Monday, January 17, 2005

Protecting Religion

This week's study circle is lead by Priya with the topic 'Protecting the Religion', which turned out to be a very useful discussion about why and how religion is important and why certain rituals are followed. Some of the questions that were asked are given below. The discussion given here is by no means the summary or the consensus reached in the study circle, but merely my interpretation of the questions and what I got out of the study circle.

1. How should we protect the religion?
2. If the religion is all about moral values, why are the various rituals followed in different religions?
3. What is the reason behind one converting from one religion to another religion? Should we prevent this conversion and if so, how do we prevent it?

Many people agreed that the main way to protect the religion is by understanding and practicing it perfectly, so as to say 'lead by example'. But another question that needs to be answered here first is 'Why should we even protect the religion?'. If one understands the religion properly, it is merely a set of moral values and by not following the moral values or by misunderstanding them, the religion can lead to dangerous effects, for e.g., Bin Laden preaching that he is doing the job of God by killing fellow human beings. He may be doing the right thing in his own way, but religion never says that revenge or taking human lives is a way to set things right.

The next question was the most important and useful one as I thought. Even though the moral values are the essential goal of any religion, the rituals are like maps are guidelines to follow the spiritual path or to achieve the destination. A common layman may better be able to understand the essence of spiritual scriptures like Vedas, Bible and Koran by following simple daily practices or rituals than sadhana or self-meditation. Every ritual in each religion has a deeper meaning and good moral values associated with it, and is yet simple enough to follow by everyone.

If we put the conversions that are happening due to money, hunger, and other related matters aside, everyone agreed that the main reason for conversion from one religion is due to ignorance and lack of love. The one who is converting from one religion to another one is ignorant of his own religion and does not understand the true meanings of the rituals and practices followed and is attracted by the loving nature and the knowledgeable personalities from the other religion. The person who is influncing the other person to convert to his religion is ignorant his religion and feels that his religion is superior to the other religion and forgets the important fact from his own religion that there is only one God. Religion is merely a way to realize the true self and merge in God by following different spiritual practices.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sri, sounds interesting discussion abt religion..

your decription of religion as "essential goal of any religion, the rituals are like maps are guidelines to follow the spiritual path or to achieve the destination" is okay... but this leads to the question that what if i dont believe in God. Does this mean that i should not follow any religion because the final destination is God. No... Infact reliigion is guiding me to understand what a society is. It helps me to achieve mental satisfaction with social deeds. Moreever this satisfaction is not restricted for a society (small group of people) but it is for the universe.

But with your discussion, Is spirituality the only goal of religion?. If it is then definition of religion is not universal. also, with your definition, i would like to ask "what is god" then ??

by the way, I believe in God :) !!!


shoes said...

I’m about to make you think.
It might be painful.

Have you done anything earth shattering lately?

Read anything that really sets your mind on fire with a passion to do good?

How about doing something important for yourself?

Have you?

Do you know without a doubt where you will be living a few years from now, what you will be doing?

Got a Plan?

Know how to get there?

You gotta have goals!

I enjoy blog surfing and when I find one that makes me think a bit I like to leave a little nuget behind that may help the writer.

What will you do with this “nugget”? Ignore it or use it…

Here’s yours;

Write Goals Down

This crystallizes your goals and gives them more force. In writing your goals down, you are better able to keep up with your scheduled tasks for each accomplishment. It also helps you to remember each task that needs to be done and allows you to check them off as they are accomplished.

Basically, you can better keep track of what you are doing so as not to repeat yourself unnecessarily.

Set lifetime goals. At least have an idea of what you want to accomplish with your life.

Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and easy to achieve. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it.

Keeping goals small and incremental allows you more opportunities for reward. Derive today's goals from larger ones. It is a great way to accomplish your goals.

Set Performance Goals, not outcome goals

You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. There is nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons that are beyond your control.

These could be bad business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal your performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and get satisfaction from achieving them.

Set Realistic Goals. It is important to set goals that you can achieve.

All sorts of people (parents, media, and society) can set unrealistic goals for you which is almost a guarantee of failure. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions or flat out disinterest.

Alternatively you may be naive in setting very high goals. You might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how many skills you must master to achieve a particular level of performance.

By being realistic you are increasing your chances of success.

Do not set your goals to low.

Just as it is important not to set goals unrealistically high; do not set them too low.

People tend to do this where they are afraid of failure or where they simply don’t want to do anything.

You should set goals so that they are slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is no hope of achieving them. No one will put serious effort into achieving a goal that they believe is unattainable.

However, remember that your belief that a goal is unrealistic may be incorrect. If this could be the case, you can to change this belief by using imagery effectively.

Good Luck and Happy Goal Setting!

PS: Want some more “nuggets”? Pick up a few more @ Developing Goals