System is dynamic. Answers are affirmative, yet evolving.
1. What is literal meaning of Religion?
Religion, the dictionary meaning is ‘system of faith and worship’. The word religion is derived from the Latin language i.e. Re=return, Logos=home. So it means ‘Return home’. Some scholars are of the view that religion is an intellectual activity to know the higher thing.
2. What is the meaning of Sanskrit term ‘Dharma’?
Dharma word is derived from root word “dhri” which means ‘to support, hold or sustain’. Dharma has numerous definitions such as natural laws, principles of reality, practice, custom, duty, rights, justice, virtue, morality, ethics, religion, nature, character, quality etc. Meaning of Dharma depends upon the context used but mainly it can be said as ‘right way of living’ or ‘path of righteousness’.
3. Genesis of religion?
The quest to unravel the mysteries behind the universe, to grasp the fundamental truth and mechanism of Nature, to know the mystery behind the cycle of birth and death made some men to continuously ponder over it. Those great men who are called as Sages, Rishis, Saints or Prophets decoded the natural laws as per their own understanding and approach which took the form of sayings, phrases, teachings or preaching’s which became the genesis of religion. So it is based on the personal practical experience of the great founders. The worshipper has before his view the eternal bliss of the paradise or some similar view which he aims at as his final approach.
4. Why are so many religions prevalent even though they all preach God is One?
All religions say God is one but the way in which it is said is different and the method which they prescribe is also different. Also when some men fail to understand the essence of the teachings of that particular founder the degeneration sets in and to prevent it or to hold on to the essence another thing comes up by new name and with revived format which gives rise to new set of followers. This way many religions became prevalent.
5. What is real Dharma of a human being?
The real Dharma of Man is to “Live in Present. Neither think of the past or plan for the future. One should fully drown in One-Self. And one needs to watch always the effect of God’s Grace or Master’s transmission and drown in such thoughts and go on drinking (absorbing) so as to ever remain thirsty”. So one who aspires for Highest should follow this scrupulously which is real Dharma. All other things are mere formality.
6. What is present state of religion?
- Religious worship has just become the celebration to show-off wealth, name, fame and exhibit their orthodoxy.
- It has just become mechanical worship where rites and rituals are performed without knowing its real significance.
- Traditions are followed without knowing their objective and purpose thus making it as lifeless routine and mere formality.
- People are developing within the feeling of hatredness and enmity, fanaticism and bigotry with various religions.
- Universal love and harmony which is the basis of religion is totally missing.
The difference between true religion and present religion is, the Universal love is the fundamental basis of the former, bigotry and prejudice is the permanent feature of the latter.
7. Why are many sub divisions in each religion?
Divisions are formed mainly due to difference of opinion among followers of that religion. Difference of opinion is due to limited thinking, self-projection, selfish motive, individual benefit etc. The interpretations of philosophy changes from person to person and each think their understanding to be superior than all. This leads to formations of groups.
8. What is the basis of caste system?
Castes were originally the different guilds of workers and artisans organized in order to solve the question of division of labour. It was to ensure co-operation and harmony among the members of the society. But today each guild tries to cut itself off from the rest of community forming a separate unit, giving rise to caste system.
9. Why is hatredness among the followers of different religion?
Hatredness, enemity are developed due to superiority and inferiority complex. These complexities in man is due to selfish and pseudo-egoism. He is not ready to pay heed to others. This shows that he has not realized the essence of his own religion because the essence of all religions is one and the same. This foolishness and material oriented thinking of man is widening the gap between men in the name of religion. Also the so-called religious heads, instead of removing the gap they are still widening it giving rise to bigotry.
10. How did religion degenerate to the level of performing complex rites and rituals?
The founder of religion founded it with pious idea, keeping in view the welfare of humanity. God realization was in view then. But when the desires crept in, the essence of religion was forgotten. Man wants something from God but not God. So his worship is either to gain something or to get rid of his difficulties.Based on the requirement of man the rituals and rites came up and was made more complex.
11. What is the impact of religion on civilization?
Civilization is an advanced state of human society in all respects like culture, science, industry, government. Each religion has become the basis of the formation of that particular civilization. Where ever there are inhabitants they followed a particular method of worship. So there are various religions present in this world. The advanced state of human society is formed when ‘Unity’ in diversity is seen. Mutual respect, cultural harmony, social harmony, religious harmony together impacts civilization. But when fanaticism, bigotry, hatredness, enmity, prejudice, selfishness creeps in, it creates disharmony and destroys the civilization.
12. Can one transcend religion? How?
Yes, one can transcend religion when one links himself with the Creator and not the creation. Because Creator of all is one and the same who created Rama or Krishna or Buddha or Jesus or Mohammad. Link with the Creator by becoming introvert and develop the conviction that Supreme Being is not outside but very much within. Religion conveys that there is something infinitely superior worth aiming at. When the man sets his foot on the path of freedom, the work of religion is over.
13. Why religion is giving rise to narrow vision and narrow thinking?
Religion is group of men who follow a particular method of practice. The method and their teachings have come up based on the need of the time, situations, surrounding atmosphere, environment, level of approach etc. Human civilization is always prone to changes. Physical, mental, biological evolution takes place continuously. Therefore we find varieties of civilization coming up which are distinct in religion, culture, way of living etc. If the feeling of superiority comes in and he discards all others then narrow thinking sets in leading to narrow vision.
14. Can one realize God by following religion?
15. What is the difference between religion and spirituality?
- Religion deals with creation. Spirituality deals with Creator.
- Religion says that there is something Supreme. Spirituality is finding that Supreme within.
- Religion is like a signpost. Spirituality is the way.
- Religion is preparing man to march along the path of freedom. Spirituality is the path of freedom.
- Religion is extrovert. Spirituality is introvert.
16. Is it going against nature if one differentiates and feels oneself superior or inferior based on caste? Does such notion come to an end?
Yes. God is “Samavartin and Samadarshi”. When the Creator doesn’t differentiate who are we to differentiate? Such notion is against the law of nature and those who nurture this idea they have to mend, or else ‘End’ is the call of nature.