Archive for the ‘religion’ Tag

Why Is Man Interested In Spirituality?

Each one feels like finding out the one from whom he has been created and feels like returning to Him. For instance, when one comes of age, if one comes to know that one’s mother is foster and that the real one is elsewhere, then one goes in search of her. If one goes on a vacation to a beautiful foreign land, at some point one feels like returning home. Similarly, each one feels at least subtly like going in search of the Creator and desires to return to Him. One feels like giving this impermanent life a support of the permanent. That is, one feels like going from incompleteness to absoluteness at some time or the other as there is a certainty of finding everlasting bliss on this path.

This is the highest state of enlightenment a human being can achieve. It reflects the pillars of spirituality, like asceticism and inner enlightenment. In Jainism, Jina is a human being who helps in achieving liberation and enlightenment by destroying soul-constraining karmas, is a role-model and leader for those seeking spiritual guidance. This human revitalized society consisting of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen. A tirthankara also means “full moon,” a metaphorical reference to the spiritual state achieved by exalted and rare beings; a state of permanent, perpetual, absolute knowledge of the Soul; it is the precursor to final liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The scriptures define the term tirthankara as the contrivance which helps us to cross the great turbulent ocean of the cycle of birth and death, of worldly life.

Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals. Many religious traditions, for example, Buddhism, Jainism, the Christian Desert Fathers include practices that involve restraint with respect to actions of body, speech, and mind like that of the Pythagoreans. The founders and earliest practitioners of these religions lived extremely austere lifestyles, refraining from sensual pleasures and the accumulation of material wealth. They practiced asceticism not as a rejection of the enjoyment of life, or because the practices themselves are virtuous, but as an aid in the pursuit of physical and metaphysical health.


Mean Gods Make Good People

Fear of supernatural punishment serves as a deterrent to counter normative behavior, even in anonymous situations free from human social monitoring. The relationship between cheating behavior and view of God as loving and compassionate or as an angry and punishing agent operates here. Overall levels of religious devotion or belief in God do not directly predict cheating. However, viewing God as a more punishing, less loving figure is reliably associated with lower levels of cheating. This relationship remains even after controlling for relevant personality dimensions, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and gender.

The belief in supernatural agents has been a powerful force found throughout all cultures and across all recorded human history. One of the most common even if controversial assumptions about these beliefs is that they encourage moral behavior. Researchers suggest that these beliefs persisted and proliferated precisely because of the social utility served by these purported pro-social effects. For years, these theories were left empirically wanting. Most of the confirmatory evidence was anecdotal, and the empirical research that did investigate trait religiosity and pro-social behavior in the lab historically failed to find any marked effects. In recent years, an increasing number of studies demonstrate that religion does indeed foster pro-social behavior under specific conditions. For example, psychological experiments have shown how implicitly activating religious thinking in the moment can encourage pro-social behavior. Implicitly priming religious thoughts is found to increase generosity in anonymous economic games, even though trait religiosity is found to be unrelated to generosity. Implicit and subliminal priming of religious ideas has also been shown to more directly increase honest behavior, but again, among unprimed participants, trait religiosity was unrelated to honesty.

Such studies show the conditions under which religion plays a role as a facilitator of cooperative behavior among large groups of anonymous individuals. People’s opportunistic selfishness can be reined in by a belief in, devotion to, and fear of supernatural beings. Nonetheless, these studies relied on priming religious thinking in the moment, revealing much about the religious situation but little about the religious disposition. When psychological researchers looked at whether trait religiosity is associated with reduced cheating behavior, the vast majority of studies have found no correlation. Contrary to theoretical predictions, religiosity, as measured by both belief and religious attendance, has not been found to predict cheating behavior. A minority of studies has even shown a positive trend—increased religiosity being associated with more cheating.

How does religion’s role in enforcing moral behavior square with the above empirical results? Are there any aspects of religiosity, measured as an individual difference, that are related to reducing counter normative behaviors such as cheating? The possibility considered is that by examining the degree of religious belief, researchers may have missed a different and possibly more potent aspect of belief. Johnson and Krüger in 2004 suggested that it is the concept of punishing supernatural agents, in particular, that has been instrumental at reducing normative transgressions—a theory they termed as supernatural punishment hypothesis. Although, recent research indicates that positive rewards can encourage cooperative behavior when there is an opportunity to form social relationships. The supernatural punishment hypothesis specifically predicts that it is the punishing aspects of gods and the threat of divine punishment, rather than any loving or compassionate traits, which are responsible for keeping adherents from crossing ethical boundaries in anonymous situations where they would otherwise be tempted. Consistent with this idea, game theoretical work demonstrates that, when it comes to deterring normative transgressions in anonymous situations, the stick holds considerably more power than the carrot.

The temptation to cheat cannot be controlled by the promise of reward nearly as much as it can be controlled by the threat of punishment. Carrots are not enough because, although they may encourage some people to cooperate, they do not prevent all from cheating. Indeed, lab experiments reveal that without the possibility of punishing cheaters, cooperation cannot be effectively cultivated. Therefore, if gods make people good, it may be because of the credible threat of their punitive tendencies. As a result, the supernatural punishment hypothesis specifically predicts that a belief in fearful and punishing aspects of supernatural agents is associated with honest behavior, whereas a belief in the kind, loving aspects of gods is less relevant.

An analysis of participants in lab for beliefs in both the positive; for example, loving, compassionate and negative: for example, punishing, vengeful aspects of God calculated cheating behavior in a controlled laboratory setting; free from human monitoring. This analysis revealed that common personality factors associated with cheating tendencies, particularly low conscientiousness accounted for both the tendency to cheat less and the tendency to see God as an angry and punishing agent. Second, these views may have been contaminated by cheating behavior. Those who did cheat may have been motivated to see their deity as a little more forgiving and a little less harsh than had they not transgressed a moral norm, hence mean gods make good people.

Be Yourself

Your heart holds all the answers. If there is an area of your life where you are not completely fulfilled, it is because you are denying a part of yourself that is seeking expression. When you live fully and completely without concern for how others perceive you or the expectation that you will fail, when you liberate yourself from these restrictions, you truly have an abundance of joy. That, my friend, is the true measure of success. Today, be yourself. Live fully. Live completely. Follow your heart.

Posted March 26, 2013 by dranilj1 in BODY_MIND_HEART_SPIRIT

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Godly Traits


Life is an uninterrupted contemplation of God. Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn together. What is God? God is Love. If you must be mad, be mad with the love of God. Good sayings are found in holy books, but just reading them will not make you religious. Practice the virtues taught in such books to be God-conscious.

God is Knowledge. If you reinforce yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live surrounded by wealth and worldliness, they will in no way affect you. When the divine vision is achieved, all emerge equal; and there remains no difference of good and bad, or of high and low. Good and evil cannot bind one who has realized the sameness of Nature and his own self with Brahman.

God is in Your Heart. The screen of illusion shuts off God from human view; one cannot see Him playing in one’s heart. After installing the Deity on the lotus of your heart, you must keep the lamp of remembering God ever burning. While engaged in the affairs of the world, you should constantly turn your gaze inwards and see whether the lamp is burning or not.

God is in all human, but all human are not in God; that is why we suffer. As a nurse in a wealthy family brings up her master’s child, loving it as if it were her own, yet knowing well that she has no claim upon it, so you also think that you are but trustee and guardians of your children whose real father is the Lord himself.

Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached. Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God who is the soul of truth. One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God.

God is above all Arguments. If you desire to be pure, have firm faith, and slowly go on with your spiritual practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Your little brain will otherwise be muddled.

Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone. To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward or fear of any punishment in this world or the next. Work so done is a means to the end, and God is the end.

Spiritual Unity Reigns Over All Racial Differences

In the night, we stumble over things and become acutely conscious of their separateness, but the day reveals the unity which embraces them, and the man whose inner vision is bathed in consciousness at once realizes the spiritual unity which reigns over all racial differences, and his mind no longer stumbles over individual facts, accepting them as final. He realizes that peace is an inner harmony and not an outer adjustment, that beauty carries the assurance of our relationship to reality, which waits for its perfection in the response of our love.

Posted February 24, 2013 by dranilj1 in Life

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Contradiction Of Existence

In love, all contradiction of existence is merged and lost. Only in love are unity and duality not at variance. Love must be one and two at the same time. Only love is motion and rest in one. Our heart ever changes its place till it finds love, and then it has its rest. Bondage and liberation are not antagonistic in love; for love is most free and at the same time most bound.

Posted February 24, 2013 by dranilj1 in Life

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Facts for God


The physicist Leo Szilard once told a friend he intended to keep a diary "to record the facts for God." "Don’t you think God knows the facts?" his friend asked. "Yes," said Szilard, "He knows the facts, but He does not know this version of the facts…Who has not had some confrontation, some choice to make, to stand up for what they feel is right, even when it means going against loved ones, family, friends, or bosses and co-workers? Here are just a few examples of the same situation that occurs in modern life. What do you do when you learn your company or boss is cheating the employees, the country, harming the earth or the citizens? What does a student do when their friend tells them about some mischievous plans they have to deface their school, or worse, to harm students at school? What do you do when a beloved relative, friend or teacher suddenly chooses a course you feel is unethical? What do you do when your friends tease or hurt someone just because they are different from you emotionally, culturally, or with regard to race or religion? What do you do when family or friends ask you to behave according to what are politically correct or culturally acceptable, yet you feel you are not being yourself? Do you stand up against the status quo or peer pressure and speak what you feel is right, or do what you feel is right whatever the consequence; even at the expense of being ostracized or worse? As a result of seeing this human side, we will have an anxiety attack. Unable to decide what to do, we become numb. So with the basic premise laid out, the underlying spiritual or ethical question becomes…How do you choose what is real? How do you determine what is important? Do ethics supersede relationships with loved ones? Do ethics prevail over peer pressure? Is war ever worth fighting when standing up for what you feel is righteous, gets others killed, hurt, or punished? Is there sin attached to your actions during war? Life doesn’t seem to be black and white, but rather many shades of gray. These are basic questions that people today are forced ask themselves from time to time.

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