Saturday, January 10, 2015

Find Your Own God

Violence in the name of god, stories interpreted, reinterpreted, misinterpreted... Is this the purpose of
religion, of seeking god, of reading the scriptures?

I want to quote these lines from Vasishtha's Yoga:
"Not by the study of scriptures, nor by hearing the instructions of a preceptor, nor by charity nor even by the worship of god is the direct realisation of the supreme truth realised. Because that is beyond all these. However, I shall tell you how these, though not the actual means, have come to be regarded as the means to self-realisation. By the practice of the precepts of the scriptures, the mind becomes pure and transparent; then, without even wishing for it, one sees the supreme truth."

The other means are mere stepping stones, like the bath water, to be used to clean oneself and then discarded. If as individuals, we keep wallowing in the water, the result is what we see in our society - violence in various degrees. If the scripture does not make us feel pure, then it is not the right kind of water. It is already sullied. But if it does, for you, as an individual, then it has served its purpose. Never mind it did not work for some one else.

Even two siblings do not behave the same way, like the same things, take the same path. Then why should it be true of people from disparate backgrounds? Why cannot two people hold different views and yet find their truths? If it applies for religious fanatics, with due respect to intellectuals, it applies to you too. If a woman finds a stone divine, so be it. The problem is not that she finds the stone divine, but that she tries to beat you with it, forcing you to bow to it.

And when you do not like that stone that is divine to her, and try to turn it into mud, then, well... Aren't you doing exactly what she tried to do to you, though in a different way?

Utopia, I sigh, living and letting live. But if we dream enough, if we focus on our personal development, of connecting to the divine within without worrying about who else is following the same path, maybe we will stop killing each other, doubting each other and there will be more peace.

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