Superstitions are Gods with clay feet
“Organized religions out! Let in rational humanism!” we wrote already in the CCV (see 18/09/2017) Another article now by Maharshi Dayananda, ‘In good faith: Superstition caricatures God’ (read it below) doubly confirms how the whole world is drowning in organized superstitions paraded in popular civilized parlance as well-organized commanding world religions gifted to humans for their solace, comfort and salvation by Gods in heaven with different names, but gods with feet of clay called ‘Superstitions’.
To understand the difference between rational humanity and organized religions we should substitute the two phrases with two unquestionably clear words: ‘Light’ and ‘darkness’. Is there any one who does not prefer light to darkness? None! Similar is the difference between ‘reason’ and ‘faith’. The great German theologian Karl Rhaner spoke of that “dark light called Faith” through which we see things beyond death or supernatural. He was simply explaining the impossibility of seeing anything clearly through Faith, because faith is guessing or groping in darkness and holding on to what we or others have guessed or dreamt up, not seen. No one needs to tell us: 2+2 = 4. It is clear as day light, the light of reason, not the darkness of faith, not guess work, tells us so without any trace of doubt.
All understand that nothing happens without someone causing it to happen. This is the theory of ‘cause and effect’, the light of reason shows us. None of us are self-made, so are all things around us. We call that uncaused casuse by different names, “supreme cause without a cause, the creator, Sachidanda (Sat*Chit*Anand)” etc. So far so good. Some go a step further to give that being names that took shape in human imagination not reason like: ‘God, Bhraman, Triune Divinity, Allah’. Then we descend from heaven to earth to call them: fake divines or god-men walking in this world with clay feet.
Here we are on a very slippery slop of human imagination and guess work. From here on we have two clear cut divisions among humans: “Theists and Atheists”. Light of reason or truth (truth is light and one who sticks to truth comes to light) doesn’t compel us to prefer one to another. That is why Francis said: “It is better to be an Atheist than a hypocritical Catholic”, meaning you don’t have to be a member of an organized religion to be good and exemplary.
Philosophically man is a ‘rational animal’, but animal always, rational sometimes only. Reason or rationality is what places humans above animals, prompted or pushed to act by instinct or feelings, not reason which they don’t have. Feelings are blind without rational basis. So they are called ‘superstitions’ which invented many names for gods and for groups following them. To distinguish one group from others, each is called by a particular religious name — Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist – highlighting the one who started them. Ideally, that is, in the light of Truth, there should be and could be only One imagined God and one Religion built around him.
Gods & Religions with clay feet or Superstitions
Instead, humans acting irrationally have ended with many gods and many religions. The dominant among them are called world religions, based on the number of people they have succeeded to attract or deceive due to human weakness to accept easily what appeals more to senses than to reason. Thus we have today an umpteen number of religions which worship different non-existent gods. This is what is called ‘superstitious’ or irrational practice. Result is the existence of numerous gods and religions with clay feet (superstitions) fighting among themselves, each trying to prove its superiority. This situation must change for the better at least for those who want to be led by reason, rationality or TRUTH the true everlasting LIGHT.
The CCV article dealt very briefly with Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam in the article mentioned above. Here Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati deals with Hinduism in particular (read his article below). According to Maharshi Dahananda the main culprit and driving force driving countless crowds after fake divines like Ram Rahim Singh in Hariana is utter ignorance, often not culpable at all. Therefore they are not to be blamed and punished but educated and enlightened; first the so-called leaders of Organized religions and then those among us who see them in the true light of reason or Truth, as naked or cloth-less. This no doubt is a Herculean task not easy to achieve through any quic-fix but only through laborious and patient persuasion called education to remove the layer of darkness called ignorance from all of us. None of us are totally free of all ignorance to make us all-knowing, which will make us Gods, an oxymoron, an utter contradiction.
CCV is trying to contribute its mighty bit – yes the little bit of light which may be compared to that of a Firefly, but not definitely that of the mighty Sun – to be helpful to erase at least a small shade of darkness, to let in more light or rationality. james kottoor, editor, ccv.
Please read below Dayananda Saraswati on Superstition
”The spiritually enlightened see — or endeavour to see — everything in the light of truth, the wicked see everything in the darkness of falsehood.”
Vedas=knowledge=truth=reason, not blind belief! In good faith: Superstition
By Swami Agnivesh, in the Indian Express,September 23, 2017
Light of the Vedas is an antidote to ignorance!
Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati (Source: thearyasamaj.org)
A century after Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati blazed the spiritual landscape of the Indian sub-continent, there are many who don’t have a clue as to why he issued the battle cry: “Back to the Vedas!”
The need to urge the people to return to the Vedas arose because they had strayed from its light. Now, perhaps more than then, it is true that those who pass for Hindus — in myriad forms of that religious identity — are ignorant of and alienated from the Vedas. This is ironic since “veda” means knowledge. You cannot be a Hindu and yet be ignorant and certainly, not ignorant of the Vedas.
Ignorance is the greatest peril for humanity. It is not merely an absence of knowledge. There is a knowledge more dangerous and condemnable than ignorance: The knowledge of what is evil, wrong or untrue. Many there are who have an uncanny genius for the things of darkness. While the spiritually enlightened see — or endeavour to see — everything in the light of truth, the wicked see everything in the darkness of falsehood. They hate the light of truth. The irony is that even the followers of Dayananda fall into this trap. He put all his emphasis on the duty to know, embrace and live by the truth because it was his mission to liberate human beings from superstition. He firmly believed that the Vedas are the most effective antidote to superstition.
Religions are the most fertile breeding grounds for superstitions. There are secular superstitions but they are nothing compared to religious superstitions. Superstitions are to religion what stupid children are to a wise and noble mother. They point to our incapacity to think and act rationally. Superstitions inhibit what is good and noble in our nature and anchor us in what is subhuman.
Superstitions thwart our ethical development. This is obvious from the operating strategies of our fraud godmen. Do we know a godman who does not claim to perform miracles? Miracles belong to the domain of blind faith. When does someone blindfold you? Isn’t it when he does not want you to know where you are being led? In whose interest is such an arrangement?
All superstitions thrive in darkness. All merchants of superstition hide themselves. Fraud godman Gurmeet Singh needed his gufa. Every godman creates a world of impenetrable secrecy around himself; lest he is seen as an ordinary human being. Every superstition is a blatant contradiction of truth and the light of spirituality
Superstitions caricature God. If anyone spends a few minutes considering the idea or image of God that superstitions imply, he would be shocked. To think of the Creator and Sustainer of the cosmos in terms of this petty image — especially assuming that God can be bribed to be partial towards you — is laughably atheistic. If we have a modicum of love for God in us, we will realise that we insult God by casting the muck of superstitions at him/her. Superstitions are manufactured and popularised mainly to hold people back from God, which is essential if they are to be manipulated.
The deadliest superstitions are, therefore, those that pertain to God. Whatever misrepresents and insults God can only be harmful to human beings; because God is the source of our life and the destination of our destiny. Any idea of God as partisan to a person, group or country is superstitious. The second deadliest superstitions aim at fragmenting the human family and sowing seeds of hate and cruelty. We have to be particularly stupid, Maharshi Dayananda would say, to believe that we can serve or honour God by hating and hurting our fellow human beings. Maharshi was open to people of all kinds. He used to hold spiritual disputations with scholars of all religions, including Christian missionaries. Of course, this was resented by the merchants of religious obscurantism. But he pursued his spiritual mission undeterred by opposition and calumny.
The third most unfortunate set of superstitions comprise those that seek to subjugate the gullible to the wiles of a priestly class. The idea that you can wash away your sins by taking a dip in a river and then return to your old ways until the season for the next dip comes insults God but profits priests. Superstitions of this kind help to degrade religion into an industry.
To all Indian citizens — irrespective of our different religious traditions — the worry is that superstitions inhibit the rise and spread of scientific temper, which is not only a constitutional imperative but also a spiritual need. The Vedas are scientific, though not in the sense that some feats of modern science are symbolically prefigured in them. They are scientific in the sense that they see the spread of knowledge, of light, as the means for human ennoblement and moksha.
The hope for India does not lie in securing American endorsement. Or in massive digitalisation. Or by attaining “super-power” status. The destiny of India can be fulfilled only if we return to the light of the Vedas. And that light is not the exclusive property of the Hindus, just as the light of the sun is not the exclusive inheritance of any group or tribe. You cannot claim to believe in the Vedas and go about your religiosity like wild beasts. (The writer Swami Agnivesh, is a Vedic scholar and activist)