Three in One

Many people want to conquer the world by their knowledge. That’s why some people formulate their common belief that knowledge is power, scientia potestas est. Some other people correctly give the right content to it, but some others misunderstand and they thought as if human knowledge were everything.

I was taught about Indonesian official religions when I was in elementary school and it was very easy to understand that all religions proclaim their belief in one God. But later, I had a problem with Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism it was mentioned Trimurti as three gods. I hadn’t heard about Greek mithology at that time and, in my opinion, three gods were already too much. Buddhism was even worse to me because it didn’t provide any clue about what God looked like. I myself was not so comfortable with my religion’s expression: one God, three persons (why so limited).

Thanks to the word “loving relationship”, I gradually dismantle my discomfort of the different ways of understanding God. Power tends to corrupt and if knowledge is power, then knowledge itself tends to corrupt too. How does this knowledge corrupt? It objectifies God in the same way it objectifies other things outside the observer/subject.

Put it simply: people try to count ‘God’, i.e. whether it is singular or plural as if it were really singular or plural as other countable objects. This Prambanan Temple is dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). Why should I say that there are three Gods according to Hindhuists whereas they are not talking about numbers!

I perceive this Prambanan Temple as a way to worship: i.e. a way to relate with the mystery. It is a loving movement, though limited by some circumstances, from human beings to the Transcendence as a response to the latter, which has revealed itself first. The revelation has such tremendous and fascinating characteristics that human beings recognize it as a power of creating, preserving, but also destroying.

The same dynamics also happen to other religious movements with their own idiosyncratic expressions which differ from each other. Consequently, plurality is a certainty and no religion would be justified to evaluate other religions without going back to the relationship between divinity and humanity.

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