Note:To understand better the issues discussed, please read Cedric Prakash’s detailed article: ‘Demolishing human rights' in CCV, 9th December.
Organized religions, Proseletization for numbers, Finances of religious bodies (church act included) are at the root of the whole discussion and controversy. As for number game, since Religions seek like political parties, Pope Francis has stated emphatically, ‘Prosetization is a Solemn nonsense’; on Church finances his motto is “a poor church for the poor”. But the controversy rages on.
To understand the rationale behind all this, we should study and grasp the full meaning of the famous saying in sanskrit: “Ekam Sat, Vipra bahuda Vadanti” of the Indian thought on how to search for one’s god and find him. As of now all religions have their own gods, even when all rational humans know there can be only one God, except for the atheists. Then why quarrel and fight?
Given below are some explanations taken from the website:
Vedanta is not about believing or disbelieving but knowing by seeking the absolute truth. No assumption required beforehand about something which we do not know. Therefore vedanta motivates and guides you to find out the reality of yourself first , the one who believes and validates.
Vedanta says thus: “ATMANAM VIDDHI” ( Know the self first, Who are you?), when the true self is known which is unconditioned by any description, the individual self is found to be non-existent.
Know yourself First!
When the first person individual(ego) ceases to exist the other individuals separate from the first person individual also cease to exist which previously appeared to be existing, due to the existence of the independent individual at the first place. Therefore the knower of the self being free from all limitations caused by the illusion of mind says “Guru. God and Self are one,” says Ramanna Maharshi.
The backbone of any religion lies in its ethical principles designed for peaceful coexistence in society and self-development, which enables followers to be better human beings with a sense of fraternity, honesty, empathy, humility, love, purity, truthfulness, non-violence and benevolence.
What Jesus said!
JESUS CHRIST said: “I and my Father are one.” Vedanta made the fourfold proclamation, “I am That. Thou art That. Everything is That. The ultimate wisdom is That.” This is the pinnacle of realisation and end of wisdom.”
It is similar to passing through prism, a white light and getting several colour lights. Here white is Ekam, several is Bahuda. The man who understands, Bahuda as Ekam and vice versa , who exactly experience the truth, see this by his eyes is called as Vipra, Jnani or Saint, or yogi.
Parable of Water!
Sri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa explained this in a very simple way: MASTER:"It is not good to feel that one's own religion alone is true and all others are false. God is one only, and not two. Different people call on Him by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Śiva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it 'jal', others at another place and call it 'pani', and still others at a third place and call it 'water'. The Hindus call it 'jal', the Christians 'water', and the Mussalmans 'pani'. But it is one and the same thing. Opinions are but paths. Each religion is only a path leading to God, as rivers come from different directions and ultimately become one in the one ocean.
There is no point in discussing which name and which form are correct. As long as there is genuine love towards God, he will help us by protecting us and guiding us. In this regard, I would like to add one more parable from Sri Rama Krishna:
Parable of Chameleon
"Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree. He came back and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain tree.
The second man replied: 'When I went into the wood, I also saw that animal. But why do you call it red? It is green.'
Another man who was present contradicted them both and insisted that it was yellow. Presently others arrived and contended that it was grey, violet, blue, and so forth and so on. At last they started quarrelling among themselves.
To settle the dispute they all went to the tree. They saw a man sitting under it. On being asked, he replied:
'Yes, I live under this tree and I know the animal very well. All your descriptions are true. Sometimes it appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other times blue, violet, grey, and so forth. It is a chameleon. And sometimes it has no colour at all. Now it has a colour, and now it has none.'
"In like manner, one who constantly thinks of God can know His real nature; he alone knows that God reveals Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects. God has attributes; then again He has none. Only the man who lives under the tree knows that the chameleon can appear in various colours, and he knows, further, that the animal at times has no colour at all. It is the others who suffer from the agony of futile argument. There is much more to read in the website!
You conclude or stay confused!
In either case stay humble and happy! For this scribe, if there is god, he is unknowable or Truth eternal, Love eternal & Light eternal (Sathyagraha, Snehagraha & Sobagraha) as the ultimate CAUSE of everything because Pope himself said: “There are more atheists, better than hypocritical Catholics!” Comparisons are odious, stop it, learn to love differences, loving all as brothers and sisters to learn from, to create a heaven on earth which we all know really exists! Now read below George’s letter. james kottoor, editor ccv.
George Nedumparampil writes:
This refers to Priest Cedric Prakash SJ’s article titled “Demolishing Human Rights in India”. Sorry, I refrain from calling him Father as Jesus has told not to call anyone Father as there is only one Father who is in heaven. Perhaps this priest could write about it first before casting stones at Delhi dispensation but he knows very well that he will be shown the door and therefore he does what would bring him admiration and a pat on the back from his church – criticize the dispensation in Delhi.
After reading the article, for a moment I thought that I was living in Somalia or Yemen. Once I recovered, it dawned on me that the Catholic Church has not taken kindly to the emergence of a new dispensation in Delhi. They were, like in the old Roman times, quite used to official patronage from the erstwhile dispensation and could not digest the reality on the ground that in all probability the old dispensation is unlikely ever to return. Let us not forget that the new dispensation has come to power through election, a democratic process.
To the best of my knowledge and belief, Christians live happily in Kerala, Goa, North East and big cities like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mysore, Kolkata, New Delhi and other cities and towns in India. This pretty much makes for 99% of Christian population in India. Then why is this priest on fire as if Christians and other minorities as a whole are being hounded like the ISIS zealots did to Yazidi people in Iraq? No such thing exists in India but there is something that the priest does not want tell and instead is trying to blow out of proportion some incidents that may have happened in some pockets in the country.
For sure, there is a revival of Hindu identity in India in certain quarters. And that revival manifests itself into taking law into their own hands to enforce laws that were loosely enforced by the previous dispensation, like for example the ban on cow slaughter and conversion activities by Catholic and other non-Catholics (mainly born agains). Such actions are law and order problems and deserve to be condemned but to characterize that whole of India is on fire is pure and simple fabrication aimed at fear mongering among the minorities and for the wider world to perceive India differently to conclude that India’s minorities are living under threat.They are not. By far Hindus in India remain friendly and reasonable people and do not harass us the minority.
It is my understanding that the present dispensation is managing with force the law relating to foreign funds receipt by NGOs, which is actually the making of previous dispensation but reported to be mainly left to rot in the rule books. Now all those who get funds are required to comply with the various requirements of this law. The Church could be a major victim of this reinforced compliance regime. That probably has upset the church authorities and other Christian factions.
Christians (of all hue and colour put together) barely form 2.5% of country’s population. It is in their survival interests that they don’t kick up issues where there are no issues and put the majority Hindu crowd on the defensive, precisely what this priest-writer is attempting at. It would help if he and others in the church take up their grievance with government in a dispassionate manner. I am sure that this government would listen, unlike the arrogant, authoritarian and insensitive bishops who sent a group of sisters to the street and forced Sr. Lucy to write a book.