National Geographic : 1971 Oct
Some chapters in Great Religions of the World Hinduism Quest for the Universal One Down the Teeming Ganges, Holy River of India Brahma in Bali Buddhism The Eightfold Path to Nirvana Saffron Robes in Gilded Thailand Pilgrims' Path in Buddhist Japan Zen's Disciplined Way to Sudden Light Demons and Lamas in the High Himalayas Judaism "Hear, O Israel" A Kibbutz Where Work Means Worship Days of Joy and Lamentation Islam Mohammed Is His Prophet The Sweep of Islam On a Holy Trek to Mecca Christianity S"I Am the Resurrection and the Life" Where the Fathers Preached and Martyrs Bled The Reforming Spirit Renewal in Rome New Directions in the Church Today faiths, a view voiced in the Taoist writings known as the Tao Te Ching: Those who would take over the earth And shape it to their will Never, I notice, succeed. Forgoing the Western impulse to remake the world, the monk seeks instead to bring himself into harmony with it. The Hindu, believing his soul passes through a series of bodies, may see death as no more final than a change of clothes. Indian literature lacks the tragic element of Western writing because, in the Hindu view, no one lifetime determines achievement or failure. There is no better way to know the world's peoples than through an understanding of their religions-an understanding of why a Japanese may marry in a Shinto ceremony but be buried with Buddhist rites, of why a Balinese reveres a volcano, and why a Thai maiden regards as "unripe" a suitor who has not spent a portion of his life as a monk. But there is another gain to be drawn from such understanding. Every ritual, every altar, every image reflects some hope or fear that dwells within our own hearts. In this human sense, religions-however distant in miles or different in details-are all "closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet." In seeking to understand them, we explore not only our world but also ourselves. [O KODACHROMEBY LOWELLGEORGIA© N.G.S . At Easter sunrise service, thousands congregate in the Park of the Red Rocks at Denver, Colorado.