By Ramesh Kulkarni
Worked in IT as GM/VP/President in India & USA.
The religious books
I read the Vedas, Gita, Bible, Guru Granth sahib, Quran, Zenda vesta, Buddhacana & most of them.
Just curious to know what our ancestors were thinking & trying to communicate to humanity.
These religious books/scriptures were written to provide guidance to humanity.
Thousands of our ancestors contributed to the vast repository of religious knowledge.
All these scriptures were written thousands of yrs ago, in different eras, regions and languages.
Most of the languages in which they were written are now extinct.
No one follows, understands or uses them in this 21st century.
They have now been translated into modern languages eg The Bible was originally written in Hebrew (extinct) but is now available in English, German, French, and Italian etc
All these religious books/scriptures use colorful poetic language, anecdotes, stories & examples to essentially convey the same message.
The virtues of universal peace, brotherhood, love, sharing & caring, compassion etc.
And also self-control over destructive emotions like lust, anger, greed, ego etc.
It must have been deep & profound for people back then when the population was tribal & primitive.
But today - it’s pretty much stating the very obvious.
Most of the developed nations have large %age of population (mostly educated) that are non-religious, agnostics or atheists
(30% in USA/Europe to 50-78% in Hong Kong/China/South Korea etc).
And this population is growing rapidly.
However majority of human population is not literate & lack college education.
Also majority of the ‘followers’ of religions have probably never seen or read the original scriptures.
Nor even read the translated version.
Much less understood it.
And consequently they seek interpretation of these scriptures as well as guidance, instructions & leadership.
Today we have preachers who translate/interpret them, add their own subjective version and propagate it as the original.
And since there are no formal regulatory authorities it’s kind of free for all.
Preachers have memorized these scriptures & mastered the art of reciting it making them sound mystical & divine.
Religion today has also become ritualistic.
Human beings enjoy these rituals & over time have become habituated/addicted to them.
Most of them going thru the motions without even knowing its logic or rationale.
Purpose of religion
The ‘Meaning & purpose of life’ is a mystery that has puzzled baffled & confused all the brightest & brilliant minds.
The ephemeral, fleeting & transient nature of life has spooked, haunted, terrified & tormented them.
From the seven saptarishi Sages 3800 years ago to Prophet Zoroaster, Shri Gautam Buddha, lord Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad , Shri Mahavir Jain, Shri Guru Nanak (480) yrs & Mirza Husayn 'Ali NuriBahai (170 yrs ago)
And the thousands of saints & sages...
They all had a unique perspective & tried to
(1) Comprehend the universe & the world around us
(2) The meaning & purpose of life.
(3) And provide a roadmap & directions to entire humanity - by way of rituals & practices.
Rituals and practices that included prayers, dress code, physical appearances, festivals, cultural & social norms etc.
They all wanted to promote – Peace, brotherhood, sharing & caring, compassion & happiness in the world.
All of them lived and died trying to make human beings realize their true potential & evolve into their higher self.
To become better human beings.
And to make the planet a better place.
Prayers - Experiences of Praying in different places of worship.
Prayers form the core of all religions.
Rituals & practices are the secondary glue that binds a religion.
I was born in Mumbai India in a Hindu family.
Studied for 8 yrs at Catholic school in Mumbai India where classes began with Christian prayers every day.
Lived in USA for 10 yrs & now settled in Canada for 8 yrs.
In all these years have prayed at
(a)Hindu Temples – more than 50 known temples in India, USA & Canada
(b)Churches - With Christian friends at the Bandra-Mahim church & churches in Goa, Vatican, Germany, USA & Canada
(c) Mosques - With my Muslim friends in Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai India & other Darghas/ Mosques in Maharashtra & Kashmir.
(d) Gurudwaras - Regularly at many Gurudwaras in India, USA and Canada ie Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Surrey BC
(e) Buddhist Temples - Several dozen times at International Buddhist Center in Maryland USA and at Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temples in India etc
(f) Jain Temples – At several Jain temples in Mumbai.
All these places of worship have tranquil & serene atmosphere.
Felt peaceful & rejuvenated in all of them.
But I feel the same even when i sit and pray in my bedroom/drawing room.
Or even when I meditate – (just blank out my mind & suspend all thoughts)
In all these scenarios it resets & re-energizes the brain.
Self-hypnosis is effective - Everywhere.
(See the article on - (a) Prayers - The secret, mystery & science behind it on www.ci-e.com. (b) Everything is One - explains the technical science behind prayers)
The major ones being (1) Antiquity wars – in Europe between tribes
(2) The crusades – Christian holy war against Muslim expansion
(3) Reconquista - Christian vs Muslims
(4) Hussite wars – Christian’s vs Hussites Catholic papal v nationalist Christians in Germany
(5) Soga Monobe conflict – Buddishm vs Shintoism in Japan
(6) European wars of religion – Catholics vs Protestants
(7) Ethopian Adal wars – Christians vs Islam
(8) Greek war of Independence – Christian vs Muslims
(9) Israeli-Palentinian conflicts – Jews vs Muslims
(10) India-Pakistan Partition - Hindus vs Muslims
(11) Nigerian conflict – Christians vs Muslims
(12) Buddhist wars – Christians vs Buddhists
Chinese conflicts – Chinese hui vs Muslims Uyghur’s
(13) Lebanese wars – Christians vs Muslims
Iran-Iraq wars – Muslims Sunni vs Muslim Shia
(14) Mughal Sikh wars – Sikhs vs Muslims
(15) Yugoslav wars – Christians vs Muslims
(16) Sudanese wars – Christians vs Muslims
There were many intra religious wars too ie Catholics vs Protestants, Shias vs Sunnis etc.
All these wars in the name of religion led to killing of millions of human beings.
And in many cases the destruction & breakup of nations.
Although some of the conflicts were not rooted strictly in religion and instead may have been a cover for the underlying secular power, ethnic, social, political, and economic reasons.
Who is instigating these killings?
The preachers of course!!
All our ancestors who wrote the scriptures were intelligent, compassionate & enlightened.
They had an enlarged vision, inclusive worldview & worked for the benefit of entire humanity.
They propagated universal peace, love, brotherhood, respect, equality, affection, selflessness & compassion etc.
On the one hand the preachers of course have indeed done an incredible job of ensuring the sanity of humanity by propagating the good & noble messages of our ancestors.
But they also ended up compartmentalizing & labeling them.
Making their respective prophet’s scriptures “exclusive” instead of showcasing their “universally inclusive” nature.
Majority of the preachers used soft persuasion & motivation to spread their messages while some used violence, intimidation & coercion.
Unfortunately they ended up setting one prophet against another & creating enmity, divisions & hatred amongst humanity.
They went to the extent of even propagating mass killings in the name of their prophets & religion!
And in one fell swoop wrecked & destroyed the very foundation of the intent & aim of these prophets.
And ended up in fundamentally devaluing their messages & stature.
Preachers & University Professors
Majority of the preachers are not even formally educated.
They are not well read & most likely to have read/ memorized just one religious book
And consequently suffer from tunnel vision.
They are economically poor leading frugal, restricted & repressive life.
Their empathy & emotional IQ is also considerably lower than normal people.
What does it take to become a professor in a University?
A min PHD - that entails high levels of IQ, 28 yrs of rigorous academic studies, consistently high academic scores, specialization, thesis, research, dissertation, examinations, publishing papers etc
What does it take to become a religious preacher?
The knowledge of just one religious book?
Which is not even a fraction of what it takes to be a professor in any university.
Can humanity in 21st century afford to have unqualified & unregulated preachers influencing millions of children & people?
The voice of sanity
Around 3000 years ago our ancestors wrote
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – meaning “The world is a family”
One is a relative, the other stranger,
say the small minded.
The entire world is a family,
live the magnanimous.
lift up your mind, enjoy
the fruit of Brahmanic freedom.
— Maha Upanishad 6.71–75
Even without the hindsight of evolution theory - his observations & conclusions were precise & scientific.
Option 1 – Regulatory body & Minimum qualifications for preachers
Create an international religious body comprised of highly qualified academics & educationists to
Oversee and guide the preachers of all religions.
Setup minimum standards for all these preachers’ ie educational qualification and tests for IQ, General Knowledge, Emotional IQ, Psychology etc to check their capabilities & mental stability.
Prescribe frequent & ongoing reorientation programs.
In this 21st century we cannot afford to have unqualified & unhinged preachers influencing millions of vulnerable kids & semiliterate population and putting entire civilized humanity at risk.
Option 2 - Standardization of Elementary & secondary school education All developed nations like USA & Canada etc have a standardized public school education systems with respect to infrastructure, curriculum, examination & evaluation process. Children from all backgrounds ie religions, nationalities, economic backgrounds, gender attend & study together. Children under the guidance & mentorship of educated & skilled teachers learn to respect, honor, appreciate and become dignified children. They are taught to be kind, courteous, sympathetic, patient & generous. They are encouraged to volunteer, bond and contribute positively towards community & humanity. All these qualities are immediately noticeable in children educated from these public schools in USA, Canada etc. Religious schools and schools run by Religious institutions create exclusivism, division & isolation amongst children. This is risky & dangerous for the society and the future of humanity. And such schools need to be banned and students transitioned to public schools. Education system with respect to infrastructure & curriculum should be standardized across a nation. A good school education is the basis for a civilized society & developed nation
Option 3 – Global Changes in University curriculum
The modern educated generation is mostly non-religious, science oriented & liberal, but do observe the religious rituals because of family cultural customs..
The current university education is designed to help students get a job & make a career.
But Universities need to enhance the curriculum to not only make the students emotionally intelligent, compassionate, sensitive & broad minded.
But also highly advanced & evolved human beings.
The curriculum should be expanded to include subjects like – Universal Peace/ harmony, Love, Brotherhood, Respect, Selflessness, Sharing & Caring, and Compassion etc.
As well as formal mandatory courses on self hypnosis for controlling self-destructive emotions like lust, anger, greed, jealousy, ego etc .by resetting & reenergizing the brain.
Things that all our ancestors were trying to convey thru the scriptures.
PS - We propose screening our science documentary 'Everything is One' to all the students. It is an initiative for a utopian world based on science & for bringing humanity together.
Risk to democratic nations
Many nations in the world are democratic, open, liberal societies.
They allow freedom of religions & multiculturalism in the hope that it will bring humanity together.
But such freedom is being misused by some preachers who continue to create division & sow hatred detrimental to the very survival of such democratic nations.
These democratic nations need to modify their internal & immigration laws and ensure that only qualified preachers are allowed to enter & preach. Unhinged & myopic preachers preaching hate & divisiveness should be banned from preaching.
So that peace, harmony, demographic balances & progress is maintained.
Till such time that the entire humanity matures, evolves & comes together.
To follow the beautiful messages of our ancestors.
Center for introspection & enlightenment
Initiatives for a Utopian world & human life based on Science.
Evolve into a advanced specie.