I was having a chat with one of my friends today and we somehow started talking of religion. I am a Hindu and he is a Syrian Orthodox (it is a sub-division within Christianity I believe). He was talking of following religion or whatever was taught to him by his parents/grandparents/forefathers/ancestors without questioning.
I like to question and challenge religion. What IS religion? No, really. What do you mean by saying that you are Hindu/Muslim/Christian/Sikh etc etc. As per me, it only states what kind of rituals you follow. We have so many divisions within these divisions and somehow I have noticed that people are rather intolerant about other people who may belong to the same religion and caste but different region. So doesn’t that mean that religion alone does not define you? It is the sub division, the caste, the sub caste, the region, the language, and of course the economic strata. So what I understand that when religion was created, it was essentially created to give structure to the human life and way of life. Right?
Now because the environmental, political, spiritual, financial requirement of every region was different, religion was created to balance out all of these factors. Now just straying here a bit, one thing is very important for a human to survive (and this I say with personal experience) - Faith. So, there you go another ingredient there and that what is most important – Faith was added to religion.
For getting people together and to tie them to one string of belief some rituals were added, which when followed through generations became traditions. And these became customs, and the rest is history as they say. People somehow believe that you need to follow all of these customs come what may else 1. Your ancestors will be annoyed and curse you 2. Your Gods will be offended and curse you 3. You will die a horrible death 4. You will go to hell 5. Blah blah blah All of this put together is what we call Religion.
Most of us just follow blindly without questioning the logic or origin or reason to the particular custom/ritual/tradition. We do not stop to think whether doing so and so is applicable in today’s world and times. In some religions questioning the customs or the institute is a ‘sin’. Bah! There you go. If religion is so pure and it has the truth of the world in it then why I as a follower or believer do not have a right to question it? Let me question religion and let religion prove that whatever it preaches is true and let me fall on my knees and beg forgiveness and become a follower again. But nah! That door is closed already. Do religions fear that if followers question it/them then it/they will be in a thick soup and wouldn’t know what to answer.
But again we come to the same question, what is religion? And who are these people who govern religion? Who gives them the right to accept or banish people into or from it?
I am not a non-believer, I know there is some supreme power. I like some customs, they give a person/family pleasure. But I question. I question all that that does not make sense to me. I apply logic. I may have these massive arguments with most people around me who follow these customs blindly. But I have a brain, I have education, I can apply logic, so why not question and challenge something that as per humans is a rather large part of their being. Why not question why how what is done.
I question and I am not afraid of questioning publicly. I may be called an atheist or anti God or ‘bad influence’. But I know as a human I have a right to question. To question the very core of what drives people today. To question the core of something that is responsible for war and destruction and death across the world. I will choose whether I believe or not. I will choose whether what has become of our religion today holds true or not… It is all so wrecked. I will follow what gives me pleasure and peace and binds me to my family and friends. Not what divides and fills me with hatred.
Our heaven and hell both are here. We have to experience it on earth while we breathe. I believe in good Karma and that I know what it is. I still don’t know what is Religion and who is God!!!!