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Day – 17 – Our Religious Traditions

Picture required: picture of Pashupati Nath, Swoyambhu Nath, Masjid, Church, Gurudwara and Jain Mandir

Objective: To identify our religions, traditions and promote and protect them.

Introduction:

Nepal is a secular country and all religions are equally treated. People follow different religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Jainism.

  1. Hinduism: Hinduism is one of the oldest religions of the world. Most people follow Hinduism. The caste system introduced in Hinduism determines the way of life and occupations. It was not founded by any person like other religions but it developed gradually over thousands of year. The famous books of Hinduism contain the teaching of Satya, Treta and Dwapar Yuga (era). Today’s form of Hinduism is to follow these teachings. Gyana, Yoga, Karma and Bhakti are the four paths of Mokshya or salvation in Hinduism.

Vedas, Upanishad, Bhagabat Gita, Ramayan Mahabharat and several Purans are the scriptures of Hinduism. Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and many other gods and goddesses are worshiped by the Hindus.  The Hindus adopt the following teachings:

  1. To pray to god and show devotion to him.
  2. To respect one’s parents, teachers and elders.
  3. To show love, pity and affection to all creatures of the universe.
  4. To ever speak truth and be honest.
  5. To donate a part of one’s earning and help the needy people.
  6. To be good and avoid bad company and evil activities.
  7. To perform right duty in life.
  8. Buddhism: Buddhism is one of the oldest religions of the world. It was founded by Siddhartha Gautam known as Gautam Buddha. He was born in 563 B.C. at Kapilvastu, Lumbini in Nepal. He struggled throughout his life for finding solutions to sufferings in life and finally meditating under Bodhi tree realized that the root cause of all sufferings are caused by desire and ignorance. Since then, he started teaching people the Four Noble Truth and Eight Fold Paths.

The four Noble Truth:

  1. The world is full of suffering.
  2. Suffering is caused by human desire.
  3. The renunciation of desire is the path of salvation.
  4. Salvation can be achieved by following the Eight Fold Paths.

The Eight Fold Paths:

  1. Right Belief
  2. Right Thought
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Means of Livelihood
  6. Right Meditation
  7. Right Effort
  8. Right Memory

Buddha’s teachings to his disciples are collected in the sacred books entitled “Jataka” and “Tripitaka.” Buddha said that selfishness and the greed are the main causes of our sorrows. He taught people to avoid them. He also inspired people for simple living, high thinking. Gautam Buddha became famous all over the world after being enlightened. He passed away at  Kushinagar (India) at the age of 88. Today, many countries of the world follow Buddhism like Nepal, India, China, Sri-Lanka, Myanmar, Mangolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Korea etc.

  1. Islam: Islam is one of the largest followed religions of the world. Its followers are called Muslims. They call the god as Allah and pray to Allah in Mosques (Masjids) following the holy book Quaran. They don’t worship idols.

Prophet Mohammad who was born at Mecca in Arabia in 570 B.C. founded this religion. He kept on meditating to get the solutions of evil practices prevailing in the society. Once an angel appeared before him and said, “Oh Mohammad, God has sent me to you. He has selected you as his messenger from today, you give knowledge to the sufferings and tyrannical people and rescue them from their grief and injustice.” Later, Mohammad began to preach the words of god to the people. the holy Quaran has prescribed certain rules to be followed by Muslims:

  1. Declare and accept that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his last messenger.
  2. Establish regular Salah (Namaj) five times a day.
  3. Observe Roja (fasting) one month during the month of Ramzan.
  4. Give Zakat to the poor and disable ones.
  5. Make Hajj (pilgrimage) to Kabah at Mecca

Mohammad preached that people should live a pious and simple life and not harm others. The main teachings of Islam are:

  1. God is only one and he is the creator of human beings.
  2. Don’t worship the idol of god but know the true god and pray to him.
  3. Lead a gentle lige and avoid alcoholic drinks.
  4. Be just towards all.
  5. Treat all human beings of the world as your brothers and sisters.

Mohammad departed from this world in the year 634 A.D. Today, many countries of the world follow Islamic religion like Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran etc.

  1. Christianity: Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was born in Bethleham, Palestine. The followers of Christianity are called Christians. There are three major groups of Christians in the world; Roman Catholic, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox.

It is believed that Jesus performed miracles like curing people, making blinds see and dumb speak. Once, he restored a dead man to life. He constantly started preaching people to from one place to another to find the solution to sufferings. Unfortunately, his teachings were not liked by the then Jewish society. He was charged with treason and was crucified. The very moment he uttered some words and said, “Oh God! Forgive them who don’t know what they are doing.”

His teachings are included in the “Bible” holy book of Christians. Christians worship Christ in the Church. The main teachings of Christianity are:

  1. God loves mankind. So it is our duty to love him.
  2. Forgive someone even if he commits a mistake or hurts you. Regard his mistake as his ignorance.
  3. Never be selfish.
  4. Live a gentle life and be kind to all.
  5. Love others as much you love yourself.

Today, many countries of the world follow Christianity like North America, south America, European and Australian nations.

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