Rajeev Athale

Rajeev Athale
Indore, India
November 04
Iam a cartoonist.......


MARCH 16, 2012 11:45PM

Custom Belief Systems

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A couple of years ago I went to a Feng shui and Vastu fair out of curiosity. It was a small affair with about twenty small stalls in big room.At the first stall or table there was a woman selling what appeared to be products to improve your luck. As there was no one at her table I went there and saw a big square plate with glass pyramids arranged in a square.
    I asked her what it was. She said :
“ It is a pyramid yantra for correcting Feng shui defects in your house”.

    I asked her then that how was it possible to combine Chinese Feng shui with Ancient Egyptian pyramids and Yantra from Hindu tantric traditions. I think she was little rattled but said:
“Oh! The underlying principals are the same and you should buy it and see for yourself. It really works .”

    This got me interested in how people are are picking and choosing from many traditional belief systems and basically creating their own.

    I have seen chakras from Hathyoga and of course many tantric practices included in their teachings by many new age spiritual gurus and many Hindu and Greek gods being worshiped by new religious groups.And although this used to happen in past too the speed with which this is happening is amazing.

    In the new information age as the physical boundaries and distances become irrelevant the cultural borders are fading away too. But the great advances in communication and information sharing have not resulted in any big ideas yet. In fact there is a singular deficit of big ideas. But it cannot last for long and soon we may see new religions spreading at lightning speed and taking root in the minds of people all in a few days or weeks. Compared to the centuries it took for traditional belief systems in the past

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I've always distrusted the way some people combine bits and pieces of one religious system with another--this weird idea I have that you should buy the whole hog or none at all, I guess. But I've always seen most religion as a pig in a poke anyway...It is interesting, though, to see that Traditional Chinese medicine and Aryuveda seem to share energy meridians, and now Western medical research is discovering that energy is another factor in health and wellbeing. And then I read that an early prophet name Midrash had the story of the life of Jesus before the Christians claimed it...My first encounter with religion was in Kindergarten, where "ancient history"--the stories of the Greek gods--was backed up by trips to the actual temples where they were worshipped, which reified the concept of polytheism in my 5-year-old brain to the extent that whenever someone has demanded that I "believe" in one prophet and one only, I rebel. Hmm--long comment, but Rajeev, that's what you get for bringing up such an interesting topic!