Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Religion Decision Aid (RDA) – Hinduism update

I just had my Bengal Spice Tea and remembered some Hinduism stuff that I read on the plane back to South Africa recently. Since I gave Hinduism such a low rating I thought it appropriate and fair to consider this new piece of information in the Religion Decision Aid (RDA) rating. Some of the reason for the low rating was of course the complexity of Hinduism as explained and the multiple times you have to go through hell before you can get out of the eternal life cycle of rebirths. All this is of course a very tiring process to go through over and over again. Some clever Hindu god though, because I Assume that it was one of the gods, came up with the idea of making the river Ganges holy. The great thing about Ganges is that if you have a bath there it will take 7years off your karma! It’s a shortcut in other words. You get less hassle with the heavens and hells before your up and coming rebirth… or if you’re lucky to be already high up on the ladder it might be your ticket to moksha, or Nirvana in other words. I think it’s really great to have a shortcut like this.

My assumption about the creation of this shortcut is only partly true though. It was a wise man of flesh and blood that started it. He had such a good karma that he could ask the gods for a favor. The river Ganges was originally running through heaven only. The wise man Bhagiratha obviously had a very good memory from one of his earlier lives and time in heaven… and remembered the Ganges. His wish was that Ganges could flow on earth. Shiva granted him this wish and let it flow right past the place he was living. So it wasn't just about making it holy, or doing a simple redirection of a stream from one valley to another. He needed a godly favor fir sure. Millions of Hindus are now doing their pilgrimage to Ganges. Of course the karma thing is important. If it was me though, and me being a Hindu of course, I would make an extra effort to track down the wise man Bhagiratha in his reborn and present shape to thank him of all my heart. I assume of course that his karma was pretty exhausted after he redirected Ganges to earth. After spending all the credits from his karma account he must still be among us… as a pig or a monk depending on his initial karma balance and the cost of Ganges of course. Really generous of him I must say. In my mind the wise man is like Jesus who took on all the responsibility for all us sinners. Bhagiratha made it possible for everybody to escape quite a few hells along the way.

This will of course increase the Hinduism rating on my RDA! Hinduism is obviously not a static religion either… they add new features when needed or when the gods have been extra kind. This is a big plus! It also means that my RDA one pager cannot be a finished and done project when I’ve worked my way through all the religions. It will be a dynamic and living document in constant development. My job will become a nightmare if every little wise man like Bhagiratha will knock on my door and apply for a reconsideration of his religion and the added features. I think the gods messengers on earth could be a good starting point. The pope would obviously represent Christianity then. If all the Hindu gods all have a messenger on earth, this will of course be unfair to Christianity and all the other religions with fewer representatives.

In any event this will be a lot of work for one man. I can see it growing into a big organization. Especially if Hinduism will come with all the gods’ messengers I will need quite a few consultants to take off some of the workload. The problem is that I could not employ a Hindu or a Christian for such a position. It would have to be someone totally unaffected with religion and unbiased in any way possible. Like me! I know we Stensby’s are unique. Maybe I should start looking for that specific Stensby gene that makes us impenetrable to religion and spirituality and thus an ideal candidate as a RDA-consultant? In any event I can see that this can be nothing but a family business. It’s like having all the production rights for food… a pretty basic thing for survival and at the very foundation of Maslows hierarchy of needs. Just a bit higher up in the hierarchy you find the need for beliefs and religion… and that’s the Stensby domain! The Stensby Klondike!

Although Hinduism has not figured out how to beat Christianity and Islam it’s quite a competitive religion still. Hinduism is to religion what Beckham is to football. Just check out the Om sign. Om is the holiest of all sounds to a hindu… even more so than the bellowing of the holy cow. If you have ever seen the Om sign though, it could just as well been printed on Beckhams shirt… or be the result of a football game. I always thought it looked like 30 or 3-0, but never dared to mention it to anybody. I was shocked to find that it’s true though (3 for the trinity of creation, preservation and destruction, and zero for the quietness of the amalgamation with god)… or 3 to Hinduism and zero for Islam.

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