Holiness in the purest form is independent of all textual doctrines, all churches and all institutions.
Killing a bunch of Jihadis may be morally justified, to save humanity from their wrath, but it won't terminate Jihad for long. Jihad or Holy war would keep festering one way or another, until religious fundamentalism is eradicated from the human society. Until the whole humanity learns to scrutinize its most revered scriptures with the sharp tool of reasoning, Jihad will keep on striking over the world. If one does not have the basic conscientious capacity to refute the primitive textual verses of the scriptures that demand one to kill or torture another being for holding a different belief system than one's own, then that entity is no being of the civilized human society, it is merely a pest from the stone-age. No Quran, no Bible, no Gita, no Cow, is greater than the human self. There shall be hope for harmony and peace in the world, only when fundamentalism is destroyed forever. Harmony is not a luxury, it is an existential necessity of the species. And to achieve it, if a hundred Bibles have to be sacrificed, then be it. But for no Bible, Quran or Gita, can harmony be compromised.
The moment the religious population of the world begins to see the prophets what they really were - mortal teachers of the mortal world, a great portion of the world's religious conflicts shall vanish into thin air.
Mother Nature created God as a neurological anti-depressant sentiment, but Man tore that God apart into pieces and made citadels of differentiation out of them.
The most sensitive period of their developmental age, when the kids are supposed to be taught to question everything and nourish their reasoning skills, they are taught that God created the world in seven days – that the human race did not evolve from apes through millions of years, rather it came from the amorous congress between two God-made humans, named Adam and Eve. And if you ask why? The answers of the uneducated primordial teachers would be that the scriptures say so. And now if you ask, can’t the scriptures be wrong – do I have to take these stories literally? They would lash out with rage and shout at you – how dare you question the scriptures! Every single word in it is true. There is no greater truth than the truth of these sacred texts.
In a society of thinking humanity, it should always be, humans first, and then Gods, Krishna or otherwise.
Forget the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, the Granth Sahib, and all the scriptures in the world. None of them will show you the Great Eternal Truth. None of them will show you the Kingdom of God, for the real Kingdom of the Ultimate Truth is inside your mind. It was born in you when you were born. And it will cease to exist when you die. Your mind is not merely the vehicle of God, rather it is the life-force that keeps God alive. Without the Mind, there is no God. Without you, there is no God.
Your mind is not merely the vehicle of God, rather it is the life-force that keeps God alive. Without the Mind, there is no God. Without you, there is no God.
A person may hold his own beliefs and creeds to be dearest, and nourish them with all his might, but the moment he starts preaching the exclusive greatness and dominance over all other systems of beliefs and creeds, the world begins to plunge into a death trap.
The one ultimate rule of the Quranic fundamentalists is “there is one God and Mohammed is his prophet”. Everything beyond that not only is bad, but must be destroyed forthwith. At moment’s notice, every man or woman, who does not exactly believe in that, must be killed.... This is not religion my friend. This is primitiveness at its worst.
Why should a religion claim that it is not bound to abide by the standpoint of reason! If one does not take the standard of reason, there cannot be any true judgment, even in the case of religion.
Fundamentalism not only fuels devastating acts of violence, but also all kinds of primitive prejudicial behaviors, such as Misogyny, Polygamy, Homophobia, and Islamophobia.
The take-home message is that we should blame religion itself, not religious extremism - as though that were some kind of terrible perversion of real, decent religion. Voltaire got it right long ago: 'Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.' So did Bertrand Russell: 'Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.
The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief. And by dangerous I don't mean thought-provoking. I mean: might get people killed.
During the Bosnian war in the late 1990s, I spent several days traveling around the country with Susan Sontag and her son, my dear friend David Rieff. On one occasion, we made a special detour to the town of Zenica, where there was reported to be a serious infiltration of outside Muslim extremists: a charge that was often used to slander the Bosnian government of the time. We found very little evidence of that, but the community itself was much riven as between Muslim, Croat, and Serb. No faction was strong enough to predominate, each was strong enough to veto the other's candidate for the chairmanship of the city council. Eventually, and in a way that was characteristically Bosnian, all three parties called on one of the town's few Jews and asked him to assume the job. We called on him, and found that he was also the resident intellectual, with a natural gift for synthesizing matters. After we left him, Susan began to chortle in the car. 'What do you think?' she asked. 'Do you think that the only dentist and the only shrink in Zenica are Jewish also?' It would be dense to have pretended not to see her joke.
Though he never actually joined it, he was close to some civilian elements of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was the most Communist (and in the rather orthodox sense) of the Palestinian formations. I remember Edward once surprising me by saying, and apropos of nothing: 'Do you know something I have never done in my political career? I have never publicly criticized the Soviet Union. It’s not that I terribly sympathize with them or anything—it's just that the Soviets have never done anything to harm me, or us.' At the time I thought this a rather naïve statement, even perhaps a slightly contemptible one, but by then I had been in parts of the Middle East where it could come as a blessed relief to meet a consecrated Moscow-line atheist-dogmatist, if only for the comparatively rational humanism that he evinced amid so much religious barking and mania. It was only later to occur to me that Edward's pronounced dislike of George Orwell was something to which I ought to have paid more attention.
Ah well, I suppose that's the problem with trying to make others follow your own beliefs: what starts out as spiritual ardor too often becomes arrogance and bigotry.
I agree with Abhijit Naskar that the path of tolerance is the only way—but it must be accompanied by continued pressure to break down barriers to access to information, so that our tolerance isn’t exploited to further the ends of totalitarian religious groups.
People fight over religion, because they don't understand religion. They think reading a few Bibles, Qurans and Vedas makes them religious. Books are not religion my friend. Real religion is realization of the Self.
Christ the man died long ago, but Christ the idea of love, still exists, not in any church, rather in the mind of humans.
A Muslim who prays five times a day and yet beats his wife at home, is no religious person. A Christian who goes to Church every Sunday, and yet never talks to his or her neighbor with a smile on the face, is no religious person. On the other hand, an outspoken atheist who most lovingly talks and listens to people of all religions without any bigotry or prejudice is a hundred times more religious than all the theoretical preachers of all religions combined.
An outspoken atheist who most lovingly talks and listens to people of all religions without any bigotry or prejudice is a hundred times more religious than all the theoretical preachers of all religions combined.
Forget all the formal decency of tolerance, and simply love your fellow humans. And the Self within you shall attain the highest pedestal of greatness, way higher than all the book-learned preachers in the world.
I do not hail myself as an atheist, for I am not an atheist. In fact, I have met God, felt God and even lived in God, same as the prophets of human history. But mark you, humanism cannot be compromised because of some doctrines presented as God’s command. In the domain of transcendence, all commands received by the mind, are created by the mind itself. They manifest as divine revelations, but in reality, they are revelations rising from the mind itself. And as such, they have potential to be both good and evil.
Harmony also is not a luxury, it is an evolutionary necessity, if we are to advance further. And harmony cannot be compromised for any book in the world, no matter how ancient, or who wrote it.
Whether a religion is of peace or violence should be defined by the actions of its people, not by some books.
All the terrorism in the world that fester in the name of religion, are in fact not religious in nature, rather they are socio-political. Their roots are not religion, but socio-political condition. Religion is only used as a divine tool of authoritative justification in the search of absolution.
Historical experiences of this absolute godliness gave rise to all the scriptures in the world. Hence, the scriptures themselves don’t account for the actual globally prevalent psychological element of faith or divinity in the human society. Faith is a crucial evolutionary trait of the human mind, selected by Mother Nature as an internal coping- mechanism.
The scriptures are just books. It all depends on you, whether you are going to learn goodness and compassion from them, or use them to destroy your environment.
When you move to a new environment with cultural and social characteristics different from your own, it is only logical, that you loosen some of the knots of your religious doctrines, to embrace the new and vivid environment as much as you wish to be embraced by the environment.