Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is the Buddha in Hell?

Is the Buddha in Hell?:
A story I heard from a Buddhist Bhante in Bihar, India.

'I sat in a train station waiting for the train and fell asleep. In my dream the train came and the sign said it was going to Heaven. So with delight I got on. When I arrived in Heaven, it was just as I expected Heaven. Soft music, plenty of food, wonderful weather, lots of happy peaceful people. As I walked around, I stopped a man and asked where I could meet the Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed?

The man smiled and asked me go the train station and take the next train. At the train station there was a train waiting and the sign said it was going to Hell. With trepidation I got on.

Upon arriving in Hell, it was also exactly as I expected. Horrible weather, starving people, screeches and noises everywhere. Walking around, I saw Buddha addressing a gathering, I saw Jesus making a garland of flowers and Mohammed was holding a broom and sweeping a courtyard. When Buddha had finished his sermon I expressed my surprise that he, Jesus and Mohammed had not gone to Heaven. He replied, 'Oh, of what use could we be in Heaven. We are here to make Heaven in Hell'.

That is why the Buddha is in Hell.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Science and religion must go hand in hand

By Michael Gonsalves, Pune: A science-religion dialogue is key to the future shape of the cosmos and in addressing sensitive issues like cloning and genetic engineering, say scientists attending a global meeting near here.

"Whether cloning, biotechnology, genetic engineering and genome research will lead to a boom or will spell doom is the million dollar question confronting humanity," Job Kozhamthadam, president of the Indian Institute of Science and Religion (IISR) here, told IANS.

Kozhamthadam said therapeutic cloning was good for humanity but reproductive cloning - to create super human beings with distinct features like blue eyes or possessing super intelligence by sequencing genes - would create immense problems.

"By tinkering with the genetic structure, it is possible today to create a distinct clan of people," he said, pointing out that a company had cloned a cow with a human egg.

"In some behaviour, the transgenic animal will be a cow and a human being as well," Kozhamthadam said on the sidelines of an international symposium on "Science: Religion Dialogue and Cosmic Future" organised by IISR at Lonavla near Pune.

The meeting, being attended by 16 Indian and foreign scientists and various religious thinkers, is to end Friday. IISR, launched five years ago, is an institute to promote constructive and creative interaction between science and religion in India.

Quoting Albert Einstein who said "science without religion is blind and religion without science is lame", Kuruvilla Pandikattu, associate president of IISR, said the world's problems were so gigantic that science and religion had to work hand in hand for the betterment of humanity.

He said science alone could not solve problems, and the values and vision provided by religion were needed to give direction to the future of mankind.

Kozhamthadam, author of "Modern Science, Religion and The Quest For Unity", said in principle anything was possible in genetic engineering. But some experiments could lead to abuses.

On the other hand, the beneficial side of biotechnology was also evident.

For instance, metal-eating and oil-eating bacteria developed by biotechnology had been effective in cleaning the ocean bed and even recovering oil, said A.G. Bansode, a biotechnology scientist.

"Science gives technology and enables us to move forward but it does not give us a vision or direction. Therefore, while science is the means, it does not know the end that has to be provided by religion," he said.

"But religion alone cannot take us to our goal either," said Pandikattu, author of the book "Bliss of Being Human".

Since cosmic destiny is inextricably interlinked with human destiny, Kozhamthadam said, the science-religion dialogue could play a key role in giving shape to the future of the cosmos.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Aurobindo and Dwarkoji

Sri Aurobindo's "Life Divine" p 1025
"All being is one and to be fully is to be all that is. To be in the being of all and to include all in one¹s being, to be conscious of the consciousness of all, to be integrated in force with the universal force, to carry all action and experience in oneself and feel it as one¹s own action and experience, to feel all selves as one¹s own self, to feel all delight of being as one¹s own delight of being is a necessary condition of the integral divine living."
[Sri] The more occasions I have of sharing Dwarkoji's living philosophy-in-action through stories, the more I feel what Sri Aurobindo is saying is precisely what Dwarkoji is enacting.