Religion Essay, Research Paper
Name: Pravin Prathapan Student Id: 31361Assignment-Essay 3- Religion-Why do we Believe?Job Due: 3rd March 1999 God sees without eyes, feels without a skin, tastes without a tongue, grasps without hands, walks without feet, flies without wings, smells without a nose and thinks without a mind. He has no beginning and no end. He is everywhere. He is the support of everything in all the worlds. He is wisdom, power, beauty, bliss, mercy, fame and renunciation and every other good quality imaginable. God has no parts, no limits, no actions, he dwells in every heart and has no boundaries. He is purity itself and has no desires. He is the silent witness of all that is taking place, and knows what is going on in every mind. He is truth, love and peace. He is the highest being. (Dharmaratnam,64). If man were to be asked the most important question, to which he would be given the correct answer to, it would definitely have to be if whether there really was a God. For generations’ man has only dared-silently-to question god’s existence. Those who have dared to speak out have found themselves shunned from society, some not as lucky. What would it matter anyway? Would knowing change our lives so drastically that the answer would be worth yearning. What is religion? What do we gain from it? Do we gain at all? Although man has had his mind clouded with misconceptions of his religions and blames it for all the war s and famine and suffering that it has caused due to the fighting among followers, the naked truth remains that it is not religion that has brought this upon them but it is religion that teaches man the three most important virtues of life which are truth, love and peace.Reading any daily newspaper would show us the wars and killings that are going on solely based on the conflicts of religion. Hundreds dying every day just because they pray to different gods and believe in different religions. Followers of Islam fighting with the Jewish warriors over wars that could be settled amicably if only they tried their best. Ethnic cleansing in some countries are claiming the lives of thousands of innocent women and children everyday. But are these catastrophes caused by religion. Is it the fault of the bible, the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita ? All religions contain a mixture of truth, the first important virtue , which is divine, Truth is the law of slavery and death (Kafridge, 28). Every religion teaches its disciples to be truthful. They teach them to be true to themselves, to the world and not to hide their thoughts. Sincerity, straightforwardness and courage are taught in expressing ones views and thoughts. Hindus are taught not to hastily give their assent to anybody, or anything. They are taught to think deeply, cogitate, and reflect. They learn that by saying, “I shall think the matter over and talk to you later.” They will not entangle themselves in false promises unnecessarily. In “mengaji” classes, young Muslim children learn that a lie concealed by another lie, leads to another lie, and a sin concealed by another sin leads to more sins. A Hindu sage once said that a worldly man (moralist) and a spiritual man have different conceptions about the truth. The moralist cares about the result of the truth. If one can save the lives of many innocent people by telling a lie then it would be the truth because the untruth brought the greatest of good. If the uttering of a truth brings harm to many people, then it is an untruth to a moralist. To a spiritual man however, God is truth, the world is unreal. (Swami Sandasa Sri,82). There has been no religion so far which has asked its followers to lie, to gain pleasure and to harm another. Truth is taught so that no man will ever betray or be betrayed by another.
The second virtue religion offers its followers is love. Love is the law of life, to love is to fulfill the law. To fulfill the law is everlasting happiness and eternal peace. Every religion teaches its followers to love each other and any other living creature created by god. When you love someone the pleasure he or she or even it gets from the love is nothing compared to the feeling of bliss that you receive because you gave. When asked about love Sri Swami Sivananda, one of the greatest sages that ever lived responded: “Love is life. Love is joy. Love is warmth. Love is the golden tie that binds heart to heart, soul to soul. This world has come out of love. It exists in love. It finally dissolves in love. Love is the motive power of the universe. Love is constructive and creative. Love binds and builds. Love is the principle of regeneration. Love is the actual substance you can use with confidence. To live is to love. To love is to live. You live that you may learn to love. There is no religion higher than god because love is god. A life without faith, love and devotion is a dreary waste. It is real death.”(Swami Sivananda,77) Love is the basis of life. Without love there would be no real reason to live and without religion one would not be able to understand love.(The Light, 3) The third and equally if not more important virtue that religion teaches humanity is peace. Peace is the most convertible possession on earth. It is the greatest treasure of all in the universe. In a state of peace and love, people unite and form perfect civilizations (Youth Symposium, 63,1999). Perfect peace through cannot be had in this world because this is a relative plane. All objects are conditioned in time, space and causation (Religion Today, 7, 1992). So where does one go to look for perfect peace. He finds it in the immortal self, the higher being. Whether one is a Muslim, a Hindu, a Christian, Buddhist or any other religion, they all state that the highest form of peace attainable to man is only attainable once he is with his creator. The basic form of peace itself is attainable only by oneself. Peace is brought by the victory over your lower self, triumph over your senses, mind, desires and cravings. Unfortunately the truth, love and peace that prevails today is not one out of devotion towards god but fear. Ignoring the sincere and valuable advice of men of wisdom, the great nations intended on demonstrating each ones power and destructive strength. It is this misconception that has shown man the path to war and not peace. Man forgets about his religion on the account of ignorance or lust for power and greed. He has become irreligious and come down to the level of a brute. He has lost all sense of morality. He causes havoc while the law of the jungle prevails. Many preach Buddhism, but no one gives up desires. Many preach Christianity, but no one practices love and forgiveness. Many preach Hinduism, but no one realizes the divinity in all. Preaching had become the livelihood of men, while practice has become the subject of scorn (Swami Sivananda,128). “All religions are one. They teach a divine life. I respect saints and prophets of all religions. I respect all religions, all cults, all faiths and all creeds. I serve all, love all, mix with all and see the love in all.” (Swami Sivananda,21) The war, the fighting, the killing and the dying will stop when we finally gain the truth, love and peace from our religions. And that is why we must believe. (1387 words)