Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Divisive Religion or Religious Division? (3)

Continuing from Divisive Religion or Religious Division? (1) and Divisive Religion or Religious Division? (2) ...

On special or 'exclusive' greetings I wonder how Christians would do it? Would it be a simple 'Hallelujah' or 'Hi, Jesus loves you!' or a more verbose 'I shaketh thy Christian hand but nevereth thy faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ'?

What about Hindus then? Perhaps a terse but all powerful Om, or a more verbal-diarrhoeic 'May shimmering Shiva smite thy enemies and pleasing Parvati bless thee'?

Anyway, I soon heard my neighbour Angel-eyes and her Buddhist friends using that Namo Ami Tua Fo greeting in a manner like full fledged members of the White Lotus secret society, which confirms my point about the greater religious consciousness nowadays, probably because of the centrifugal forces of ethnicity and perceived inequality.

Well then, I decided that I wanted to be included in their coterie as well, but not because of ethnicity - I was ... eh ... just friendly!

So when I saw Angel-eyes next, I greeted her with what I felt was a dignified voiced Namo Ami Tua Fo, and just to make sure I really impressed her, did so with a solemn face besides adding on a little graceful bow - mind you, nothing ostentatious, you know, but just that wee itsy bitsy nod.

So carried away by the solemnity of the occasion, I had to restrain myself from flicking both my palms up together in the traditional Indian gesture of respect - though that would have very gone well with the mantra, the solemn face and the bow, but I thought I won’t overdo it the first time.

Angel-eyes gave me a very suspicious look and a most reluctant and hesitant response, being not sure whether I was pulling her leg - hmmm, yum yum.

Crumbs, can she even trust my sincerity? ;-)

She must have discussed my unprecedented and most unexpected Namo Ami Tua Fo business with my sister behind my back - yes, those women discussed my most dignified Dalai-Lama-ish greeting with the solemn face and very dignified bow, because before long, good ole Sis warned me to cease and desist using that greeting on Angel-eyes.

WHAT? But but but but but why?

I demanded to know, in the most un-solemn and undignified manner – hey man, she’s just a sister!

Sis told me that Angel-eyes felt extremely uncomfortable when I greeted her with a Buddhist greeting - I protested it’s not, it’s just a mantra.

It seems I have put Her Most Sweetness in a quandary - torn between her good Buddhist nature to respond appropriately, and her deep suspicion of me, knowing me being me, who’s quite likely to tweak her cute lovely nose while leading her up the garden path onto a naughty merry-go-around.

Me? Really, the suspicion of some people – how most un-Buddhist-like! ;-)

Hmmm, I have always wondered whether I ought to have taken out the graceful bow? That might be just a little over the top.

Namo Ami Tua Fo.

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