Monday, July 7, 2008

A Religion of Tolerence---Islam

Islam: A Religion of Tolerance : Major(R)Khalid Nasr
Islam is an entirely tolerant religion. Islam desires peace to prevail in the world. The Qur’an calls the way of Islam ‘the paths of Peace’ (5:16). The state of peace can never prevail in a society if a tolerant attitude is lacking in the people. Tolerance is the only basis for peace; in a society where tolerance is absent, peace likewise will be non-existent.The Qur’an tells us that: "The sun is not allowed to overtake the moon, nor does the night outpace the day. Each in its own orbit runs" (36:40).
When God created heaven and the earth, He so ordered things that each part might perform its function peacefully without clashing with any other part.In order to preserve the peace, established by nature, from disruption, two important injunctions have been laid down by Islam. One, at the individual level, stresses the exercise of patience, and the other, at the social level, forbids taking the offensive.
Negative reaction on the part of the individual is the greatest factor responsible for disrupting peace in daily life. It repeatedly happens that in social life one experiences bitterness on account of others. On such occasions, if one reacts negatively, the matter will escalate to the point of a head-on collision. That is why Islam repeatedly enjoins us to tread the path of patience. The Qur’an says: Surely the patient will be paid their wages in full without measure (39:10).The reason for the rewards for patience being so great is that patience is the key factor in maintaining the desired system of God. In the words of the Qur’an the patient man is the helper of God (61:14). The other injunction, designed to maintain peace in human society, forbids the waging of an offensive war. No one in Islam enjoys the right to wage war against another. There are no grounds on which this could be considered justifiable.There is only one kind of war permitted in Islam and that is a defensive war. If a nation, by deviating from the principles of nature, wages war against another nation, defense in such circumstances, subject to certain conditions, is temporarily allowed. Peace is basic to all religions. Let us all strive then to establish peace in the world, for that is the bedrock on which all human progress rests.
It has also to be remembered that Islam was revealed in fragments suited to the socio-cultural milieu and ever evolving human intellect starting from Adam right upto the last prophet (pbuh). Hence all religions in general & Abrahamic religions in particular carried the mesage of Islam through Torah of Moses, Psalms of David (commonly known as Zaboor revealed upon David and his son Solomon) now known as Old Testament, and revelations on Jesus Christ known as the New Testament, and finally the conclusion of revelation on our Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Similarly in the Far East, the revelation came through Ramchandarji, Sri Krishan Maharaj (especially the phiolosophy of monotheism revealed in Bhagvad Gita emphasising monotheism & philosophy of martyrdom i.e finding eternal life after lsoing for just cause in the battlefield. Buddhism also preached of Nirvana through following correct thinking, correct expression, correct behaviour, and a life of stoicism etc through an incessant reincarnation of Buddhisatvas finally ending on Buddha i.e prince Gautama s/o Shaddhodhan , monach of Kapal Wastu attai ing gyan at Gaya.
Islam asserted that 124,000 messengers were sent for enlightenment in all nooks & corners of the World for guidance, not affording any opportunity for people to complain that they were not guided. Islam endorsed the teaching of these prophets, but pointed out later interpolations where people digressed from the real teaching of monotheism. It also endorsed a certificate of the finality of its mission in Quran when it said al-yauma-akmaltu-lakum dinukam, wa- atmamtu-naimatei-wa-razitu-lakum Islama-dina i,e Allah has completed its divine guidance today, blessing you, and is pleased with you & your religion for all times to come.
As regards, spirit of tolerance shown in Islam there are a number of verses in the Holy Quraan preaching la-ikraha-fid-diney i.e there is no compulsion in Religion lakum dino-kum-waliye-deen i.e each person is entitled to his own religious beliefs.
Religion being a matter of conscience, has entirely been left to the discretion of the people holding it. War of offence is not permitted, and Muslims are only under obligation to defend themselves, their families, and their homeland against the onslaught of invaders. For that also Islam forestalled provisions of Geneva Convention about 1400 years ago; forbidding Muslims to fight against non-combatants.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Creative Ideas in Responsible societies

Creative Ideas in Responsible Socies:Major(R)Khalid Nasr

We must use any platform to generate creative ideas.Internet plays a very important role in sharing ideas and encouraging creativity.
Ideas have consequences. They influence the political, economic and social systems that govern our actions and thereby affect the way we live our lives. Ideas have inspired many of the political and economic arrangements that have existed at different times in different places.The groups,forums and blogs on internet are very good tools to develop creativity & innovation.Dreams come true so does a workable creative idea.We must encourage new ideas. To learn some thing new -we have to unlearn certain preconcieved ideas.
Some of the ideas have promoted creativity, innovation, peace and prosperity, leading to improvements in quality of life and enabling people to fulfill their myriad needs and goals. Other political and economic arrangements have undermined creativity, inhibited innovation and lead to civil unrest, oppression, starvation, poverty and misery.
Over the course of the past two hundred years, the number of countries with such beneficial political and economic arrangements has gradually increased. As a result, this period has seen rapid improvements in technology and economic conditions. Meanwhile, the number of people living in abject poverty has been declining in absolute terms for fifty years in spite of a dramatic rise in the world population. Nevertheless, over a billion people continue to live in miserable circumstances.
The contributions by some of the most important scholars and thinkers, both historical and contemporary,explain the general intellectual concepts, some of the challenges, and some applications to public policy issues,designed for those who are interested in what these beneficial economic and political arrangements are that lead to economic growth and have the capacity to eliminate poverty. The political and economic arrangements that seem to be most conducive to peace and prosperity are those that exist in free and responsible societies.
In such societies, there exist certain institutions that guarantee political, economic and social freedom, and those institutions are in turn underpinned by ideas. Such ideas have been explored by individuals from many different perspectives, starting with ancient Chinese, Roman and Greek philosophers and continuing to the present day. Pakistan is not less than any progressive country . We have a good brain -power not just a manpower. It just needs a competent team leader to plish & refine this intellectual resource.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ruling Forces In Pakistan

Ruling Forces in Pakistan:Major(R)Khalid Nasr Albert Einstein once said that three forces rule the world: 1.stupidity.2.fear 3.greed.When we see the present scenario , Pakistan is ruled by all these three forces where as in USA only stupidity is the ruling force.To err is human but to make the same mistake again & again is called stupidity.Electing the political leaders who are tried & tested in their stupidity & greed is again a practicing stupidity.It is fear in the mind of voters which compel them to repeat the same mistake This fear comes from the non-existence of the rule of law.The rule of law can solve all the existing issues but for that we should focus on the restoration of independent judiciary NOT the restoration of any individual judge who after his restoration might again reinforce stupidity ,fear and greed in our society through his biased & political decisions.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Truths In Buddism

Truths in Buddism : Major(R)Khalid Nasr
INTRODUCTION:The teachings on the four noble truths are among the very first of many teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha gave in Sarnath (near Benares or Varanasi in North-East India), seven weeks after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. These teachings are known to contain the essence of the Buddhist path, regardless of the tradition one follows. 1. THIS IS SUFFERINGAccording to the Buddha, whatever life we lead, it has the nature of some aspect of suffering. Even if we consider ourselves happy for a while, this happiness is transitory by nature. This mean that at best, we can only find temporary happiness and pleasure in life. Suffering (or unsatisfactoriness) can be distinguished in three types: 1. Suffering of suffering: this refers to the most obvious aspects like pain, fear and mental distress. 2. Suffering of change: refers to the problems that change brings, like joy disappears, nothing stays, decay and death. 3. All-pervasive suffering: this is the most difficult to understand aspect, it refers to the fact that we always have the potential to suffer or can get into problematic situations. Even death is not a solution in Buddhist philosophy, as we will simply find ourselves being reborn in a different body, which will also experience problems. To illustrate this with the words of the 7th Dalai Lama (from 'Songs of spiritual change' translated by Glenn Mullin:"Hundreds of stupid flies gather on a piece of rotten meat and thinkig that they are enjoying a delicious feast.This image fits with the song of the myriads of foolish living beings who seek happiness in superficial pleasures;In countless ways they try,Yet I have never seen them satisfied." Note that "suffering" is an inadequate translation of the word "Dukkha", but it is the one most commonly found, lacking a better word in English. "Dukkha" means "intolerable", "unsustainable", "difficult to endure", and can also mean "imperfect", "unsatisfying", or "incapable of providing perfect happiness". Interestingly enough, some people actually translate it as "stress"."Suffering is a big word in Buddhist thought. It is a key term and it should be thoroughly understood. The Pali word is dukkha, and it does not just mean the agony of the body. It means that deep subtle sense of unsatisfactoriness which is a part of every mind moment and which results directly from the mental treadmill. The essence of life is suffering, said the Buddha. At first glance this seems exceedingly morbid and pessimistic. It even seems untrue. After all, there are plenty of times when we are happy. Aren't there. No, there are not. It just seems that way. Take any moment when you feel really fulfilled and examine it closely. Down under the joy, you will find that subtle, all-pervasive undercurrent of tension, that no matter how great this moment is, it is going to end. No matter how much you just gained, you are either going to lose some of it or spend the rest of your days guarding what you have got and scheming how to get more. And in the end, you are going to die. In the end, you lose everything. It is all transitory."Henepola Gunaratana, from 'Mindfulness in Plain English'. 2. THE CAUSES OF SUFFERING The reason that we experience suffering comes ultimately from our mind. According to Buddhism, our main mental problems or root delusions are: attachment, anger and ignorance. Because of these delusions, we engage in actions that cause problems to ourselves and others.
Life is not a bed of roses, as thorns are strewn on the path we humans are treading for centuries. Pain, misery, and torture have been created with a purpose-the purpose of purification before the finite human soul finds solace & satisfaction by submerging its identity into a much larger & infinite entity called Mahatma; thus finally attaining Nirvana. Nobody was more familiar with this fact than Gautum Siddarth S/O Shaddodhan, the ruler of Kapal Wastu (a small state in Himalaya). Gautum being the crown prince was provided with all the facilities & amenities available to Royalty, say about 5.000 years ago. He, however, felt that there was immeasurable pain all around, and he left his beautiful royal consort Yashodhra and an innocent babe thus abandoning all Wordly comforts in search of peace; which he ultimately attained after prolonged meditation and contemplation. Having discovered secrets of attaining Nirvana, Gautum (now Lord Buddha) started preaching & immediate converts to his creed were his wife & son, who turned Bhikshoos for preaching the cause.According to Gautum, two intersecting axis at right angle depicted human life & endeavourfor attaining Nirvana. Initially the human soul exists at -X & -Y axis which is full of painna where Maya is at its worst for getting the human soul entangled in the rigmarole of Sansara; where despite all efforts the lonely sould fails to discover peace, let alone Nirvana. It is here that the process of spiritual education & awakening starts by following the Eight ( principles laid down by Lord Buddha, disowning the negative attributes such as Greed, lasciviousness, bad intentions, anger, and repulsion towards other human beings caused due to existence of the same tendencies for which a particular human being is hated. The simple reason for this repulsion and/ or hatred is based on the principle 'like poles repel each other'. Forgiveness is a positive human & divine attribute, which humans acquire after their own purgation of negative feelings and purification of soul. After going through a painful process of this purification on the basis of the experience earned in a number of incarnations, the human sould finally attains NIRVANA. When his movement starts in the positive direction, he has already shed many of his negative attributes and he has already moved from -X & -Y axis to the vertical plane of X & Y axis.It is on this plane that saints & sages exist, their sayings become Universal Truth which provide guidelines for the future generations to come. It might incidentally be mentioned, that Lord Buddha himself passed through so many incarnations, not for the purification of his own soul, but to provide guidance to suffering humanity while existing as a Buddhisatva.It may also be remembered that Buddhism remained a strong religious and political force during the tenure of Ashok, the Great & Bindusara. It also played a significant role during the Kushan period and some of its relics still survive in the forms of stupas, inscriptions on the stone, and monasteries. Its influence still exists in China and Far East.

Friday, June 20, 2008

About Us

A forum managed by like-minded people who want to share their knowledge & experiences with others with a dedication to be a repository of ideas generated through open discussion in all the fields of knowledge .The idea is to bridge the gap between different perceptions of the same ground reality for the betterment of man kind.