The idea of religare in many religions

Agni Yoga Society, Inc. Is it worthwhile to speak of Infinity if it is unattainable? But it does exist; and everything great, even if invisible, compels us to think about the ways to it.

The idea of religare in many religions

The Modern Scientific Study of Religion. Derivation, analysis, and definition The derivation of the word "religion" has been a matter of dispute from ancient times. Not even today is it a closed question.

Cicero, in his "De natura deorum", II, xxviii, derives religion from relegere to treat carefully: But as religion is an elementary notion long antedating the time of complicated ritual presupposed in this explanation, we must seek elsewhere for its etymology.

A far more likely derivation, one that suits the idea of religion in its simple beginning, is that given by Lactantiusin his "Divine Institutes", IV, xxviii. He derives religion from religare to bind: Augustinein his City of God X. Augustine himself was not satisfied with it, for in his "Retractions", I, xiii, he abandoned it in favour of the derivation given by Lactantius.

He employs the latter meaning in his treatise "On the True Religion", where he says: The correct one seems to be that offered by Lactantius. Religion in its simplest form implies the notion of being bound to God ; the same notion is uppermost in the word religion in its most specific sense, as applied to the life of poverty, chastity, and obedience to which individuals voluntarily bind themselves by vows more or less solemn.

Hence those who are thus bound are known as religious. Religion, broadly speaking, means the voluntary subjection of oneself to God.

The idea of religare in many religions

It exists in its highest perfection in heavenwhere the angels and saints lovepraise, and adore Godand live in absolute conformity to His holy will. It does not exist at all in hellwhere the subordination of rational creatures to their Creator is one not of free willbut of physical necessity.

On earth it is practically coextensive with the human racethough, where it has not been elevated to the supernatural plane through Divine revelationit labours under serious defects. It is with religion as affecting the life of man on earth that this article deals.

The analysis of the idea of religion shows that it is very complex, and rests on several fundamental conceptions. It implies first of all the recognition of a Divine personality in and behind the forces of nature, the Lord and Ruler of the world, God.

In the highest religions, this supernatural Being is conceived as a spirit, one and indivisible, everywhere present in nature, but distinct from it.

In the lower religions, the various phenomena of nature are associated with a number of distinct personalities, though it is rare that among these numerous nature-deities one is not honoured as supreme. Ethical qualities corresponding to the prevailing ethical standards, are attributed by the different peoples to their respective deities.

In every form of religion is implied the conviction that the mysterious, supernatural Being or beings has control over the lives and destinies of men.

The idea of religare in many religions

Especially in lower grades of culture, where the nature and utilization of physical laws is but feebly understood, man feels in many ways his helplessness in the presence of the forces of nature: There thus arises in the natural order a sense of dependence on the Deity, deeply felt need of Divine help.

This lies at the basis of religion. Still it is not the recognition of dependence on God that constitutes the very essence of religion, indispensable as it is.

The damned recognize their dependence on Godbut, being without hope of Divine help, are turned from, rather than towards, Him. Coupled with the sense of need is the persuasion on the part of man that he can bring himself into friendly, beneficent communion with the Deity or deities on whom he feels he depends.

He is a creature of hope. Feeling his helplessness and need of Divine assistance, pressed down, perhaps, by sickness, loss, and defeat, recognizing that in friendly communion with the Deity he can find aid, peace, and happinesshe is led voluntarily to perform certain acts of homage meant to bring about this desired result.

What man aims at in religion is communion with the Deity, in which he hopes to attain his happiness and perfection. This perfection is but crudely conceived in lower religions. Conformity to the recognized moral standard, which is generally low, is not wholly neglected, but it is less an object of solicitude than material welfare.

The sum of happiness looked for is prosperity in the present life and a continuation of the same bodily comforts in the life to come.

In the higher religions, the perfection sought in religion becomes more intimately associated with moral goodness. In Christianitythe highest of religions, communion with God implies spiritual perfection of the highest possible kind, the participation in the supernatural life of grace as the children of God.

This spiritual perfection, bringing with it perfect happinessis realized in part at least in the present life of pain and disappointment, but is to be found fully attained in the life to come.

The desire of happiness and perfection is not the only motive that prompts man to do homage to God. In the higher religions there is also the sense of duty arising from the recognition of God's sovereignty, and consequently of His strict right to the subjection and worship of man.

To this must also be added the love of God for His own sake, inasmuch as He is the infinitely perfect Being, in whom truthbeauty, and goodness are realized in their highest possible degree. While the prevailing motive in all lower religions is one of self-interest, the desire of happinessit generally implies to some extent an affectionate as well as reverent attitude towards the deities that are the object of worship.

From what has been said it is plain that the concept of deity required for religion is that of a free personality.Essay-Hinduism and Buddhism The idea of “religare” or binding oneself back to one’s religion is key to many religions.

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