Oct 18, 2023

Protecting an ideology/belief/faith

 I was hesitant to bring up this topic, but I decided to go ahead with it, given the observations in the past few weeks.

At home, we play a Board game named Pandemic. As the name suggests, it is a collaborative game where players take the roles of specialized professionals to cure the world of 4 different viruses and eradicate them.

The cure for a virus is found through certain rules, but the eradication happens only when there are no more cities infected with the virus.

The rulebook states, "If no cubes of this color (*color indicates the specific virus*) are on the board, this disease is now eradicated".

If we want to protect an ideology/belief/faith and do not want it to be "eradicated", we can achieve the same ONLY through our individual actions.

There is no point in raising outrage over the comments raised by politicians (who play the religion card as always to win votes), watching YouTube/FB videos and news channels that indulge in hate-spewing discussions, and sharing and commenting on such videos, adding more fuel to the fire. These only affect our mental and emotional health, and increase our blood pressure and cortisol levels.

Let's ask ourselves

  • Are we taking the time to understand our scriptures deeply?
  • Are we making the effort to learn the language used in these scriptures?
  • Are we practicing the rituals as prescribed?
  • Are we learning the meaning and purpose behind various traditions and customs?
  • Are we ready to seek a balance between material pursuits (money, title, fame, power, status) and spiritual pursuits (peace, stable mind, strength, resilience)?
  • Are we ready to slowly detach from worldly pleasures as we age? (as explained in the Ashrama system)

Most importantly,

  • Are we spending time with our children/grandchildren to pass on the wisdom - teaching stories and values and giving them experiential knowledge through rituals and practices during festivals and special occasions?

A belief/faith will only get eradicated if no more followers are passing down the teachings to subsequent generations. Let's leave the politics aside and proceed down the path of conscious habits and discipline toward learning, practicing, and teaching the principles.

These questions are for everyone, including myself.

Small steps I have taken in the past few years in this direction are:

  • daily evening prayers by lighting the lamp and chanting a few shlokas and chants
  • all festivals celebrated traditionally, with voluntary effort
  • visiting a temple every weekend (Hanuman ji temple on Saturdays mostly)
  • practicing spiritual sadhana based on Yoga philosophy
  • connecting with the divine and surrendering my efforts in whatever I do
  • started to learn the scriptures and roots of Indian philosophy
  • sharing the principles learned using stories (thanks to Amar Chitra Katha) with my daughter

I have a long way to go, but I'd rather focus my efforts on my actions than watch umpteen videos on Whatsapp/FB/YouTube and feel rage/anger, which serves no purpose in upholding Sanatana Dharma.

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