Tag Archives: religion

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Albert Einstein

The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men.

— Albert Einstein

(photo: Yousuf Karsh)

The Mystic Emotion

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Allãh-Rãma,
I live by Your Name:
show me Your mercy,
my Lord.

If Allãh resides
inside a mosque,
then whose is the rest of the land?
Hindus claim His Name
inhabits an idol:
but God can’t be found
in either place.

The southern country
is Hari’s home,
the west is Allãh’s camping ground.
Search your heart,
your heart of hearts:
that’s His abode,
that’s His camp.

The brahmin fasts
once a fortnight,
the qãzĩ fasts for Ramadãn.
Each devotes
eleven months to himself,
then looks for rewards
in a month of fasts.

Why go off to Orissa
for ritual immersions?
Why bow your head in a mosque?
You’re a crook at heart,
you pretend to pray:
why go all the way
on a hajj to the Ka’aba?

These men and women,
The whole lot of them,
are nothing but Your forms.
I’m a child
of Allãh-and-Rãma,
everyone’s my guru-and-pĩr.

Kabir says, listen,
O men and women:
seek shelter with the One and Only.
Repeat His singular Name,
you creatures: for only then
will you be able
to cross life’s ocean.

Note from the translator:

The poem opens by compounding ‘Allãh’ and ‘Rãma’ into a single name, and addressing that compound God directly as a unified divinity. This pada attacks the ‘externalized’ rituals and institutions of both Hinduism and Islam. Its main strategy is to question the reasonableness of central Hindu and Muslim beliefs as well as practices; to point to the unacceptable contradictions within the two religions; to highlight the pretension and hypocrisy embedded in their actual practices; and to expose the absurdity of their practices in relation to their professed principles. The poem then rejects the actuality of Hinduism and Islam by proposing an alternative to both, which claims that God ‘exists’ in the human heart of Self; that all human beings therefore are ‘forms’ of God; that any human is hence God’s ‘child’; that we should therefore seek shelter with that one and only true God; and that we should repeat His divine Name as the sole mantra of mukti. ‘Allãh-Rãma’ is an instance of the ‘theological secularism’ characteristic of the Kabir poets.

— Kabir – Allãh-Rãma – The Weaver’s Songs (transl. Vinay Dharwadker)

Allãh-Rãma by Kabir the Weaver

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A religious belief is not a statement about Reality, but a hint, a clue about something that is a mystery, beyond the grasp of human thought. In short, a religious belief is only a finger pointing to the moon. Some religious people never get beyond the study of the finger. Others are engaged in sucking it. Others yet use the finger to gouge their eyes out. These are the bigots whom religion has made blind. Rare indeed is the religionist who is sufficiently detached from the finger to see what it is indicating — these are those who, having gone beyond belief, are taken for blasphemers.

— Anthony de Mello – One Minute Nonsense – p. 134

When the sage points at the moon, all that the idiot sees is the finger

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Man has invented various spiritual disciplines and religious faiths in his pursuit of God. The versatility of man’s mind has devised diverse pathways to God, as if God had his abode on some inaccessible mountain-top far far away, and the seeker has to undertake a long and arduous journey to reach him. A pathway has a starting point and a destination point to which it leads. Now, there cannot be a pathway to God, because God is omnipresent. He exists everywhere. He is existence itself, not an existent as such.

— Sudhakar S. Dikshit – I Am All – The Inner Way

No Path!

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“I” and “you” are but the lattices,
in the niches of a lamp,
through which the One Light shines.
“I” and “you” are the veil
between heaven and earth;
lift this veil and you will see
no longer the bonds of sects and creeds.
When “I” and “you” do not exist,
what is mosque, what is synagogue?
What is the Temple of Fire?

—Sa’d Ud Din Mahmud Shabistari – The Secret Rose Garden – Part IX – Man: His Capabilities and his Destiny (p. 64)

“I” and “You”

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  1. Love Is The Law Of Life
    All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore, love for love’s sake, because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.
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  3. It Is Your Outlook That Matters
    It is our own mental attitude, which makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light.
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  5. Life Is Beautiful
    First, believe in this world – that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see something evil, think that you do not understand it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves!
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  7. It Is The Way You Feel
    Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.
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  9. Set Yourself Free
    The moment I have realised God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
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  11. Don’t Play The Blame Game
    Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.
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  13. Help Others
    If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.
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  15. Uphold Your Ideals
    Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.
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  17. Listen To Your Soul
    You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
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  19. Be Yourself
    The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!
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  21. Nothing Is Impossible
    Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin – to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
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  23. You Have The Power
    All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.
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  25. Learn Everyday
    The goal of mankind is knowledge…now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man ‘knows’, should, in strict psychological language, be what he ‘discovers’ or ‘unveils’; what man ‘learns’ is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.
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  27. Be Truthful
    Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.
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  29. Think Differently
    All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.

— Swami Vivekananda

The 15 laws of life