“Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit.” Swami Vivekananda.
We all consider ourselves as religious by visiting temples, doing all kinds of rituals under the pretext of religion, worshipping the non-Gods considering them as Gods, making pilgrimages all around the world, going on so-called religious tours on select days, visiting temples and worshipping with worldly expectations, worshipping false gurus, and many many such things. All our religious practices are thoughtless and most of the time loaded with worldly expectations.
But alas, nothing of these qualifies as true religious acts if these acts and pilgrimages do not help us achieve what is stated by Swami Vivekananda.
Narsinh Mehta a renowned Gujarati poet (who had written the famous Bhajan – Vaishnav Jan to… favourite one of Gandhiji) had in one of his Bhajans stated,” Without knowing the spirit (Soul) all religious activities and rituals are worthless.”
Jainism defines knowing the spirit (Soul) as spirit (Soul) as Samyak Darshan. According to Jain scripture, all religious activities towards the liberation of a soul starts when one realises spirit as spirit. Without the self-realisation, all so-called religious activities can be anything but won’t help in the liberation of the soul.
Believing the self as Soul and not the body is the basic truth, but unfortunately, we do not realise that till our human life ends. What can be more disgusting than not knowing the real self as Spirit/Soul/Atma?
To quote Swamiji again, “Have you realised that you are spirit? When you say, ‘I do,’ what is meant by that— this lump of flesh, called the body or the spirit, the infinite, ever blessed, effulgent, immortal? You may be the greatest philosopher, but as long as you have the idea that you are the body, you are no better than the little worm crawling under your foot! No excuse for you! So much the worse for you that you know all the philosophies and at the same time think you are the body.”
According to Jain scriptures, believing the self as a body and not the Spirit i.e. the soul is the Mithyatva of the highest level. Mithyatva is the cause of the continuation of cycles of life and death of a soul. Mithyatva is defined as false beliefs. The Jain scholar Hemchandracharya defined Mithyatva as “belief in false divinities, false gurus, and false scriptures.”
This is not about Jainism and the concept of Jainism. Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit and the other quote of Swamiji above are quotes of Swamiji taken from his article on Bhagavad Gita.
However, how many of us whether Jains or Hindu believer of Bhagavad Gita knows this fundamental about the religion?
We all are obsessed with rituals and pilgrimage ignorant of what is expected out of it to make it worth. What is the end result we have to achieve to make our so-called religious efforts actually religious? No clue.
As rightly stated by Swamiji, there are no difference between us human being and the little worm crawling under our feet if we think the self as a body because at the level of Mithyatva we both share the same belief about ourselves.
This is the reality of so-called religious people as I am ignoring people who don’t think about religion or about the true self. They just waste their human lives running after sensual pleasures, and without giving a thought about the self.
We are action oriented people so we indulge in all kinds of actions even as our religious practices but we don’t realise for pursuing the real religion, the right realisation must precede right actions. We never realise the basic truth and therefore even our actions are not right.
We humans have become highly knowledgeable with the advancement of science. We know about the atom theory, we know about byte and we now also know about a gene but isn’t not knowing the self is the highest ignorance we suffer from?
Question number 1:
Can principles of physics or chemistry or maths be different for different individuals in different parts of the world?
One plus one is two is universal across the world because this is a natural law.
Any laws which are natural are universally applicable to everyone irrespective of their social status, so called caste, human invented religions or geographies.
Question number 2:
Whether the treatment of a disease for different people is different for similar disease?
Medical science does not specify treatment based on caste, religion, class or geographies.
The treatment is the same and does not differentiate for Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jews, Jains, Buddhists and atheists. Or for Bhramins, Dalits or Shias or Sunnis. The treatment is same for everyone.
Science and nature do not have two laws based on the divisions we human beings have created based on our limited thinking and selfish motives.
We human beings or for that matter every animal is a nature’s creation. All laws applicable to us are same and unequivocal.
The real problem is; we do not know our own selves. We think the self as a body and we think the present body is the only body and life we live. Erroneously considering the self as a body makes us believe our existence is only from the birth till death. We believe the family, caste, religion, we are born in is the finest and right.
Though for everything else we change our views and upgrade our knowledge throughout the life, but the knowledge about who we are and why every life is different, we hardly try to know.
Because of the apparent differences in appearance, social status, education etc. makes us believe different rules are applicable to everyone.
However, we do not see the commonness in everybody, be it humans or animals and that commonness is our SOUL. We all are SOULs having a body. Different bodies. Everybody is different.
Why everybody is different?
Each soul is exactly similar but KARMAs of every soul are different and that is why we all bodies are different.
Why Karma of two SOULS cannot be similar?
Because KARMAs are attached to the soul by the thoughts/action/words of the soul. & these cannot be similar for two souls.
This is the reason everybody is different.
Laws of Karma are universal and natural laws and therefore they are applicable to every soul which is also natural.
We see ourselves as different bodies and hence we think rules applicable to different people are different. We do not see or believe everybody as a soul and only differentiated as body based on our Karma. Know the math of body and soul.
The science and soul and Karma are what Jainism is all about. Whether you call it religion or thinking or way of life anything but it is a pure science. Know about physics of karma.
Jainism explains how every soul become bondage of Karma and how it can be liberated and attain Moksha by the complete extinction of Karma attached to the soul. Know how a soul attracts Karma and How to a soul get rid of our Karmas & How a soul can avoid attracting Karma.
It is a science of Soul. Every living being is a soul and therefore this science is universally applicable to every soul.
Whether one believes in the laws of physics does it make any different to the laws? But if one wants to solve the problems involving the laws of physics one has to follow the laws of physics. Likewise, if one wants to know about the living beings and the laws governing them, Principles of Jainism have the answer. Principles of Jainism are a pure science.
The curiosity about the principles of soul and Karma can be initiated by asking three questions.
The purpose of human life is to know the laws governing souls as it won’t be possible in any other lives.
Irrfan is right when he says we must question the purpose of religious rituals we are doing. What is the purpose and are we achieving the purpose with these rituals? Most of the time we do not either dare or care to question the religious practices; we are indulging in and its purpose.
“What could have saved Indian society from the ponderous burden of omniferous ritualistic ceremonialism, with its animal and other sacrifices, which all but crushed the very life of it, except the Jain revolution which took its strong stand exclusively on chaste morals and philosophical truths?
Jains were the first great ascetics and they did some great work. ‘Don’t injure any and do good to all that you can, and that is all the morality and ethics, and that is all the work there is, and the rest is all nonsense-the Brahmins created that. Throw it all away.’
And then they went to work and elaborated this one principle all through, and it is most wonderful ideal: how all that we call ethics they simply bring out from that one great principle of non-injury and doing good.” (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3)
Our soul has once in a hundreds or thousands or perhaps millions of years, this human body; either spend in ignorance or pursue the real knowledge.