“Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Words spoken by a wise practitioner of religion, however, words wrought with difficulties for us lesser mortals. The problem of course is the myriad of rules and laws required by each religion in Gandhi’s range of faiths.
As an observant Hindu he would be required to follow the concept of dharma which appears to come in four flavors with the first being universal law and includes social law, human law and self-dharma, that’s a lot of laws when broken down into their separate components.
Next as a Muslim Gandhi would be obliged to commit to the five pillars of Islam which include the profession of faith, daily prayer, alms giving, fasting and a trip to Mecca at least once in his lifetime. Relatively simple but time consuming and possibly expensive as Islam expects real results.
“He cannot sell his wife into slavery and he may not wear women’s clothing…”
Buddhism on the other hand can be practiced without physically doing anything very much but requires enormous amounts of cerebral exertion. The tenets which remain common to all Buddhism, include the “four noble truths” which includes the “eight fold path” of right views.
Mr. Gandhi would be required to follow the Right Understanding, Right Intent, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. That’s a lot of stuff to get right. At this point Mr Gandhi would be pretty busy just keeping up with his daily chores, but there is more weight to be heaped on those skinny shoulders.
The combo religion of Christianity and Judaism is demanding beyond belief. By some estimates there are 612 commandments in the Hebrew Torah, of which ten (the Decalogue) are the best known and fundamental to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Under Judaeo- Christian law Gandhi would have to be careful. He cannot sell his wife into slavery (Deut. 21:14) and he may not wear women’s clothing (Deut. 22:5). The list is very long and would no doubt have caused him to take up heavy drinking by now, although that’s forbidden.( Num. 6:3)
Gandhi was of course speaking metaphorically, he meant well and had the right idea when he eluded to a universal faith. However, on our religiously divided planet such a concept is not likely to emerge.
-GSG (God Seeker Guy)