WHY DO WE….
Light a Lamp
In almost every hindu home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. Light symbolizes knowledge and darkness symbolizes ignorance. The Lord is the Knowledge Principle who is the source and the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence Light is worshipped as Lord Himself. Although a bulb and tube light also removes darkness, but the traditional oil lamp has a spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our negative tendencies and the wick symbolizes the .ego’. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the negative tendencies get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. A single lamp can light hundreds more without diminishing its radiance, just like knowledge does not lessen when shared with or imparted to others.
Why Do We Do .Pradakshina’ ( circambulating sanctum sanctorum) when we go to a temple.
The Lord is the centre, source and essence of our lives. Recognising him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing out daily chores. This is the significance of ʻpradakshinaʼ. Also every point on the circumference of the circle is equidistant from the centre. This means that wherever or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us with no partiality.
Observe Ramadan Fasting
Fasting is a rather a common feature for all religions. For muslims its significance is prime in the sense that it is regarded as one of the pillars of Islam. Fasting is not only refraining from eating and drinking but also carries an added significance of worship and helps build one ʼs character, control over oneʼs desire and an inspiration towards social and scientific creativity. In the holy month of Ramadan, a muslim abstains from food, drink, sexual intercourse etc and this state of self deprivation represents self control and of overcoming carnal pleasures and desires for the blissful love of God and is a brilliant display of spirit, intellect and decisive power. The practices of Islamic fasting are designed to divert human mind towards righteousness through a process of self denials. Fasting constitutes a process of self purification, self righteousness and spiritual development of one self.
Go for Hajj
Hajj primarily refers to a visit to Ka ʼba, the house of Allah. The teachings of Hajj are very significant to muslims. During Hajj, all the energies of body, mind and soul are directed towards Allah and that is achieved by praying five times and keeping oneself clean and pure all the time. Sacrificing a lamb or a goat teaches us to share and to give to poor. It teaches us generosity, kindness and the ability to share with the less fortunate. At Mina, pebbles are thrown at three pillars which represent Satan and this teaches that we must be truthful and clean and live a life free of sins. Hajj also represents unity of muslims. It is the place where muslims from all over the world gather and are joined together on basis of belief and not colour or race.
REVERANCE THE BLOOD OF JESUS
During the years of my study on the Cross of Jesus and it’s relation to the atonement of sin, I’ve realized that in order for us to fully and totally understand and appreciated the new order or way of atonement by Jesus Christ, we should first have a clear comprehension of the first order of sacrifice as detailed in the Old Testament. Sin was never a part of God’s plan for mankind and as a result of this, God implemented certain impermanent laws and ordinances which was to be carried out during Old Testament times. To atone or gain forgiveness for ones sin, the Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin (Heb 9:22). So the one thing that must be present for the pardon of sin was blood. Why was it so important that every sin needed blood as the agent of gaining pardon or forgiveness? According to Leviticus chapter 17 verse 11, the Bible tells us that “the life of the flesh in the blood”. This brings certainty and sureness that since death was required as payment for sin, as stated in the law of Moses, a life or some life had to take the place of a particular sin at the time of atonement. It was therefore an exchange of one life, through the shedding of blood, for the life of the convicted sinner as payment for his or her sin. Now in reference to the first system of atonement as described in the Old Testament, there were certain laws that governed the very sacrifice itself. According to scripture, whether it is the sin offering for the anointed priest himself, the Israelite community, a leader in the congregation of Moses or a member of the community, the sacrifice was to be without defect. Several times and in each the of the above cases God demanded, irrespective of who the sacrifice was for, one thing remained prevalent, the sacrifice, whether it be lamb, goat, bull or pigeons, it had to have no defect (without deficiency, blemish or imperfection). This sin offering, whatever sacrifice it was, was to be slaughtered before the Lord and thus making it holy. The blood of the slaughtered sacrifice must then be brought into the Tent of Meeting (Tabernacle set up Moses) and burned to make atonement for the convicted sinner. Sinces Jesus came to die for all men sins (the sacrificial Lamb without defect), His Blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins for all mankind and there is now no need for any other sacrifice.