Do you believe in the creator of life? Which Religion do you believe? Is there a supreme being over us? Such questions always had lingered in our mind atleast one’s in our lifetime.
Before, at the start of my teens I had a very clear vision towards religion in life. I never knew about the different aspects of a religion. Religion belongs to people and it brings everyone together with the help of love and kindness. It enables the humanity within everyone of us. However in the recent years I may have experienced a vivid clarity in the concept of religion. I decided not to follow a particular religion, instead to follow spirituality, mindfulness, I decided to follow Hinduism but without its ritualism. Many people believe religions brings a lot of restrictions in their life, therefore there are so many factors to consider when you follow a religion or religions like, spirituality, agnostic, monists, Atheists etc.
Even though I think I don’t have a particular religion my faith is mainly based on Hinduism and its various scriptures. Its true that the modern concept of secularism has debarred the study of ancient hindu texts. These texts tell us how to live life, what are the things we should eat, how to act, how to be mindful. There’s this book called “Hinduism beyond ritualism” by Vineet Agarwaal which tell the reader about Upanishads, ancient Hindu texts and explains the concept of enlightment.
On the front cover of the book Vineet Agarwaal states that this book is for hindus and non-hindus. The book never tries to influence the reader by anyway, it explains the hindu texts and the concept of Hinduism in ancient India. A lot of Hindus and Non-Hindus with a scientific bent are curious to know about Hinduism its advantages in daily life. The book talks about several Upanishads, Hindu philosophical school of thought, Yoga, Bhagwat geeta, Ayurveda, Dance, Music, etc.
The first section of the book tells the stories of different school of thought, their developments, their views. Idolism is carried throught the world, however in some of these philosophies it is said that there is no need to worship the God in the form of a Idol. For example in the Samkhya school of thought it recognizes the importance of Purusha and prakriti i.e pure consciousness and nature. This is one of the most prominenet and fascinating philosophies. It does not believe in the existence of God as a creator, it believes that the world was formed on the base of prakriti and the consciousness plays an important role without indulging with prakriti, it says the pure consciousness of a person acted as a catalyst in the process of evolution. The Samkhya philosophy was proposed by sage Kapila which was subsequently adopted by sage Patanjali to form a practical school of thought called “yoga”. These philosophies try to explain the reason behind specific foods and how do they affect the human being. There are three qualities in a being Satva, Rajas and Tamas, and when these three qualities are at equilibrium the prakriti remains unmanifested. However, when the equilibrium is disturbed the the unmanifested prakriti becomes manifested, in short prakriti becomes the real world. In yoga it is said to bring these qualities at equilibrium, to experience the unmanifested world one has to meditate so that the kundalini, rises from the genitals to the brain via spinal cord. According to Yoga when the kundalini is activated all 7 chakras are activated within and an individual is upgraded to higher level of mental functioning. During the complete Kundalini experience, all seven energy centres experience a breakthrough opening. In yoga with meditation there are factors such as particular foods, exercise and cleanliness to be followed. To attain this unmanifested state one has to follow these methods, moreover it is warned for the reader to perform these exercises under special guidance to avoid any mistakes, as activating the Kundalini is a dangerous task. This is a reason why a shishya used to spend many years in the gurukuul.
The book also describes the influence of Hinduism on music and dance, it projects the importance of Natraj the God of dance and music. Dance and music both were used to express the feelings one holds. In music various suras and Ragas are described like the yaman raga, Bhup raga, Malhar Raga and suras like sa-re-ga-ma-pa. These expressions are released in the form of dance and music producing energy, however there were many dance/music forms which were used to express the feeling of sadness, horror, amusement, joy etc.
A prime example of such dance forms are Kathakali, it’s a storytelling form of dance made up of actors using mudras and ragas that convey the dialogue of individual character as well as bhava or using facial expression to show their internal state of the characters.
The book also give a short brief about Bhagwat Geeta, it gives an overview of several chapters written in it. Chapter 9 to 12 are based on the theory of underlying unification of all human beings and the concept of devotion. In it there’s a concept called Bhakti yoga which means an innocent soul or a being who does not comprehend abstract knowledge related to life and soul can devote themselves to a God as physical entity. Instead of having a practical academic debate on the creator of the world one can focus on that physical entity to control the mind and the ego. After all, every religion was made to lead a peaceful life, to find a meaning in this world full of chaos.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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