Religion & Me

Religion is a thing, which almost every individual on the face of the earth comes in contact with sometime or the other in his life. Some take to it like a fish longs for water, for some its just another thing, while for some its just another of those burdens that the society has levied on them. I consider my self to be one of the last type. The only problem being, just like the quote goes “50 Million Elvis fans cant be wrong”, similarly I believe billions of people cant be wrong all the while not considering myself to be entirely wrong.

The most erratic thing I find in religion is the fact that it makes human weaker. Religion as we are always made to believe is the strength of a man, its the recluse in times of worries. God is the support man looks to, when he himself isnt able to do much. Barring a few regular ones most of the people around us remember God only when there’s some trouble they are facing. That generally constitutes my main problem with religion, it seems to undermine the inner strength that a human has. Come any sort of trouble and instead of digging down deep inside ourselves, all we look to do is, go to His door. One of them ost admirable thing in humans along with the brain is, his spirit. The ability of never saying Die is one of the best quality a human has which is what, I think religion deprives men of. The most futile exercise in my mind is leaving it to God, which is almost always the basic tenet of every religion on the face of earth.

Another problem I have with religion is with the so called representatives of religion. A government is as good as its leaders and a belief is as good as the people in whom the belief rests. Myself being a Hindu(as of yet), thats gonna be the one I will talk about and among the billions or so Gods(which again is an absurdity beyond my comprehension) the two most powerful/mosty worshipped ones are Ram & Krishna. Gods are supposed to be the supreme examples of virtue, supposed to be the upholder of justice in short they are supposed to be the alpha men of the society when it comes to being righteous, yet the less we talk about Lord Krishna in this regard, the better it shall be for his own repute. While Krishna has always been portrayed as the naughty God(whatever that might mean) but Ram has always been the maryada purushottam. One who left his own wife for the sake of maryada, was the same individual who killed Monkey King Bali by deceit. The whole episode of Ramayana was the result of a stupid mistake by his own brother (cutting Surpanakha’s nose & ears). Couldnt the omnipotent, the omniscient God, the avatar of Vishnu have gone and stopped his brother, who as we gather is not a God, so prone to such foolishness. Granted they were men of action, they were powerful and must’ve been wise, but I guess Hitler also possesed the same qualities and whatever he did, was done for the sake of his country.

The question I have about Ram, Is the systematic destruction of two huge armies and almost an entire kingdom just for the sake of a lady worthwhile, does this really suit a king/God. In this regard, I would always consider Mahatma Gandhi, a much superior human than these two individiuals I have mentioned above. He helped people accomplish much bigger tasks than rescuing an abducted wife or settling a family feud and did it with the minimum harm. Then why should I go on worshipping these flawed individuals and sing praises in their honour?

And I havnt at all gone into the various dogma and various disrepencies caused by the religion along with several unnecessary practices enforced on us humans coz of religion.

Although going outright lambastic about religion is, again something I am not in favour of, just like every other thing in our life, religion has its two faces. An atheist once he loses his morals can fall to any extent, while a theist (in real sense) even if deprived of his morals, might be afraid of the Gods and the treatment which might be meted out to him at their hands, so in some sense Religion can act as a deterrent as well as Dam to check the growing negativity in the world and yet the single biggest failure of religion has been its complete inability to do so.

In the end, I would just like to ask my intellectual religious friends a question. Why should I follow religion.

15 thoughts on “Religion & Me

  1. Good to know that you don’t wanna follow a religion cuz if you follow it without your “own-will”, you will screw it the same way as you MIGHT have screwed your graduation.
    No one is forcing a religion on you and yeah, if your parents are, just ask them to read this post. Hopefully, after they learn more about you through this post, they will stop forcing you.
    To not follow a religion is a different thing and to blaspheme a religion is the other. I am not here to defend my religion but I don’t like someone to write anything about it without complete knowledge. Coming to your Lakshman-Shurpankha episode, do you ever tried to know why did Lakshman cut the nose n ears of Shurpanakha?? Lemme tell you – “Shurpanakha wanted to marry Rama but since Rama refused to marry her cuz he already had a wife, she moved forward to eat Sita. In order to stop her, they had to do something. Since she was not easy to be controlled, Lakshman cut her nose and ears to control her cuz a woman can’t tolerate being disfigured.” I am no one to stop you doing something and I am not even giving you any sermon. Just one thing – When no religion concerns you, why to talk about that stuff. Its better to keep your mouth shut in such matters cuz there are already many religious leaders out there to throw mud at others’ religion.
    At the end, GET WELL SOON. We all are waiting to see you in good shape.🙂

    1. Ram & Laxman, (supposedly)two most powerful men of the times could have done anything else which wouldnt have damaged her permanently. She was a rakshasi, so she was bound to exhibit such behaviour, but they werent, they could have exercised restraint. And yeah almost everyone who has been in touch with the religion knows the Surpanakha story. This is the reason why I’ve put Gandhi above Ram.

      There are many other points I have highlighted in the post, you cant just refute the whole arguement on the basis of one point.

      1. I was waiting for your comment and here it is.🙂
        Yea man, Shurpnakha was a rakshasi and Ram and Lakshman weren’t. So why did they exhibit such a kind of demeanour? It’s not easy to explain but all I can say is that she was not a kinda woman who could be coaxed with a pop-sickle. She needed a kick to get her mind in right place. And I must say that if you go through Ramayana carefully, you will find out that she is the one big reason for the whole tussle. Even if Lakshmana hadn’t cut her nose n ears, she had not let them live peacefully in the forest – “Dandakaranya”.
        I am sorry that I did not focus on other points in my last comment. According to me –
        Don’t follow any religion per se. Your religion must be to act in order to keep you and others happy. I think your conscience won’t be against such a kind of religion where everyone is happy and in love with each other. My mom always say to me – “Beta, I don’t want anything from you, just don’t do anything which can hurt us.” I consider that to be my religion where I will not disrespect my parents and will always love them. I think that an act of mine does not hurt anyone else. So, as long as you are happy and others close to you are happy with your deeds, I think you are following a religion.
        And man, it’s not so easy to understand GOD or some supreme power, that’s why in our religion you find the concept of Tapasya (or Meditation) and if you really want to know about God, you have to search him on your own. Here is a doha of Kabeer which expresses the same in a poetic way –

        जैसे तिल में तेल है, ज्यों चकमक में आग
        तेरा मालिक तुझमे है, जाग सके तो जाग ||

        And before I put an end to my comment, here are a few lines from MY NAME IS KHAN –
        इस दुनिया में सिर्फ दो किस्म के इंसान पाए जाते हैं
        अच्छे इंसान जो अच्छा कर्म करते हैं
        बुरे इंसान जो बुरा कर्म करते हैं
        बस यही फरक है इंसानों में और कोई नहीं ||

        I just wish you to do righteous deeds in your life and that should be your religion.😀

        1. 1) British never seemed the kind of people who could be coaxed by a pop-sickle(Btw this pop-sickle, an effect of That 70s show??)

          2) You gave me a very general looking thing, which I already do(try to) you can say. I am talking about the established religion we have. Not talking about some standard doctrines or principles which are good because thats not what religion actually is. There’s a diff between what you are saying and what religion is and thats the exact point where my collision with religion begins.

          Frankly speaking, I dont want such flawed Gods residing in me. I am better off alone!

          1. True MAN……That ’70s show is all over me😀
            Hopefully the last comment on your post cuz I do not want to bore you with my lengthy “making sense or not” comments any more. If I have to say about me, I would say that I am religious person, I follow Hinduism. I am not proud of my religion cuz I don’t consider it superior to any other religion. Instead, I love being a Hindu cuz it teaches me to love others. I find love in Ramayana, when Bharata took Rama’s Charanpaduka on his head to ayodhya, when a “kevat” (boatman) drank the water he cleaned Rama’s feet with, when Rama eats “jhoothe ber” of Shabri, etc. I find love in Mahabharata, when Krishna accepted to eat at Vidur’s place, when Krishna (during childhood) gave all he had to Sudama when Sudama was hungry, when Krishna cleaned Sudama’s feet with his tears when he came to his kingdom, etc. There are so many incidents I can’t write here. You may say the religion is flawed. Lord Rama killed Bali by deceit but did you ever try to know the reason behind it. Lord Krishna gave “Geeta Updesh”, did you ever try to go through it. May be you can learn something out of it. I am not forcing any of these things on you. Don’t hate or love religion cuz others do.
            I did not like many things in your post. I’d like to pick just one line – “The ability of never saying Die is one of the best quality a human has which is what, I think religion deprives men of.” If you can write such a statement about religion, I doubt your knowledge about religion. Do you know who are suicide-bombers?? They are the hard-core religious persons who die for their religion. I am not saying that what they do is correct. The point I wanna make is that for a non-religious person, certain things are almost impossible to think which religious persons can do. And its their religion which gives them that strength.
            This religion thing is pretty complex. All I can say is DON’T LISTEN TO ANYBODY EXCEPT YOUR HEART. FOLLOW A RELIGION OR NOT BUT DON’T STOP FOLLOWING HUMANITY.😀

  2. First of all, I am not at all anti-Hinduism!! The fact is, Hinduism is the only religion I know about thats why taking the examples from it. Am not as well versed with Islam or Christianity that I could cite examples from them.

    I know why Ram had to kill Bali, I am not anti Bali killing,I am against the way he killed Bali! I know Bali had the “vardan” about getting half the power of his opponent and all that… but he should have come up with some counter to that. I will never be able to support this deceit! Had it been done by some normal individual, it wud have been fine, but coming from the maryada Purushottam, this is not done at all.

    You could find love in ramayana or mahabharat.. but I can find love in real life, love is everywhere! Def the stories have love in them, they have dedication and everything but so do many other stories written by many other authors. Love is a universal emotion, thats why its bound to be found everywhere.

  3. I completely agree with you.
    I too, am unable, to take the deceitful killing of Bali by maryadapurushotam Rama and that’s the part in Ramayana which keeps pinching my heart. These days, I am reading Valmiki Ramayana to explore more about that. Hopefully, I will find something to pacify my mind.
    Yeah man, love is everywhere and that is what we LOVE too.
    But the fact is that it is there in our scriptures too.
    And that’s how I can relate myself to them.
    If you come in contact with anything which is soaked in love, you stop worrying about the worldly things and all you care is LOVE.
    Good to know that you are not anti-Hinduism cuz its not the religion which is bad, it’s the ones, who mould it for their own interest, are bad.

  4. First thing, regarding ur prev comment, Geeta is one thing I would like to read sometime or the other in my life.

    If you come in contact with anything which is soaked in love, you stop worrying about the worldly things and all you care is LOVE.
    Wooaahh… if only that was true, the point is, you can read as much as you want about love, but can only come from inside. Similar to the taking horse to the pool example, there isnt much the scriptures can do!
    I never said religion was bad, what i was trying to point out was I just dont find a point in following religion, I just dont find these flawed men worth worshipping.

    Another point I make is, Love is there in our scriptures so wats the big deal about that. They are just portrayal of society, and any portrayal of society will always contain love in some form or the other.

  5. Man, I never said it’s a big deal to have love in our scriptures. I clearly mentioned in my last comment that it’s how I relate to them. I think my English is not good enough to edify you. Gimme one more chance. Actually when someone close to you feel bad, you too start feeling bad. Why does that happen?? I think we all have God in our hearts who keeps us linked/united and that’s why we can sympathize with others.
    And in regard to the point about flawed men, all I can say is “flaws are relative.” I mean definitions of a flaw differ from individual to individual. In the last test match against Aussies, Billy did not give Ojha out even if he was clear LBW, some would say Billy did a mistake but others would say justice was done.
    I worship the Lord who you say a flawed man. We both are different and the way we perceive things is different. I need to cite an example here too.
    Lord Krishna says to Mata Yashoda – “Maiyya, maine makhan nahin khaya” even if some makhan is there on his lips/face.
    You may say that he is telling a lie and hence a flawed man.
    Do you know what I would say??
    If he says that he hasn’t eaten MAKHAN then he hasn’t. I can give you different reasons for such a belief but I think it won’t be easier for me to explain them to you. You can take a horse to a pool but you can’t make him drink. Hopefully, a Kabeer’s doha can help you to understand why do I believe what the Lord said.
    कबीरा किया कुछ न होत है, अनकिया सब होए
    जो किया कुछ होत है, करता और कोए
    You yourself have to find out whether the persons described in our scriptures are flawed or the way you are looking at the them is flawed.🙂

  6. PS : These are again my views…
    When someone close to you feel bad, you too start feeling bad -I dont think that its because there is God inside us who keeps us linked, otherwise you would feel the same for rank strangers, its the love that you have for near and dear ones, which makes you feel bad for them.

    Billy Bowden – PPl did say that the second decision was justice done only because, he did a mistake at the first part giving Ishant out when he wasnt. And once again, he is just an ordinary human not a God.

    Krishna makhan case – Now isnt that just preposterous? You are believing it coz you think he is God, and whatever he is saying, you would believe. I on the other would like to take it just on the basis of what facts I have been presented with. Although facts might be wrong, but I would like to believe in them more than what someone’s saying. and in this case, its just a kid we are talking about, and I’d rather not judge a kid, but since you made an example of it, so I presented my case.

  7. you are taking ramayana too literally … the epics are a depiction .. not a news story [of course nowadays even news stories do not truly represents the factual events]

    however, if you ask for my views on god as such, that’s a completely different matter [i could write an long long essay on that]… in any case, organised rigid religion bordering on fundamentalism is something i detest very much🙂 I feel it has been forced upon people so that they do not get to think much about it themselves.

  8. Initially I was skeptical whether to read this post or not because it looks long, but it was a useful read.
    Lately I’ve been enlightened about Ramayan and Mahabharat and I’ve learnt to see these epics from a very different point of view, different from both staunch theists and ignorant atheists.
    Ramayan is an epic which depicts an ideal man (Lord Ram), an ideal woman (Goddess Sita), and an ideal society (Ayodhya). My point being that Lord Ram didn’t start a war with Lanka only to rescue his wife. Sri Hanuman could have rescued Goddess Sita from Lanka on his first visit there. The war was fought to kill the corrupt and bad king Raavan. Bali was also a corrupt person and Lord Ram had to kill him to help his friend Sugreev.
    Mahabharata is an epic in which each and every character has some flaw. Life of Lord Krishna teaches that one should fight against the bad guys, but also that if one has bad habits or does bad things, one has to pay the consequences. Lord Krishna had to pay the consequences later, his whole family was destroyed, no bloodline left of him!
    These epics may not be true, but certainly they’re a great source of knowledge.
    Religion is what we believe in. Your religion is classic rock, rock ‘n’ roll and maybe your Lord Ram is Beatles and Lord Krishna is Prestley or any other great musician. In the end it all comes down to one’s faith.
    Finally, one needs God, just as a child needs parents/guardians/teachers, a newbie needs a mentor, a sibling needs an elder sibling, everybody needs a friend etc. Somebody or something that can help us believe that we are not alone, that someone is always ready to catch us if we fall. Yes, one should cherish friends, family and other human beings more than the idols, but then like every other thing humans have invented/introduced, it can be wisely used or abused.🙂

  9. Mythalez : Thats my exact point. these are all tales and we dont know how much of it was added by Valmiki to the story (if things like this really happened ie) but we(ppl in general) cant stop worshipping these books for their sacredness, treating each word written in them as real truth. Whatever little I have heard about the teachings of Gita, it seems fine enough to be read and try to integrate those teachings in our life. But waging a war against your country men coz they built a mosque at the place which has been marked in a book as the place where Lord Ram was born is not the way to go for me.

    Abhishek : How do you know Ravan was a corrupt and bad king? His kingdom was called sone ki lanka in his time, there surely must have been riches beyond our comprehension for such a title to be bestowed and I dont believe a bad king could have made such a thing possible. All the mentions we have of him in his scriptures are of a intelligent, gifted and good person until he becomes the super villian.
    Killing Bali, I never say it was wrong, it was the way it was done,with deceit.

  10. My answer to your question is, you need not have to follow religion, if your mind says so.

    But for the majority, if their mind say, they cannot live without somebody to depend on, or to appeal to in difficulty, adversity etc. they got for it.

    religion takes fame in the name of god. But for me I do not need the medium of religion to reach god.

  11. Salaam!

    You should give this book a try to seek answer for the question that you have posed in your post. Since I have found your intention throughout this post to be a sincere one, I would expect that you wouldn’t turn a blind eye to this book.

    At least give it a try, bro!

    http://www.box.net/shared/6e9h1oucu2

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