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Religions of the world

There are different types of religions in this world.

Natural and Animistic Religions

In Africa, Australia and other parts of the world, where the original inhabitants of the land and forests exist, the forces of nature on which their lives are largely dependant are idolized into human forms. They appease these "Gods" by offering their farm produce or sacrificing their domestic cattle etc.

Geographical and Historic Evolution of Culture and Civilization Culminating in Religion

The religion in India is the culture of the land evolved through thousands of years and deeply related to the geography and history of India. there is no founder for it. Foreign invasions into this land has enriched and developed this cultural process in depth and width. Likewise, the culture of India has also affected the lands of these invaders. The development of this religion is through the the evolution of the primitive language into its refined form as "Sanskrit", and the related innumerous regional languages in this land and the literature including the rich heritage of epics and scripts in these languages. Thus although the religion of the land is called as "Hindu Religion" today, this was highly irrelevant in the olden days. The word "Hindu" was originally coined by combining "Hi" for Himalaya and "ndu" for the "Udhi" in the south meaning the land between them.

Thus it can be seen that it is either an integration of a number of religions or that it is not a religion at all.

As a religion when we try to find the origin of this rich culture, it can be seen that it also originated from the primitive practices and rituals as described in the "Rig Veda".

The greatness of this religion is the unusual collection of logically sound philosophy and endearing poetic creations. But the state of chaos and confusion prevalent today in the Hindu religion has made it tough to segregate absolute truth from pure blunder.

At one end it says "Sarvam Khaluidam Brahmam" (A proclamation of universal equality where all that has been evolved here is said to be part of the Absolute.) and at the other end discriminates and ousts the "untouchables".

The soul of Adi Shankaracharya who wrote "Soothra Bhashyam" must be cringing at the calls of action (Karma Kantda) by the modern day Acharyas and Seers.

Prophetic Religions

These are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In all these religions the central powerful God is the "Yah". A series of prophets like Isaaiah, Eliah signifies Judaism as a prophetic religion. Jesus, the next in the series, is counted by Christians as not just another prophet and is considered as God itself descended as the Son of God. For Muslims to believe the Islamic notion that Muhammed Rasool Kareem is the last prophet, the next in the series after Jesus, they will also have to believe in the fables and dreams described in their holy book. The affidavits given in the Bible are the realizations of the prophecies in the old testament. Its claimed that Jesus is the Son of God. But the only proof for this claim comes in the form of a dream that occured to his mother. To believe this one has to believe that the Mother of God would not lie. One also has to believe that dreams turns true.

The Holy Qoran is said to be the revelations from God to prophet Mohammed who was himself an illiterate and hence it is supposed that each and every syllable in the book is from God and hence to be abided without refute by a Muslim. We do not have a right to say who should believe what. So...let it be.

Idealistic and Hypostatic Religions

Although Budhism and Jainism are not strictly Prophetic Religions, since they both have founders as Vardhamana Mahavira and Gauthama Budha, these may be called as prophetic religions. However in essence they are hypostatic religions. In the Budhist Philosophy, Metaphysics is irrelevant and Psychology and Logic is the underlying thread in Budhism. But in practice modern day Budhism is deep in the clutches of superstitions, rituals and exploitations by the monks.

The core of Jainism lies in the universal love towards all living things. But being greedy for money like the Jews in Europe, the Jains have become notorious as money lenders. This contradiction is present in every religion where although there are elements of Goodness, evil elements are also equally present.

Idealistic and Hypostatic religions have originated in the western, eastern and the west asian countries. Humanism, Liberalism, Syndicalism, Socialism etc which originated in the west placed these human values with primary importance. Only a few thinkers in the society could actually practice these in their lives. Of course, Socialism is an exception to this. This religion which stood for the sake of the working class and popularized itself upholding the collective will power of the common man, came up as an alternative to the established religions of the believers. In India "Advaita Vedanta" materialized as an idealistic religion. But since Shankaran who formed this religion was believed to be a Brahmin, and a sect of Brahmins who studied the philosophy treated it as their community affair, this got reduced to just another caste specific tradition and practice.

A principal philosophy and system of religion of China based on the teachings of Lao-tzu in the sixth century B.C., Taoism advocates preserving and restoring the Tao in the body and the cosmos. Basically a religion based on meditation, the philosophical system developed by of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocates a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events.

Confucianism, the political morality taught by Confucius and his disciples, which forms the basis of the Chinese jurisprudence and education emphasized love for humanity; high value given to learning and to devotion to family (including ancestors); peace; justice; influenced the traditional culture of China.

Marxism in the Soviet Union got mixed with Leninism and subsequently became neo socialism and communism. Further during the period of Gorbachev it even became a new edition of the Orthodox Russian Church.

Maoism which developed in China as a religion was discarde by the young Chinese as it was more of a person worship.

Religions of Heirophantic Wonder

Theosophy to Cosmic Consciousness to Transcendental Meditation to the mystic Life after Death...around the world small groups form and develop a kind of religious experience. Temporarily, they too have their own magical and mystical Masters, Gurus, Bhagavans, Mothers, Babas, Amma etc who emerge and disappear with time.

Protest Religions

Socrates to Martin Luther Protest Religions evolved along the history as a need of the times. Democletes, Heracletes, Lucretes, Protagorus etc were leaders of Protest Religions. Kapila, Budha, Vatsyaya revolted against priesthood. Atheist and Rationalist who started protesting in our times through Sartre and Proust got entangled in constant dialogue with the superstitions in religions and thus even their philosophical plains became superficial.

Copyright © 2007 Jishi Samuel