The belief system that I have been following is Hinduism. It has been said that Hinduism is the oldest religion of all. Hinduism developed organically and somewhat mysteriously from the sages and priests of ancient history. There is no specific person who declared this religion. Other religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism were founded later on. The main preachings given by all these religions are substantially the same. I feel it is only the name of religions that are different.
There is no specific conscious reason of mine for following this religion. Nepal was until recently the only Hindu kingdom in the world. So my forefathers also fall into this same religious group of Hinduism. As my parents are following this religion, I too follow it. Everyone is conditioned to some extent by his\her culture and mine happens to be Hinduism. In my childhood, I didn’t know anything about the religion that I was following. I had no idea concerning the divisions of religion either. I used to be very happy while celebrating the festivals related to Hinduism like Dashain and Tihar. But initially I didn’t know any purpose behind celebrating these festivals. But as I grew up I started to gain more knowledge from various books and from speeches of various people about the religion. Then I knew about the division of religions and the religion to which I belong.
When my parents used to celebrate the festivals related to my religion I used to ask them the reasons behind celebrating those festivals. I got many answers from them which influenced my mind. The answers given by my elders made me think more deeply and it influenced me to follow the religion- only now more consciously. At first I used to think that following the particular religion and keeping its faith was only a fashion to show others. Later on I knew that keeping faith in particular religion helps in maintaining peace and harmony within ourselves. In Hinduism, the daily routine of people is to get up early in the morning and to perform Pooja(worshiping god). While performing pooja they recite several Slokas and Mantras(prayer) from the Holy books of Hinduism i.e. Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, etc. the recitation of Slokas and Mantras helps in increasing memory power in man and purifies the mind too. The recitation of Slokas and Mantras disallows their mind from being idle. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Instead it encourages positive virtuous thoughts. The daily routine in Hinduism is to meditate also. The performing of meditation in the early morning freshens the mind of a man and makes him alert all the time.
Our headsir of H.V.P school Dr. Chintamani Yogi used to tell us to recite Slokas and Mantras after getting up early in the morning and before going to bed. He told us the benefits that are to be gained from recitation of Slokas and Mantras. Then I started practicing them in the morning, and also if I don’t fall asleep at night then I just recite a few Slokas. The recitation of Slokas protect my mind from being idle and thinking of unecessary thoughts. This is one of the benefits of reciting Slokas and Mantras.
The Holy book of Hinduism i.e. Ramayana has influenced my behaviour. The main preachings given by this Holy book is to become kind, wise, respectful and so on. This book teaches a man to love the young, respect the seniors, obey the elders. Lord Ram teaches us to obey the elders even if we are given a very dangerous and difficult responsibility. While obeying such dangerous responsibility, at that time the lord will protect us. It too teaches a man to be honest, to love their brothers and sisters, to love homeless people etc. In Ramayana, Lord Ram obeyed his step mother even though he was asked to spend 14 years in the forest without asking any reason behind that punishment. Lord Ram not only obeyed his elders but he also obeyed the young. He never tried to cheat his brothers in case of wealth, kingdom and so on. This shows his strong belief towards his step-brothers. If he lacked all the good behaviours mentioned above then he wouldn’t be eligible to be named as Lord. The demon who always tried to destroy Ram and who kidnapped Sita (Ram’s wife) was killed himself by Ram. From this we become able to know that the result of all bad deeds is always miserable. A man who performs good deeds according to the preaching given by Ramayana and other Holy books will ultimately achieve success. The man who always tries to harm others is himself harmed very unknowingly as a revenge (justice). These are the preachings given by Ramayan.
After learning all these preachings my mind went very deep for an hour. Then I realized all those preachings were very true. Yes, if we don’t respect our elders then we too won’t be respected by our juniours. And if we perform any task without the permission of our parents then that task will surely be unsuccessful. This has occurred in our real life so many times. But in case of children they always try to do that same thing that was refused to them. As a result they get injured. In this way the Holy book of Hindus i.e Ramayana has influenced my behaviour in relationship to others.
The spiritual practices such as meditation, recitation of Mantras , Slokas helps in maintaining peace within a man. Peace is such a power that helps in good development of mind, body and a country too. We can take an example from Nepal itself. From 1996-2006 there used to be a civil war between Maoists and Nepalese government. During this war, many people were killed and many developmental works were destroyed. No sign of achievement was seen in the developmental work of the country. People living in the villages were chased by Maoists, looting and stealing their house. Because of this reason the population of villages was gradually decreased as people migrated to the safer cities. But after the peace treaty between Maoists and Nepalese government, all the cruel activities were largely stopped and greater peace entered in the country. After peace treaty, many developmental works were achieved in different places. The construction of motorable roads, hydroelectricity and drinking water projects were done in many rural areas. The developmental work which has been destroyed during war is more properly maintained now. This shows the importance and power of peace in the developmental work of a country. Therefore peace can be said as the main infrastructure to develop a country.
In order to maintain peace in the country, the people must be of peaceful nature. People can maintain peace among themselves only spiritually e.g. by meditating for long period of time. The habit of meditation can change a man of noisy nature to the man of peaceful nature. In order to maintain peace in my school, it has established a peace club in which I too am a member. This club inspires a student to meditate in free periods instead of talking. Various inspiring activities are done in this club, from volunteering, to awareness raising, to prayers.
There is one quotation from Harrison Ford i.e. “ Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice.” This means having presence of peace doesn’t mean total absence of war. If there is presence of war also peace does the work of justice. Sometimes it is the right thing for a country to fight a defensive, just war in protection of its citizens from invaders or wrongdoing. “Justice means honesty, fairness, uprightness-never forgetting the sanctity of human life.” Every people are creations of god. All people are equal in the eyes of god. There is the natural justice given by the nature itself then why he won’t gain the life full of equality, fairness, uprightness and so on.
The physical exercise of mind and body done in this religion is named as ‘yoga’. Yoga is the natural treatment of a body to prevent a body from any diseases or to uproot the diseases within a body. Nowadays the western society is also influenced by this yoga. The western philosophy has discovered yoga as a powerful medical treatment to ease and even cure diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and so on. It is the nature of all unhealthy people to become very tense and worried. Due to more tensions and worries in their mind, their mind is also badly affected. It is hard to maintain peace and to be able to think positive thoughts. In such cases if they perform yoga then they feel as they become healthier day by day. In this way the tensions and worries are uprooted and their mind becomes peaceful even if their bodies are still ill. Then they’ll be able to think good thoughts. By discovering or knowing all these benefits of yoga the western philosophy also accepted some methods of yoga as a powerful medical and psychotherapeutic treatments. Therefore the meditation and yoga done in Hinduism have greatly affected western society and other people following various religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc as it is very beneficial for both mind and body. Because of this reason, today the yoga and meditation has become famous worldwide and inter-religiously. The religion can find common benefit and common purpose in these meditation techniques. In this way the ‘Spiritual Practices’ of Hinduism transcend the individual beliefs of each religion.
And this religion has also binded all people of my society in a single thread. Many festivals are celebrated such as Dashain and Tihar; many people return home from abroad in order to celebrate these festivals. Therefore the people get a chance to meet relatives and be with family. In case of our joint family, the separated family members gather together to celebrate this festival. This is the festival when schools, colleges, offices all close for a month. So all the people get a chance to meet their relatives and share their joys and happiness. In this way these festivals help in maintaining a close relationship among the relatives stressing as it does family unity and respect including blessing each other. I can give one example of its positive power. Once my dad had quarreled with my uncle over a family matter. For a while we did not have a good relationship with my uncle. But during Dashain last year, both uncle and dad overlooked and forgave each other about that quarrel and we dined with food in the same kitchen and celebrated Dashain together. This shows the religious festival of Dashain inspires us to protect a relationship from breaking down. The religious and social importance of these festivals binds people in unity. So it helps in the maintainence of co-operation and respect among the people living in society.
These things influenced me to embrace Hinduism. As the preachings of all religions are I feel the same in essence I won’t mind following any religion but I am content with the spiritual practices of Hinduism and seen as it is my culture of birth, I have willingly adopted it as my own.
Thankyou ,BY : ANU BYANJANKAR Country: Nepal