India-Nepal: Four Faiths and a Lot of Questions

Buddhism: A Buddhist monk circles Boudanath Stupa in Nepal while spinning his prayer wheel.

Hinduism: Hindu Sadu at Pashupatinah, Nepal

Islam: Muslim men praying at Jama Masjid in Delhi, India.

Christianity: New Christian believer being baptized in Delhi, India.

Four faiths all leading to the same place? The same end? Can everyone be right? Are there multiple roads to eternity that all join together as they near a place called heaven? Can I do enough good works to merit a place in heaven? What do I really deserve? Is it us vs them…a fight to the death? Can I neglect every faith and still be right with God? Are there millions of gods? How do I chose one? Can a modern intellectual really believe in a god? Am I a god? Are we asking enough questions? Are we giving up on God, eternity, heaven and the pursuit of truth because it is all too confusing?

My intent with this post is to encourage readers to continue asking questions about faith and not to offend anyone.

All Photographs copyright Gary S. Chapman

(Nikon D3s, 70-200mm f2.8 @145mm, 1/1600 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200)

(Nikon D3s, 70-200mm f2.8 @122mm, 1/800 sec, f2.8, ISO 400)

(Nikon D3s, 70-200mm f2.8 @180mm, 1/400 sec, f2.8, ISO 400)

(Nikon D3s, 24mm f1.4, 1/6400 sec, f1.4, ISO 200)

11 thoughts

  1. Absolutely beautiful Gary. I think everyone asks these questions at one time or another. No one should be offended.

    It was your amazingly beautiful that said to teach our children to ask good questions. We learn best by asking the hard questions and even sometimes the easy ones.

    As always your pictures amaze me. You somehow capture the heart of each person.

  2. Beautiful photos. So many questions – so many tough answers – wish I had all the answers (okay, not really). But, I do know what I believe and that I am going to Heaven. And when I get there, I have all sorts of questions for God. Hope to see you there too :o)

  3. Amazing pictures (as usual). I was wondering, does the man’s beard in the second picture have a direct connection to his religious beliefs? The other three pictures seem to relate specifically to faith ‘in action’ so to speak so it made me curious. I don’t know an awful lot about Hinduism.

  4. ….having lived in other countries and have parents from different countries and religions, I strongly believe that a person’s relationship with God has to be a part of their life, lifestyle, their God has to look like them, be like them…a belief not always supported by Christians. I collect nativity scenes from around the world, and I was shocked when my brother- in-law made a comment about one of my creches ..that he was surprised that the figures were black…(black-faced)…and I replied that it was probably a more accurate depiction than the Hallmark version….Jesus with big blue eyes and golden curls a la rock star….Jesus was from the middle east and was probably very dark….anyway, I digress, my point being you have depicted these people worshiping in their own way in their own environment. The bell the woman uses in the first photo, is the color of her outfit, feels comfortable in her hand. The sparkle of the water flowing over that woman echoes her sari… adorned with sparkling beads. In these shots you portray people in their own worlds praying to God in their own way. Not sure what’s going on with the guy with the long beard..LOL. I see it here in the American SW, Native Americans embracing Christianity and still following their old ways without missing a beat, not angry, not condemning, not finger pointing, not proselytizing, but quietly leading their spiritual lives.
    Your post’s purpose is, “without offending anyone,” encouraging dialog and questions. I think that instead of so many questions, if we follow in the footsteps of the people featured in your gorgeous images…taking time to connect with God by spinning a bell, kneeling and praying, or pulling our beards??? LOL…the world would be a more loving and peaceful one in 2012.

  5. Debra…sorry for the delay in responding to your comment on my blog. The program did not send me a notice that you had posted. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write. We all need to have more dialog on this.


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