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Religion: Blessing or a Curse
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Quintessence of Life


Religion: Blessing or a Curse

Religion almost always becomes a destination rather than a boat to reach at a destination. It usually occurs like a movie projected on the screen of thoughts directed by one’s own conditioning with a cast of characters from the religious doctrine. The director being the only spectator even wins an Oscar for his own presentation. Then, pyramid of likely minded people start expanding downwards, hence come denominations, sects and different religions. We read commentaries upon commentaries on religious scriptures, diverse interpretations based on logical conclusions without even realizing the simple fact that this is just ‘mind at work’. It is like using words to define love without ever experiencing it; describing honey without even tasting it! Naturally, the outcome has to be distorted. If heart is not there, then mind can only work like a broken mirror changing perception of reality. The scholars of different religions may quote thousand and one verses from their respective scriptures, but just a small pearl like drop of love encompasses the whole ocean of religion. A tiny ray of love can disperse the absolute dark realm of human life. The religious scriptures in their totality cannot be compared with a single living human being. The fanatics of thoughts are just distributing seeds of hatreds in the areas of their influence. In saving their religious beliefs, they are creating mental cages for human beings.
The Sufis have always said, “Wings of intellect burn at the threshold of heart”. A heart simply knows, directly experience that what it is! This is why; it creates a chaos out of order to form an order of its own, breaking the chains of borrowed religious ideas to find the Truth on its own.
The insistence of the so-called believer based on religious scriptures creates a subtle ego that forms a wall between him and the realm of love resulting in the fading out of humanistic understanding against the backdrop of a blind belief system. Such believers under the influence of religious scholars try to interpret everything from their vantage point of view. Religion does mean a way of life, but it should not be converted into a stone like law. For instance, the following acts during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammed provide food for thought::

  1. Hazrat Owais Qarni broke all his teeth when he heard that Prophet lost a tooth in Ghazwa-e-Uhad;
  2. Prophet himself would prolong Sajdas in Salaat if his grandsons had sit on his back;
  3. Several Sahaba-e-karaam would not allow Prophet’s ablution water to fall on the ground rather drink it or apply on their faces.

These are the acts of love that cannot be surpassed by any other religious or irreligious act. Any religious system, which appears to present black and white laws of good and bad, evil and sin can only give rise to a rigid society where the highest value of humanity i.e. love or expressions of love would likely to be crushed. 
Poetry, anecdotes and discourses of the Sufis reflect the realm of knowledge that always surpasses the narrow bonds of conditioned minds. Now, whether we call such an individual a Sufi or a Creative soul, a common thread exists that he always transcends the pool of stagnant water like opinions to float in an open sea of limitless ideas. His truth or the original ideas shakes the very foundation of a society and consequently, it tries to save itself by either condemning the creative individual or by giving limited meaning to an unlimited idea. To elaborate it further, following ideas from the lives of Sufis may shed some light on their religious understanding: -

  1. Rumi has said about the angels that they are not some kind of heavenly creatures with wings rather reflect higher faculty of a human being.
  2. Baba Bhulle Shah has said that a living human being is much more holy and precious than the so-called holy places of worship.
  3. Once a Sufi had reported to say to a person going on a Haj as to why to go all the way to circumambulate a house of stone, instead circumambulate ‘ME’ – a living house of God.
  4. Hazrat Amir Khusro (RA) said to Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia (RA), ‘Man Qibla raast kardam bar samt kaj kulahe’

This is the path of a Sufi where religion is redefined from inside out after replacing the outside authority by one’s conviction of his own potential that can be realized in this life span through interacting with other human beings in a humanistic way. After all, we are here to celebrate the same party in different outfits. One should be free to enjoy his stay on this planet and be allowed to grow on his own amidst the company of other growing souls.