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Comparative Religion

The Religious Culture of India: Power, Love and Wisdom by Friedhelm Hardy

By Friedhelm Hardy

This research conducts a full of life and leading edge exploration of the normal Indian religions and cultures that experience either involved and wondered the West for hundreds of years. the writer makes use of an excellent number of assets, and listens not just to what the realized thinker or theologian within the classical Sanskrit texts has to assert, but in addition to what people cults convey in tales, myths, and poetry. via concentrating on the 3 common human drives of strength, love and knowledge, Hardy deals a colourful photo of the large range that's Indian faith.

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There he saw the demon's palace: it was more wonderful than anything he had seen before. It was decorated with banners, the cloth of which 34 The religious culture of India was dyed in five different colours. A whole series of intricate designs were laid into its walls with bits of pearl. Its arches were made of the tender branches of wish-yielding trees. When the hero had admired all this, he was able to enter the palace without hindrance, for the guardsman stood at the gate silently, his sword drawn but motionless as if life had left him.

Ascending the enormous Meru mountain, we find steep slopes alternating with flat plateaux. The latter are covered with wonderful parks and heavenly palaces. Different types of non-human beings live here - the lower classes of the devas. To translate deva as 'god' and the palaces and parks in which they live as 'heavens' is more misleading than helpful. Religious connotations are evoked for something which, on the Indian side, is understood to belong to the natural order. The inordinate fun the poets seem to be making of these 'gods' because of their often all-too-human follies and weaknesses is ample proof of this.

32 The religious culture of India So why should you want to commit suicide, which serves no purpose and is done only by unsophisticated persons? If you are not interested in kingship here, come on then: let us both go into the underworld (Patala)! For there can be found by wise people pleasures eight times greater than in the heavens, and uncountable thousands of years without any disease or death/ When the king had listened to this, he pondered for a very long time over it; finally he agreed to the monk's suggestion.

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