Which religion introduced Spirituality in India?
First, science. We know everything (animate and inanimate) is made up of atoms. Much before modern science discovered atoms, the ancient Hindu Sage Kanada stated that every object is made of Kanas (Kanam=Atom). Energy is stored in the nucleus of an atom. Mass is, in a way, thus concentrated energy.
Our ancients called this energy divine and said the entire cosmos is the manifestation of this energy. Hence they said: Isavasyam idam sarvam – that is, everything in the universe is part of one complete whole that is inseparable from God.
So, for a Sanatana Dharmi (Hindu), everything is divine. There is no divide between spirituality and materialism. All our Gods carry metallic weapons and wear top-class jewelry and high-quality organic clothes. Very materialistic, in that sense. Hindus see God in everything – from fish to birds. From monkey to elephant. 330 million Gods! Everything is part of God, so everything is divine.
Our Bharatvarsh (complete India) is thus a Punya Bhoomi (holy or divine land). There is an old saying: “God sent sons and messengers to other countries. But God came directly to India and lived here.” The land Bharat itself is thus divine. So we don’t have to classify anything here into spiritual and physical.
For Christianity, God is a Sky citizen sitting behind clouds and watching/judging you whether you earnestly follow His (God’s gender is male) so-called commandments. The Evangelists and Europeans had a concept of Church vs State. Religion Vs Science. Spirituality Vs Materialism. The Church (spirituality) fought with the State (represented by King) and the former believed that the physical sciences come under the State.
Incidentally, the conflict between the Church and the King was not based on any theology. But it was all about the jurisdiction and the imposition and collection of taxes. Money matters both in spirituality and materialism.
Religion and science are fundamentally incompatible for them. They disagree profoundly on how we obtain knowledge of the world. Science is based on observation and reasoning from observation. Religion assumes that all knowledge is provided in the Holy Book. Anything else is not acceptable. Since their beliefs and superstitions came under spirituality, they punished scientists like Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei. Science frightened both the Catholic Church and Protestant religious leaders because its ideas always went against the churches’ teachings and authority.
On the contrary, in India, most of the Sages were scientists too. The foundation stone of Sanatan Dharma was Science. Even the leader of atheism (Charvaka, Lokayata, Sankhya, Mimamsa, etc) were also called Sages/Rishi.
Sanatan Dharma is founded upon Science. Christianity is founded upon Belief. When the evangelists came to India, contradictions between spirituality and materialism have been reconciled and imbibed in the Indian mindset.
Many English words appear innocent. But it will take some time to understand the real harm that those words make in generations to come.
The words – God-fearing, RIP, soul (antonym to Atma), mythology (for our historic epics), idols, elephant god, monkey god, sin, meditation – appeared very innocent. But those words (and concepts behind them) have been deeply implanted in our psyche as parameters and we find ourselves confused about Hinduism when it doesn’t fit into these set parameters
Spirituality is such a word. Check the dictionary. It originally means “concerning the Church or religion”. It is clear that the proponents of ‘Spirituality’ are just trying to sell some pseudo-science wrapped with some false equivalence and sugarcoating.
When Hindus say that “I am very spiritual”, just remember that you’re blindly mimicking Semitic nonsense. You’re an integral part of God. God is inside you as well as outside. There is nothing other than God. Let’s try to understand this basic concept.
Now about the second question: Where is the origin of Philosophy? I will discuss this in the next broadcast. Many readers requested me to keep the messages short as they would want to forward them to people who don’t read lengthy articles. (Message No: 360)
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