Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Indian Religious Aversion of Desire

The four major Indian religions (Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Jainism) are against desire, love, sex and attachment.

Sikhs may claim that their gurus exalt householder status, but consider the following verses:

ਤਜਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਕਾਮਿਨੀ ਮੋਹੁ ਤਜੈ ਤਾ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
(Renounce desire and your beloved, and give up emotional attachment. Only then shall you obtain the Immaculate Lord amidst the darkness of the world.)

ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪੀ ਮੋਹਿ ਸੰਤਾਪੀ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਜਾਇ ਪੁਕਾਰੇ ॥
The self-willed manmukh is engrossed in sexual desire, and tormented by emotional attachment. With whom should she lodge her complaints?

It is a misconception that Sikh gurus exalted a householder's life. At most, they proclaimed that one does not need to renounce one's family and go to the forest to attain "enlightenment", but could do so in whatever situation they found themselves if only they surrendered to the Guru.

The question then arises, why do Indian religions condemn earthly love and attachment? And how come the followers of these religions reconcile this condemnation with their daily life?

I think the answer is simple.

Religions create an ideal which is unattainable. And people, finding themselves short of that ideal, feel guilty. And the religious institutions manipulate and exploit that guilt to extract wealth from people by promising them forgiveness and redemption.

The modus operandi is:

1. Set unrealistic standards.
2. Encourage guilt and feelings of sinfulness.
3. Offer people a way out from their guilt.
4. Couple that offer with supporting the religious establishment.
5. Repeat for 2000 years.

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