The many comments on my previous article “Questioning your faith” made me think a lot. I will try to answer the questions “what is the value of questioning your faith?”, “when should you question your faith?”, and “how should you question your faith?”.
The Value of Questioning
As a Hindu we see a human as made of several parts. There are various ways of looking at this, but one is as an emotional mind (manas), an intellect (buddhi), and the spiritual mind (atman). Questioning and reasoning can help bring the intellect and atman in line, understanding what your spirit tells you.
A teacher once told me “facts are friendly”, meaning that you should not ignore facts. If a fact seems to be at odds with your belief then either your belief is wrong or your understanding is. If a religion has to ban certain questions, or statements of fact then it is wrong, and its followers cannot have mental peace – they will forever be guarding against people speaking the truth. At extremes they kill people who do to avoid others questioning.
Hinduism is very lenient about questioning – but still we have to remember that “facts are friendly” includes all facts. We have to accept things like some Hindus eat meat and sacrifice animals, some Hindus treat others as untouchables, and even that some Hindus see the shivalinga as a phallic symbol. Continue reading