An assortment of religions and multiplicity of faiths characterize the world in which we have our being. The very fact that existence is transient turns the eye inward in search of spiritual salvation. The religious holiday brings an annual opportunity to carry out the hallowed rituals that unending generations of ancestors have practiced.
Christianity and Islam may not be all that old like Hinduism but the faiths had been practiced in antiquity before saviors appeared to wake up the sleeping generation. Pilgrimages satisfy that spiritual yearning for the divine.
That calendar of religious holidays means so much in student or professional life, ready at the start of the year. Plans for work and vacations are chalked out for the year with the divine holidays in mind. Each year’s rituals add to everything that happened before and an unending line of faith is born.
Certain sites across the world like Mecca for the Muslims and Jerusalem for the Christians represent heaven upon earth. We yearn for the eternal life after that brief respite on earth.
Why should the world have an abundance of religions though only two of them dominate in terms of followers? The sheer variety of faiths based on continents or territories divide humanity into so many. Buddhism that claims to be more of an atheistic practice rather than a god based religion has come to be practiced in many countries. Each country follows Buddhism in unique ways, something like how creatures developed differently in evolutionary terms due to isolation.
Some sections of society during surveys claim to be atheistic just like the third gender not sure of themselves. Even in the absence of strong beliefs in a god or gods, atheists would agree about the presence of spirituality expressed through nature. Just like we need reminders in every aspect of life, religious holidays go a long way to support spirituality, days of fasting, peace, and prayer depending upon the customs of the particular faith. Science may finally bring all the faiths together after all in cosmic terms.
The further posts will provide information about the beliefs and customs in India.