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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.

Copyright © 2007 Jishi Samuel