Tag Archives: religion

renewal and hope

Happy Easter to all of my friends! What a beautiful day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No, I’m not a Christian. But, I believe in paying our respects to anyone who has worked their whole life to help humanity lead a path of spirituality and devotion to something greater than ourselves.

I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and my Twitter timeline, and I saw so much love and hope. I saw so much devotion. When my parents and I were driving to and from our Sunday place of worship, I saw the churches packed to the brim, everyone walking out in their best Easter attire. And it made me happy. It made me happy to think that even though it was rainy and gloomy outside, there was so much love, love for a savior who has given hope.

The idea of hope is the most beautiful and amazing thing about any religion. In today’s world, we are consistently downtrodden. We have a lack of faith in ourselves, the people we are surrounded by, our communities. When you look around, so many people are focusing on the negative. He’s bad at that. She’s terrible because she did this. This city sucks because fill in the blank. During elections, big sporting events, major world events, crises, whatever, we’re always rooting for the other person to lose. I mean, just check Facebook and Twitter. Day to day, we forget about the concept of love and humanity.

But not on days like today, because we’re reminded of the prospects of hope and renewal. We’re reminded that we do have a second chance. We remember that we’re not fighting this life battle alone. We are surrounded by millions of other people who are going through exactly what we are going through.

Hope. Something so easy to lose. But, aren’t we so blessed that all we have to do is open a book, the Bible or the Geeta or the Quran, and there is God telling us “Don’t fear. I am always by your side.” How can we not be filled with peace when we read Godly words like that? We are never alone in any action. What a relief it is to hear that, to know that even during my weakest time or my lowest moment, I don’t have to face that alone. Because I have that reassurance, that hope, that He is always with me.

I think these reminders are so important, because it really is so easy to forget. But, that’s just the way society works. And it sucks. But, days like to day, days that aren’t so sucky, we’re reminded of the beauty that is love and hope and devotion. There is something so much bigger, greater, vaster than just ourself and the bubble that we live in.

We are loved by the Supreme and that in itself is the biggest reassurance I can think of. Today is such a perfect day for that reminder. That we are loved and always will be, knowing this creates a beacon of hope that is never ending. I need a reminder more often than not, but it’s always there.

I hope the spirit of today lasts forever in our hearts. What am I taking from this day besides remembering the constant hope I know I have? To learn to love selflessly, and not just God, but myself, my family, my friends. Sure, it’s a little far-fetched, but I’m not alone!

Happy Easter everyone. I hope your day was filled with love, devotion, and lots and lots of hope.

Documentary Review: “KUMARE”

I have been stuck in bed and sick, sick, sick the past 3 days. What else should I do, except lay there and watch tv show after tv show on my computer? Needless to say, I am now hooked on “Downton Abbey” and “Parenthood”. But, telling you about those two tv shows is not the purpose of this blog post. [I will say though, that they are both excellent shows, and if you’re looking for a new tv show to get hooked on, those 2 are great!].

Anyways, I I know I’ve talked about this website before, but I frequent mindbodygreen.com. You know, I’ve signed up to get daily emails and what not, so I can see what new articles they have. Well, as I was checking my daily MBG digest, they had an advertisement for gaiamtv to check out a documentary called “Kumare“. Intriguing? Absolutely. Did some googling and found that it was on Netflix. Check. Alright let’s see what this is all about.

So, what’s this all about? This dude named Vikram Gandhi from New Jersey is essentially doing this experiment on spiritual leaders. He’s found that a lot of people who willingly call themselves prophets and swamis and gurus and connections with the Divine, are just phonies. Do I agree with this? To some extent. I think a lot of people who make these claims are all a little bit yahoo, and are in it for the wrong reasons. I think this is a cause for blind faith. But, that’s a post for another day. So, Vikram takes on the identity of “Kumare”, an Indian guru from the Himalayas. He goes to Phoenix, Arizona and creates a decent-sized following.
And what exactly does he do? He creates a fake doctrine. He teaches these people yoga asanas he made up, a meditation technique called “Blue Light Meditation”, and teaches them songs and words that are completely bogus. All of this takes guts, a risk I’m not so sure I would be willing to take myself.
His teachings He is basing his whole philosophy off of what he personally believes, which I find very commendable. At least, that part’s not fake. But, he believes that we as individuals don’t necessarily need spiritual guides. That these gurus and swamis and messengers are all within us, that we have the capability to guide ourself down a righteous path. He also taught his followers that the image of an ideal self that we’ve created of ourselves is an attainable truth. We have what it takes to be the ideal self that we envision. We have all the tools and resources to achieve this, we just have to look deep within and find them.
But then what happens? These people that have become his “followers” are so incredibly connected to him. I mean, they really truly believe that he is the solution to their problems. They find so much value in his teachings and the time they spend with him.

I don’t want to spill the ending, because it definitely caught me off guard. Either way, there are some things I agree with, some things I don’t. I do think gurus are necessary to help you walk whatever path you desire to walk on. I think they’re important in guiding you to realize your full potential. Yeah, a lot of them are hokey, but when you find someone who does it for you, you can’t help but fall in love with idea that this person is going to help you attain your ideal self. However, I do agree with Mr. Kumare Gandhi that we have everything we need inside of us already. We just need to figure out how to harness all that energy and power. Enter your spiritual guide.

My recommendation: if you have Netflix, or some other way of getting to watch this documentary, watch it. It took guts for Vikram to do what he did. Someone has to take these risks, and he did, which is something commendable. You might get pulled emotionally either for Vikram or for his followers [or both!] towards the end. Definitely interesting to see how his story played out.

If you want to know the ending, I’ll be more than happy to share with you though.

humanism-daily encouragement

“The twentieth century was a century of war and peace, a century of politics and economics. The dawning twenty-first century holds the promise, however, to be a century of humanity and culture, a century of science and religion. I hope all of you will advance on this wonderful new path of humanism with pride and confidence, as gallant philosophers of action.”

Daisaku Ikeda, SGI President

 

What a wish for the 21st century! It’s time for humanity, and I love it!