Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Spiritual Intelligence: International Religion of the 21st Century?


Religion it would seem, has failed us.

Prayer was to have helped us find salvation and good karma was to have paved the way for a promising destiny. Evil should have vanquished at the hands of good and the villains should have long-rotted in hell. Peace, love and discipline – preached by all religions – should have prevailed.

Instead, we find thugs leading the good life while honest citizens languish and terrible fates seem to befall the best of people we know. Religious figureheads seem as scam-prone as politicians and even temple trusts are not immune to embezzlement. Ethnic strife is, ironically, fuelled – not quelled - by religious beliefs and views.

In contrast, the long-decried materialistic ways of the West that focus on instant gratification seem to offer a more predictable and higher standard of living than our spiritual ways that promise a pathway to a future paradise.

The scientific method has empowered us with so much information that the fabric and credibility of religion have been impacted.

But has it really?

Have we truly been empowered by information or are the dangers of applying half-knowledge lurking round the corner?


Indians are by nature heavily influenced by culture and tradition and in a sense, fairly possessive about them too. And that's not bad at all. Except that when the culture and tradition are not “scientifically-grounded”, it's easy for us to get confused.

Needless to say, our culture and traditions are heavily influenced by our religion and compounded by regional variations. Given that we have no dearth of regions or religions in India, the resulting mix of culture and tradition based on religion is both, strong and fragile, widespread and localized.