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In my previous article, I did mention that Maizbhandar creates the space and ambience for all the World Religions to come together and unify in one gigantic melting pot. After another discussion with a Professor of mine (who has a sound knowledge on Maizbhandar) I got to get the scoop on something else that grabbed my attention; as in why do people from various Religions go to Maizbhandar? My point is that normally when people go to Shrines and places like these it’s in most cases for the purpose of conversion. As per what I got to know, Maizbhandar has a different way of thinking; it’s ideology doesn’t want people to convert, rather it’s wants to get you closer to God, The Creator, The One behind this whole Intelligent Design.

Maizbhandar Ideology believes that no matter what Religion you are, you can go and offer prayer in any other Church, Mosque, Shrine or Temple; you do not necessarily have to be of that Religion to go and offer prayer there, you can just go if you wish. And the whole logic behind this is that when you go to offer prayers in Churches or Mosques and feel the presence of God, it means that you prayers have been heard or acknowledged or approved.

People from various Religions go there but conversions don’t take place, because from the Maizbhandar point of view Religion is there to maintain order in society but it’s not the only way to reach God. Can you imagine a society without Religion, people would go bonkers! It’s a combination of a good understanding of Religion and Spirituality that one may understand the Nature of God. Since Spirituality is more universal, not matter what Religious differences, people would learn to unify and hence there would be less conflict in the name of Religion.

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Today’s Religious Observation is All Souls’ Day and The Day of the Dead.

All Souls’ day commemorates the dearly departed. It is believed that those souls who have not attained beatific vision in heaven yet can be helped by prayer and Mass and therefore this day is important just like any other religious celebration.

Día de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico where family and friends gather together to pray for and remember the relatives and loved ones that have died. This celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. The family and friends build private altars honoring the deceased and bring their favourite foods and beverages as gifts. It is believed that it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living on this day.

The Mystical Knot

endless-knot3The Mystical Knot is one of the eight auspicious signs that symbolize the Eight Fold paths of Buddhism. The Knot is also known as the ‘Mystic Dragon’ and is a symbol of Eternity and Unity.
The Tibetans first identified the sacred geometry contained within this Knot. It is said to be a symbol of unending love, interconnectedness of all beings and good fortune. Those wearing or displaying this powerful mystic knot symbol will enjoy good fortune.

As you can see the Knot has no beginning and no ending; this is meant to symbolize the infinite wisdom of Buddha. This Endless Knot is also said to be the perfect insignia for undying and unconditional love. It is a lucky symbol ensuring that the love in the marriage or relationship will last. It symbolizes endless-togetherness. Many feel that the symbol exhibits the link or weave between Wisdom and Compassion. It is also said to signify the interplay of the opposing forces in the dualistic world of manifestation, leading to their unification and to the harmony in the universe.  

All Saints’ Day is a feast that is celebrated on the 1st of November in honour of all the Saints, known and unknown. Roman Christian Theologians say that this day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. This day is observed by the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, Anglican Churches and other Christian denominations.

Bangladesh is a country best described as a mixed bag of nuts. Not ”nuts” in the wacky sense though. Nuts in the sense you know, you will get the cashews, almonds, peanuts, etc etc.

Well ”Maizbhandar” is not just any place, it’s a place that allows your spiritual self to grow. Although some people might get a bit of a shock at first.

Maizbhandar is located in Fatikchori which is 25 miles away from Chittagong city. The term itself justifies its significance; the word ”Maiz” stands for middle and ”Bhandar” means repository. It sits in the lower valley of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and is surrounded by Halda River. 

Maizbhandar has become a symbol of composite culture and consists of a mixed ethnic population and is the melting pot of the World Religions.

Hazrat Ahmed Ullah (1826-1906), the 37th descendant of Prophet Muhammad (s) is the founder of Maizbhandar. Interestingly, Hazrat Ahmed Ullah’s birth was predicted by the great Spanish Saint Mohiuddin Ibne Arabi (1165-1240) in his classical book ‘Fusus al-Hikam’ . The great grandson of Ahmed Ullah, Ziual Huq(19…- 1988) carried the spiritual gift and tradition to maintainthe spiritual connectivity with the origin. Now Shayak Syed Muhammad Hasan(m) is the heir of this spiritual legacy.

The whole essence of the Maizbhandar Philosophy is Universal Humanity and Love. Humanity and Love brings fortha connectivity between the Creator and the Creation which in turn gives birth to conscientious, diligent individuals that will take care of society and nature. This Spirituality creates a space and ambience to accommodate different cultures, customs, creeds, nations and not to forget religions.

Maizbhandar’s philosophy, to give a complete shape to Shahada and Ibadah, has further developed ”seven methods” that will enable devotees to attain a higher level of Gnosis to articulate greater and higher wisdom and knowledge of spiritual truth and reality.

Maizbhandari philosophy to actualize the path of Prophet Muhammad (s) evolves around a practice that triangulates Zikr (remembrance) rituals set by Hazrat Abdul Kader Jillani; Music and Dance, an inspiration from Hazrat Khwaza Moinuddin Chisti; and nuturing the universal law of nature to sustain ecology which is embedded in the wisdom of the Qu’ranic Prophet Khizir (s).

~Destiny, Fate~

‘Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney

Destiny, Fate, whatever u may call it all relate to the idea that what happens to us in this life is predetermined and inescapble. Depending on your point of view it would be sad to think that we are mere robots who are unable to deviate one iota from our fixed pathway. If we have no Will, we as individuals do not really exist.

We come across numerous occasions each day where we are called upon to make ‘decisions’. The problem is that as mortals, time appears as ever flowing and unidirectional. So once we’ve made a descision and acted upon it, it seems that things couldn’t have turned out any other way. Even if we are captains of our own ships we still have no control over the forces of Nature or other ships we share the oceans with. Not that we don’t have Free Will, we do , but it’s a limited freedom. We can make choices, but those choices operate against a backdrop of circumstance over which we are powerless. And it is these externalities which we call destiny or fate.

Providence is the idea that God, or Spirit, will somehow take care of our earthly needs. It is surprising how often in troubled times the solution unexpectedly appears. This is evidence that we are part of some greater, mostly unperceived, reality; an intelligent design.

 But we should not use providence as an excuse to renounce responsibility otherwise we obviate the need for our earthly existence. We must still use our Will to the best of our ability and sometimes fate will lend a helping hand. Continue Reading »

Most people have a tendency to blur the line between Religion and Spirituality, I too was one of those people in the beginning. Till now with all the reading and research that I have done to clear the fog in my head, I came up with things that I felt are the distinctions between the Two; however this is not intended to imply one over the other.

Religion is more of an organized system of beliefs and symbols. For anything to be a Religion is has to have certain rituals and practices that are designed and believed to bring one closer to God. Spirituality on the other hand is the quest for answers to ultimate questions, and it doesn’t lead to or have any specific practices. Spirituality is more of a mystery. It is this mystical entity that shapes souls, whereas Religion shapes history. Religion is very much rooted in words and cultures and is dogmatic. Spirituality however transcends reason, language and culture and is metaphorical in nature.  Spirituality is focused more on individual growth whereas Religion focuses on establishing community.  Religion is more behavioral based and outward where Spirituality is more emotion based and inner experienced.

Spirituality is more universalizing, while Religion is more in particularizing, as in one group from another. Finally Spirituality is transformative and it trancends ego, whereas Religion is translational and it consoles the ego. It emancipates and gives a sense of place and psychological security.