Reveries

A mishmash of spirituality, human relationship, adult and children's literature, news analyses and anti-road-rage tirades

Hashtag Spirituality with Ranjit

Spirituality_with_Ranjit_Completes_120_DaysStarting 22 February 2020, I have been posting a message a day on Twitter, under the hashtag #SpiritualitywithRanjit. Never imagined that on 19-Jun-2020, #SpiritualitywithRanjit would complete 120 days of continual daily posting. Never imagined that it would grow into India’s first #interfaith community that considers science an ally of spirituality. Thank you everyone. Thank you Almighty!

What is #SpiritualitywithRanjit?

Self-evident from the hashtag title, these tweets are based on my own views and experiences on God, spirituality, immateriality, piety and secular beliefs in the supernatural being that formed a part of the solutions towards ensuring a lasting world peace and a greener planet. I have come across these thoughts over a period of four decades.

#SpiritualitywithRanjit (SWR) is India’s first interfaith community and considers science an ally to advancing humanity’s spiritual understanding. SWR strives for world peace and an abundant green planet by helping people see beyond the narrow confines of nationality and religions to realize the power of religion-neutral, gender-neutral, geography-neutral spirituality in making their lives better and the world a better place to live in.

An itsy-bitsy history

Born to a Hindu Brahman family, I had a religious upbringing that was more spiritual and secular. The concept followed was—I may be a born Hindu, but I should love Muslims, Christians, Jains, Shankaria Vaishnavites, Sikhs and animists—the followers of faiths common in his place of birth.

The first visual representation of God for me was the Hindu God Lord Shiva, followed by the Hindu Goddess of Learning Saraswati. Around the same time, I was also introduced to the hymns to Jesus Christ and the prayers to Allah through various sources, which included a Christian cemetery nearby as well as a missionary school and some family friends.

My experiments with religion and spirituality continued throughout my school days in Guwahati, and then in my college and professional days in and around New Delhi. In my new city of residence, I met people from some other faiths—Parsees (Zoroastrians), Jews, Baháʼís, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. I also got to know about communities like ISKCON, Brahma Kumaris, Osho and Ananda Foundation. All these added to my experiences.

My thoughts on spirituality have been on an ever-evolving trajectory. Each day has been a learning experience towards a better understanding of the supernatural being and towards a finer attempt to find a meaning behind our existence on this planet as well as in this universe, more precisely, in these multiverses! All these experiments have in some strange way gestured to me to reach out to people and tell them about the greatness of God, the formless, all-pervading, omniscient, omnipotent, omnific, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, omniactive, supreme being, who is above all religions and countries.

I think people from all walks of life will surely be benefitted from my unique experiences and experiments. My unique understanding will certainly add to the efforts of those who endeavour to make this world a better place to live in. With this premise in mind, I started the a-message-a-day service on Twitter, sharing my thoughts under the hashtag #SpiritualitywithRanjit from my personal Twitter handle @ranjitksharma.

#SpiritualitywithRanjit (SWR), the daily message service on Twitter, is gradually developing into a strong global interfaith community that aims at helping people see beyond the narrow confines of nationality to make the world a better place to live in through the pursuit of religion-neutral, gender-neutral, geography-neutral spirituality and world peace. It has now its own Twitter handle @SpiritualityWR, its own Facebook page fb.me/SpiritualitywithRanjit, a Medium Publication, a YouTube channel, a WordPress blog spiritualitywithranjit.wordpress.com and own email ID spiritualitywithranjit@gmail.com.

You can see some of the old Tweets in the following screenshot.

Screenshot of #SpiritualitywithRanjit Tweets

Initially I chose Twitter over other platforms, because it gave me the independence and the required scaffolding to be precise and clear in identifying each thought uniquely. The added benefit includes the ability to post even when I have pressing deadlines to meet in my editorial projects, through which I earn my bread and butter. Even today, I post my first post on Twitter, followed by others.

Of course, I also have the advantage of expanding my tweets in the form of blog posts or YouTube videos in due course of time.

An ultimate vision

Let us share here our audacious dream and vision. All the continents were once together in the form of a land mass called Pangaea. With time we separated out. All the humans together belong to one species. Yet, we created the borders, separating one nation from the other and spending millions of dollars in securing these man-made frontiers.

We think that it is now time to #BreaktheBorders and recreate a practical Pangaea land. No borders, no military, no countries, no disparities; just one Earth, one nation, one currency. Cities that are currenty the national capitals of various countries take five-yearly turns to become the mega-capital of the proposed Pangaea land. This rotational system of capitals, in the ascending order of the current national wealth of the countries, will ensure development in the poorest lands on Earth.

Since there will be no millitary expenditure (a minmal police force can exist), the huge wealth saved can be utilized to judiciously use and store all of the energy available on our planet, thus leading us to become a Type 1 civilization in the Kardashev scale.

The humble hits

I would like to share some achievements here:

  • In the month of MayJun 2020, we had over 55,000 Twitter impressions through the two Twitter handles (@spirtualitywr and @ranjitksharma) combined.
  • We are humbled by the fact that the followers of our daily Tweets include not just Indians but also Muslim clerics from Pakistan, UK, and Niger, Christian pastors and ministers from Kenya, Congo, Poland, UK and USA, Jew Rabbis from Israel as well as atheists, agnostics, astronomers, physicists, climate activists, interfaith scholars and associations from the USA, Norway, Finland, Bangladesh, Ghana and Australia. There are many other countries whose citizens have become our Twitter followers and have showered their love on us. The list is growing and I am sorry that I am unable to list them all here.
  • On 23-Apr-2020, we launched #FearNotThereIsGod campaign that helps people fight #COVID19 #lockdown stress and anxiety through #interfaith spiritual support.
  • MENAFN (The Middle East North Africa Financial Network), a Delaware (USA)-based newspaper portal published #SpiritualitywithRanjit’s press release as a news item. Here is the link to the published news item. Here’s the link to the original press release on Online PR Media.

Happy reading!

If my spirituality Tweets have affected your lives in a positive way, do share your experiences with others. Retweet, re-blog, comment, like and share.

If you have the time to retweet any posts you like, you are taking a step in changing the world with me, and I appreciate it. Let others be benefited.

Also, I would like to invite interested individuals and organizations from across the world to collaborate, volunteer and join hands with us in whatever way they can.

#SpiritualitywithRanjit #spiritualawakening #SpiritualQuotes #spiritualgrowth #HumanityFirst #Spirituality #Share #ShareTheLove

Links

Following are the various ways to communicate online with SWR:

Filed under: Heresy, Philosophy, Relationships, Spirituality, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Three life lessons from Lord Krishna’s life

Janmashtami_20190824_Devs_Ver_2.0

Illustration by Devangshi Sharma

Janmashtami is celebrated across the world with great fanfare. It marks the birth of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Nobody in the living world today has seen Lord Krishna. We all have come to know about him from the writings of ancient sages or from our elders. Krishna’s life has inspired many to do good to the society, while it might have also misled a few of us to do otherwise.

What are the takeaways from Lord Krishna’s life in today’s world? Can we inculcate them in today’s so-called practical world? Most importantly, do these teachings have any real-life applications?

First of all, Krishna’s Bal Leela teaches us three parenting lessons.

1. Do not differentiate between the dark and the fair. Treat all children as equal.

This might have implications on those among us who have an unnatural fascination for fair skin and go to any extent to demean dark-skinned children. This might also lead some of us to re-think whether we should give preference to fair-skinned brides or grooms.

2. Allow children to play. Place equal importance to studies and play. Do not force children to stick to academics only.

Perhaps this might have a bearing on those who employ children in their factories, shops, and homes. Children should ideally be left to play and study and not work to earn a living. 

3. Treat each child as a representative of God.

This has implications on those who go to the extent of inflicting crime on children. This has lessons for those teachers, fathers, guardians, or paedophiles who see children as objects of desire.

Secondly, Krishna’s Raas Leela during his youth has lessons on women empowerment and equality.

Krishna treated his women friends at par with his male friends. He would share his problems and moments of joy with his friends, whether they were Sudhamas or Radhas! He had sixteen hundred Gopis or female friends. He never saw women as objects of desire. His relationship with women was Platonic and non-carnal. He was completely devoted to his only wife Rukmini.

This has perhaps a bearing on those of us who desire to have multiple sexual partners. Those of us see women as objects only, and not co-humans capable of being good friends. Perhaps this will also have a bearing on those who have accounts on flirting apps like Tinder. We need to be faithful to our spouses.

Thirdly, Krishna’s lessons during the war of Kurukshetra are well known, as they have been recorded in the hymns of Bhagavad Geeta. 

An important lesson from Geeta is that we all should do our duties and give cent per cent to them. It should not bother us whether on completion of our duties we will be awarded or not.

This has a bearing on everyone. Every person on this planet has a duty. In fact, the Constitution of India also incorporates a few Fundamental Duties for its citizens. If a soldier performs his duty well, if a housewife performs her duty well, a student performs her duty well, a cleaner performs his duty well, and so on and so forth, I think the world will automatically become a better place to live in.

This Janmashtami, if we are able to reflect on these life lessons from Lord Krishna’s life and restructure our lives, I think we would have celebrated his birthday in the best way.

Filed under: Heresy, parenting, Philosophy, Relationships, Spirituality, , , , , , , , , , ,

God as I Saw Him!

Years ago I held a very heretic view on God. I even wrote a long diary entry on some day in August 2003, which I happened to stumble upon today evening. Here’s a reproduction of the same. Remember, this is very personal.

……………….

My Impression of God (Illustration: Ranjit K Sharma)

My Impression of God (Illustration: Ranjit K Sharma)

I have always been a follower of my will. I do not know how many times I have wondered at the question “How can I follow someone whom I do not know?” It was increasingly becoming difficult for me to repose faith on any of the existing Gods! So I went on to create Him as Voltaire once said “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” The God I have created is out of my own caprice. I call Him the Unknown.

God is more powerful, beautiful and naive at the same time than the most powerful, beautiful and naive being you have ever seen or have thought of. God is larger or smaller than the largest or smallest thing you can think of. God is INFINITY (∞) PERSONIFIED. God is larger than all the galaxies of the Universe put together. He is also smaller than the smallest hadron or quark particle. God does not need a Trishul, Chakra or a Wand to protect Himself. He does not need a Dhoti, Saari or a robe to cover His shame! In other words, God is Someone who is beyond the wildest imagination of the human civilisation.

On God, Einstein once remarked, “God does not play dice!” to which I would add, “God does not only play dice, He does not do anything which we mortal beings do.” To sum up, I would say God is the Unknown. We can do very little using the knowledge of our present civilisation as tools to understand God.

Can you answer this? If Shri Krishna has created us, why has He given us tribulations to worry about and prayers to appease Him?

We are yet to understand God. Karl Marx once commented, “Religion is the opium of the masses.” Suppose there is a lighted candle placed inside at the centre of a circular room having colourful windows. If we take the lighted candle for God, then each window will be a religion. Since the window panes are coloured, we can never get a glimpse of the True God.

Rituals in any religion do help in disciplining ourselves; but they never help in reaching God the Unknown.

Hinduism never taught me to go vegetarianism. It is a simple discipline which I brought to myself. It is my way of saying, “Yes, I do have control over my thought and deeds.” Similarly by donning the cleanest of clothes after bath and making a prayer to Him, I only feel, “This is the time I am closest to Him.”

If there is self-discipline in you, if you can impose austerity unto you, if you can feel the pain in others then, you are a religious person.

People use religion as the tool to understand God. But by knowing only one religion you can but have a very biased view of God.

Recently, I stumbled upon an article in a newspaper. I wanted to mention about this article here because it is almost fully in agreement with whatever I said above. Here is the article.

Filed under: Heresy, Philosophy, Spirituality, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Compromise, Thy Name is Life. Do You Agree with It?

 

Below is an essay which I wrote sometime back for a special occasion. Let me share this small yet interesting essay with you.

 

Strong and self-confident people, like you and they, may not agree to the aforesaid line. So did Napoleon Bonaparte, Hitler and many others. But, all, at one time or the other, have agreed to the diktat—”Compromise, thy name is life”. And I agree with it.

Life, at every point; from the lazy mornings, when you curse your office for having been the reason for your such a miserable life, to the cozy sweet-doing-nothings of midnight, when you curse your wife for being such a bad partner; is full of compromises. You don’t like the kaamwali (domestic help) for being such a frequent absentee, but you compromise and accept her as happily as you are accepted by your wife! Else, she would have left you by now. You, don’t like the government’s ban on AXN’s World’s Sexiest Commercials, but you compromise with a smile, lest your wife, or for that matter, your little son should call you an old, immoral psychopath! You don’t like the long never-ending queue of vehicles, burping and blowing at the busy crossing on your way to office, but you compromise by mouthing a few chosen adjectives at the system, or at the hefty, bald man, who overtakes his vehicle just in front of yours and makes his way! You compromise, because you just can’t reach out to the system and shout at it for its follies, you just can’t get the better of the hefty, bald man and rough him up.

 

So to say, there is a zillion of examples to prove the fact that, we all are the preys to compromise and at some point or the other we keep on compromising. But, nevertheless, we must keep on fighting with all our might, not to cut a sorry figure in front of compromises. Because compromises keep on teaching us the lessons of patience and perseverance.

Filed under: Philosophy, , , , , , , , , ,

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