The purpose of Religion?

Neemai

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Copyedit of lecture given by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:


The purpose of religion is to train persons how to love God. That is the purpose of all religion. Either you take Christianism or Hinduism or any "ism," the purport is that you try to love God, because that is our natural inclination.

In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said:

"The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self." [SB 1.2.6].

The word dharma is translated or explained in the English dictionary, "religion," as "a kind of faith." But in Sanskrit dictionary, dharma means characteristic. Just like sugar. Sugar's characteristic is sweetness. If you are given some sugar, if you find it, it is not sweet, you at once reject it: "Oh, it is not sugar. It is something else." So that sweetness is the characteristic of sugar. Similarly, sour taste is the characteristic of salt, pungency is the characteristic of chili. Similarly, what is your characteristic, living entity? That you have to study. That is your religion. Not that Christian religion, Hindu religion, or this religion, that religion. Your eternal characteristic, what is that eternal characteristic? You want to love somebody, and therefore you want to serve. That is your characteristic. You want your society... You love your society, you love your family, you love your country, you love your community. Because you love, therefore you serve. That is your characteristic. Either you are Christian or either you are Muhammadan, either you are Hindu, this characteristic will go on. Suppose today you are Christian, tomorrow you become Hindu. That service mood, that loving spirit, goes with you, either you become Hindu or Muslim or Christian. Therefore that service spirit and love, the tendency to love and service spirit, is your characteristic, and that is your religion. That is the universal form of religion. You have to apply your natural characteristic in a certain place, where you will be satisfied. Your service spirit is (indistinct). You have to apply your natural characteristic in a certain place, where you will be satisfied.

That is the first-class system of religion, which trains you to love God. And if you have developed that tendency to the fullest extent, to love God, then you are perfect man. And then you will feel perfection within yourself. We are all hankering after satisfaction, full satisfaction. That full satisfaction can be obtained only when you love God. That is the natural function. It doesn't matter whether you are following Christianism or Hinduism or Muhammadanism. Just try to understand how much you have developed your God consciousness to love God.

(20 Oct 68, Seatle)


... Neemai :)
 

Dah-veeth

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The purpose of religion is to train persons how to love God. That is the purpose of all religion. Either you take Christianism or Hinduism or any "ism," the purport is that you try to love God, because that is our natural inclination.

I agree, and you reminded me of this:

"Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him -- a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation...." -Baha'u'llah

 

gp1628

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There is a difference between the purpose of religion, and the benefits of religion. Some people seem to be answering one with the other.

I would say that inner peace, justice, etc are all benefits of religion but Im not sure they would be considered to be the purpose it existed.
 

Snoopy

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There is a difference between the purpose of religion, and the benefits of religion. Some people seem to be answering one with the other.

I would say that inner peace, justice, etc are all benefits of religion but Im not sure they would be considered to be the purpose it existed.

There was a programme on Brit TV the other night about how to live to be 101 (not quite sure why 101); but one of the scientifically established factors is apparently a spiritual life. Now all such folk might be deluded but that wasn't the point: believing in stuff greater than yourself promoted a longer life (along with good diet and regular exercise of course!)

s.
 
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The purpose of religion is to keep the poor from killing the rich. The benefit of religion is cultural cohesiveness. The function of religion should be to serve as a moral check on government.

Chris
 

gp1628

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There was a programme on Brit TV the other night about how to live to be 101 (not quite sure why 101); but one of the scientifically established factors is apparently a spiritual life. Now all such folk might be deluded but that wasn't the point: believing in stuff greater than yourself promoted a longer life (along with good diet and regular exercise of course!)

s.
In another thread I broached the subject that religion allowed a person peace of mind in greater matters. Rather than each person dwelling on the rights and wrongs, they gave it to another source and relaxed back into their lives. I would see that as working well into what the tv program was talking about.
 

mee

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There was a programme on Brit TV the other night about how to live to be 101 (not quite sure why 101); but one of the scientifically established factors is apparently a spiritual life. Now all such folk might be deluded but that wasn't the point: believing in stuff greater than yourself promoted a longer life (along with good diet and regular exercise of course!)

s.
thats interesting because in 1 corinthians 15;24-28 it talks about a time when death will be swallowed up forever , and in verse 28 it says that God will be all things to everyone .
 

carter andrew

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purpose is that,Mostly people believe in God is truth, some one is no, it's depend on your ideas, my question is purpose of religious, every person connect each other just like a cycle.famousblackmagicspeclist
 

wil

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The purpose of religion is to keep the poor from killing the rich. The benefit of religion is cultural cohesiveness. The function of religion should be to serve as a moral check on government.

Chris
I would say I have to agree witht the first part....

But that is only possible if religion is not the government, and government is not religion.

I believe origionally religions grew as gov't, as a method of judge and jury, the laws were embedded in them, a moralistic law of God that was larger than man, to control man, keep the peace.

As gov'ts took over that role, the power and need for religion wained....as it is today. Many look at the laws of religion as too strict. Sharia, Mennonnite, condemning folks to hell...the stick is bigger than the crime.

The purpose of religion is to accelerate our progress towards enlightenment.

Now that would be nice, and it may be the bill of goods we are sold, but of those that we believe attained enlightenment...did they do that through relgion, or contemplation?
 

Nick the Pilot

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"... of those that we believe attained enlightenment...did they do that through relgion, or contemplation?"

--> Both. Although I find it fascinating that you make a distinction between religion and contemplation. I do not think one can be accomplished without the other.
 

wil

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Atheists can't contemplate? The Buddha rejected the religion of his birth...and sat and contemplated...and didn't create a religion as a result, but a philosophy?
 

Thomas

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and didn't create a religion as a result, but a philosophy?
Another distinction, imposed by the West, which is false.

The West promotes the idea of Buddhism as a 'philosophy', rather than a 'religion', to make it more attractive to the market.
 
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