Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kashmir in 1960’s

It is amazing to watch that neither the situation in Kashmir like ceasefire violations, killing of innocent people, demand for plebiscite, etc. nor the opinion of Kashmiri people has changed even after a span of five decades.

Reading Frithjof Schuon on Islam

Recently a lot of articles have been written on the writing of Frithjof Schuon and he has been projected as one of the greatest authors on Islam in the western world. In may be noteworthy that in an interview, Frithjof Schuon had mentioned that he was only interested in the hidden esoteric Islam, which he considered open mind like Hinduism and very near to Vedanta. Other than that he was not interested in Islam more than any other religion. Besides Christianity he also studied Hinduism, Buddhism and the Native American traditions.

Frithjof Schuon (1907 – 1998) was a metaphysicist and an exponent of the Religio Perennis. He has written books and articles on metaphysics, spirituality and comparative religions. The metaphysics exposited by Schuon is based on separation between ‘Atma’ and ‘Maya’. Schuon believes, idea of the absolute and the relative is provided by all the major religions sufficiently, if not always exhaustive. In Christianity, God became man and man might become God. In Hindu terms one would say, Atma became Maya that Maya might become Atma. In Islam the real and non-real is affirmed by the Testimony of Unity (the Shahadah). Religio Perennis is not a new religion but an underlying religion for Schuon. He considers the essential function of human intelligence, discernment between the real and the illusory, and the essential function of the will as the attachment to the real, which is the underlying universality in all the religions and what may be called the Religio Perennis.

He was one of the chief representative of the Perennialist school. A school of thought based upon a belief that all the world’s great religions share the same origin (in a primordial principle of transcendent unity) and are, at root, based on the same metaphysical principles. Also, modern civilization is the decadent civilization, which manifests the lowest possibilities of the Kali Yuga (the Dark Age of the Hindu cosmology). Through his many books and articles, Schuon became known as a spiritual teacher and leader of the Perennialist School. He classified prayers into three forms: first, canonical prayer, for instance the Lord’s prayer; second, personal prayer, whose best model is given by the Psalms; third, the prayer of the heart; this is mystical spirituality like Dhikr and Japa-Yoga. His book ‘Understanding Islam’ is considered one of the best book to introduce Islam to western world.