With the world slowly going crazy and the use of religion as a platform to justify it all, it is natural that there are discussions everywhere on this provocative subject. If we could eavesdrop on undocumented conversations in salons and dining rooms as we do on reddit forums, the volume and the intensity of these discussions would be far more than ever in the past century!\nSo, not wanting to be left out of this band wagon, let me also say my not-so-few words about this \u2018hot\u2019 topic.\nhmmmmmmm \u2026\u2026let\u2019s see what I can find in my recent experiences.\nSo here I am in Bali, Indonesia \u2013 and the side effects of religion are EVERYWHERE!\nIn their speech, in their lifestyle in their daily activities!!\nAnd to my utter surprise,the side effects of religion are all positive here!!\nWomen use their religion and their worship to create an aura of beauty and serenity in the lives of their families and their community.\nThe \u201csarva mangalam\u201d\u00a0 principle meaning \u201cMay there be good for everyone\u201d [yes \u2013 EVERY ONE] drives actions.\nA bit out of sync with the world?\nEvery morning, after bathing, fresh flowers and leaves are brought in and the leaves are woven into works of art. A small tray is made using larger leaves, and the first offering of food is placed on it.\nTrays\u00a0 are then taken and placed outdoors \u2013 some on the floor to appease the demons or the negativity of our lives, some on platforms to ask for blessings from the divine powers.\nThese spiritual acts translate into acts of kindness in the real world. The morsels left on the floor feed the ants and the ones on the platforms feed the birds. So \u2013 a device that is used to looking after the creatures we share the earth with, also fulfills a spiritual purpose.\nThese prayer offerings are placed not only outside one\u2019s own home but also at crossroads and fields and common areas so that all who pass that way will receive the benefits of that prayer.\nReligion to do good?\u00a0\u00a0 mmmmm.\n\nAnd then as if that alone were not enough,\u00a0 to do good for all?\u00a0 wow! the idea seems ssoooo past tense!!\nImagine someone being bold enough to declare that \u201cgood\u201d is the purpose of religion in the first place.\nI wonder about the fate she might suffer at the hands of media and the powers that be, who, no matter which religion they are from, want us to believe that all the others are evil \u2013 in effect, collectively declaring, all religions to be evil. Quite a paradox.\nTo compound the issue of my surprise, I realise that Bali is a Hindu province located in a country where the majority are Muslim. And that is not just surviving as minorities do in most countries, but\u00a0 thriving!\u00a0 There is no conflict and no disharmony. There isn\u2019t any now and there wasn\u2019t any when new religions arrived centuries ago through traders. The adoption of new faiths was peaceful and without bloodshed.\n????\nSounds too much like a fairytale?\nSo what is the catch?\nMy mind cannot believe that there is NONE.\nAnd so I am forced to accept the truth.The sweet truth.\nThat religion can indeed be used to bring out the good in people. To create a life of serenity. And beauty. and peace. To create art.\nWhat wonderful side-effects religion can have!\n***\nHere are some pictures of ammazing amazing Bali \u2013 of ladies and their leaf art \u2013 of their worship and prayers for themselves and the world.\nThe Old trays from the previous day are collected and replaced by fresh ones\n\u00a0\n\n\nThe rice fields get their own trays\n\n\nAuspicious trays on the dashboard for the car and the travelers\n\n\n\nPlatform to place trays for the divine spirits to feed on\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\nAuspicious rice is applied on the forehead during worship\n\n\n\nSarva-Mangalam-Bhavatu-Bhavatu-Bhavtu\u2026\nMay that tranquillity & well-being be everywhere, and in everyone.\u201d\n\n\u00a0\nMaybe Bali is the paradise it is, because of such sentiments that dominate the lifestyle of its gentle beautiful residents!\n\nWorth listening to this Sanskrit Shloka with volume on maximum.\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u201cBhumi-Mangalam, Udaka-Mangalam, Agni-Mangalam, Vayu-Mangalam, Gagana-Mangalam, Surya-Mangalam,\nChandra-Mangalam, Jagat-Mangalam,\n\nand the most important lines:\n\u201cJiva-Mangalam, Deha-Mangalam, Mano-Mangalam, Atma-Mangalam,\u201dSarva-Mangalam-Bhavatu-Bhavatu-Bhavtu\u2026\nTRANSLATION:\n\u201cMay there be tranquillity & well-being on earth, on water,\nin fire, in the wind,\nin the sky, in the sun,\non the moon, on our planet,\nin all living beings, in the body,\nin the mind and in the spirit.\nMay that tranquillity & well-being be everywhere, and in everyone.\u201d\n\n\u00a0\njaina mishra\nJan 2016\n\u00a0\n#religion, #side effect, #art, #Bali #balinese\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\nThe post Side Effects of Religion appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.