Small readings – God and Religion

Here is something I read recently and wanted to share with my readers. This is about ‘God and Religion’:

                Every religion looks for God and they look far and wide, but every man should know that God is omnipresent and resides in the very heart of man.

                Truly, there is only one religion, the religion of love, but on earth there are many religions, all of which lead along the same path to the ultimate, omnipresent God.

                Call God by any name for all names belong to God. Pray to God in any form and you prayers will reach the omnipresent Lord, provided only that the prayer comes from the heart.

                God is the eternal witness and you are the children of that living God. He is here, He is there, He is everywhere, for God is omnipresent, always has been, always will be.

                The path of the soul is long and arduous, for man has lost his way and forgotten his real identity and his relationship with God. But man himself is divine; a spark of the omnipresent God and it is through the kindling of that spark that man can become re-awakened to the truth and his own divinity with, the true nature of his being. Man is part of the whole and that whole is God. In truth, all is God, simple different manifestations.

                Now is the time of great awakening and an opportunity for man to know himself and to re-establish his true relationship with God.

                Every religion teaches you to love one another and you should remember that love is the greatest force in the universe. God is love in its highest form and man should strive to let that love manifest itself in his own life at all times. Love one another and recognize the God dwelling in the heart of every living being. When man recognizes the omnipresent God in everyone, friend and foe, only then will peace return to the earth. The time of awakening is now and all thoughts of differences must be put behind you.

                They say all roads lead to Rome, but it is more suitable to say that all roads lead to God. Every religion is a different pathway to the same destination.

                All religions are really one and love is the motivating force behind them all. Love is God, and God is love. Learn to love one another, then you will find an inner piece which will spread to others and help to bring peace and happiness to this troubled world.

                Know at all times that God is there, watching over you, and aware of every thought that passes through your mind. Meditate on that thought and try to improve your life by living in perfect harmony with God, the God that dwells in your own heart as the silent witness.

Hope you enjoyed the read. 🙂

Bakeaware

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Devotee

As usual, a book I was reading led me to think about this post. 🙂

I have mentioned about how one goes about learning about God earlier. There are four phases in everyone’s life (as I feel); and I have written an article about the different phases and their details in one of my earlier posts, which can be found here. Now I wish to continue in somewhat a similar direction.

In this post I wish to write about being a ‘devotee’, don’t worry, it is only food for thought and equally meant for atheists (who I never forget :)).  Living in a country like India, you find around you an abundance of ‘Gods’ and idol/picture worshippers. India is a land which I am sure, almost all know to be the land of multiple Lords (and not snake-charmers anymore :)). Hinduism is the prominent religion here, though I would be happy to mention that several, if not all, other religions are also present here in abundance. The unique property of Hinduism is the presence of numerous Gods, which is quite different from the other religions that I know of. Christianity has Jesus Christ, Buddhism has Lord Buddha, Islam has Allah, but Hinduism has Krishna, Rama, Ganesha, Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, and probably a million others. [I have never delved on what might be the source of so many Gods, maybe I should sometime.]

So these Gods are prevalent throughout the length and breadth of the country, however, not all of them are of equal ‘Importance’ everywhere. What I mean by this is, some Gods are worshipped exclusively or primarily in some areas, whereas, the same are just a part of the ‘flock’ in other regions of the country. Let me illustrate with some examples; Goddess ‘Durga’ is the prominent deity in Kolkata region, Ganesha being the prominent deity in most of South and West India, Shiva finds a lot of worshippers in central and north India, Rama and Krishna are very popular in the central India, etc. I have no idea about North East India (I am sorry guys).

So almost everyone has one or the other god they pray to. This makes India a land of theists and believers. The atheists and the ‘questioners’ make a very small minority in this huge nation of ours. The worst part is that the atheists and the neutral people are not only disliked but considered evil in this Great (?) country of mine 🙂 . A shopkeeper, who displays a picture of Rama in his shop, would be taken to be honest and loyal by the followers of Rama; they would immediately recognize him as one of ‘them’. Similarly a person who has a 4 feet poster of a deity in his shop right behind his cash counter is blindly trusted and believed by the customers. They exclaim ‘Oh look at the huge poster, he must be a stout devotee and would not sell sub-standard material, would also charge nominally’. This ensures good and loyal customer flow to the shopkeeper, who may not even believe in the deity.

An entrepreneur who donated a million rupees to charity or spent the amount to get a temple (or Mosque, or Church, or Gurudwara) made is talked about in the society and an honest, good, and noble man. I do not claim this to be untrue all the times, but something which appeals to me, is what my father usually claims, ‘Only the most evil of men, do the most noble of gestures. Often, to appeal to the masses or to wash off their sins’. This has often set me thinking, made me analyze these generous acts, for I do see the same people earning their monies selling sub-standard liquor, and are usually businessmen with little or no conscience of their own. But by doing these acts, they guarantee the approval and support of the masses who unaware of their ‘other’ acts, takes them to be the noblest of men. The same goes with a lot of ‘Babas’ and ‘Gurus’ who make preaching a very lucrative and profitable business.

So how do we know who is a real devotee of the Almighty and who is just a ‘faker’?

Someone once exclaimed, ‘Do not think those who worship a picture or an image with pompous paraphernalia are devotees. Whoever speaks and speaks as he has seen, whoever melts at another’s woe and exults at another’s joy… is a devotee, a true devotee.’

Actually it’s just the previous line which, I was very much impressed by and wanted to share. The rest of the article was just a foreground. 🙂

Small Readings – Prayer and Meditation

This post was inspired by something I was reading recently and wanted to share. This is about how we should go about with prayer and meditation. This informed me that, prayer and meditation are not to be overdone at once and then forgotten for some time. It requires continuous rejuvenation and replenishment for prayer to become an integral part of life. Like any other thing, if you pray frequently enough and maintain a regime, a time table for prayer, you will find it to become a habit and that is necessary. Till you have to do it with conscious motivation and voluntary push, it would be a ‘chore’, something you ‘have to do’; once it becomes a habit, it would become involuntary and natural. It would not require for you to think about it, it would come to you automatically, like we get off the bed every morning and head to the bathroom to brush our teeth; we do not have to sit up and think, ‘I need to brush now’, it is the default thing we do when we wake up. Once prayer becomes a default thing, your life shall be full of prayer and ‘calmness’, for I do not know whether prayer or medication would definitely lead to Moksha but one thing I know for sure is, if you pray with your heart, truly and faithfully, you would definitely become a calm and serene person.

So here it goes:

Slow and steady – let that be your maxim! Adhere to a regular regime, a time table. Just as the doctor prescribes a certain fixed measure or weight of the drug and warns you that anything less is ineffective and anything more is harmful, so too, have some limit for your spiritual exercises. Do not overdo them or do them casually and without care. The doctors tell you also about the hour of the day and the number of times the drug has to be repeated, for the action of the quantity must be reinforced, ere it becomes weak. So also, you have to repeat the prayer, the meditation and the acts of remembering the Lord at regular intervals.

I also wrote a longer post on the same topic some time back, which can be found here.

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