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 Blooming Stars

Effects of Religions

             Theology of a religion spells out the basis of a relationship that humans have with God. With the understanding of various religions and the numerous grievous mistakes their theologies made over the years straying away from the clear path God had shown to humanity and is still showing, we know we need to get things right before it is too late, before we kill one another in the name of the Gods we create. Hinduism with some of the most beautiful scriptures, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, also went wrong and made serious mistakes causing humanity untold suffering and death. The demonic varnashram and caste system were only a notch below slavery. The devastating effects of caste system have left indelible marks on the psyche of the so-called low caste people, and many of them are still trapped in their mental prisons. The Brahmins and other so-called high castes are equally trapped in the prisons of their own making - massive guilt - knowing well that they were the perpetrators who devised such ingenious evil and self-deluding systems causing immense suffering for others on account of their own selfish interests and greed for material gains. It looks like they did not spare any energy in creating such elaborate theological systems and networks.

             We need to keep in mind these same people developed the theology of births and re-births, and tendencies to sin (papavasana) and janmantharapapa (obstacles or sins within births). Their neat systems of logic appear also so seductive and convincing. They skillfully weaved the stars and the zodiac signs and their intricate positions, omens and auspicious times into the fabric of life to determine the occurrence of life’s important events. They kept others (the so-called low castes and outcastes) in ignorance as long they could to perpetuate their so-called superiority, power, and privileges that were built on quicksand and not on the solid rock of healthy, perennial theology that can withstand any onslaught from any direction. They could not weather the storms of truth that were blowing from all directions exposing their hypocrisy and double standard. They had no answers when world spiritual teachers and masters such as Christ, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Narayana Guru came on the world scene. Interestingly, Shankaracharya realized the internal contradiction when he lived in Kashi, and encountered God in the form of a chandala (outcaste), and made the much-needed correction. His Maneesha Panchakam beautifully narrates the incident, and the unsavory lesson he learnt from it. Swami Vivekananda drawing inspiration from his guru, Paramahamsa, propounded the need for unity and brotherhood/sisterhood in the diversity of religions. Narayana Guru, who has not been given the importance that he truly deserves, told humanity in no uncertain terms that the humankind has one race, one religion, and one God (oru jati, oru matham, oru daivam manushyanu) laying the foundation for the new theology for the modern world.

            Except for the emphasis of total surrender and submission to Allah which is what Islam is all about, I am not seeing the breaking of any new ground coming from Islam in the field of religion. That it was without caste and class could have appeal for many. When 19 young Muslims from Middle Eastern countries hijacked three jumbo jets, and flew two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York in the name of Allah on that ignominious day on September 11, 2001, killing about 3000 innocent persons. I did not hear loud and clear condemnation from the Muslim leaders. It was a terror perpetrated on innocent humanity. That Osama Bin Laden who masterminded this terrorist activity would be protected for so long in Muslim countries needs also explanation. The lack of democracy and freedom in Muslim countries is worthy of special mention. It is unthinkable that a non-Muslim cannot be buried in Saudi Arabia. A Muslim changing his or her religion considered to be apostasy and can be punishable by death. Any religion or theology that is not based on freedom is not worth its name. The intolerance of non-Muslim scriptures is un-paralleled in history in Islamic, theocratic societies. Freedom that more than anything else is the most distinguishing characteristic of humans is lacking in Islamic theology in its day-to-day practice. I do not think that the prophet Muhammed intended this lack of freedom that is so necessary and essential for a human to be human.

 

     
 
 
 
 
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