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Consulting.Philosophy.Travel

  • There are three types of people in the world, those who don't know what's happening, those who wonder what's happening and those on the streets that make things happen.

Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Religion is not faith

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on November 26, 2013

I have just started reading “No God But God” by Reza Aslan. Here is a beautiful commentary on the difference between religion and faith.

Religion, it must be understood, is not faith. Religion is the story of faith. It is an institutionalized system of symbols and metaphors that provides a common language with which a community of faith can share with each other their numinous encounter with the Divine Presence. Religion is concerned not with genuine history, but with sacred history, which does not course through time like a river. Rather, sacred history is like a hallowed tree whose roots dig deep into primordial time and whose branches weave in and out of genuine history with little concern for the boundaries of space and time. Indeed, it is precisely at those moments when sacred and genuine history collide that religions are born. The clash of monotheisms occurs when faith, which is mysterious and ineffable and which eschews all categorizations, becomes entangled in the gnarled branches of religion.

I think I’m going to enjoy this book.

 

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Making My Life Public: Of Astrology,Gods and Karma.

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on August 10, 2012

If you believe in astrology then you would agree that sharing one’s astrological chart is equivalent to sharing one’s entire life. So why am I going ahead with it? Because instead of spending hours seeking answers, I hope that someday an enlightened astrologer will stumble upon this post and be kind enough to foretell my future.

Belief in Astrology serves as a good subject to study contradictions. On the one hand we pray to Gods and are convinced of their abilities to change our fortunes. Conversely, we look to stars and planets to read a predestined fate. Well, if fate is predestined by the position of planets and stars at the time of our birth, then how do Gods have the power to change that fate!

However, Astrology and Karma are two schools of thought that compliment each other fairly well. Karma holds one accountable for his actions by creating a future or next life based on their righteousness. This forms the basis of a predestined fate designed around a person’s karmas. So depending upon the nature of your past life karmas, Gods decide the date,time and place of your rebirth in a way that your next life fortunes (based on planetary positions at time of your birth) conform with the predestined fate accorded to you.

Belief in Karma and Astrology strips Gods of their powers to change your state of being. Which side are you on?

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Why I Don’t Want To Believe in Rebirth…

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on July 28, 2012

Five years ago I was walking down a road in Helsinki with a German friend of mine. It was a fine summer day and we had just stepped out of the Library. And right then a beautiful Audi whizzed past us. “Wow! I wish I could get my hands on that beauty”, exclaimed my friend. “Relax, what’s the hurry?” I replied. He smiled and said, “Raunak, you are a Hindu. You will be re-born and can have another life to get a car like that. I am a Christian.I have only one life to get one.”

And what he said is etched in my mind for eternity. He had in a simple sentence explained the psyche of the Indian people in general and one that could be responsible for all the ills that pervade our society. e.g. India will never see a Revolution. A Revolution requires people to rise against the injustice meted out by those in authority. But most Indians when faced with a problem blame their past life sins (bad karmas) for their poor condition now. A beggar will blame his own wrong actions for his destitute existence in this life. He will never blame the corrupt and evil authorities in power for his pitiful life. A man who falls into a puddle of water on the road will blame his stars for the fall, not the inept contractor who made that low quality crap from our tax money. And by suffering the pains of this life we believe we will be reborn into a better life.

And this is why I do not agree with the concepts of rebirth and karma. These tenets have been used for centuries to carry out social oppression and the perpetrators have gotten away with it. It breeds self-infliction of pain and a cowardly attitude that many misinterpret as forgiveness. The belief in rebirth also belittles human life. No wonder the value of human life in India is abysmally low.  Also, is this complacency the reason that since days of Alexander, India has always been the conquered land.

If only everyone believed that they have ONLY ONE LIFE, they would go all out to make it better. And in doing so, get rid of the real culprits of their miseries. We all need to live in the present with the realization that this moment is never going to come back nor is my soul ever going to come back to this world. We need to ACT to change our present and not give into apathy towards our sufferings for hope of a better next life. This is the only life that we have and it is time for a Revolution.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Move Over Friday…Thank God Its Wednesday!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on July 26, 2012

Smaller but more regular milestones not only make the journey better but also increase the chances of reaching the destination blissfully. Why then do we wait 5 long days to hit the weekend(in most countries it is Six)? And here comes the concept of Midweek Mitzvah: the ritual of celebrating Wednesday, that poor little day which goes completely unnoticed.

Recently I suggested to my friends to dedicate Wednesday evenings to activities that were different from the daily routine. To do things on a Wednesday that we would otherwise put on our weekend list. This could be partying, get togethers, a round of poker, eat outs, books; anything that brings joy to your life. Four weeks into implementing the plan and the results are impressive.

The continuous bickering that I used to hear from my friends about how pathetic their jobs are has reduced to a rare murmur. Their faces seem more fresh whenever we meet because of the thought that either the weekend or the midweek is just around the corner. Everyone seems to have more time and energy on the weekends because the long list of weekend tasks has been shared with Wednesday. And last but not the least, our dear friend Wednesday does not go unnoticed anymore 🙂

So try the Midweek concept with your group and let me know if you see improvements in people’s attitudes.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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