World without religion is dead wood and religion without the world is soul-less!
What is Religion?
While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a
“system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”
A critique categorized religion as “an anthropological category.” Many religions have narratives, symbols,traditions to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics,religious laws , or a preferred life style from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are about 4,200 religions in the world.
Major Religions in the World:
There are twelve classical world religions—those religions most often included in history of world religion surveys and studied in world religions classes: Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism.
ADI SANKARA ON HINDUISM
Adi Shankara was an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. He is credited with unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hinduism.
His works in Sanskrit discuss the unity of the ātman and Nirguna Brahman “brahman without attributes”. He wrote copious commentaries on the Vedic canon ( Brahma Sutras , principal Upanishads and Bagwat Geeta ) in support of his thesis. His works elaborate on ideas found in the Upanishads. Shankara’s publications criticised the ritually-oriented Mīmāṃsā school of Hinduism. He also explained the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, stating that Hinduism asserts “Atman (Soul, Self) exists”, while Buddhism asserts that there is “no Soul, no Self”.
Shankara travelled across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers. He established the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mīmāṃsā school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism. He is reputed to have founded four mathas (“monasteries”), which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta of which he is known as the greatest revivalist. Adi Shankara is believed to be the organizer of the Dashanami monastic order and unified the Shanmata tradition of worship. He is also known as Adi Shankaracharya, Shankara Bhagavatpada.
Likewise every religion major or minor has its own Saints and Seers and 17th March being St.Patricks today’s Sunday Story is on him.
It’s 17th March one of the most celebrated festivals in Ireland – St. Patrick’s Day. The St. Patrick’s Day is also known as a three-leaved festival because St. Patrick used to explain Holy Trinity to pagan Irish with the help of three leaves.
Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.
How do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day…?
India is a festive country. It has a festival of colors, festival of lamps and firecrackers, festival of kites, festival of dance, a festival of the boat race, etc. but it is always open to foreign festivals. We always love to adopt new cultures and celebrate life as much as we can.
For many years, we have been celebrating Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving as well as St. Patrick.
Wearing something green: As per tradition, people wear something green. All the corporate offices, who are known to this festival, wear green, especially companies dealing with Canada, USA and Ireland. The one who does not wear green gets pinched.
Click pictures: Click pictures: Clicking pictures and uploading them on social media is a must activity in India. No matter what is celebrated, clicking photos, taking videos, etc is a must.
The decoration of workplace: The workplace is decorated with green. It is decorated with green balloons, ribbons, and other decoration which makes the office look beautiful and green. People also keep something green on their desk like leaves or petals or paper cuts.
A parade like dancing: Here actual parade is not done but instead, people sing and dance and enjoy like parade. Some offices also have DJ parties which relaxed people from hectic schedule and participate in co-curricular activities. Also, some offices take their employees to church to pray to celebrate this fest in a religious way.
Food: Different offices have different ways with their food. Some believe in having green food and juices while some go out for lunch or dinner. The Indians are quite a foodie and St. Patrick is a perfect celebration and excuse to eat healthy and yummy food. Some also drink green drinks which range from Green smoothies to bottle-guard juice to honey-mint cocktails.
We are enthusiasts and eager and curious souls. These festivals allow us to pour ourr enthusiasm out during this period. So St. Patrick is not limited to Ireland or Canada or USA, it’s for India too.
Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Much of what is known about Saint Patrick comes from the Declaration, which was allegedly written by Patrick himself. It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. According to the Declaration, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he “found God”. The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands”. Patrick’s efforts against the druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland (Ireland never had any snakes).
Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick.
Today it is March 17th Saint Patrics Day and I am sure , my esteemed viewers would have found this post quite interesting and informative. Let us invoke the grace and blessings of St. Patrick for universal welfare. I am proud to be an UNIVERSALIST and I use to tell my good friends that I am for Andavar, Palani Andavar and Nagore Andavar!
We shall meet tomorrow with our usual post.Till then GOOD BYE!
(Lot of inputs from my revered GOOGLE GURU)