Friday, June 30, 2017

PORTRAYAL OF GOD

God is more than our mindset imagination of being a super human governing this universe.
A simple and brief, but still far from complete, portrayal of God can be: the sum total of everything and every process in this universe and beyond is God. Everything, known or unknown that exist is what a universe is all about.
(Excerpt from Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions, Chapter 10: Rationalism And Sciences)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

WONDER WOMAN TOO WESTERN & TOO WHITE


download wonder womanBlockbuster movie Wonder Woman is too western and too white. With its sexualized image and unrealistic beauty, WW does not connect with millions of women around the world. It has commercial value only. It does not represent feminist symbol of strong and liberated woman. With multiple identities, women in contemporary society face multiple challenges. The Wonder Women can’t be a role model for young women as it does not capture that diversity.

SILENCE IS DEADLY FOR INDIAN DEMOCRACY


India is increasingly becoming a democracy of silent middle class, silent opposition, and silenced press. Under the ruling political domain, there is unscrupulous practice of silence as well.
The environment of quietness encourages increased prejudice, hatred, violence, hardships and sufferings for the Dalits, the minorities, and the poor. Also, it can be the cause of their separation from the social, economic and political aspirations promised in a democratic system.
Silence is not golden when it is strategically used to carry an evil political and religious agenda with dictatorial objectives. Silence of the ruling leadership can be interpreted as a green light for those who commit violence in the name of religion or fanatical nationalism.
Silence is deadly for democracy in India.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

DHARMA, KARMA AND MOKSHA

An outstanding feature of Hinduism is the doctrine of “purusarthas”, advocating four complementary engagements in an individual’s life. These are dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma seeks conscious conduct of life on moral values of honesty, compassion, truthfulness, and purity of body and mind. It is a behavior toward ethical living. Dharma involves austerity, saintliness, absence of anger and non-violence. Dharma-based actions, duties and responsibilities are the commitments toward a righteous living.

Artha means one should be working to earn enough wealth in order to achieve economic liberty or independence. Kama emphasizes on the need of pleasures and enjoyments in life as well.

Moksha or mukti denoting freedom, is a much hyped Hindu traditional thought. In essence it represents spirited purity to seek oneness with the Supreme-being.

Moksha covers two allied but distinct schools under the faculty of moksha-shastra.

One is based on the concept of eternal salvation from the repeated cycle of birth, death and rebirth. This rotation of advents is a popular notion among Hindus with the support of reincarnation ideology.

The birth-rebirth cycle to achieve moksha or salvation is referred as soteriology. In Sanskrit it is called Samsara.

Life is an entanglement of sufferings. Moksha is considered as the ultimate goal to be relieved from those miseries and afflictions. The blissful emancipation is achieved thru dharma-inspired righteous actions along with conscious detachment from worldly affairs. Accumulation of wisdom is an imperative of moksha along with the dispossession of worldly desires or cravings in its pursuits.

It is a stage of Braham-anubhav, a vibe of Supreme within. In this state of capping perfection with a feeling of Oneness that one gets into moksha, and the person is eternally liberated from the fettered cycle of birth, growth and death.

The postmortem of one or several cycles of birth and rebirth determines the qualifying criteria as how well one treads on the path of dharma before achieving moksha. And once there, it is a point of no return as one is let off from the bondage of samsara.

TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS

The second and alternative school of thought in the moksha shastra lies in its evolutionary interpretation. Referred to as jivanmukti, it is that state of transcendental consciousness which one receives within the present life. In that respect moksha does not have to be liberation from samsara or life-rebirth wheel of suffering.

Dharma provides the route or ‘marg’ to get to the destination of moksha. In this journey a major emphasis is on discriminatory or critical studies to gain knowledge. Ignorance is dispelled and illusion is cleared.

The accentuation on critical study involves evaluation in order to accumulate true education. And when true education is being pursued the rationality factor in Hinduism is once again underlined.

Detachment from the outer world, lack of craving or desires for material possessions, self restraint, calmness of mind, dispassion, endurance and patience, faith and commitment are the other essentials to make a journey on the moksha marg.

The maneuvers in the pursuit of moksha transform the nature, attributes and behavior of an individual where peace and bliss are the ultimate rewards along with a feeling that the whole universe resides in the self.

Whereas dharma is both a vehicle and route map to reach the goal of moksha, the latter is subjected to its practicality and worthy of its achievability. Sometimes, it is the travel which is more challenging, captivating and compensating than the destination.

Dharma involves actions, while moksha does not. Dharma means karma, moksha is contrary to that. The latter is only a state of thought and consciousness. The scriptures in Geeta emphasize on karma or action in its simplistic and literal meaning. Non-karma means the dead end.

Is moksha stage the dead end of life? According to Osho (Rajneesh), yes it is. He questions the worthiness of moksha. Seeking moksha is against the law of existence, Osho argues.

Excerpts From Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions, Chapter 11
progressivehindudialogue.com


A

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

World Does Not Need Forces To Defend Borders

By Promod Puri
Do the countries of the world need armies, navies, and air forces anymore to defend their borders when invasions to expand powers and territorial regimes seized to happen long time ago. And even the ideological accessions by communists and democratic powers have receded in recent years after the lessons learned from Vietnam and Afghanistan takeover attempts. The contrary development emerging out lately is that several smaller nations are seeking adoptions by big and rich nations for better lives and management of their ruling systems. Example: Puerto Rico in its last Sunday, June 11, 2017, referendum overwhelmingly (95 percent) voted to join America as its 51st state.
promodpuri.com
promodpuri.blogspot.ca

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

SEEKING WAY TO END TERRORISM

In recent weeks, there has been one major terrorist attack in Afghanistan where over 150 people died, and two such strikes in Britain killing innocent people. The terror surge is continuing, rather escalating over the years. The question is how far governments and security forces can go to protect their citizens. Every available procedures, technologies, and laws have been in force to their maximum levels at the cost of sacrificing basic civic liberties with the willing cooperation of citizens. Intelligence agencies are applying more sophistication and strategies to forewarn about the attacks. But failing most of the time. Seeking the root cause(s), mostly political and religious, is the only way out of this terror crisis. Otherwise, the situation keeps on worsening while leaders keep on delivering their big talks but no intelligent actions. promodpuri.com

Sunday, June 4, 2017

MAN CREATED GOD OR GOD CREATED MAN






God is the creation of man! Or man is the creation of God.


Which one of these statements is right, and which one is wrong, or both right, or both wrong? One more question: if God is the creation of man, then is it an act of God as well?


The creation debate has been around for quite some time. The basic reasons which aroused the dubious puzzle, are man’s ability to seek rationales, his perceptions, and capacity of understanding of the nature’s phenomena around him.


The debatable topic is imperative to fathom the nature of God even He is a fabrication of man.


The creation of God by man could be part of evolution of human culture from its very beginning when life was crude, brutal and disorderly. As civilization started taking roots management of the society began. And in that management, God was invented as a symbol of discipline to bring in some order for an acceptable behavior in the emerging civic society.


In this social construction, along with the evolution of man, there has been evolution of God too.


Over the millenniums, God has been not only personified as a Super Being, but He was also set up into a sacred institution run by priests and revered by believers. 


The institution itself branched into several orders, referred as religions. These are identifiable and mired by their corresponding rituals, customs, and traditions along with divers names of God based on respective linguistic and cultural diversities.


HEAVEN AND HELL

His residency is believed to be up in the celestial world. Besides governing, or misgoverning, the affairs of this universe, and other universes, the man-made God also runs heaven and hell to reward or punish humans according to their deeds during the time lived on the earthly aboard.


As the man’s deeds are believed to be recorded in God’s books, the reverence towards Him is impacted by fear factor promoted by the priest class.


Along with man’s submission to fear, God is also responsible for infusing fate into an individual’s life. He writes the destiny as His way to conduct a person’s life journey. “What is written down by Him will happen”, that is the will of God embedded in man’s psyche.


Besides these psychic experiences of fear and fate, the institutional development of God lead to more attributions to Him based on man’s social needs and circumstances, his emotions, and imaginations. And as the society advanced God was given more space in every aspect of human thinking and activity.


It is in this transformation, God became an independent entity. His creator, the man, became the created one.


Still, in the history of God, man has always been the contributing factor to give added meaning to His existence and development. 


In this development, man’s intellectual, philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific faculties contributed more towards expanding the nature of God. As the process continued the constitution and expanse of God seated Him on an omnipresence status.


PROGRESSIVE AND PRAGMATIC APPROACH

The magnanimity of God finds space in every atom or sub-atoms constituting our worlds.


However, besides these somatic existences, His residency is also sought in our minds and thoughts which influence our deeds. And this is where a progressive and pragmatic turn in our study and understanding of God in the contemporary society can take place.
 

In this forward-looking engagement, our review and awareness of God begin by re-establishing His image that He represents the supremacy of perfection representing the ultimate in human values based on purity of thought. And He is part of the commitment and relationship with our environments including animals, plants, rivers, mountains, etc.


But God’s symbolic image for the humanity and His commitment towards the environment have been soiled by religious rituals and customs which by default represent the face of most religious orders.


In this march towards seeking a true image and feel of God, our rituals and customs are to be defused from the spiritual aspects of religions and faiths. The values and significance of rituals and customs are only ornamental in giving identities to respective religions.


Moreover, we can agree that exploring and determining God’s perceivable identity and bodily or physical existences are futile and unsettled exercises which had been and still being tried out by philosophers, priests, pundits, scholars, and scientists.


We don’t need these explorations.


Neither we are capable of these vague attempts. The reason is simple, man is just one of the millions or perhaps billions of creatures, who is ultra-microscopic in His infinite and colossal universe.


For a moment let us compare a human being to a small ant who is trying to study and research God up there in the celestial world. But we don’t. Because this has been ingrained in our cognitive senses that man is the favored work of God as being the most intelligent among all of His living creations. And that we are the only ones capable to determine His multi-dimensional but conceptual-based existence.

Perhaps, that little ant may be thinking the same. It may be believing humans walking tall up on the ground are the unintelligent creatures. Or we are the gods for the ant. Who knows!

Searching or researching to determine His physical, but eternally invisible and mystic existence does not relate to our need for the practicality of God in our thoughts and deeds.

And while on the progressive path one can explicitly observe that in our religious places, God’s existence is marred by elaborate rituals and customs which impact and disturb invoking His presence in the prayers and reverence for Him.

REDISCOVERING GOD
Furthermore, our antiquated scriptures are not of much help either in His realization. 

Written in the language(s) of bygone eras, their meaning, and interpretations of the wisdom contained in them are tough to comprehend for most of us at any intellectual, and educational levels. These sacred writings need to be edited and rewritten to conform to the demands and concerns of the contemporary civilization. We seek easy and clear understanding of the scriptural teachings and knowledge with or without the services of priests.

In this age of explosion of intelligent knowledge available through mass media like Google and internet, we can rediscover God who can create righteous thoughts to stimulate righteous deeds in creating a righteous world around us.

We need a God which is more of an action, a verb, rather than a non-action or noun.

MODERN PRAYER

In other words, the practicality of God is the modern prayer towards Him instead of offering symbolic rituals. He offers a meaningful perspective which can be created by the assembly of good thoughts. And the divine residency begins in that on-going construction.


Basically, it is an ardent temperament we are trying to build which gives rationality, practicality, and the feel of God.


The temperament holds the universal principles of being honest, humble, and sincere, be considerate, and helpful to others, be merciful, forget and forgive, love fellow beings and care for the environments, including animals, plants, and the nature. And everything else which is pious, pure, and morally firm.


That is all we need to create and live in the image of God while abating the duality factor between Him and man.

After all, our endeavor to leave the duality is the way to enlightenment.

And while we are on the pathway to divine Oneness, the ongoing debate, if man created God, or God created man, can be settled as the Creator and the created are eternally One entity.

-30-

Related articles by Promod Puri: Thoughts On Thought, Assembly of God in Hinduism, Seeking Divine Spirit, Religion Has Guiding Role in Politics, Building ofDivine Residency More Important Than Knowing God He Or She, Bad Rituals Breed Fanaticism, Quantum Theory And Om, and Guru Maneyo Granth.


Promod Puri is a writer and author of Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs, And Traditions. He is the editor and main contributor to progressivehindudialogue.com, promodpuri.com, and promodpuri.blogspot.com