The Role Of Religion Is To Give Us Reminders | by Shashi Gandhi | Mar, 2024

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Reminders: The Bedrock of My Faith

The statement that “the role of religion is to give us reminders” resonates deeply with me. While religion offers so much more, reminders serve as the cornerstone of my faith journey. They provide ethical guidance, reinforce core values, and encourage introspection. They shape my behavior, foster self-improvement, and ultimately, connect me to something larger than myself.

Living by Reminders in My Daily Life:

In my own practice, these reminders manifest in various ways:

· Hinduism: The teachings of the Bhagavad Gita guide me towards Dharma (righteous conduct) in everyday interactions. The concept of Karma (action and its consequences) serves as a constant reminder to be mindful of my choices and their potential impact.

“He who acts with an attached mind, seeking to gratify his desires, attains neither perfection nor happiness nor freedom.” (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3, Verse 9)

Other Faiths: While I may not directly follow all practices of other faiths, I find valuable reminders in their teachings

· Christianity: The Ten Commandments act as my moral compass, guiding me towards right conduct and contributing to a just society. Principles like “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not kill” serve as fundamental guidelines in my daily life.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” (Exodus 20:8–10)

· . Islam: The Five Pillars of Islam, the core practices of the faith, act as constant reminders for Muslims of their commitment to their faith. These pillars, including daily prayer and charity, instill discipline, strengthen faith, and build a sense of community.

“And establish regular prayer, at the two ends of the day and at the close of night. Verily, good deeds ward off evil deeds. That is a reminder to the mindful” (Quran, Surah Hud, Verse 114)

· Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, core teachings of Buddhism, serve as constant reminders of the nature of suffering and the path to liberation. These principles guide individuals towards understanding the root causes of suffering, practicing mindfulness, and ultimately achieving enlightenment.

“The truth of suffering is this: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; not getting what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates of clinging are suffering.” (The Buddha, The Four Noble Truths)


Remembering is Human, After All:

This focus on reminders resonates with a conversation I had last night with my friend, Azhar Kazmi. He pointed out that “We human beings need to be continually reminded as we keep forgetting….” I find his observation insightful. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of the core values and ethical principles that guide us. Reminders, whether through scriptures, personal practices, or even conversations like the one with Azhar, help us refocus and keep ourselves on the path we choose.

Beyond Reminders:

However, I recognize that reminders are just one piece of the puzzle. They serve as a foundation that allows me to explore deeper aspects of my faith:

· Meaning and Purpose: Through my faith, I find a sense of purpose and meaning in life, connecting to something larger than myself.

· Spiritual Growth: By embracing the reminders and teachings of my faith, I strive to cultivate self-awareness, compassion, and a sense of connection beyond the self.

· Community and Belonging: My faith connects me to a community of individuals who share similar beliefs and values, offering support and belonging.

While reminders are a crucial aspect of my faith journey, they are just the beginning. Religion offers a multifaceted experience, enriching my life in various ways and guiding me on a unique path of personal growth and connection.

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