Shib and Parboti
The Ingredients of Religion
|Myth||Durga killed Mahishasur (chief of the titans) and restored peace on earth||Adam & Eve were expelled from garden of Eden because they ate forbidden fruit. Genesis||Adam & Hawa were expelled from paradise because they ate forbidden (gandham) fruit.|
|Ritual||Worship (puja) the gods||Mass on Sunday morning||Salat ( prayer) five times a day.|
|Morality||Treat your guests as god incarnate||Love your neighbors||It is the duty of the rich to pay jakat to the poor.|
|Law||A wife cannot act independently in matters relating to the Law. She should never go against her husband and keep her speech, eyes and actions under strict control. Dhramasutra of Gautama||" Render therefore unto Caesar, the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matt. 22:21)||" Good women are obedient. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them." Al-Nisa: 4:26|
|Ideology||Ram is the central figure of Hindu religion and represents the spirit of Hinduism||Pagans (Indians, Africans and Caribbean’s) of the world have to be shown God’s way (colonialism) by priests or by the army.||1. Islam is not a religion, it is a complete code of life. 2. India has two nations: Hindus and Muslims (Jinnah 1947).|
|Sex/ sublimation||Worship of Shib's phallus, fertility rites, tantric sex and rituals||Women are your soil (hey men), go unto your soil and plough.||Muslim males can have four wives through regular marriage and many through mutah (temporary marriage). They will also get 70 houries (virgins) and ghilmans (pretty boys) in heaven.|
Fundamentalism vs. Progress
|Basic fundamental||Experimental, revised|
|Revealed, given||Empirical, experimental|
|Stability, permanence, security||Change, development, insecurity|
|Cautious, fearful||Hopeful, adventurous|
|Backward looking||Forward looking|
|Closed, dogmatic, searching, critical||Authoritarian, open|
Charles Darwin (1837): Pre-existence of Soul
"....Plato.....says in Phaedo that our 'imaginary ideas' arise from the pre-existence of the soul, are not derivable from experience.---read monkeys for pre-existence....."
Molefi Asante: Afrocentricity.
"....All religions rise out of the deification of someone's nationalism ........"
Ar Razi (865-925 AD)
"These billy goats (Prophets) pretend to come with a message from God, all the while exhausting themselves in spouting their lies, and imposing on the masses blind obedience to the "words of the master." The miracles of the prophets are impostures, based on trickery, or the stories regarding them are lies. The falseness of what all the prophets say is evident in the fact that they contradict one another: one affirms what the other denies, and yet each claims to be the sole depository of the truth; thus the New Testament contradicts the Torah, the Koran the New Testament. As for the Koran, it is but an assorted mixture of "absurd and inconsistent fables," which has ridiculously been judged inimitable, when, in fact, its language, style, and its much vaunted "eloquence" are far from being faultless. Custom, tradition, and intellectual laziness lead men to follow their religious leaders blindly. Religions have been the sole cause of the bloody wars that have ravaged mankind. Religions have also been resolutely hostile to philosophical speculation and to scientific research. The so-called holy scriptures are worthless and have done more harm than good, whereas the "writings of the ancients like Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and Hippocrates have rendered much greater service to humanity......."
(2) "The people who gather round the religious leaders are either feeble-minded, or they are women and adolescents. Religion stifles truth and fosters enmity. If a book in itself constitutes a demonstration that it is true revelation, the treatises of geometry, astronomy, medicine and logic can justify such a claim much better than the Quran...."
Al Ma'arri(973-1057 AD)
" So, too, the creeds of man: the one prevails
Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Shikhism
Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Origin: Middle East (Arab, Palestine)
|Hinduism: No founder, Jainism: Mahabir (1171 BC), Buddhism: Gautam Buddha (1168 BC)||Judaism: Moses, Christianity: Jesus, St Paul Islam: Mohammed (570-612 Hijri)|
|1. Pantheistic and Polytheistic: All Indian religions are pantheistic. The central thought of pantheism is God or Brahma permeates all beings animated or unanimated. All Indian religions are also polytheistic meaning they worship many gods and goddesses.||1. Monotheistic: Belief in one Creator is central to all of the Semitic religions. Yahweh, Jehovah, God and Allah. All invisible and omnipotent.|
|2. Inclusive or pluralist: welcome people of all religious groups to peacefully coexist and practice their own religions and faiths. all of them believe that all paths, if followed sincerely, lead to salvation. Hindu religion: " Whoever, by whatsoever path approaches me, I accept him for his salvation. All creatures great or small--I am equal to all; I hate none, nor I have any favorites. Those who worship other Gods with devotion, worship me." Krishna (Bhagavad-Gita). Buddhism: " Accept nothing on my authority, think and be a lamp unto thyself"-Gautam Buddha (the enlightened one)||
2. Exclusive: All Semitic religions encourage exclusiveness. Christianity declares that there is only one God-Jehovah-represented by his “only begotten son”- Jesus Christ. Belief in Jesus Christ as the only begotten son of the only God, Jehovah, leads to salvation. All other paths lead to damnation. Islam declares that there is only one God-Allah, represented by his Last (and the greatest) prophet- Mohammed. Belief in Mohammed as the only spokesman of the only God, Allah, leads to salvation. All other paths lead to damnation. Both Christianity and Islam inherited their exclusivist biases from their philosophical parent: Judaism.
3. All the Indian religions (Hindu, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism) consider vegetarianism to be a major virtue. Actually the Hindu concept of vegetarianism has deeper connotations. It is based on a basic respect and reverence for all forms of life. Along with the zoomorphic aspects of Hinduism, and the concepts of transmigration of souls into animals and plants, it represents a practical manifestation of the basic Hindu philosophy of pantheism
|3. Non-vegetarianism: is a basic feature of Semitic religions. While Christianity did not retain the Judaic system of ritualistic slaughter of animals, Islam not only retained it, but also made it compulsory. Islam, in fact, specifically prohibits vegetarianism (Sahih Muslim, hadith 3236) along with celibacy and physical austerity.|
|4. Idol worship: Most of the Indian religions are idol-worshipping religions. Those include Hinduism, Mahajana Buddhism and Jainism.||4. Being essentially monotheistic, all three Semitic religions consider polytheism and idolatry as cardinal sins which none of the three Gods will ever pardon. Both Christianity (although Catholics have their own idols such as Jesus, Mary and various saints, angels and cherubs and Protestant have their Cross) and Muslims (despite their Kaaba, is found in almost all Muslim households).|
|5. Belief in multiple lives and eternal recurrence: All of Indian religions (except a few Nastik schools) believe in transmigration of souls and repeated rebirth, each birth depending upon the sum total of deeds in previous lives, until each soul achieves liberation from the cycle of birth and death.||5. Belief in a single life and linear history: Both Christianity and Islam believe in a linear history, a Judaic legacy and one single life, followed by death and the day of judgment. On the day of Judgment, God (Allah or Jehovah) will raise all the souls from their deadly sleep, and dispatch them either to an eternal heaven (to enjoy endless pleasures, mostly physical for the Christians and carnal for the Muslims) or an eternal hell (to suffer endless pain and tortures forever, but for few thousands years for the Muslims for the privilege of being Muslims and due to Mohammed’s mediation), depending upon the deeds of the soul during its one single life.|
The only pagan religion (more precisely a tradition or custom emanated from Indian civilization) with millions of followers that survived the onslaught of the Islamic invaders in the middle ages and the Christian missionaries during the British colonization. Oldest of the great world religions. Hinduism is based on the doctrine of reincarnation. It is a polytheistic religion, with many gods and many different Cults and practices.
Some Basic Hindu Concepts
Concepts of Hindu Practices
Hindu Fundamentalism or Hindutta/Hindutba/ Hindutva
The elements of Hindu religion
1. The entire system of idol worship such
the lingam (fertility rite) b.
block of stones with eyes painted on them c
or finely, carved or cast, images of stone, metal or some other material
2. The concept of household gods (grihadebatas)
or community gods (gramdebatas): a. treating the idols as living beings: bathing,
dressing and feeding them .
.b. performing worship (puja) by offering flowers, water, Indian fruits such as bananas, coconuts, clothes and ornaments to the idols.
.d. music and dance performance in front of the idols
.e. partaking of prasad (offering food to the idol)
3. The use of sandal paste, turmeric and
vermilion (sindur) for smearing on the idols and on the foreheads of
4. The entire system of idol-temples and
pilgrim-centers with sacred tanks and bathing ghats (stairs) and of temple
festivals, with palanquins and chariots.
5. The tilak mark and the
(symbol of celebration of life)
6. The idea of soul, the concept of
transmigration of souls and rebirth
7. The enumeration of the days by the phases of
the moon (the tithis). Also is the importance attached to panjika
(the annual calendar based on the tithis.
8. Animistic aspects of Hinduism: .
.b. the concept of gods visiting earth in the forms of animals such as fish (matsya) and boars (barah)
,c. the concept of every gods and goddesses having a “vehicle”: Bishnu’s Garud, Ganesh’s mouse, Kartik’s peacock, Sib’s bull and Durga’s lion.
An Indian ethical religion deriving from the teachings of Buddha, 'The enlightened one', a Hindu nobleman in 6th-century BC Nepal. Subsequently, Buddhism has spread widely and has taken several forms. The road to salvation, according to Buddha, is self-denial, self-discipline and meditation, with the goal of escape from the endless cycle of reincarnation which would otherwise occur. Nirvana, or complete spiritual fulfillment, is the ultimate objective. As such, the orientation of Buddhism has often been, in Weber's terminology, "other-worldly". At times, however, Buddhism has also been a highly political religion, as in Lamaism or as part of protest movements within Third World societies.
The second largest of the monotheistic religions, deriving from the teaching of the Arabian prophet Mohammad in the 7th century. As the single all- powerful god, Allah is held to require from all believers absolute allegiance and worship five times a day. Other duties include pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Mohammad's birthplace (creating thus a perpetual opportunity for the Saudis to earn foreign currency). Muslims, the believers in Islam, acknowledge Moses and Jesus as prophets, but Mohammed is Allah's final and supreme prophet.
An explanation of the origins of Islam proposed by Montogomery Watt (1961) is that Islam originated among previously nomadic tribesmen, who on moving on to an urban context acquired a more integrative and more universalistic belief system. Watt points out that Mohammed was a member of relatively disadvantaged lineage within increasingly wealthy Meccan society. Ousted from Mecca and migrating to Medina, one effect of his prophecy was to legitimize attacks ( the first jihad, on holy wars) on Mecca's lucrative camel trains, at a time when political conditions were such as to force much formerly sea-borne trade overland, making the rewards for attack larger than usual. On the basis, Islam came to espouse what Mann (1986) refers to as a 'quasi-egalitarian' doctrine.
In its Middle Eastern and North African homeland, Islam has been the basis of numerous theocratic political empires, beginning with the empire created by Mohammed, and continued to the present day (the Iranian Islamic revolution). Like Christianity, Islam has been riven by theological and political division, notably the division between Sunni, more libertarian, and Shi'ite, more authoritarian, forms.
Islam in Bangladesh:
Islam is a Semitic
religion preached by the champion of Arab culture and nationalism:
Mohammad (570-632 AD). Mohammad is one of the most powerful
political leaders of the world because he managed to found a religion
which, originated as a tribal cult has, over centuries, turned into a global religion.
Historically Islam has been a great hit among the poor peoples across the globe.
It is a monotheist religion and rests on Judao-Christian philosophy
(Mohammad incorporated Judao- Christian philosophical tradition into
Islam). The political expansion of Islam continued as long as the sword
Some important features of Islam are:
, jakat etc.
Some important features of Islam are:Jihad or holy war, sexual abundance both here and after life, two worlds (Muslim and non-Muslims), spiritual imperialism, supremacy of Arabian culture, eradication of heritage and culture of the conquered people (Indians, Africans), medievalism, feudalism, male chauvinism, Hajj
, jakat etc.
the lower class Hindus (converted Muslims) of East Bangla. The scheduled
caste Hindus (the working class people) were exploited by the Hindu upper
classes for centuries. To escape the caste system the Hindu scheduled
classes were first converted to Buddhism and then to Islam.
In greater India the people living in the Buddhist belts (East Bangla, Afghanistan, Pakistan) were converted into Islam. The regimented monastic life of Buddhism bent on abstract concepts and thoughts found the regimented Islamic life style a familiar order to harbor in en-masse. The Hindus, with rich colorful rituals and complex philosophical orientation, found the simplistic coarse Islamic life style dull and hence stayed away from it.
Although Islam socially accommodated
the Hindu scheduled classes, it culturally alienated the converted
Muslims. It has been the biggest misfortune for the Bangalee Muslims to cut
off the heritage of rich Indian culture and civilization. The centre of
Bangladeshi mind and heart is shifted from Dhaka / Kolkata to Mecca/
Medina. Deserts and camels became the new forms of literary images. The
big cultural gap between Bangalees of East and West Bangla is indicative
of this fact. Most of the art forms and the standard of education are much
advanced in West Bangla than in East Bangla. The exodus and migration of
culturally rich Hindus from East Bangla led to the cultural
and intellectual bankruptcy of East Bangla.
Islamic ideology, backed
by the British imperialist first and then by the state, and within a
century, has turned
Bangladesh into a cultural satellite of Arabia.
The imaginative landscape
of Bangladeshi Muslims is little more than an arid Arabia.
Although Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries of the world, the Bangladeshis contribute millions of dollars every year to Saudi Arabian economy by going to hajj (more than the Saudi Arabian financial aid to Bangladesh which is mainly spent for founding Islamic schools and pampering the Islamic fundamentalist parties). Hopefully someday the devout Bangladeshis will found their own Mecca in Dhaka (Tongi perhaps). If they do they will be able to keep their money home instead of enriching the brothels and casinos of Bombay and Las Vegas which are mainly frequented by the Saudi sheikhs and princes.
Islamic ideology has been
historically exploited by the Muslim political leaders of Bangladesh to attain and
power. The trend started from the founder of so-called Islamic state
Pakistan- Jinnah. He used Islamic ideology to achieve his personal
ambition-to be the head of Pakistan. In Bangladesh all the military
dictators used Islamic ideology to legitimize military rules. Zia removed
secularism from the constitution, rehabilitated the war criminals and
Islamic fundamentalists in national politics. Ershad made Islam the state
Phony Islamic slogan and
anti Indian sentiments have been a common political strategy for the
right wing groups (Muhajirs) and Islamists to maintain their political
hegemony and turn people's attention away from the democratic practices in India in
general and social democratic practices in West Bangla in particular.
Critique of Islam:
Islamic Morality |
Islam & Human Rights | Koran |
are popularly known as Kadianis. The Prophet Muhammad prophesied that when
our Imaan ---the faith in Allah and the laws of Islam--- will vanish into
the Great Bear constellation, a Savior of Persian descent will rescue
Islam. He will appear during the 14th century (Hijrah) and will be called
Imam Mahdi. The Muslim World is eagerly waiting for him whereas the
Ahmadiyas say the Savior has already come. They accept Hazrat Mirza
Gulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Kadian as the promised Imam Mahdi. This is
the main difference between the Ahmadis and the rest of the Muslims.
his adversaries at that time, there was a notion that Jesus Christ is
alive and he will reappear from the Heavens before Doomsday. Mirza said:
It is absurd. Actually, Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross, he was
just unconscious, and later he travelled to India and that’s where he
died. His grave is in Kashmir. Mirza Gulam Ahmad proclaimed that he was
the promised Messiah and that he was a “prophet” without any new
Shariat. The holy Quran, the complete code of life, is the last Law for
the mankind. And undoubtedly, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa is the greatest
among the prophets and is the noblest man of all times.
was a prophecy that Imam Mahdi would abolish war. Mirza Gulam Ahmad banned
the popular notion of Jihad i.e. bloodshed in the name of religion. He
said, in this modern world Jihad should be done with the pen, and not with
the sword. Moreover, he emphasized on its truest form --Jihad-e-Akbar--
“the purification of self.” And for
the present belligerent world he preached tolerance and love.
their beginning, the Ahmadis have been facing a lot of antagonism. Ulamas
of all the major seventy-two sects of Islam declared them Kafirs in 1891.
Pakis chief Bhutto officially declared them non-Muslims in 1974. Later,
General Ziaul Huq waged such a persecution that the then Caliph (spiritual
leader) Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad was compelled to migrate to England. And
prior to all of this, Maulana Abul Ala Moududi stirred up an atrocious
riot against the Ahmadis in Pakistan in 1953, for which he was given the
death sentence. He was however pardoned by the military dictator Ayub
Khan. Ever since then the Ahmadis have been the sworn enemies of
Jamat-e-Islami (the party both in Pakistan and in Bangladesh following
Moududi’s version of Islam).
In Bangladesh, too, the persecution of the Ahmadis has been a recurrent issue. On November 8, 1999 a powerful bomb exploded in their mosque in Khulna and seven people died. The very recent happenings in Jessore, Kushtia and Dhaka remind us once again that the lives and properties of the Ahmadis continue to be threatened in this country; even their places of worship are in grave danger. At present, the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslims is in London Mosque, 16 Gressenhall Road, England. The present Caliph (the 5th) Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad was elected recently after the death of Caliph Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. Today the followers of Mirza Gulam Ahmad number about 17 crore (170 million). They have their missions in 177 countries and they have translated the holy Quran with short commentaries in 60 languages. With their own satellite channel MTA (Muslim TV Ahmadiyya), they preach the essence of Islam 24 hours a day. In Bangladesh, their headquarters are in 4 Bakshibazar Road, Dhaka.
'Whin ye get among th' Chinee........says [the Emperor of Germany], 'raymimber that ye ar-re the van guard iv Christianity' he says, 'an' stick ye'er baynet through ivry hated infidel you see' he says. 'Lave him understand what our western civilization means....An' if be chance ye shud pick up a little land be th' way, don't lave e'er a Frenchman or Roosshan take it from ye.'
Mr. Dooley's Philosophy, 1900
A monotheistic religion originating in 1st century Palestine, from where it spread to become the dominant religion in Europe and in European overseas settlements. The evolution of the Christianity community was marked by divisions concerning church order and doctrine.
As a result, contemporary Christianity is spilt into three board tendencies:
a. The Western Catholic Church, which rests on the primacy of Rome
b. 14 autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, dating from the 11th century
c. A multiplicity of Protestant bodies, dating from the 16th century and thereafter
Christianity rests on a belief in a personal God who is held to have created the universe and to be omnipotent, omniscient and just. Humanity, by contrast has fallen from grace; it has sinned and is worthy of divine punishment. thanks to the intervention of a savior, Jesus Christ, however, salvation from the punishment becomes possible; Christians believe that Christ was the Son of God and that his death constituted an atonement to the God for their sins.
The question as to how individual believers can achieve 'salvation' has proven divisive within Christianity, and has major sociological significance. Notably, Weber held that one answer to the question, the doctrine of predestination, was the driving force behind Protestant Asceticism. Weber also held that Christianity's insistence on the ritual equality of all believers had sociological significance, preventing the emergence of Cast-liken divisions which might have destroyed the unity of the Western bourgeoisie and weakened its transformative revolutionary potential. Others have reinforced this line of argument by suggesting that the antiauthoritarian tendencies of 17th-century Protestant sects did much to foster democratic values. While Christianity has had an important impact on historical development (not least the tension between church and state which has been a feature of European compared with Asian societies), today it is widely held to have a declining influence in Western societies. Nevertheless, its role in the recent transformation of Europe has been considerable and there remains sociological interest in sectarianism and in the overall nature and extent of religious belief and practices in modern societies.
The Koran Interpreted by Prof. Arthur J. Arberry, printed by the Oxford University Press.
Koran: NJ Dawood, Penguin
Holy Bible, King James version, Cambridge University Press.
Al-Bukhari, Nine Volumes (Arabic--English) published by the Kitab Bhavan, New
Muslim, Four volumes (English translation) published by Nusrat Ali Nasri for
Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India.
Tirmzi, Two volumes (Arabic-Urdu) published by Muhammad Ali, Karkhana Islami
Kutub, Urdu Bazaar, Karachi, Pakistan.
Ibn-e-Majah, Two volumes (Arabic--Urdu) published by Farid Bookstall, Urdu
Bazaar, Lahore, Pakistan.
Sharif, Three volumes (Arabic-Urdu) published by Farid Bookstall, Urdu Bazaar,
Britannica. - 15th
edition, 29 volumes
Life of Mahomet: Sir William Muir.
Bedouin: Shirley Kay.
Two Yemen: Robin Bidwell.
History of the Arabs: Prof. Philip K.
New Cambridge History of India, five volumes.
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, Volumes
VI and VII.
of Civilisation by W. Durant:
Mughal Harem: Prof. KS Lal.
and Practice of Muslim State in India: Prof. KS Lal.
India's Rebirth: Sri Auro
Foundation of Indian Culture: Sri Aurobindo.
Temples, What Happened to Them: Sita Ram Goel.
Memoir's of Jahangir translated by Alexander Rogers and
edited by Henry Beveridge.
of the Taj Mahal: Pal, Leosh,
Dye & Marel.
Fundamentalism: Steve Bruce, Polity
JL Elias, Routledge
Prophetic Religions & Politics: J Esposito, Paragon House, NY
Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt against the
Modern Age: Lawrence BB, London.
Penguin Dictionary of Religions: Hinnells JR, Penguin
Islamic Fundamentalism & Modernity: Watt WM
Home | Contents | Literature | Music | Education | Fundamentalism | Minority Report | Festivals | Folksongs | Myths |
Copyright © Muktadhara.net 9 May 2001.
All rights reserved