January 11, 2009

BYBS : What is Religion?

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Religion and metaphysics are subjects that have intrigued man since time immemorial. From the very beginning man has been in search for answers to questions like: Who am I? Where I have come from? Where will I go?

I recently got a chance to read a book, The Science of Religion by Yogananda Paramhansa, which deals with some of these questions.The most impressive thing about this book is that it answers most difficult questions about life in the very simplest of words.

We all define religion in various ways - sometimes just to suit our needs. But what truly is religion?

The answer given in the book, and one that I totally agree with, is as simple as avoidance of pain, and search for bliss. If the answer is so simple then why are we always troubled and in pain? Because, the book says, we, in our search for bliss, confuse pleasure and Bliss, and mistakenly begin to pursue pleasure.

The ultimate source of suffering in our life is the fact that our spiritual self begins to identify itself with the physical self a little too much. The spirit is undying and eternal, but the physical self is temporary and it is best for us that we always keep this is in mind.

The book also says that we should not curb all our wants and desires, but we should make a hedge around them so that our wants and desires do not become a source of pain and suffering.

Many more such questions are answered in the book. I felt that the book is a must read for all because today we are all running after things – things that we are not even sure we want. We want them simply because our neighbor wants them, or perhaps because it is fashionable to want them. But is that what the goal of our life is?

Yogananda Paramhansa did not think so, and I find myself agreeing with him completely.

I think everyone should read the book if one gets a chance; one’s entire way of living might change – for the better – after reading this book, which has only about 85 pages.


PERBS said...

I am glad this particular book was a blessing to you!

I was happy to see that you had posted a blessing on my third trip here to check.

SandyCarlson said...

Sounds like a great book, Neo. This author offers a useful perspective on the importance of balance.

DoubleDeckerBusGuy said...

An interesting post... and I'll be honest, as an agnostic, I don't see it as a religious thing... as much as a philosophical and meditative kind of thing... but either way, taking time to take stock in what's REALLY important is something more of us should do on a regular basis... I agree!

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