now blaming others and finding reasons to paint a holier than thou picture.

Same with spiritual fanatics. If alcoholism is addiction then spirituality is also an addiction for many. They think they are Gods because they pray, perform pujas or wear saintly dresses. These are worst culprits in the society, ugly viruses who destroy sane peoples mind with filth. They manipulate peoples problems to gain money in the name of meditation camps and self improvement programs. If you follow them you might see God or get your problems solved is what is pushed into the minds of people who is already looking for reasons to bypass their issues. They find spirituality or religion an easy escape with which they can blame their karma or ancestral sins for their present state.

When are we going to take control of our issues and first see and change what is wrong in us rather than blame everyone else? God made man this much we know for sure, but then waiting on him to solve problems of billions or blaming him for your own actions and reactions is childish and not a mature humanly act. Funny people even change Gods (religions) thinking this God is no use that God might help. You every action here this moment is what is going to fix your future.

WHAT YOU SOW SO SHALL YOU REEP

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Sow seeds of love, compassion and good will today and reap such benefits manifold tomorrow. Try to water a healthy seed in everyone around you and see the change in their attitude and life. Telling someone how beautiful they are is a healthy seed which will make them happy. Praise someones timely actions, help someone in need, sit and talk with elders, appreciate a childs action… the seeds are many waiting to be watered to grow into abundance. Make it a point to feed as much seeds of love, happiness and peace in others and in you.

Old is Go[l]d

Today we talk so much about woman’s rights, women’s protection, help line and laws to govern them. Have you ever thought that there is a much abused society among us who need immediate attention. They are the Old people living in every home. Most neglected and abused they live a shameful life with no one to talk, no money to get what they want and no one to really care whether they live in hygienic conditions? All this for the hard work and the whole life spent to bring up their kids and earn for their comfort and future. Without least thinking whether they will be looked after by these kids one day when they will need them most? Old

The kids just because they are more educated and have good jobs think their parents as old fashioned. They consider them as a burden and a pain in their neck.

Not to mention the way they are abused by daughter in laws. The same kids who abuse their parents offer social service and donate huge amounts to gain tax free benefits and few words of appreciation for their money for a social cause.

Parents don’t need your money all they need is some time to sit near them and listen. Is this a very hard thing to do?

Disease knows no age or time. Elders need medical care and constant checkups. Now times have changed and every medical help can be received at your doorstep.

If you have money you can treat your old parents as kings and queens. Just with a click of the mouse all things needed for the elders care can be ordered online and delivered at your door step. Just 5 minutes of your time is suffice to make them happy and contented for whole day.

Remember that one day you will also be old and they might be no one to look after. Time and tide waits for none, it might reverse anytime. If you don’s care for your parents your kids are watching. You are setting a bad example and teaching them what is right for them to do in future. You will be treated as you treat your elders or even worse. There are a lot of elders staying alone in fear and uncertainty. Their kids are abroad or out station and are left alone to mend their ways. There are many who are partially mobile and need help staying alone depending on the hands of servant maids.

Many elders are ill treated by their kids and daughter in laws. In many cases drunken sons abuse their parents very badly and the police are silent if at all they complain, stating that it is a family issue. where and what is the helpline for such elders? whom to contact during emergency? what steps have we taken to protect our elders? Western countries have special medical care, monetary benefits and monthly monetary help for elders apart from Insurance and other benefits in society. But we boast about our family values and culture , but are we taking care of our elders???