Necessity of Religion
In this 20th century, new scientific inventions and political theories are causing irreparable deterioration in the religious faith of mankind. Public mind is too much engrossed in these attractions and man is getting away farther and farther from religion and God. The force of the ‘matter’ overwhelmingly dominates the influence of the ‘spirit’. People are being torn away by ideological warfare from their religious moorings and are left to drift astray, creating all sorts of new troubles and miseries in an already much tormented world. The solutions sought through man-made laws, against the time honoured and irrefutable religious laws and traditions give little or no solace to the afflicted mankind. It seems that the world is fast drifting towards religious bankruptcy.
Bonds Of Religion
What is religion? Of all the forces that have been working for the emancipation of mankind ever since its origin, nothing is more potently powerful than the manifestation of those forces which form religion. In spite of all the vicissitudes of time, that peculiar force is still visible in the back ground of all our social, economic and political systems. It has been the greatest cohesive impulse for the unity of mankind. In many cases the bonds of religion have proved stronger than the bonds of climate, race and descent. People of the same family and descent.
Beginning Of Religion
The result of all ancient explorations to trace out the origin of religion shows that it is ‘something’ super-human or supernatural and that its genesis is not in the human brain but it has originated ‘somewhere else’. The theories are advanced about this analysis. One group maintains ancestor worship as the origin of religion, while the other thinks that it originates in the personification of the powers of Nature. A study of the ancient religions of the Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians and some American races reveal traces of ancestor worship as the beginning of religion.
The Egyptians believed in two souls, one of the external body and the other of the internal soul that motivates it. They thought, when a man died, his ‘double’— the internal soul went out but still lived, and it lasted so long as the ‘dead body’ was preserved intact. That is why they preserved their dead and built huge pyramids over them. They thought if the ‘body’ was hurt its double’ would also be injured. This was ancestor worship. The ancient Babylonians believed in the same idea of ‘double’ but with slight variations. They believed that the ‘double’ lost all sense of love; it even frightened the living to give if food and drink and so on. Among the ancient Hindus too, traces of ancestor worship are found. The Chinese were also ancestor worshippers. Thus the theory of ancestor-worship as the beginning of religion is strengthened by one school of thought.
According to the other theory, religion is said to have originated in nature worship as the ancient Aryans maintained. The human mind has always been inquisitive and curious to find out the philosophy behind the sun, the moon, the earth and the heavens, the stars, the hurricane and so many other stupendous forces of nature and its beauties. It has tried to understand these phenomena to which it attributes souls and bodies with something transcended. The result of all investigations culminates in ‘abstractions’ whether personalised or not. The ancient Greeks also followed this ‘nature worship’. Their mythology proves their ‘abstracted nature worship’. The ancient Germans, Scandinavians and other Aryan races also followed the Greeks. All this makes a strong case to show that religion had its origin in the personification of the "powers of Nature".
A third theory which some of the highly learned people think to be the real origin of `organised’ religion. It is known to be the "struggle" to transcend the limitation of the sense", whether man seeks to worship the dead spirits of his ancestors or tries to understand the limitations of the senses. And yet he does not seem to be satisfied with this alone but wants to investigate further. His search for the `Truth’ about these phenomena has continued through all ages till he could assert a definite state of things called `ecstasy’ or inspiration which we find in all the `organised’ religions of the world.
All Lead To One Goal
The prophets, the rishis, the saints, and the Sufis, all have discovered these ‘hidden’ facts according to their own experiences and findings. All the principal religions of the world claim that human mind has been able to transcend both the "limits of senses" and" the limits of reason" with this peculiar power of transcending which they put forward as "a statement of Facts".
Finite And 'Infinite'
Every human being seems to be struggling for an ‘Infinite power’ or an infinite pleasure, if we may call it so but only a few have realised that this,‘infinite power’ or the infinite pleasure is not to be had through senses which are too limited to understand and explain the ‘Infinite’. As a matter of fact,‘Infinite’cannot be expressed through finite. Sooner or later man is compelled to give up the finite and this state is called ‘renunciation’ which as its root in the ethics, or say, Ethics stand on renunciation..
Philosophy Of Ethics
Ethics always says "Not I, but thou", "Not Self but Non self" the laws of ethics demand that in the search of "Infinite Power of Pleasure" selfish individualism to which man clings so stubbornly, must be given up altogether. We must hold ourselves first, and all else last." Ethics say; we must hold ourselves last.
It thus follows that man has to give up the plane of ‘matter’ in his search for the ‘infinite’. All ethical laws enjoin ‘self-abnegation or perfect self-annihilation’ as we have seen. But people are surprised when they are asked to lose their selfish individualism because it is very dear to them and is not an easy thing to be given up. And yet, at the same time, they declare highest ideals of ethics to be right ignorant of the fact that the idea, the goal of all ethics, is self-destruction and not the building up and sustenance of a selfish individualism
Role Of Sufi Saints
Those who have straightened the curly tail of the sinful world from time to time have never been politicians or statesmen. They have always been the founders and reforms of great religions endowed with "supernatural" powers to overcome even the mightiest forces of evil. Their spiritual spark ignited the souls of millions. Such are the superhuman beings we always find in the past history of mankind and shall continue to have them at appropriate periods in future also despite all evolutions and revolutions of the world. There has always been a tussle between spiritualism and materialism or between the spirit and the sword in which the former has always vanquished the latter. While the holy founders and teachers of great religions, acting as apostles of God, tried to establish righteousness and peace on earth, the worshippers of evil have furiously defied them in order to retain their own temporal supremacy. But history repeats itself and the struggle between the two still goes on.
Religion And Human Character
Religion is the greatest motive power for building up a virtuous human character for achieving everything that is good and beneficial to mankind and for bringing peace and happiness to the afflicted souls including one’s own self.