Whether you are an Atheist, Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Native American, Pagan, Shinto, Sikh, Wicca, and Zoroastrian or from any other tradition, you may feel a sense of connection with the spirit of Ramadan.
The physical aspect of human journey from the sperm and an egg stage through the death is programmed precisely. The formula is same for all of humanity; and there is no such thing as a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or other gene.
Regardless of what is being said about origins in terms of evolution, creation or the big bang, the undeniable fact is our existence, and we have to figure out how to live with each other.
When the universe came into being, two main products of the process were Matter and Life.
While the matter is programmed to be in self-balance and functions precisely for which it is designed, like the Sun, Jupiter, Earth or the Moon playing its part, the (human) life on the other hand was not programmed; we were given complete freedom, guidance and intelligence to create our own balance for survival.
A balanced society is where every one of us functions cohesively in small parcels of this big World Wide Web. It is sustained by respecting the otherness of others and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of us. If we mess with the web, we mess with ourselves ultimately. If we mess with the environmental balance we will pay for it, just as we bear the loss of health if we mess with what we eat, drink and smoke. There is a consequence for imbalance.
Birth of Religion
We lose the balance if we don’t trust and lie to each other, rob the other, and not keep the promises we make to fellow beings. This is when religion appears; it is the love of the creator for his creation, just as a mother loves her children –someone among us will rise and restore that balance. Didn’t Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad and other masters restore the righteousness and balance in the society? I hope you can relate with this thought in your own scriptures and legends.
An identical spiritual wisdom emerges in different parts of the world simultaneously; the greatest example would be how a mother figures out what to do with her crying baby in the jungles of Amazon or the high society in London.
Indeed, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and as a corollary I would say, faith is in the heart of the believer, and every religion is dear to its believer.
Ramadan and you.
Hindus can see that transformation in nine days of fasting during Navaratri, the Jains in 8-10 days of fasting during Paryushana, Christians during 40 days of lent, Jews for 7 days around Yom Kippur….likewise you find fasting is a way of life in most traditions.
Ramadan will come and go with such stealth that we cannot but be reminded of our mortality. What is it that we value and why? Habits, customs, even obsessive behavior like smoking can be curtailed with relative ease in the face of a higher calling.