Survival of Religion
The Society is dependant on the beliefs and the religious
institutions built upon these beliefs. When someone questions
this system with a fragile foundation, it is liable to get
destabilized. The administration and the priesthood are always
vigilant to this possibility that can disrupt the social,
economic and political systems.
In order to sustain this system, there are two tactics employed
by the religion. One is the hierarchical system of priesthood
and the other is the language of the religion which is often
alienated from the people.
Prayers and chants are often not in the mother tongue of
the people but in the language specific to the religion. Thus
in India, Muslims and many Christians, although they do not
follow Arabic or Hebrew, are forced to use such a foreign
language for their religious affairs. These languages thus
gets mystical and spiritual associations. Even Hindus claim
that Sanskrit is the language of the Gods.
Crypic utterances and chants, symbolic rites, symbols, instruments...the
priests never explain the meanings of these to the people
who attend these rituals. If Coca-Cola and Pepsi where to
reveal their product ingredients, these would never sell and
they would have to close shop. There are "Gurus"
who very secretly utter a "secret Mantra"
into the ears of a disciple after receiving a huge amount
of money as "Dakshina".
Shri Ramanujacharya's Guru once gave him one such secret
mantra, "Om Namo Narayanaya".
He was cautioned that if he passed this on to anybody else,
his head would explode.
Shri ramanujacharya gathered all the villagers around his
house, climbed on top of his house and shouted at the top
of his voice, "Om Namo Narayanaya".
Nothing happened. No heads exploded.
His Guru had also told him that those who were fortunate
to hear this mantra would attain "Moksha".
Even this didn't happen.