TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 4 Jul 2022
Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service
Most people are religious and follow their religion truthfully and faithfully in their lives. Most important of the religions are Christianity — both Protestant and Catholic; Islam with highest number of Muslims living in Indonesia. Another important and popular faith is Buddhism (termed after Gautam Buddha) that is widespread in many parts of the world — India, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos etc. The principal Buddhist leader is known as Dalai Lama who lives in north India, bordering Tibet.
Then we have various forms of Hinduism of India, Nepal and some other neighbouring countries. Hinduism has faith in many well known Gods — Rama, Krishna, Shankar, Ganesh, and several goddesses — Lakshmi, Parvati, Durga, Saraswati and others with beautiful temples having been built in their honour. There are other faiths such as Sikhism, Baha’i , Zoroastrianism and some tribal faiths — the latter varying from country to country and tribe to tribe. Some of the Sikh temples like the Golden Temple in Amritsar are gorgeous and attract millions of faithfuls to them. The Baha’i temple in Delhi is also beautiful and attracts millions of people in its peaceful form.
But some people declare that they do not follow these well known religions or faiths, yet have a feeling of doing good in society, are truthful and have a feeling that there is some Spirit or Order in the world that propels them to do what they do — being helpful, honest and well meaning towards not only mankind but also the environment and animals etc. Such people are opposed to materialism or individualism and act in a manner beneficial to society. They believe that all people in this world are equal despite the differences in their cultures, appearances, languages. Their belief may be termed as spiritual and the order they follow may be termed as Spirituality.
An interesting approach to spirituality, truth, peace has been provided by a French woman Fabian who worked in a Buddhist temple in central France Le Bost. It had separate monasteries for men and women similar to a Tibetan Temple. She met several people looking for peace and joy in this Centre and helped some people to visit other spiritual retreats. Her knowledge of German and English in addition to French helped her travel with some Buddhist monks who were not conversant with European languages.
Her story and her spiritual path from being born a catholic child to find solace in Buddhism and teachings of Buddhist leaders such as Dalai Lama is fascinating and worth following for those people who are looking for a spiritual way of life. The world is full of cruelty, violence and inequality but people like Fabian and Mahatma Gandhi give us hope for a better, peaceful world.
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. email@example.com
Tags: Religion, Spirituality
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Jul 2022.
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