Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Enigma Of Existence: 'From The Very Dawn Of Human Civilization, A Caravan Of Certainties And Doubts Have Come And Fizzled Out'

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 3 December 2022 The Crux Of All Religions Is Humanity. Adhere To It For A Fulfilling And Wholesome Existence. What You Perceive As Truth Could Be A Lie Even To Your Wife! ----- " Raaz-E-Vajood Kuchh Na Poochh, Subhe-Azal Se Aaj Tak / Kitne Yaqeen Guzar Gaye, Kitne Guzar Gaye Gumaan " ( Don't ask the enigma of existence, right from the very first dawn of human civilization/ A caravan of certainties and doubts have come and fizzled out). Raghupati Sahay 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri's famous couplet underscores a profound insight that an eternal conundrum remains a conundrum and none of us can crack that. Mind you, it's not just life that is forever an enigma. Death, god, afterlife etc. are also riddles to almost all humans and it's well-nigh impossible to be hundred percent certain of any one phenomenon out of a host of vague esoteric phenomena. So, when I see some holier-than-thou and foolishly literalist people fuss over stupid religious beliefs in their hoary-old scriptures and think that they've the key to all wisdom past, present and future, I feel terribly sorry for them. Afghani mystic Mir Haqaiz said a millennium ago in Pashto, " Zu'phil Ez Qaaf Bazm'ein Im Yaqeenam" (Fools are always full of certitude). They indeed are. Certainty is a sure sign of stupidity, whereas doubting is a mark of intelligence, nay, wisdom. Vidur says in Mahabharata, 'Sanshyeshu Dharmasyam' (Doubt is religion). It's worthwhile to state that Vidur, the most intelligent and level-headed man in the Pandava and Kaurava clans, didn't believe in divinity despite seeing and meeting Krishna. So, how can anyone be sure of the validity of whatever has been written in Gita, Ramayana, Quran, Bible, among others? Take the stories in these books with a pinch of salt and don't waste your time in determining their authenticity. All these stories and episodes in the scriptures are allegories and parables. Laugh them off or draw your own inferences but don't impose them on others and assert that what you've perceived is the one and only truth. Truth is also relative, subjective and highly solipsistic. Remember a famous statement, " In religion as well as in life, what you perceive as truth is your private truth which could be a lie even to your wife. " The crux of all religions is humanity. Adhere to it for a fulfilling and wholesome existence. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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