Before answering this question, let’s first find out what we need:
We need to know how to live life in the best possible way to be happy, healthy, confident, strong and capable, and how to live in harmony with others and nature.
And we need to find answers to important, basic questions, like: What is the purpose of life? Where did we come from? Where will we go from here? What is this world made of? And most important: Who are we?
Our present day science doesn’t give us the necessary guidance, nor does it give answers to these questions, as it still is in its infancy exploring consciousness.
Our conscience is no doubt helpful in living a good, moral life. Yet it does not help us much in diving into the mysteries behind this universe and our own persons.
Religion is considered the authority in this realm, but it has gravely failed us. In fact, it may have even deceived us right from the start less than 2000 years ago. By ‘religion’ I mean here the two biggest religions – Christianity and Islam – which have almost four billion members. Both claim to be the only ‘true’ religion and won’t allow any debate on this. So naturally, other traditions are considered as inferior, even if they are listed as ‘religions’.
Why do I say that religion has deceived us? Because these two religions claim that they know the full truth, but how can there be two different full truths? Moreover, how can religion, which is meant to help humanity, turn out to be most harmful for humanity – with millions mentally enslaved and even killed in its name?
So do we need religion?
No. We don’t need a religion which tells us what to believe but prohibits us to question. We don’t need a religion which insists without any proof that the whole world must follow it. We don’t need a religion which tells us to look down on others for the sole reason that they are not members of ‘our’ religion. And definitely we do not need a religion which condones or even encourages killing of others in the name of religion – which has happened far too often over many centuries.
So if neither science nor religion can help us what to do?
Luckily the knowledge how to live life in the best possible way is available and also the answers to the above basic questions. It was ‘seen’ by the ancient Rishis and memorised and preserved in the brains of long lines of Brahmin families over many thousands of years. This knowledge does not have any of the above mentioned flaws. It makes sense, encourages questioning and does not divide humanity.
I mean the Vedas of India.
We do need Vedic knowledge. It is vast, too vast to mention here. It even includes what to eat or how to conduct the affairs of the state. Yet the most important point is this:
The subtle essence in all is one and the same. The best description is Sat-chit-ananda = being blissfully aware. This is the real ‘thing’. It is the truth. And we are one with it.
To discover this is the goal of life and its fulfilment.
By Maria Wirth
This article is straight and simple to trigger one to introspect and drive towards in search of truth. Well thought output.
Religion is voluntary submission to the will of God or a Supernatural power that one believes is the cause of all that is happening in the world. Organised religions centre this belief around a single god/book and tie themselves in knots! SanAtana Dharma’s approach is to see god in every creature so evils of the society are kept under a constant check and sentient beings rise up spiritually.
It is what we think religion is or rather should be. When we talk of Islam, it is ‘belief in Allah or God as directed by Mohammad”,of which Maria is opposedto.
I quite agree with vezhamukhan! Thank you for your very nicely written and reasoned post here. 🙂
Referring to what you wrote:
Why do I say that religion has deceived us? Because these two religions claim that they know the full truth, but how can there be two different full truths?
This is a very common problem not just in religion but also in many other aspects of life. The problem can be identified by applying the law of noncontradiction and/or the law of excluded middle, both of which are discussed in my latest post published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/
“Our present day science doesn’t give us the necessary guidance, nor does it give answers to these questions, as it still is in its infancy exploring consciousness.”
I have a different perspective. The job of science is to find facts related to the mechanical aspect of this material world and it has been a great tool in that regard. However, science is devoid of emotions and feelings. It is objective and provides us facts as they are.
Humans however are emotional creatures. In fact, emotions have much stronger control (and effect) on us than bland scientific facts. We need something that nurtures us emotionally. This is a major reason why I disagree with Atheists (anti-theists to be more accurate) when they rail against religion even though all the evidence that they present is scientifically genuine and true. They disregard the fact that we need more than mere scientific knowledge.
What is the difference between an anti-theist who disses religion and relies solely on science and maths, and a robot? Nothing. In fact the robot is superior since it can instantly access all the available science libraries and can calculate things way faster than the anti-theist can. If I had money, I would buy the robot than spend it on making friends with some anti-theist. What good is the anti-theist? The robot can do everything better! 😛
So what is it that nurtures the emotional aspect of a human? Arts. And philosophy but primarily Arts. The tool called science keeps becoming more powerful by the day but its basic nature does not change. It is limited to the material world and is bland (to our emotions), and should remain this way.
Science can probably tell us everything about this material world but it is Arts that helps us acquaint ourselves with the material world intimately. It is Arts combined with philosophy that give us the emotional answers (rather than scientific answers) to everything that we wonder about.
And as we all know, historically, it is via religion that Arts and philosophy have nurtured humans [emotionally] and helped them thrive.
The difference between a robot (or anti-theist) and a human who is fully in touch with his/her self, is that the robot is a scientist whereas the human is an artist. It is much more wise to live as an artist. Life is much more fulfilling when one lives it as an artist.
So what about science then? Science is a tool that aids us while we live as artists. Humans thrived fairly well when religion (a combination of arts and philosophy) was employing shoddy science to guide humans. Imagine what a good religion can do if it employs good quality science to help humans.
Now someone might counter that one can also live as a scientist and employ arts and philosophy to make his/her life better, than vice-versa. IMO that would not be as beneficial. We need to keep in mind that humans have been emotional creatures almost ever since the beginning of life itself. Emotions are so thoroughly embedded into our psychology that it is safe to say that we are already custom designed to be artists who employ science than vice-versa.
So what does Hinduism have to offer to help us live as artists? I will answer that in my next post here soon. For now I will simply say that out of all the world religions (and philosophies of life) that I have seen, the guidance that Hinduism provides to artists is hands down the most sophisticated.
Your comments stand bigger than that of Maria ji’s article……..
The highlight of your comment is when you said, “……. I will simply say……”
When this is simple saying, I just wonder how about the elaborate way of saying?????????
I simply posted my own perspective. Maria says, and many others believe, that science has failed us. Posting a comment in response to this does not mean that I doubt the sincerity of what they see and feel about science. One of the primary purposes of having a comment section is so that readers can post their own thoughts regarding the subject matter. Is my understanding (regarding the comment section) incorrect?
And good catch regarding the incorrect use of ‘simply’ in my post. “simply” is simply redundant there 😛
Clarification regarding my attitude towards “anti-theists who diss religion”
My attitude is exactly the one that readers sense from reading my comment 😛 However, I want to emphasize that this attitude does not apply to those who define ‘religion’ as organized religion (examples being Christianity, Islam, and even Sikhism). The anti-theists that I have come across in life diss all religion. This is a position that I disagree with and believe that it is detrimental to humanity. Only the bad religions should be called out, not ALL religion.
The reason for my strong disagreement has to do with my definition of “religion” which is probably different from others’ definition of the same. To me, ‘religion’ is a set of rules that a person tries to live by, besides following certain customs (rituals, ceremonies, festivals, etc). These rules and customs are derived from the person’s beliefs regarding spiritual matters (“who am i”, “why am i here”, “is there a God watching over me”, etc etc).
So if the person’s spiritual beliefs are unsound, chances are high that the derived religion is going to have faults in it, including serious faults. But what if the spiritual beliefs are sound? Then the chance is high that the derived religion is also going to be beneficial.
The anti-theists however, ignore this important point, and do a blanket condemnation of ALL religion. That is wrong and harmful. And this is why I ridicule their stupidity.
Humans are not like other animals. We DO need a set of rules to live by. Our job is to find a good fundamental spiritual belief system, derive a healthy religion out of it, and try our best to live by it.
Maria says the Vedas of India already have the knowledge needed to live life in the best possible way. Now I have not read the Vedas so I can’t comment, but I have seen the wonderful fruits that the Veda following Brahmins have produced over time (the Shruti, the festivals, etc) and I happen to know that if the fruits are juicy and nutritious, it is virtually certain that the tree is healthy, and so I have no reason to doubt Maria’s claim regarding the Vedas.
P.S. I am still preparing the writeup regarding what it is that Hinduism has to offer to help followers live as artists. I hope to have it ready in a day.
Error correction: I meant the Smriti, of course, not Shruti. I have little to no knowledge of the Shruti except for some teachings of Upanishads.
I need to revise my writing before pressing the “Post Comment” button.
I promised that I will write something explaining what Hinduism has to offer in terms of Arts, however I underestimated how much work it would be to explain why it is even relevant. It turns out that a person has to know plenty of high philosophy from the Upanishads, before s/he can begin to understand the significance of Arts and appreciate what Hinduism offers. And as is the case with any theoretical philosophical material, it is boring to read. For this reason, instead of posting all the tons of boring material here, I am posting it on my google page. If anyone is interested, you can click on my username here and check it out. Namaste.
Dear Maria Wirth, I am happy to see you writing so many truths about Hinduism and the Vedas.
the Vedas had disappeared over time because like you said they had been passed down from disciple to disciple.
but in the 20th centuryGuru Gangeshwaranandji Maharaj Udasin has finally given the original Vedas back to all of us in a pure, written form. It seems that He Himself was an incarnation of Vedas personified. He started this huge undertaking at the age of approximately 85 and finsihed it in a few years with help from a lot of VEdic scholars who answered his call.
he then had it printed in a huge book form of 1000 pages and travelled all over the world at the age of 90+ to “give” the Vedas to the world. He said the Vedas belong to the whole world. He went to Europe, US, Japan, Asia and even the US House of Congress was given a copy.
Great saints like Swami Chinmayananda would sit at the Feet of this great Mahatma.
You might want to look into His life and see if you wish to write about His amazing life.
At the age of 5 He got the vision of Krishna and then asked Krishna to take away His eyes, and true enough a few days later He got small pox and lost His eyes. But His internal eyes opened from that day onwards.
Can’t be shorter than this yet beautiful.
Dear Maria, thanks for your refreshing posts.
Yes, mainstream religions do not encourage people to be self-empowered, but rather install fear to make them obedient. This way, humans tend to get cut off from their own intelligence and inherent navigation system (intuition, inner knowing, discernment), their pure lifeforce (vitality, sexuality, creativity) and healing powers, their connection to the cosmos and nature’s cycles.
Being a German who lives in India, I notice that more and more people from the West appreciate Sanatana Dharma and are in dissonance with what the church (catholic and protestant) has to offer. In fact, many are cancelling they ‘Christian membership’ (you have to do this officially at a government office) as they do not agree with what the church is demanding: obligatory church tax (significant % on one’s income).
Luckily, we have all been equipped with a free will, to allow us to make new choices and to self-responsibly decide to walk the path of awakening, awareness, reconciliation and incorruptibility – in short: integrity.
“Knowing God” comes from one’s own life experience and inner realisation. Once the divine has been experienced, then all believing stops, and is replaced by inner knowing. No outer religions are needed for this.
Brief & insightful article, outcome of comparative study from a true Sadhak. Congratulations!
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Roman philosopher Seneca
Anything called religion, even Hinduism, is anti-vedic.
I feel elated that it is the first article you have written on religion without mentioning Hinduism while stressing on the Vedas and the Rishis of yore. Surely, if there is any interest in elevating the human soul we have to begin our journey with the teachings of last Rishi that walked this earth over a century ago, Maha Rishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati (http://www.vjsingh.info/books)
I am aware of those who have made their comments on these articles, as if they really know. Well you don’t because you are the ones referred to as “the common people” but when the Rishis says your religion is false you need to do a lot of reflection or face the consequences of pain and misery to come.
The fact that most of us are common people is precisely why we DO need religion! (Note: “religion” means a set of rules and customs that a person [and groups] have agreed to live by. Usually these rules are derived from the beliefs that those people hold dear.)
People don’t have to believe me when I say we do need religion. All you have to do is look at what is going on in western Europe. West Europeans have been ditching Christianity for decades and now claim to believe in “peace, love, and humanity” instead. Well guess what? The place is being run over by Islamists and the moronic Europeans think there is something good going on. No I should not call them ‘moronic’. This is what happens to otherwise perfectly normal people when they don’t follow some religion.
“but when the Rishis says your religion is false you need to do a lot of reflection or face the consequences of pain and misery to come.”
The proof is in the pudding. A gun totting Muslim got hold of some Italian teens, lined them up, and asked them whether they were Christians or believed in Allah. The teens responded that they don’t believe in anything. The man left. It was their lucky day. They may not be lucky next time, and the next time is coming for sure because of what has been going on in Europe.
When you don’t believe in anything, you don’t fight to protect anything. You will be conquered and subjugated. It is the Europeans who are suffering pain and misery (there is lot more to come) because it is their current religion that is false! We need to learn from Europe’s mistakes. People should not leave religion. They should do their homework and join a good religion instead. They should live by that religion and fight to protect it. THAT is the secret to avoiding pain and misery for your coming generations!
“Anything called religion, even Hinduism, is anti-vedic.”
Hinduism is not a religion. It is a culture [of India]. It is a culture with many different religions within it. There is an entire page on Wikipedia that lists dozens of “Hindu denominations” (go ahead and search it on Wikipedia). Even Arya Samaj is a denomination within Hinduism.
Hindus don’t realize how lucky they are. We have the freedom to pick and choose whichever denomination we want to follow. Heck if we are learnt enough, we can start a new denomination. Instead we diss religion. It is as when a person is standing in a banquet hall with dozens of delicacies to choose from and he starts talking about how cooked food is unhealthy. Only in Kaliyug!
Religion, in its present form is man made to enslave the minds of its followers. Any religion, which does not allow Free Will does not take the followers anywhere near Divinity.
very good article much informative
Your conclusion is the reality and summary of everything i.e. Sat chit Anand. Great work…!
I Have a question.
Marina or Maria, can one of you explain in detail what this means-
” In fact, many are cancelling they ‘Christian membership’ (you have to do this officially at a government office) as they do not agree with what the church is demanding: obligatory church tax (significant % on one’s income)…” ( posted by Marina above).
That is an interesting statement. Dos it mean every German has to officially enroll in an ‘ yes’ category or “no’ category on a religion related column on Tax Returns.
@ Surya, USA
Good Question and the short answer is YES.
In more detail and in two parts.
Part 1 – ‘Church Membership’:
In Germany, one becomes automatically a member of the church once christened / baptised (usually as baby) and confirmed (usually as teenager). This goes for both major confessions, catholic and protestant. The confirmation is an affirmation of the baptism and also a rite of passage / initiation to full Christian discipleship. It is done as after sufficient preparation e.g. weekly classes over a year. The primary sacraments of the Catholic church have an additional part to baptism and confirmation: the holy communion.
Christian membership requires one to be baptised. That’s the minimum requirement.
Marriage is possible for everyone at the registry office, but a ‘wedding in white’ in a church has as prerequisite that both partners are church members. Ideally both are catholic (or protestant), but mixed confessions are usually accepted too. If only one partner is a member, a white wedding in a church is not possible. If you’re not a church member, you cannot become a godparent during a child’s baptism either.
Part 2 – ‘Church Tax’:
Ca. 70% of church revenues come from the member’s obligatory church tax payments (in German called ‘Kirchensteuer’). Your Christian membership gets registered at your residential civil registration office. This is a government bureau which lists each person who lives in Germany. In fact, there is also a legal requirement to notify this authority of life events such as births, marriages and death. Your church membership (and confession) is noted here as well as at the local revenue agency / taxation authority. Because whatever your income is, you have to pay church tax. So when you want to exit the church, you have to go through an admin process at your local civil registration office, not at your local church.
In 2015 the Catholic church received ca 6,09 billion EUR and the Protestant Church 5,36 billion EUR. Although the amount of members decreases, the church tax income reached an all time high of more than 11 billion EUR. Apparently due to an increasing income average. Example: a single person earning 50,000 EUR p.a. may pay an average income-tax of 20%, thus 10,000 EUR. The church tax is then an additional 8% (or 9%) of the 10,000 EUR (800 or 900 EUR) for a total of 10,800 or 10,900 EUR in taxes.If you add the government’s financial contributions and subsidies (ca. 460 billion EUR in 2012) to cover for example the salaries of church staff, you get the handsome amount of more than 470 billion EUR! While people in the USA, Netherlands, England and Sweden donate generously to the church, it should be noted that neither in the USA, nor in the Netherlands, do church tax exist.
Of course, this raises several big questions…:
Why are church and government so entangled with each other – what’s the benefit for each party?
What is the church doing with all the money?
What are awakened alternatives to the conventional church membership most Germans are ‘born into’? Where can Western people find guidance that is characterised by integrity, transparency and teachings that support their self-realisation / self-healing / self-empowerment?
In view of the above snippets, it does not comes as surprise that Westerners began exploring the paths of Christian mysticism (Teresa of Avila, Francis of Assisi, Meister Eckhart etc), Gnosticism, Yoga or other esoteric schools…
+ Book: „Finanzen und Vermögen der Kirchen in Deutschland“ by Dr. Carsten Frerk
Church Tax: Vatican ‘Pay To Pray’ Angers Catholics In Germany
Germany’s Church Tax
Let me guess -you are a teacher by profession, no? You offered such an comprehensive explanation, it left no further questions for me to ask.
Well, I shall ask a couple though, because Im persistent, you see. So there is a chance that just to avoid religion tax people can take an easy escape route and declare themselves as atheists, why is it that a lot of them aren’t doing that then, Honesty? Also I cant figure out where those additional 400+ billions are coming from. From the federal government I suppose? If they aren’t spending all that huge sum of money, is it accumulating in a bank account? In a secular country can you give money to one religious organization and avoid the others? Hare krishna people need money there I suppose. Thanks.
Marina said: ” …In view of the above snippets, it does not comes as surprise that Westerners began exploring the paths of …”
Christians are exploring other paths because, among other reasons, as David Frawley asserted, there is an inherent flaw in the doctrinal construct, let me explain.
Vatican tells me, “since you are a hindu surya, you have no choice but to rot in hell, regardless of your humble, pious life style and living like a hermit and all. You have to embrace our faith and our book or else ..and muslims say the exact same thing. As Maria said there are two separate hells waiting for me, then is the choice mine to choose one hell over the other.
This didn’t sit well with some thinking Christians, ‘they cant throw all the non Christians into hell with impunity’ they reason and they turn weary. In contrast Hindus don’t send anyone to hell, in fact they have demolished the idea of hell altogether. Its ‘karma is bitch’ kind of song they sing. The party goes on until you resolve your accrued karma, till then you keep coming back over and over and get slammed over and over in this hell called earth. To escape this repeated abuse called life, this rut, we all will behave and end the party. What do you think.Cheers.
Ha ha, I’m not a teacher by profession. I’m just interested in human potential.
Yes, the 400 billion EUR come from the German government. And the government supports the religion that is well established amongst the people and in the culture of the country. Fair enough, however, why does the state give money at all, shouldn’t the church be sovereign in the first place? The entanglement of church and government was already pointed out by one of my history teachers at school: “In most European cities, the town hall and the main church always share the same market place and main boulevard in the town centre.”
Where all the money which the church receives eventually goes, is a bit of a mystery. Or maybe not. The Vatican Bank in Rome / Italy is one of the wealthiest and probably secretive banks on the planet. On more than one occasion there were investigations into abuse, corruption and money laundering (check ‘Vatileaks’).
I did a bit of research on the topic of church tax after a friend here in India asked me what the church was contributing to help in the recent immigration crisis in Germany. Furthermore I got some insights from own experience as I was baptised in the catholic church and confirmed in the protestant church (long story). I have experienced delightful sides of Christian religious culture in Germany (e.g. family celebrations acc. to christmas and easter traditions, virtues and values in my upbringing). But I have seen also dark aspects (patriarchal dogmas, stiffness, fear induction, blind obedience by the clergy etc), and that I was able to mix the confessions, that were officially hostile to each other, made me doubt religious authorities already as a teenager. Beyond that, since childhood I had mystical experiences that were independent of ecclesiastical denominations.
Regarding your question about people cancelling their church membership. Actually the amount of people leaving the church is rising in Germany. And according to statistics more than 80% of the people do not agree with the obligatory church tax. But exiting can rarely be done with only a clear cut logical / rational decision. Looking at my own process when considering to leave the church, there can be a lot of tricky emotions involved. While one’s financial obligations (church tax) might be the trigger for doubting the soundness of the church, one really has to release and go beyond the attachments to ancestral and family traditions as well as a sense of guilt and fear (part of a collective consciousness, thanks to what the dogmatic church has installed in the minds over centuries). And one might experience also waves of sadness upon realising how much went wrong and got distorted in the name of ‘god and a noble cause’. Good news is, one can connect to Jesus and Mary at any time from anywhere in the world. No contracts or middlemen are needed for this.
We used to have various indigenous, shamanic and pagan cultures. And those traditions have had their focus on self-cultivation, respect for Earth and for the universal benevolent lifeforce that is larger than ourselves (God/ Source/ Divine/ Supreme Formless Light). The trouble began with the establishment of religions in the form of systematically organised, politicised and instrumentalised institutions.
This, partly, is also a response to your second paragraph’s point: Karma. While karma can be useful to understand certain phenomena in one’s life and therewith heal/balance them, karma can also be a mistaken for fatalism. Of course, also in the Hindu culture, distortions exist. The path of yoga and meditation is of incredible value for me, yet it has also brought me an understanding of the risk and dangers when dealing with manipulative masters and gurus who have unattended blind spots.
“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” Susan B. Anthony
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Diderot
“Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” Gandhi
“Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.” Meister Eckhart
yet another excellent overview from you Marina, I got a clarity on the topic now.
Now talking about the dogma and belief in the doctrines, is the fear of hell very real among the christian adherents. .Are they worried about he after life and hence stick to their faith. So what binds them to their faith if it is not the fear. I know the kind of brain washing that goes on among muslims having lived in Iran for a few years witnessing all that first hand. (As I said hindus have no fear of entering the eternal hell fire for after life, they come back here and suffer instead).
Such a good question.
Thanks for facilitating this information exchange!
Maybe someone else wants to answer as well. Again, from my own experience:
1.) The initiations (baptism / confirmation) are like vows / oaths / fealties which make you a.) on some level accept the Christian institution as authority. You accept their blessings, rules and community. b.) These ceremonies are like the establishment of a contract and naturally a part of you simply wants to be loyal and fullfill it. What you have to deliver though is not so obvious. I my view, it is obedience and resources (energy, money) in exchange for salvation. c.) Even if you have long forgotten these rituals and are not aware of what you have agreed to, a part of you just knows. Let’s call it your subconscious mind or akashic data. And surely, if baptism happened when you were a baby, you will not have a recollection of what the deal was. After all, you did not even have a say in what happened as your parents decided for you.
2.) Cancelling your church membership is not that easy in Germany. You have to fill out a form and answer questions like: Are you sure you want to leave the Church? Why are you leaving? Would you like a consultancy to clarify your doubts before signing out? etc. It seems, this procedure tries to install a certain un-ease and guilt, therewith inviting you to reconsider your intention. The subliminal message is like ‘Are you really sure that what you are doing is not a big mistake?’
3.) I never feared hell, and it was never a topic in my family or circle of friends. I also had some experiences (e.g. NDE), which made me remember how beautiful, peaceful and loving ‘the other realm’ is once we leave the body.
The Christian initiations, like most rituals, are somehow like subtle energetic and mental bindings, with kind of energetic hooks, which can lock a person down – across lifetimes. I’m almost inclined to call it mind control, because breaking the membership contract comes with an irrational, fuzzy fear program: Maybe my life will change for the worse, maybe I will have bad luck from now on, maybe I will miss out on some important information… The mind can create an endless loop of doubts and guilt trips in this situation. All sorts of fear based belief patterns can pop up (created at a very young age from religious programming or beliefs from primary caretakers or own karmic imprints).
People who once were disciples of a guru and left him at some stage will know what I’m talking about. Your master might have said ‘Do not get stuck with me, I’m just a bridge to help you progress on your path.’ When you wanted to leave him though, you suddenly had a huge crisis and doubted whether it is the right decision. You felt eerily bound and were scared whether your spiritual progress will come to a standstill or whether you regress without that guru (or cult). A terribly torturous situation.
All you can do is witness the inner upheaval, breathe and go beyond the disempowering thoughtforms – and beyond all manipulative BS.
Lot of good information there.
That’s a great relief to know that the fear was not the compelling reason that tethers some to Catholicism in Germany. Good.
However the one main justifiable reason the church advertises for its proselytization, targeting (mainly) the poor and the gullible of course, is “Saving The Souls” from eternal hellfire, right? If that ‘going to hell’ is a myth or even fake then what serious premise is there for evangelicals, one wonders. Poor countries are bombarded with loads of cash to accomplish this gigantic scheme of evangelization and unbeknownst to them the Germans become a party to this. No offense meant to you Marina, you have been very patient with me (Danke!), just Iam thinking loudly here, that’s all…
Let me humor you here a bit by throwing in an example as to how central is the hell concept for some Christians is. The Mormons do visit the cemeteries and baptize the dead and buried to save their souls. And Iam not kidding !!
what do you think?
my rant is all about the conversions, conversions with an forcible argument that ‘mine is right yours is wrong’ kind of take, nothing against kind hearted Germans you see. I guess Iam making sense…
For sure missionaries use various tactics to convert Hindus.
Theological colonialism in India seems to have included an at times bewildering mix of hindu (sanatana dharma) elements and christian traditions, obviously to make a conversion more palatable to the people. Whether in terms of content (‘Christian Advaita’) or outer markers (e.g. Bede Griffiths changed his name to Swami Dayananda and sported saffron robes). A bit like the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
A typical characteristic amongst christians tends to be their sense of supremacy. In the clergy and more or less in everyone who ever followed the church, which means in most Westerners (yes, they can be such sweet smartasses). It seems like a collective imprint. This smugness can be blatantly obvious or subtle. Air of exclusivity and knowing better, or self-righteous humbleness (ego identification). A christian’s ‘duty’ to convert others is a consequence of that. And truth seeking, good hearted (and naiv) people are easy prey for confident, saintly smiling religious predators.
Apart from that, humans naturally want to be seen and appreciated. Want to be loved and adored for how special they are. The church (or any cult / guru) sees this as an opportunity, to persuade people into becoming followers.
In my view, it is not necessarily the ‘threat and fear of hell’ that motivates people of other denominations to convert to christianity, but sweet-talk, flattery, gifts and ‘the promises of god’ (protection, guidance, salvation). In short: honey and money.
[…] Source : Maria Wirth’s Blog […]
What is the purpose of life? We create a purpose for ourselves and become Gandhi or Hitler.
Where did we come from? Where will we go from here? What is this world made of? Science has answered all these with evidence.
With respect to Hinduism – yes there are profound philosophies and observations apparently reinforced with a ‘God’. It can accommodate science and kafirs under its fold.
One may compare all major religions with Atheism to get enlightenment !
My Respects madam naria for your deep analysis of the topics.
As Indians we r taught to only Earn money eat & die.