Thursday, December 23, 2004

The message

In whatsoever way men approach Me, even so do I bless them, for whatever the paths that men may take in worship, they come unto Me.

- Chapter IV, Sholka 11 in the Bhagvad Geeta

In my opinion, there are two important aspects of our lives that this Shloka talks about:

For one, being religious essentially means having faith in a Supreme reality, its relatively unimportant how this idea of the Supreme is perceived within the context of different religions. Secondary, too, are the associated rites and rituals of a religion. And second, extrapolating from our first point therefore, faith is an inherently secular entity.

Secular people of faith are not around though. In the news, at least.


Usha said...

I think the paths that are being in the sloka refer to the different paths such as Bhakthi yoga, Gnana yoga and karma yoga. Rites and rituals are basically the sound and visual effects and not the essence of any religion. It is upto each one to choose the path that is best suited for his journey though the ultimate desination is the same.And that includes the path of one who is completely rational and rejects the concept of "GOD".
Religious "faith" (something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs)is by definition not "secular"(indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations)
But deep understanding of any religion would certainly make a person secular or at least tolerant of other paths.

Souvik said...

Thanks, Usha, for elaborating on the many paths at one's disposal.

However, I think that "religious faith" is an oxymoron. Faith in a Supreme reality has, in concept & theory, nothing to do with religion. Religion divides by drawing boundaries whereas faith is all pervading. However, indoctrination & socio - cultural practices somehow make this 'tool' of religion to practice faith, more important than faith itself.

Happy new year, I mean!