H.G. Matsyavatar Das

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Basic Sources of Religious Traditions

Agliati (PI), Sunday June 28th 2009 16.30

Interreligious center of Agliati (PI)
Lecturer: Marco Ferrini, Founder and President of Centro Studi Bhaktivedanta

On June 28th Marco Ferrini (Matsyavatara Dasa), president and founder of Centro Studi Bhaktivedanta, held a conference on “The basic sources of religious traditions” at the interreligious center of Agliati (Pisa). It was the last meeting of the year, in a nice hermitage sunk in the green and sounds of a still uncontaminated Nature, where representatives of different religions gather to discuss universal themes and values which go beyond limits of space, time and culture.

The Vedas - Ferrini explained - express values which are to be considered legacy for all of humanity, as also declared by Unesco. These sacred texts teach efficacious methods and shiny ways to come to spiritual realization. The path goes through an harmony between earth and sky, in order to satisfy our highest ideals without neglecting duties and responsibilities we have here in the world.
Indovedic texts continuously remind us our divine nature and destination but at the same time they give practical teaching, to help us living in our “here and now”.
To deny the need of ideality means to deny life, because we all need freedom, justice, peace and love; life tends to transcend matter into which it is wrapped up. But in the name of ideality – Ferrini underlined – we should not choke our earthly needs, as if they are artificially denied and therefore not overcome, they take us back to matter in an undesirable way.
As in a huge painting, the Indovedic texts narrate the story of the human being between tragic fall downs and enlightening ascents, vile degradations and noble elevations of the soul.
Spiritual desire and faith are the engine of our transformation and inner elevation, Ferrini explained. Shruti and smriti texts teach how to transform our bad desires (lust, avidity, anger, envy) into a pure feeling of love: the original feeling every creature naturally and since ever tends to.
The Vedas explain that also here, by overcoming the limits of our bodily existence, we can learn to love God and all creatures in Him, by descovering in such a divine love the source of the highest bliss.
Particularly in the Bhagavata Purana, Ferrini said, we can read about the supreme value of bhakti, pure love of God, the immortal love free from all conditionings of the ego, which produces endless joy and represents the highest function of the soul. To rediscover and practise this divine love is the highest goal of human life.
In the course of his speech Marco Ferrini also mentioned some of the most important traditional works of Indian literature, like Itihasas, Dharmashastras, Puranas and Shad Darshanas.
The questions and answers part was an occasion to go more in depth with some interesting matters, for example the translation of sacred texts, the different forms of yogic meditation, the sacred wisdom of the Masters and the practice of compassion and charity.
The meeting ended up with a pleasant sharing of a vegetarian dinner in a joyful atmosphere centerd around common spiritual values and reciprocal respect and enrichment.

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