Sunday, December 4, 2011

Do I need religion in my life ?

I have blogged before about my inability to meditate.After yet another foiled attempt,I questioned myself-why am I coming back to it again and again?Is it the fear of defeat-that, this is something,I can not do and others can?Do I care if people ridicule me on my failure while they gloat over how divine the experience was?
I just want to experience how it feels..once! What does meditation achieve? Peace of mind is the answer most commonly given by successful ( in meditating) people.Hmm..then what ?I have two experiences while in the process of meditation-
1.sudden rush of hitherto non existent ideas and list of things to be done at once and the strongest urge to leave and take charge,or
2. go to sleep.
Former is most definitely not anywhere close to peace of mind and if by any chance someone says that the second reaction is closer to the feeling of being at peace..then I am sorry I beg to differ.A state of inactivity called peace of mind is not what I am looking for.

While my mind was in a state of unrest and I was scanning my sources for answers,I chanced upon a couple of lines staring at me in the airport bookshop.It was Khushwant singh .I have read and re-read most of the uninhibited ,passionate works of both Khushwant singh and Amrita Pritam. To say ,I love them, would be an understatement. The book was promptly picked up and surprise, was on God and religion..another field that intrigues me.Coming back to the lines, the author beautifully put forth that if meditation was necessary for peace of mind,why was a calm mind necessary in the first place?All the inventions and discoveries are a result of very agitated minds.Creative,artistic thinking minds are restless.
True that,and I second that!

I am never convinced that one should look for answers within.What answers ,pray?!What truth?Of why and how was I born??How..I know ,science taught me and I am convinced.Why....I do not care.I was born,I am alive,I believe in the abundance of nature and my role in it and most importantly..I need to work and contribute in my little or big way towards working of this intertwined thread called life.Period. Through this journey,I shall not believe in what texts (religious or otherwise) say .I shall trust my eyes,ears and experiences to form my own constitution which shall abide by the constitution of the place I live in, at any particular time.I may be born a Hindu but that will not be the backbone of my existence.I do not need any religion to live.All religions have beliefs which constrict my view.I do not like confinement.If I say I believe,I am admitting to a doubt lurking under the surface.I want to only trust....myself.
Osho says,religions have done utmost disservice to humanity by confining believers to a system of this is right and all else is wrong and by suppressing his instinct to explore on his own and find out by himself.(Read a wonderful post on right and wrong by the blunt blogger here) Osho explains by giving a beautiful example of a plastic flower and a real flower.Plastic flower is belief-manufactured,does not take birth or die,does not grow or change.If you do not want it ,you have to destroy it.Trust is real flower,born,nurtured,grows ,evolves and is existential in its being.
  Freud saw religion as 'a universal obsessional neurosis' ,Ellis viewed it as equivalent to irrational thinking and emotional disturbance.
To many,these philosophers may seem extreme in their thinking but to me they make sense because,philosophy and science are based on logic ,experiments,their conclusions and facts and most importantly,they are constantly being challenged ,questioned and hence they EVOLVE.Religion on the other hand is stagnant,based on something that was relevant and moral then, at that time when the texts were written. Who questions religion,who challenges? My mom taught me drinking was immoral and my mind was accordingly conditioned.If my daughter takes a sip,does that make her immoral? Is being gay,immoral,as was once thought? While the aspect of morality has been questioned,over a period of time,religious beliefs have remained largely unquestioned.Fanaticism of the religious kind has led to wars not atheism.
I do not want to subscribe to something that does not evolve and change according to time.If religion is needed to keep the society in check,to tell them what is right and wrong,then universal laws are good enough to do the job.We have evolved and have the empathy to understand what will bring harm to another human being or society ,so why do we need fear of religion?If you do this,God will punish you or you will rot in hell! Why should I live in fear? Fear is not liberating!The thought of doing no harm to anyone  is!! I could never subscribe to the fear psychosis associated with God and religion.I am sure we have all observed that the most devout are those who sin the most.Charity to humanity is a yes,to places of worship -a big NO.

When in doubt,I just need to put myself in the position of the other person and I am sorted,well mostly!That almost sums it up for me.I am human,I err,but I am free to question and learn.No religion can teach me  peace.I am at peace :))


  1. The original intent of religion was to seek God who resides with in us...To be a better love sans expectations.

    But now it's used as a tool to control and divide. Tragic isn't it?

  2. I am such a strong believer of the fact that God & religion are two different things altogether that I really don't know why religion exists...

    I will never understand if I have to be connected to God why do I need a religion for that... maybe that is the reason people find it funny when I tell them I am not religious but I am a believer...

  3. Purba,Religion today is doing more harm than good being led by people with vested interests.
    Suku,Wish more people thought like that!

  4. Exactly. How well I could align with your thoughts! I'm sick and tired of this cock n bull tales of some half-headed dude swallowing the moon, sun going down in a muddy mega-pot of slime, an invisible guy in the clouds creating all living and non-living things over 7 days and then coming back to finish them all off...Man, at this age this age all this should make a cow laugh and fart.

    Science has comprehensively and irrefutably proven the epic nonsense propagated by these religions, still people tend to close their eyes and be happy in the dark boxes they're in. I don't have a religion, neither do I have a God. Does that make me a lesser person? If so, let me be.

    At least I don't have sleepless nights over getting moksha or getting re-born as a sewer rat in my next gen or feared getting roasted in "hell" ( :D lol). I work, I feed myself, my wife and my kids and I identify my role in the natural process of life. Religion? Well, my eyes are wide open for such mega shit-fall ideas.

  5. Hi, nice post! Religion was supposed to be an aid to receiving peace of mind however today its more of a chain that binds you to do something. But then, it depends on a person, how they interpret it and live their life. Your way is great too!

  6. Hi, religion is supposed to be a means of attaining peace of mind. There are some constraints under religion however I think its upto an individual, how they interpret the religious methods. Your method is also great, as long as a person is at peace and feels happy, it doesn't matter whether they follow religion or do not :)

  7. scorpiogenious,Thank you and welcome to my blog.The idea of religion being the way of life is what I do not agree with.

  8. The Thinker,Welcome to my space and thank you for reading.So long as religion does not interfere with our work culture and remains strictly personal,its fine.

  9. i tried vipassana once. couldnt sit still AT ALL :D

    ""Charity to humanity is a yes,to places of worship -a big NO.""" - very very true, you echoed my sentiments here

  10. Relieved to know ,there are others like me :p
    The face of commerce behind religion
    is ugly indeed.

  11. No religion can teach me peace.I am at peace. Rightly observed and questioned everything,and yes our religion stagnate us to go ahead freely and create obstacle and fear to our thoughts and idea to change. If religion has survive then we demand our religion to be flexible enough where we can move freely, think freely. Overall nicely written..

  12. Mithlash,Thank you and welcome to my space

  13. It's good you are a Hindu like me.
    Convenient religion.
    No hassles.
    You pick and choose the customs and rules you want to follow.
    No one forces anything on you.
    Give up rituals or customs you don't like.
    No one objects.
    Be an atheist if you want.
    No one excommunicates you.
    You still remain a Hindu and can claim a Hindu Identity.
    Pray to any God you fancy
    Vishnu, or Shiva, Hanumaan or Ganesh, Laxmi or Paarvati.
    Read and be guided by any religious text you please
    Or simply don't read any.
    Go to any place you fancy on a pilgrimage.
    Or else simply stay put where you are.
    You are not a defaulter.
    No one compels you to have visited a pilgrim spot at least once in a lifetime.
    Listen to any spiritual or religious leader you want
    Or simply don't recognise any one as your guru.
    There is no Pope to impose anything on you.
    There is no Mullah to issue a fatwa calling for you head if you defy religious customs.

    Where else is such freedom?
    What is your problem with a religion like this?
    Why not simply look upon it as a set of guidelines to live by?
    Accept what you fancy, reject what you find abhorrent.
    You still remain a Hindu.

    I want a religion to identify with and I am happy to choose Hinduism.
    I am also at peace!

    If you find meditation difficult, try Praanayama.

  14. East might meet West but I am convinced "believers-atheists" is one twain that will never meet. Enjoyed reading your post, Sharmila, thanks.

    Scorpiogenius, I've got to say this. You have a certain "je ne sais quoi" with words :)



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