Worship without sacrifice



Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi


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I. Introduction 
Let’s start with “Do Good Receive Good, Do Evil Receive Evil.”
Everybody is responsible for his/her own karma – fruit or result. This is the law of karma or the law of nature. No one can escape from the fruit resulting from what they had done in both religious and social context. For instance Mahatma Gandhi developed a philosophy about The Seven Deadly Social Sins such as (1)Politics without Principles, (2)Wealth Without Work, (3)Pleasure Without Conscience, (4)Knowledge Without Character, (5)Commerce Without Morality, (6)Science Without Humanity, and (7)Worship Without Sacrifice. These are the sins coming from human beings’ unwholesome activities.
Mahatma Gandhi was very a famous man of India that known as the father of Indian independence. He was not only recognized in his period, all Indian periods in next generations. In his popularity, he is not just well known as Indian independence’s demanding, but he also got very popular in his philosophy that most people accepted it. He is known as a wisdom man that always got achievement with nonviolent works or ahamsa. Gandhi understands clearly in religion as connoting the individual’s integrity and society’s solidarity. He understands all in human-center and secular philosophical outlook. Through his ideas and activities, a lot of people regard and respect him as a god because he always not just speak but also walk his speak.
These seven principles with all the aspects of human life and thus indicate integral humanism of Gandhi. Among the thinkers of Modern India probably nobody has contributed more for the advancement of humanism than Mahatma Gandhi. He gave humanistic basis to Social Philosophy. He humanized Politics, Science and Religion. All these seven sins are not only right in the past but also true in today in man-made. Gandhi’s list of seven deadly sins covered every aspect of human endeavor, and worship is no exception.
Obviously, much could be described about each of these 7 sins written by Mahatma Gandhi, but my group has a holy chance to further Worship without Sacrifice into details. Of course, Worship without Sacrifice is not acceptable to God [goddess in some religion], so why is it not pleasing and a sin in society in the concept of Mahatma Gandhi?
Firstly, we would like to explain two key words – worship and sacrifice. For non-religious meaning, it is a strong feeling of love and respect for somebody or something. In religious meaning, worship is the practice of showing respect for God, by saying prayers, singing with others, etc., according to Oxford Dictionary. Worship is also defined as being and doing in alignment with our highest religious, spiritual, moral or ethical beliefs, values and principles. Swami Radhanandji states that Worship means reverence and respect paid to God, the Creator, the Master of the Universe, the one who controls, rules, loves, sustains, and rules this creation according to the law of Karma, also known as the law of Love. Worship therefore means loving and serving all creatures according to the Law, which is another name for God. Sacrifice in general meaning is willingly giving, surrendering or letting go of something of value for the sake of something or someone. We might think about the act of offering something to a god like animal sacrifice, or, cruelly, human sacrifice. In fact, sacrifice does not mean offering a human head, an animal or money to holy god or the like. It just simply means selfless services to mankind, to all creatures and even to all the elements that exist in nature such as sky, air, fire, water or the earth, etc. Those who keep rewards for the propagation of their own lust, greed, and name and fame are ignorant, arrogant, and vain that leads to become bondage, a self-created and self-sustained prison. We must act mutually for the benefit of all and not limit our work for our own family, society, church, or country. We must consider all mankind as our family and society as all people and all nations. Sacrifice is further defined as dedication to our duties and beyond. We are to sacrifice our lives and not others as we all seem to do now a days.
Back to Gandhi, a man who understands well about religion, he must condone the practice of sacrificial killing in his list of Deadly Social Sins. Religion is necessary to sustain human culture. Without it, there is chaos, the breakdown of social systems; therefore, worship without sacrifice is considered as a social sin. In his concept, to stabilize the society, worship must require sacrifice of love, selfless services to mankind. So, we would say that worship with sacrifice is being willing to give or give up something of value to live our highest religious principles. It realizes our good intentions, walks our talk, and changes we seek in the world. In Religion, we worship, but if we are not ready to sacrifice for Social service, the worship has no value; it is sin to worship without sacrifice. Gandhi always wanted people sacrifice their owns in loyalty with their worship to the god. He realized that all religions usually educate people to do something in right way, but because people don’t follow the god’s words and do something in human way that betray from the god’s words that is called sin. It is a sin that people do not follow the god’s speech or we can say worship without sacrifice. As a result, I can say that “worship without sacrifice” means we do not follow the principles of our religion, just do something in human instinct, or don’t value our religious principles or our god’s speech and act in different ways.
According to the general meaning and Mahatma Gandhi’s meaning of worship without sacrifice, we can realize that this sin is happening everywhere in the world due to unwilling or fake sacrifice in worship of humankind in society and religious services, for example, Today robbing others has become a tradition in the name of religion, social and political duties or family duties. All our ills are created by and continue through our ignorance, which is shaped in our educational, religious, political, social, and commercial institutions. While all other institutions, except religious institutions, do not claim to serve others but openly serve their own interest against the Law, religious institutions and teachers are often the greatest hypocrites for they claim to serve God and the creatures when they really are serving themselves, their own lust, greed, ego, pride, and vanity due to their total ignorance of God. Those are the problem in worship in present time.Gandhi wanted people to be honest with their worship because he saw that a lot of threats to religion and society are not from the atheists but from the dogmatists. Lots of social insecurities come from dogmatists that have their own religions, but they do not follow their religious principles or they misunderstand. Gandhi was a religious man that advocated the concept of Ethical Religion, and he conducted religion in its original concept. He always walked his worship out. He believed that there is no Religion higher than Truth and Righteousness. Gandhi viewed life in the wholesome activities.In this paper, you will see a lot all the aspects of worship without sacrifice. All of these views, we have focused in many religious principles that even though they are different religions, but they share the same view of the principles.
II. Worship without sacrifice in some religions As we have known that worship without sacrifice is one in the list of the 7 deadly social sins thought by Mahatma Gandhi, and it is happening everywhere in the world due to unwholesome activities in worship of humankind. Stephen Covey in his book Principle Centered Leadership says about this sin, “Without sacrifice we may become active in the church but remain inactive in its gospel.
In other words, we go for the social façade of religion and the piety of religious practices. There is no real walking with people or going the second mile or trying to deal with our social problems that may eventually undo our economic system. It takes sacrifice to serve the needs of other people – the sacrifice of our own pride and prejudice, among other things.Whether we like to believe in God or not, it is important and mandatory that we believe in morality, in nature, in ourselves, and in peace, love, and joy. No one will deny this even in their ignorance, and yet we are hardly taught this in churches, families, educational institutions, or social or cultural institutions. Religious organizations have become empires replacing old kingdoms according to their wealth, power and followings. God is subordinated to their religious leaders, whose pictures, statues, or glory is sung in delusion. Humility, love, and faith hardly exist in religious orders though outward pomp is everywhere.1. Christianity 

Here is a story in Christianity about worship without sacrifice. God has brought the nation of Israel to the foot of Mt. Sinai. God call Moses up the mountain and propose them to make a covenant with the people of Israel. All Moses people accept God’s proposal and unanimously states that “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

God is very content with their answers and decides to ask Moses to go down the hill to make announcement to people of Israel that God will have a meeting or assembly in three days, and God himself will be the speaker who gives sermon. To help them prepare for the assembly, God gives Moses the instruction “Lo, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you (that is Moses) forever. Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow and let them wash their garments and be ready by the third day; for on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mt. Sinai in the sight of all the people”.

God wants people to take their time, be ready, and make enough preparation not to be late on the day. This how God establishes a principle, in which people have to follow. On the day of the assembly, the weather is getting really bad; there are thunders and lightning, and people are trembling in the camp. In the face of this difficulty, some people may be late for the assembly, and some may even decide not to come.

However, people who truly worship God are willing to make sacrifice to be able to come to the assembly. The sacrifice can be big or small. Some may get fired, and some may have to go against their family members who don’t see the value in God.

Just to present yourself at the assembly isn’t enough to show a true worship. That’s why God also establish a spiritual principle. In other words, God wants people not just to bring their physical body to the assembly, but also bring their mind and heart. If you stand before God but you are not concentrating on what God is saying and your mind is wandering somewhere else, you are not making sacrifice and you are not worshiping God. In the story, Israelites present their body at the meeting but their mind is thinking about lunch. This is worship without sacrifice.

When God is giving sermon on his ninth commandments, everyone knows that God is going to finish soon because there are only Ten Commandments. Thus, when God is giving his last commandments, instead of listening carefully to God, people are busily removing their tents and are getting ready to go home. This shows impatience of people who do not value God and are not willing to sacrifice time for God.

2. Muslim/Islam 

Like other religions, Islam requires its follower to adhere to religious duties called The Five Pillars of Islam. Worship without sacrifice in Islam is when its followers fail to perform those five pillars or perform improperly. The fulfillment of the duties is believed to benefit people in this life and the afterlife. The five pillars of Islam are:

a. Daily confession of faith (shahada)

Shahada is the Muslim confession of faith, expressing the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim: “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God.” This confession is the only requirement for those who wish to join Muslim community. It shows acceptance to not only to Allah and his follower but also the entire Islam.

b. Daily ritual prayer (salat)

The ritual prayer is performed 5 times each day: at dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Salat can be done individually, but it carries special merit when done with other Muslims. The focal prayer of the week is the midday prayer at the Mosque on Friday. The content of prayer is about the glorification of God, recitation of Qur’an, and blessing on the prophet.

c. Paying the alms tax (zakat)

Almsgiving is the main activity in Islam. Every capable adult Muslims with sufficient income must pay alms tax. The rate of alms tax is 2.5% of the total possession of a person. Alms tax is comparable to modern welfare state which the rich is taxed to help the poor. Those who received tax in Islam are the poor, debtors, slaves, etc.

d. Fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm)

Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic year. During Ramadan, all adult Muslims are required to refrain from eating, drinking, or having sexual intercourse. Travelers, soldiers, menstruating women, and the ill can make an exception, but they are expected to do the fasting later when become stable.

e. Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj)

Pilgrimage to Mecca is the holy journey to the sacred city of Islam. The visit can done at any time of the year, but it must take place during the month of Dhu al-Hijja (the last month of Islamic year). Each Muslim is expected to undertake pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his life time. One of the most meaningful aspects of Pilgrimage is the unifying effect that helps bring believers from all over the world to worship together.

To be true worshipers of Islam, people has to follow these 5 pillars of Islam, which means they have to sacrifice their time, energy, money and personal pleasure to fulfill the duties. If they can’t follow the 5 pillars, they are not a true Muslim. According to Islam principle, if people do not pay alms tax, their money will heated in fired and they will be burnt with the fire.3. Buddhism Worship without sacrifice often happens in Buddhism when Buddhists do not understand well about the Lord Buddha’s teaching. They merely pray and ask for favors from Buddha statues or images such like idol worshiper.Worship with sacrifice requires Buddhists follow Lord Buddha’s teaching and behave all wholesome actions. The five precepts, also known as the Dhamma of human being, are moral conducts to make the world a better place. The purpose of these five precepts is to make people refrain from doing bad deeds in speech as well as body.

1. Panatipata Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
In this precept, people have to refrain from destroying all living creatures not just human beings because every living thing has the right to live and their lives should be respected.

2. Adinnadana Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
In this precept, people have to refrain from taking that which is not given. One should not intentionally steal other people’s belonging.

3. Kamesu Micchacara Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
In this precept, people have to refrain from sexual misconduct or overindulgence in any sensual pleasure such as gluttony.

4. Musavada Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
In this precept, people have to refrain from incorrect speech. One should not lie or deceive others or say something that brings harm to others.

5. Suramerayamajja Pamadatthana Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
In this precept, people have to refrain from abusing drugs or drinks that leads to loss of self-control. This precept is very special because breaking this precept could be the cause of breaking other 4 precepts.

Besides the five precepts, the ten meritorious deeds of Buddhism also serve as a guide for a person who seeks a happy and peaceful life. It guides by developing knowledge and understanding in the person who seeks peace. The ten meritorious deeds should be applied only when sufficient faith in, and understanding of, Buddha have been reached. The ten meritorious deeds of Buddhism are:

1. Daana – Generosity: To give generously and freely to those who deserve gifts has a profound impact on the whole.

2. Siila – Morality: One’s ethical conduct benefits all beings who come into contact of the individual.

3. Bhavanaa – Meditation: The mental development through meditation. Bhavanaa brings peace to oneself and inspires others to seek peace as well.

4. Apacaayana – Reverence: Showing respect to elders, parents, teachers, monastics, officials, and all those in an important or senior role. Apacaayana creates harmony in society.

5. Veyaavacca – Service: Providing service and assisting others to do meritorious deeds. Veyaavacca promotes the Dhamma and improves the lives of others.

6. Patidaana – Transfer of Merit: The transfer of merit to others. Patidaana shows compassion towards others welfare.

7. Pattaanumodana – Rejoicing in Others’ Merit: Rejoicing in others’ merit and congratulating them during their meritorious conduct encourages them and others to perform more merits.

8. Dhammasavana – Hearing the Doctrine: Hearing or reading and studying the Dhamma.

9. Dhammadesanaa – Expounding the Doctrine : The teaching of the Dhamma through writing or speech. Dhammadesanaa helps spread the the teaching

10. Ditthijukamavasena – Straightening One’s Right View: Continually studying the Dhamma to be sure that one understands the Dhamma correctly. This enables a person to show the beauty of the Dhamma to others.

Through the truly practice of the ten meritorious deeds, one can not only benefit his or herself, but can benefit anyone they come into contact with as well. Therefore, practicing and applying the deeds with sacrifice is extremely beneficial to society as a whole, as it creates harmony between the people.

As you can see, to worship the 5 precepts, and the 10 meritorious deeds, people have to make personal sacrifice. People have to give up their own pleasure from drinking, eating, or having sexual intercourse. People have to refrain from doing whatever they want to adhere to the principles. If ones deeply understand about Lord Buddha’s teaching and follow Lord Buddha’s principle wholeheartedly, they will see result as a good karma in their present lives and afterlives.

4. Hinduism 

Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. However, when we hear about Hinduism, we might think of a religion whose followers worship Deities such as Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer, but, actually, an image or statue which expresses a Divine Spirit. Perhaps the most common religious act in Hinduism is puja, which is often translated simply as “worship,” and literally means “honor.” This is important, because the practice of and beliefs behind worship involve not just a formal veneration of the gods and goddesses, but also the entering into a particular sort of relationship. Worship involves the reception, honoring, and in a sense the entertaining of the deity. Fundamentally, worship involves bhakti, in that one must approach and treat the god with selfless love; indeed, this is the way in which bhakti is most typically put into practice. Significantly, this love is thought to flow both ways: the devotee loves the god, and the god also loves the devotee.

Purity of Hinduism depends on the self-restraint of its votaries. The beauty of Hinduism lies in its all embracing inclusiveness and it is the depth of devotion and love applied to a spiritual cause. Hinduism tells everyone to worship God according to his own faith or dharma, and so it lives at peace with all the religions and gives the votary the largest scope for self-expression. The highest expression and application in Hinduism is non-violence.

Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth, but today it has become moribund, inactive, and irresponsive to growth because there are not any real sacrifices in worshipping Hinduism. Man is divine at the core of his being. He is one with God! The problem is that man is ignorant of this fact. He is deceived by his focus on this temporal and material world, and this ignorance gives rise to acts that result in bad karma and traps us in the cycle of reincarnation, but salvation from the cycle of reincarnation is achieved by our own efforts–whether through good works, meditation, or devotion to a deity, yet people still ignore and hold the mistaken belief that we are individual selves and not one with the ultimate divine reality called Brahman. It is this ignorance that gives rise to our bad actions which result in bad karma.

Worshiping requires sacrifice to please the god or goddess and got salvation from the cycle of reincarnation. Likewise, it is the right way to conduct the life in seeking the truth. Sacrifice can be performed in order to obtain liberation, known as moksa, or some type of heaven. What makes sacrifice so special is not the fact that it can lead to the attainment of Brahman, but the fact that it is radically different from the rest of one’s day to day life. Theories on the purpose and function of the sacrifice arrange over many explanations such as homage to a communion with the gods, catharsis, renunciation, rejuvenation, and social legitimacy.

III. Conclusion 

Worship is just like a principle. To obey a principle or rule, sometimes we have to make sacrifice aiming to fulfill one’s purpose or God’s purpose to bring harmony or seek the truth or else. That’s what the natural man can do to takes self-control; it takes a mind that is on God, to worship God in an acceptable way, and that requires SACRIFICE.

Worship is not just showing others what we do in appearance, nor merely about how many times a day we say our prayers or read our religious book or sing the songs, but in how we integrate the life of our religion, belief into our own and live out our lives on the streets, and in our homes, and in our workplaces, in our classrooms, in board rooms, and in our daily interaction with others. Like what Mahatma Gandhi once responded to Christian missionaries “When you stop standing on the street corners and merely talking about how good Christianity is and start living it among the “untouchables”, you will have more converts that you can cope with.”

True religion is based on spirituality, love, compassion, understanding, and appreciation of each other whatever our beliefs may be — Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics or whatever; therefore it is worthwhile to worship with sacrifice aiming to get good results. Gandhi believed whatever labels we put on our faith; ultimately all of us worship Truth because Truth is God. Superficially we may be very devout believers and make a tremendous public show of our worship, but if that belief, understanding, compassion, love and appreciation is not translated into our lives, prayers will have no meaning. True worship demands sacrifice not just in terms of the number of times a day we say our prayers but in how sincere we are in translating those prayers into life styles. There is infinite love, joy, and peace. There are sufficient material things, clothes, food, and shelter if we will stop misusing or overusing it out of our love for the body, flesh, wealth, and perishable objects. God has created everything sufficiently for all of us to meet our every need only if we learn to live, and thus worship, through sacrifice.

Unfortunately, nowadays most people worship without sacrifice because they do not understand or misunderstand the nature of worship. These would bring them to unpleasing situation or violence. As we can see some people don’t value God. People are forced to worship God. They worship God because everyone else does that. For example, in Cambodia, many young people go to pagoda because their parents do that. Some people pretend to worship God because they want to take benefit from religion. The consequence of not obeying is not obvious in their concept. Of course, there is no legal punishment in society for worshipping without sacrifice, but a social sin, and it will be considered as sin as religion too and people will receive spiritual punishment according to each religion.

If we choose to worship, worship with sacrifice, sacrifice of love and selfless services.