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The Role of Religion

My Definition:

The religion is both a concept and a manifestation that affirms the presence or authority of Supreme being. Every religion does it in its own way. Thus, a person following Hinduism can relate to a person following another. The manifestation is the level of understanding of a person and also in correlation to his/her surroundings. If a person explains or deals his/her surroundings using it as a concept, it is a concept. If a person is consistent that religious body is a tangible experience in real world (relevance of idols and rituals) then the religion comes in this form.

For me, the religion is a tangible experience considering that the ultimate entities have laid a path for us but overall, they are still diversified somewhere (across universes) as hierarchical supernatural powers. It cannot be surprising.

I believe that every religion has a specific purpose but they can be incomplete and thus, dependable on each other for common good. Here, it is controversial when we think of a mass of people following a religion in a black box where nothing goes in and goes out. Is the religion relevant? Yes. The only difference is people are mistaking it as a religion in case there is some other concept in working like patriarchy and harming their many fundamental laws and understanding of their being.


In order to restore their being and faith in contemporary terms, it is important to consider it as religion and lead in a practical civil way.

When I say contemporary terms, I mean that they might have nurtured their faith as a culture and thus only concept remains or the concept has become irrelevant because they have complex life evolution which requires them to open up and following their religious faith expand their territory or understanding which may be lacking. A tangible experience of religion always means that the person has religious experiences. One believes chanting mantras or following other rituals, something can be achieved. Thus, some other nonexisting or novel religious ritual can lead them to new paths or understanding. Thus, it is case dependent the shape of religion, whether a concept or a religion and in what stages.

As I said, religion is even about worshiping trees as God. It can be insufficient but not insignificant. It can start from the trees and end up anywhere, beyond universes.

According to me till it can be established which one works better, every religion is equal and can help each other to grow and understand ourselves better. Since all point to the Supreme, how beautiful, peaceful this diversity is and thankful should be a human.


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Discussions:

Mr. Robert Johnston is a New Zealand writer and teacher with a PhD in education. 

Robert Johnston: Neelam - to get a sufficient understanding of what you have written, I would have to interrogate it sentence by sentence, slowly and carefully, but I would only do that if you were happy to answer question about it as I proceeded.

Neelam Dadhwal: Ok will do 

Robert Johnston: Good. First, I will ask you what you mean by (1) a concept, and (2) a manifestation. (I agree that religions affirm the presence or authority of a Supreme being.) 

Neelam Dadhwal: Nice you pointed out. Because I really left it out. Not intentionally but because nobody asks questions. By concept I mean the people including scientists cannot explain certain phenomenon so they term there is something unknown powerful in action. This gives religion sense of myth for intellectuals but for those who believe in God the feeling of a concept. By manifestation I mean one has steady beliefs or practicing his/her religion as rules are laid. Religions that have gained almost immortal recognition. Only new challenges are difficult but one still tries to go back and find relevance. If you give me permission, I would like to simultaneously post this discussion on same blog post. 

Neelam Dadhwal: Feeling of a concept that there is Supreme exists above all. That unknown powerful is not something scientific or if scientific is only the trait of Ultimate God or Supreme. While many scientists see it as something scientific, amalgamation of different laws and rules, giving religion an identity of myth. Concept is different. One still respects all religions and thinks Supreme exists above all. 

Robert Johnston: So, when you say religion is a concept, you mean that it is an intellectual reality (in essence and as we receive it); and when you say it is a manifestation you mean that is a practice (something with effects, including human understanding and activities)? If so, I cannot disagree.

I have no objection if you "simultaneously post this discussion on same blog post."

In the remainder of the first paragraph, are you quietly asking for purity of religion (rather than idolatry)?
 

Neelam Dadhwal: Thanks for your understanding. I meant as mentioned by you about the religion. Yes, using idolatry as an example I am asking for unbiased projected view regarding the other existing, recognized different religious practices. 
Will post this discussion. Thanks for this discussion.

Robert Johnston: The next paragraph is a little puzzling:

"For me, the religion is a tangible experience considering that the ultimate entities have laid a path for us but overall, they are still diversified somewhere (across universes) as hierarchical supernatural powers. It cannot be surprising."

I guess you are saying that though religion has a supernatural source, you experience it physically. That seems true enough. Joy and suffering - even intellectual joy and suffering - are experienced physically. "ultimate entities" suggests polytheism, and theologians argue whether Hinduism - which I take to be your religious home - is polytheistic or monotheistic. I am monotheistic, so I have no god hierarchy. I don't know why you have added the final sentence. 


Neelam Dadhwal: Here I talked about my personal belief. Yes, as pointed by you I believe religion has a supernatural source and I experience it physically.

Polytheism is again part of our religion, which I also have faith in. I cannot talk or represent Hinduism here but we believe in Trinity - Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and various gods and goddesses in hierarchy. I am not imposing on anyone. It is personal.

If I have to explain myself (without any religious or spiritual help from anyone), I would say everything can be represented by one Supreme power or monotheism. However, I am leading a material life and indulge in rituals associated with Trinity and different gods and goddesses (we do Surya Namaskar, on Tuesday we do not cut hair due to Lord Hanumana, on Friday prohibit eating sour due to another deity), so for me it is being comfortable rather than a belief, thinking that a hierarchy exists somewhere across universes.

If a monotheist Ultimate God can exist somewhere across universes and a hierarchy can too or different supernatural powers in calm conjugation.


What I am not Imposing : There is pattern among universes. Planetary system, flora, fauna, human civilization. Though I cannot prove, I still think Ultimate must have a life on His/Her own. So, it is possible there are supernatural entities somewhere beyond us. Obviously we can hardly stand major source powers such as the Sun, the Ocean waves so it is difficult to talk how and what they would be like. 

My belief is polytheism and monotheism are interchangeable and are equal when we talk of Supreme.
 

Just a mention:
According to Hinduism, we believe in Shiv Lok (Where Lord Shiv and His Disciples(who gained moksha and regular supernatural ones) reside), Vishnu lok (Where Lord Vishnu and His Disciples(who gained moksha and regular supernatural ones) reside), etc. heaven (Swarag) and Narak (Hell).

Though I believe in this, I always believe the Gods can modify their structure by their own will so I am really not a good source on this.

Want to Believe: That all the prophets, incarnations, etc. actually had closer relation to God or power themselves and they must be somewhere, beyond our reach.

Much better than everything we put together.
 

Robert Johnston: "If a monotheist Ultimate God can exist somewhere across universes and a hierarchy can too or different supernatural powers in calm conjugation." Yes, I accept this. Nice point.

"I still think Ultimate must have a life on His/Her own" Yes, I accept this, too.

The existence of higher and lower realms of being, I also accept.

You say:
"I believe that every religion has a specific purpose but they can be incomplete and thus, dependable on each other for common good." Interesting idea that at any given time the various religions are complementary. I have not thought of that before now. I have been more inclined to think that the religions have met the needs of the particular era in which each has arisen, and that beyond that era, their value diminishes, even while there is an essential unity among all the great religious movements.

"people are mistaking it as a religion in case there is some other concept in working like patriarchy and harming their many fundamental laws and understanding of their being" Yes, that is true, but it is also possible to add that there may be some laws in yesterday's religions that are not suitable today, for instance, laws which allow a man to have multiple wives at one time.
 

Neelam Dadhwal: This discussion is leading towards right direction and I am really happy about this.

Yes, I believe that the believers/followers of a certain religion add their laws and external concepts to support/practice what their religion is truly asking them to do. That is why many religions fade away and/or these laws seems discomforting over long time because everyone has a learning curve and also circumstances change.

To decide which law should be prevalent today can be done with proper discussion, insights into the religion, cultural past and bringing up valid point to support or nullify it.
 

Robert Johnston: Thank you. The rest of the article I take to be about your view that "the believers/followers of a certain religion add their laws and external concepts to support/practice what their religion is truly asking them to do." It appears you believe that followers have the ability to to do this work properly, and perhaps you think there the Supreme Being speaks through them. I see no mention of the arising of unique individuals like Krishna or Buddha or Mohammed to radically renew religious life, but I do agree that religions evolve to meet the needs of the time. And I support your general view that it is better that we live religiously than not. 

Neelam Dadhwal: According to me, followers do add their law and external concepts such as about a child devotee who would insist to offer chocolate to a certain deity where traditionally only a form of dessert was offered. It is allowed by priests of that temple. This is mutability though its authenticity cannot be established.

I believe those who are recognized forms such as Krishna, Buddha or Mohammed, they came for a purpose and they did established a point of view.

However, how relevant these are and why critics are often analyzing the scriptures and asking for contemporary relevance and invoking a consultation or debate whether these forms are unique or really supernatural.

According to me, there are levels of spiritual/religious education. For instance, you cannot ask (even rule out) to ask the God whether one should be able to offer chocolate to Him/Her.

Because the rules are laid and one is required to follow. On the other hand one who is fresh or new, there are still theories of innocent devotion but one can have direct relation to the Ultimate too.

Spiritual experiences are hard to establish. There is no authority anywhere in the world that gives 100% authenticity to any episode of the communication with the God. In this scenario, it is wrong to judge any entities whether in monotheism or polytheism as nonexistent or irrelevant.


Robert Johnston: I think that wraps up my commentary on or analysis of what you wrote. Thank you for the discussion. Much appreciated.

Neelam Dadhwal It is truly enlightening to have a discussion and the foray into monotheism and polytheism and a better definition of concept. I value your time, views and efforts. Thanks Robert.

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