Once I was sitting with my friends, after the class when we started discussing about books. We all are book fanatics and the discussion turned wild when each one of us was willing to tell how awesome the book they were reading was. The discussion ranged from Harry potter to Mark of Athena, from Chetan Bhagat’s new love story to the amazing science fiction thrillers. When it was finally my turn, I said I was reading The Bhagavad-Gita and had plans to read the Quran too.
Imagine the response I got: Horrifying looks and startled faces, all saying “Why on earth would you do that? Religion would be the last thing we would read about.”
Upon asking “Why not?” the answers I got puzzled me.
“Religion is boring, we are made to do unnecessary things which have no meaning and people blindly follow these superstitions.”
One said “Religion merely divides people, I believe in equality and religion creates fights between people”
Another said “Aren’t we already too busy with our worldly matters. Why do you have to follow all this, if you don’t necessarily have a belief in God”
All this left me thinking? I might not believe in god or His 10000s of incarnations or the stories woven in the holy books of thousand s of religions in this world. But is religion all about this?
As I see it, religion or spirituality is just an organized collection of beliefs, cultural system and world views that relate to humanity and morality and portray an idol in a preferred lifestyle. The origin of religion is uncertain, but would it be wrong to think that religion merely evolved for the nurture and development of human beings.
Anthropologist John Monaghan states that “It seems apparent that one thing religion or belief helps us do is deal with problems of human life that are significant, persistent and intolerable” then why is religion always coupled with superstition?
There are many instances in Gita where Lord Krishna says:
“I hate no one. I am equal to all living brings (9.29). One who has no enemies among all living beings comes to me and I shall love him the most (11.55)
In the Quran, it is mentioned:
“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has to be distinct from the wrong path”
So is it wrong to say that it is the religion that divides? It’s the people.
Religion is not all about superstition and super natural beliefs. Rather religion teaches you moral ethics. Being spiritual makes you fall in love with peace, the world and ultimately yourself. You see the world with with the same eyes, but your vision towards it changes. You realize how beautiful everything around you is, how beautiful you are. I can say this, as I have experienced it. Religion has turned me into a new leaf!
When you study religion, you’ll realize that it is nothing new or different. You can relate it with your life and get answers to everything. It just shows you the correct path in life. So the day you are confused about the right decision to take or merely frustrated with whatever is happening around you, open The Gita, The Quran or The Bible once. I’m sure you will get all the answers which you can relate with your dilemmas and these answers will help you become a better person.
Maybe god doesn’t exist,
Maybe He is just a blind superstition for some,
But the faith billions of candles, flowers, diyas, and folded palms carry, keeps Him alive in my heart.
In the Bible, God himself says
“You will seek me and find me;
When you seek me with all your heart,
I will be found by you.