Often these days in debates on religion and violence, it is not uncommon to hear statements like “all religions are equally bad” (or equally good). I contest this apologetic statement which is designed to reduce pressure from religions to wean themselves away from terrorism and violent value systems. I also propose case that all ‘indic religions’ (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) have value systems that encourage “seeking” as opposed to “being told” about revealed divine laws — thus inculcating an ability to accept dissent and engage in debate for spiritual growth and learning. This is opposite of how Abrahamic religions’ value systems are designed —they dictate to the individual, revealed inviolate laws of the creator via his prophets and as captured in usually one holy book.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftn4zCnheBk Swami Sarvpriyananda discusses the concept of God from the Taittitriya Upanishad, Sholka 2:1. Actually, a better term to use for Hindus is Brahman, instead of God. God has become such a loaded word, thanks to Hinduism ceding too much ground to Abrahamic religions. The idea of God that you will experience here is neither the comforting nor the fiercely judgemental idea of God of Islam, Christianity. Enter this talk with an open mind, without defense, without expectations of reaffirming your current ideas of God, and the Swami will take you on a journey of re-defining your relationship with the Creator as well as the created. This is an absolutely brilliant talk, seeped in tough logic. Stay with it. You will be hooked. --- Some notes -
Speaking from my own experience this talk brought the Mandukya Upanishad alive for me. Turiya, the fourth state, by which all the other three -- Waking, Dreaming, Blank/Deep Sleep state -- become manifest. The analogy Swami draws here with the Bangle, Necklace, Ring with Gold as its essence describes the state of Turiya -- pure consciousness -- really well. Boldly, the Swami proclaims that such deep reflection on "Who am I" has not been dealt with in any religion of the world. Must, must watch! Start with an open mind for the first 30 mins -- you'll be hooked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGKFTUuJppU