FINDING GOD

God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.

You may say that there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Everyone thinks that his watch alone gives the correct time. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and feel attracted to Him: Don’t you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of our heart and the yearning of our soul.

Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys address him distinctly as “Baba” or “Papa”, but the babies can at best call him “Ba” or “Pa”. Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All children are the same to the father.

Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many.

(I found the above in my hard-drive. Source not recorded.)

 

Prof. Sam Huntington’s quotes

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.

The relations between countries in the coming decade are most likely to reflect their cultural commitments, their cultural ties and antagonism with other countries.

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new [post-Cold-War] world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

The colonial experience all Muslim countries went through may be a factor in the fight against Western domination, British, French or whatever. They were until recently largely rural societies with land owning governing elites in most of them. I think they are certainly moving toward urbanization and much more pluralistic political systems. In almost every Muslim country, that is occurring. Obviously they are increasing their involvement with non-Muslim societies. One peak aspect of this, of course, is the migration of Muslims into Europe.

Countries will cooperate with each other, and are more likely to cooperate with each other when they share a common culture, as is most dramatically illustrated in the European Union. But other groupings of countries are emerging in East Asia and in South America. Basically, as I said, these politics will be oriented around, in large part, cultural similarities and cultural antagonism.

Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.

(From AZ Quotes). European colonialism was based on the assumed superiority of the ‘white race’ and its weaponry. It was bloody too.

 

“Of mice and morality – a parable for adults” (Part 5)

The path to peace

Taking House aside, Whicky explained that he was a member (even as a cat) of a Western family that had adopted Buddhism, the fastest growing faith in Australia. Together with Virginia, whose intuitive understanding of all things material and spiritual and whose grasp of the language of mice and cats implicitly indicated that she is the reincarnation of an old soul, he knew that Buddhist beliefs, like those of yoga, did not conflict with the teachings and rituals of the other major religions.

Whereas doctrinal differences have separated one religion from another – and such differences represent merely the egoistic pretensions of the guardians of the institutionalized faiths – Buddhism, by emphasizing the moral obligation of sentient beings, one to the other, encompassed the ethical teachings of Christ and all the other known religious and spiritual teachers. When one bypasses the gongs, drums, bells, chants, and the other rituals which had grown as encrustations to the Buddha’s original guidance – like the rituals purveyed by the priests of all the faiths – there is only one simple exhortation for one and all. And that is to offer love, protection, care, and compassion to others whose existence is also due to the universal Creator.

House was flabbergasted. Here was his old mate displaying so much wisdom, which also explained his tolerance of the tribe of mice sharing his home. Like Virginia, he too might be an old soul. Together, they would surely light the way for those not privileged to be so enlightened.

Whicky went on to explain his plan, which had been agreed to by Virginia. Both would lead House and his tribe in meditation – daily. Out in the open with the sun (another product of the Creator) bestowing its blessing upon them all, Virginia and Whicky would lead the Buddhist chant, “Om Mani Padme Hum.” This was only a variation of the “Om Nama Shivaya” chanted by the adepts of yoga or the simpler “Om.” Uttered through the back of the throat and drawn out over a few seconds, Om would reflect the primeval hum which preceded the Big Bang of the modern physicists’ cosmology.

With the support of the Committee of Wise Mice, House put Whicky’s plan to the tribe. Intrigued, a little confused, anxious, but desperate, the tribe agreed. The next day, out in the open, within sight of Max, the meditation program started. Max was intrigued. Closer and closer he came to the mice each day – merely to see what was happening. The closer he came, the more he was influenced by the aural aura of the chant. The more the chant engulfed him, the more he realized the peace which enveloped the mice. The more effective this peace on the mice, the more Max became absorbed spiritually. A warm, caressing, mist-like atmosphere bonded them all in a cocoon of mutual acceptance and tolerance.

Can mice and cats become imbued with spiritual peace or was Whicky’s plan an aberration? On the contrary, both mice and Max eventually became submerged into that ocean of consciousness from which the physical Cosmos arose. Thus was Max conditioned to change his ways; that is, not to eat mice. Thus did peace reign over the mice, the cats, and little Virginia. So says Virginia, the old soul.

…………………………………………..

Here ends the parable of mice and morality. Virginia’s sojourn into another improbable world awaits another day.

 

Dark humour

Dark humour

(From ‘The Conversation’: The death of President Trump)

President Donald J. Trump is on his first state visit to Israel, where red tie around his neck he travels to Jerusalem, to open the brand new United States Embassy. There without warning he suffers a massive heart attack. Medical people spoke of acute coronary thrombosis and myocardial infarction. But truth was the Leader was dead.

As the news broke, pandemonium spread through the country, all the way back to Washington. Waiting for instructions, federal agents nervously guarded the body. Eager local Zionists called for the Great Leader Son of Israel to be buried on local soil. An enterprising local undertaker quickly came forward with a funeral plan. “I can arrange everything”, he said. “Best casket, beautiful flowers. Fast service. Reasonable price.” Behind the scenes, United States officials were unpersuaded. “We can’t risk it”, said one, off the record. “Two thousand years ago, another big guy died here. Three days later, he was back on his feet again.”

Clever black humour

‘Joshua’s last stand’

‘THE WORLD IS CHANGING FAST, BUT I HOPE …’

Joshua was dying.  But, there is nothing unusual about dying , is there?  Yet, why was he dying so young?  Because he had plunged a carving knife into his middle.  Why had he done that?  Because of his mortification;  he had been identified as a paedophile.

As he lay dying, he thought how unfair it all was.  Now, if he had been a priest … …!  And he could have continued to give pleasure (he was sure of that) to youngsters, but in another district.  And, in the olden days, one could seduce a servant, service the wife of a brother or other relative, and generally have one’s way without all this sanctimonious fuss and bother.  So he communed with himself even as he sought to combat the physical pain he had inflicted upon himself.

As he lay dying, he thought that he could feel the eternal flames of hell nibbling at his toes and warming his feet.  As an upright man (his peccadilloes aside), the flames had surely to start with his feet.  Given his origins, he had to fear death – even as he had hastened the end of his life through social pressure.

This fear of death had been inculcated in his ancestors by the priests religiously attached to the trading marauders from the Iberian Peninsula and parts of the globe further north and east.  The traders had been in search of those spices which would cover the stench and terrible taste of the rotting meat that was normal fare for their peoples – that is, when they could find a kill.

Because of their superior weaponry, they had managed to acquire control some of the harbours which had given them succour;  and to build trading and wenching posts in the hinterland.  They had soon begun to feel racially and culturally superior to the coloured peoples (now described as natives) they had so easily dominated.  Their priests were ecstatic.  Here were so many sinners (they said) awaiting conversion to the one and only faith.  Their souls would be saved.

Joshua’s ancestors did have their souls saved, but they were not sure from what;  their life of desperation remained unchanged.  Their souls, on the other hand, were mighty pleased:  they sang of salvation with silent satisfaction.  Little did they realise that the priests were on an ego trip, blind to the reality of the origins of their founding authorities and their man-made doctrines of salvation with superiority.

At birth, Joshua had been a sore disappointment.  He was as puny as the rest of his community.  Centuries of living a life of hardship and deprivation, the inheritance of the masses in any part of the world, had resulted in weedy specimens of mankind.  The injection of solid Scottish (or, was it English?) genes, blood and whisky two generations back  had done little for his stature – both physical and social.  The pure of blood are normally not inclined to respect the genetic  infusion received by those who had been the beneficiaries of foreign infusions; often, the recipient had been under some duress.  Yet, the whisky was acceptable by one and all, as the local liquors were never of competitive quality.

As he lay dying, Joshua said to himself, “The world is indeed changing fast.  The oh-so-superior priests are facing strong competition from faiths which deny human intermediaries.  Colonial so-called powers have been forced to withdraw to their own borders.  A few nabobs had, however, established mansions at home, with assets seized from the colonies, matching the mansions of those money changers whose faiths allowed such a business as honourable.”

“As for my alleged sin, surely giving pleasure should not be seen as a sin.  How many men-of-god have given pleasure to lonely wives.  As well, when my ancestors were converted in their faith, they were promised salvation.  I know that the world is changing fast, but I sincerely hope that salvation will not be denied me.  Even as I feel the eternal flames seeking to devour me, I hold tightly to this hope.  For, without hope, life and death is indeed meaningless.”  So said Joshua as he took his last breath.

(Fiction by Ratnam)

DEATH – quotes from Buddhism

DEATH – Quotes from Buddhism

With mind far off, not thinking of death’s coming,
Performing these meaningless activities,
Returning empty-handed now would be complete confusion;
The need is recognition, the spiritual teachings,
So why not practice the path of wisdom at this very moment?
From the mouths of the saints come these words:
If you do not keep your master’s teaching in your heart
Will you not become your own deceiver?  Tibetan Book of the Dead

 

From a Buddhist point of view, the actual experience of death is very important. Although how or where we will be reborn is generally dependent on karmic forces, our state of mind at the time of death can influence the quality of our next rebirth. So at the moment of death, in spite of the great variety of karmas we have accumulated, if we make a special effort to generate a virtuous state of mind, we may strengthen and activate a virtuous karma, and so bring about a happy rebirth. The Dalai Lama

 

Life is uncertain; death is certain.

Death carries off a man busy picking flowers with an besotted mind, like a great flood does a sleeping village.

There are those who do not realise that one day we all must die.
But those who do realise this settle their quarrels.

Here will I live in the rainy season, here in the autumn and in the summer: thus muses the fool. He realizes not the danger (of death).

The Buddha

 

My delight in death is far, far greater than
The delight of traders at making vast fortunes at sea,
Or the lords of the gods who vaunt their victory in battle;
Or of those sages who have entered the rapture of perfect absorption.
So just as a traveler who sets out on the road when the time has come to go,
I will not remain in this world any longer,
But will go to dwell in the stronghold of the great bliss of deathlessness.
The Last Testament of Longchenpa

 

(From ‘A view of Buddhism’. On the Internet)

Aurobindo quotes

To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs.
That which we call the Hindu religion is really the Eternal religion because it embraces all others.
India is the meeting place of the religions and among these Hinduism alone is by itself a vast and complex thing, not so much a religion as a great diversified and yet subtly unified mass of spiritual thought, realization and aspiration.
Metaphysical thinking will always no doubt be a strong element in her mentality, and it is to be hoped that she will never lose her great, her sovereign powers in that direction.
She saw the myriad gods, and beyond God his own ineffable eternity; she saw that there were ranges of life beyond our present life, ranges of mind beyond our present mind and above these she saw the splendours of the spirit.
Hidden nature is secret God.
(Comment: Typically, a great commentator about Hinduism, makes it clear that, unlike the ‘desert’ religions, the ‘forest’ religions of India and its surrounds are not competitive. What advantage is there in claiming to offer the only path to God? As co-created, we humans are bonded to one another morally, are we not? What does that imply?)