The Philosophy of Religion.

Well it is actually “My” philosophy of religion, but since I feel that it is pretty good, i thought I might as well title this little piece as “The” philosophy……
What is religion to most people of today? Surely most of them would snap back with a “gimme a break!”. Unfortunately today, to most, it means nothing. It is viewed as something which was forced down their throats, since childhood and something which needs to be rebeled against once adulthood is reached.
Fair enough I would say, because ours has always been a far more inquisitive generation when compared to our previous ones. We dont accept or implement anything “just because our parents told us to”. Rather we like to find out why? And today’s generation is ruled by the rationale factor. They have to be told the significance of each and every little thing that is asked out of them. We dont do stuff with the unquestioning obedience of our previous generations.
So did god create man?? On the contrary, I feel, it is the other way round. Man created this concept of god which we know, mostly to suit his convinience. My theory is that in the ancient past, there were either extremely knowledgeable people (EKP) or extremely illitrate and gulliable people(EGP) (no inbetweens like me and you). So whenever the EKP wanted the EGP to do some stuff, the wouldnt do, they used this as a tool to scare them and make them believe in it. For example, if the EKP would tell the EGP that fire is dangerous, it may burn you, the EKP may not understand this. But to use an imaginary figure, which is all encompassing and larger than life, was more appealing to the EGP and they would do it. I believe this is how the concept of GOD was born.
Man created god in his own image. The images of god that we see have face, arms,legs and physical features just like us. Now just to add that factor of larger than life, maybe we imagine gods having multiple sets of arms, always muscular and so on and so forth.
I strongly propogate the idea that there is a supreme power above us all, which is a nameless, faceless and identitiyless being. It is this force which governs our everyday life. And the concept of god is a convinience medium only. Just to increase the degree of relatability with that force.
The aspect that I have never appreciated about religion in general is this attempt to instil a “fear” of god. Hey hello! I like to see god as my best friend first. I and I dont have any fear of my friends. I feel that as long as I dont feel comfortable with god at this level, I would always live in “fear”. Which actually defeats the purpose religion as a tool to peace of mind.
I do pray in a temple, not because of a fear, but because I perceive it as a medium of communication with the power above. And believe me I have felt it. Ofcourse it doesn’t feel like a strike of lightning or some such movie like pyrotechnics. But inside you, you feel you have connected. And this realization, I believe is the true motive behind any religion. Being a stubborn atheist in the past, I have transformed into a believer only due to quite a few such instances of connection! Those instances have instilled a faith in me that there is some positive energy force which looks over me. And whenever I want I can speak with it. And fight with it and argue with it. And on a bad day, scream at it, “hey why the hell are you screwing me?”. stuff like that.

So you ask whats the point?
The point is that do whatever you do in the name of religion, do so only when you feel it is worthwhile. If any point of time while practicing a ritual, you feel, “hey what the heck is this all about? Why am i doing this?”, dont do it. As simple as that. And no – god will not punish you by pricking a needle in your eye, as you might have been terrorized when you were a little kid :-).

Whenever the time comes, the force will reveal itself. And you will connect. And that point forward, you will keep the faith.

Cheers!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. amit says:

    well this is quite true. so many things we do in the name of religion are being done just for the sake of doing it. god is always treated as some standalone third party service provider who, when not, paid attention to, will unleash his fury upon you. we fail to realize that it is some faceless power that we repose our faith in. so if following your religion and performing some rituals is something that you believe in, only then do it. else its a farce to urself and the service provider coz that power can see right thru you. unless we are true to ourselves its all meaningless.

    on a different note: blind faith (not so blind) also has its benefits too sometimes. i’m sure you are all well too aware of the indian ritual of relieving ourselves on the walls along the streets. Mumbai municipality has come up with a nouvel idea of controlling this menace. All the walls in the worse affected areas have got the tiles plastered with photos of different gods. We being indians with faith in our religion, would never do such a thing on the picture of the gods.

    THAT IS THE POWER OF FAITH!!!

  2. andyspeak says:

    >on a different note: blind faith
    >(not so blind) also has its
    >benefits too sometimes. i’m sure
    >you are all well too aware of the
    >indian ritual of relieving
    >ourselves on the walls along the
    >streets. Mumbai municipality has
    >come up with a nouvel idea of
    >controlling this menace. All the
    >walls in the worse affected areas
    >have got the tiles plastered with
    >photos of different gods. We being
    >indians with faith in our religion,
    > would never do such a thing on the
    > picture of the gods.

    HAhAHAHA… amusing indeed. Sometimes we just have to twist the finger to get the butter. (literal translation of a Hindi Idiom.

  3. Suresh GP says:

    Hi Anand, That was a real interesting blog. I wanted to dwell on this subject in detail but with time constraints I would just let you know about my views drawing some reflections from my personal experience

    1. Religon was the way to make people behave morally adhere to the norms and lead a honest life .

    Also if you see the Different Forms of God (Say Hindus), they have been built according to the Region and Location, where people are comfortable with… It is basically an Intent to keep people faith on Supreme Power.

    As a Rationalist , we can correlate things as “Whatever the Mind can Conceive and Believe it can Achieve” – So it is the firm Belief and Faith which makes things happen

    Regardng Rituals of Religon, There are specific Reason why they were followed. Unfortunately, the followers have not understood the true meaning of the Rituals. In case you happen to read Kanna Dasans “Arthamulla Indu Madam” or Teachings of Swami Chinmayanandha..Yow will apprecaite the Rituals and Practices of hindu Religon.

  4. Sudha says:

    You’re right. There are so many people who perform rituals just out of fear and peer pressure rather than real faith. I also do not understand people killing in the name of religion!

  5. loveleen says:

    i agree with suresh here…i think all rituals have a meaning behind them and at the same time i believe they must be followed only for the reason of faith and not just because ur parents or socitey does it that way or taught us to do it that way..and it is not only our generation which has started quesioning all these things..there were people in our parents’ generation also..my parents are an example..they believe in the supreme power but do not believe in blindly following rituals..and never forced us to either follow or not to follow them..i was quite into rituals and all till recently myself.not that i have stopped believing in it all now..but like it has already been said here..i do it when i want to do it..with all my heart..and i am really wary of people who are too much into religion and rituals whereas otherwise they are the people who wish bad for other people and actually are full of malice and negativity…it is such a contrast..
    it s a pity that religion has been used as a tool to divide people while it was so can do the opposite of that..all religions propagate same things..come to think of it..all religious festivals almost coinicide with each other..ramzan n navratras..eid n diwali..and having grown up amongst a lot of christians, i have observed thay also have some masses and prayer meetings at around the same time..

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