Monday, February 19, 2007

That divisive thing called Religion


That divisive thing called Religion



The word religion evokes different emotions in different human beings. For some it brings to mind the images of worship and devotion. For some it is all about unwavering faith in the almighty. For some it is a part of their identity. Unfortunately there also those for whom it is a reason for terror.

All major religions in the world propagate the message of love and fellowship towards others. They teach us and define the moral boundaries of what is right and wrong. They inculcates in us the dire fate that will befall us if we were to stray from the right path. Mostly their canons follow a carrot and stick approach where good deeds are rewarded and evil ones punished. Some believe this judgment is given in the after life while others believe that it is given out during their lifetime hear on earth. Some religions provide an opportunity to make penance and start again with a fresh slate. The bottom line to all this comes down to a single thing – belief! And beliefs vary from person to person and from religion to religion. Some of these beliefs and customs have been in existence for centuries. What we need to realize is that the existence of all religions depends on the people’s beliefs.




The modern religions have shown adaptability in embracing the ways of the old by keeping some of the old pagan customs from which they were trying to convert people. For example during catholic marriage ceremonies in most parts of South India we have the custom of the groom tying a thali/minnu (a kind of locket) around the neck of the bride. This is a custom that is being followed in Hindu marriages even today. The point I am trying to put across here is that even though we feel that all religions are rigid in their interpretation of canons, they have been dynamic and ever changing according to the time and the social environment.

I would like to quote the immortal lines by the Malayalam poet Vyalar Rama Varma

manushyan mathangale srishtichu
mathangal daivangale srishtichu
manushyarum mathangalum daivangalum koodi
mannu pankuvachu... avar manassu panku vachu


Translated it would mean

Man created religion
Religion created Gods
Men, Religion and Gods divided earth
They divided hearts.


Is there a more universal truth than that? Even if I believe that God exists and that everything was created by him it is tough to believe that he created the plethora of religions that exists in the world. What we need to realize is that religions were created for our convenience by us. Please don’t think that I am an atheist because I do believe that there is an almighty some where that takes care of me. This is more comforting than believing that I am on my own facing all that life throws at me. Men are inherently weak beings and they need hope and faith at times when darkness engulfs them. But do we really need the structures, the rules and the divisions that religions inherently bring in. Do we really need religion to do good for others? From time immemorial to the present day there has been nothing but bloodshed in the name of religion. Don’t you think we have got it wrong somewhere?

The day people start questioning the canons of a religion it stops to exist. The problem is that nobody does this and they start questioning the existence of God if at all they do question something. The problem is not because people believe in God, divisions occur because people believe that their way of worshiping God is the correct one. Maybe someday we will have a world without the boundaries of religion.

12 comments:

Jennifer said...

I LOVE this post! Very well stated! Peace to you, Jennifer

Shark99 said...

Brilliant! I enjoyed reading that very much.

Jithin Jerald said...

Happy that you LOVED it!!! Thnx

Anonymous said...

Religion and beliefs are good for human race, what should be avoided is the over indulgence of religious leaders who misinterpret its teachings and misguide their followers and use religion as a tool for their secret motives.

Gokul said...

Good point. But I don’t agree with it completely. The author is hesitant to go to the root cause of the issue. He has quoted the lines of the Great Vayalar to support the claims, but gracefully forgets the essence that “Religion created Gods”, for their existence. Religions instill their ideologies in the name of god.

I am not against moral values and discipline that a religion inculcates in a society for its progress, but as the author points out, they have been instrumental only for breeding intolerance and divisions. I don’t believe that their can be a world with out any religions as long as there exists a believer of God. Because then there will be prophets who claim they are THE LAST prophet and his god is THE ONLY GOD.

So better question the existence of the fictional character the “ALMIGHTY”

Jithin Jerald said...

As gokul has said it is true that religion created gods. But we must keep in mind again that gods were created by religion. and religion intrun were created by us. So the root of all evil is not god but man. So that change needs to come in us and not in God.

When we say religion what should be kept in mind is that its not just worship of the almighty alone that constitutes a religion. Any blind belief on anything makes that belief religious. Be it divinity or ideology. When you say you believe in your god and that is only righful path it becomes a religion. Vice Versa when you say that there is no god and blindly believe that that is the only correct thing, then again you being religious. You being religious and therein creates another division, between believers and non-nelievers

I dont know if God exists or not.As far as i know nobody has proven it either way. Since i am a weak human i would much rather choose to carry the hope that god does exists. Hope is the greatest of man's strangth. It is what sustains us.

Aminur said...

Man created religion
Religion created Gods
Men, Religion and Gods divided earth


Continental DRIFT divided EARTH. Come' on man.

Be realisitic and factual, not philosophical

Umesh said...

If God created this universe, who created that God ? Who created the creator? If the God has created the universe, he has to have a desire to create. The desire makes the God imperfect and he cannot be imperfect. If God carries out the task of creation and destruction without any purpose then it becomes a foolish game. If he had created the universe then he would have made all Jivas (souls) equally happy. But we have 87% of earth people of earth live in poverty and misery and only 13% people have some prosperity. Therefore, God must not be managing the affairs of the universe. Since God is omniscient, omnipotent, and devoid of desires, and passions, He could not be interested in the matters of universe. Some claim that all creatures are God's images and we are all parts of Him?" If so, then, we should all have unlimited bliss, perfect perception, perfect knowledge and perfect conduct like him. But it isn’t so. Therefore, we cannot be a part of the God or his images. If We accept that God created the earth, he manages the earth and he decides who gets what, then countless questions are raised and we do not have rationale answers to these questions. Therefore, it appeals to our commonsense that God did not create the universe.

Jithin Jerald said...

Good one!!! :-)

But you know the major wars in the world were as much a clash of ideas and philosophies as anything else. To me this is as real as a continental drift.

Anonymous said...

lovely post. U have a unique style. Loved it

Peetu said...

Aminur said...
Man created religion
Religion created Gods
Men, Religion and Gods divided earth

Continental DRIFT divided EARTH. Come' on man.

Be realisitic and factual, not philosophical


Well, I say...
being realistic and factual is a machines business. A processor is realistic and factual.

Men feel, theorize, philosophize. Contemplate. That's what we do.

YOU, need to grow up.

Anonymous said...

to begin with..a great article..yes u r correct..religion spells doom..but with advent of science it supposed to fade way..but unfortunately hasn't...the imp question is why??i may not b the one who thinks very deeply about religion...but if i am attcked and my dear ones r slayed because they are NON-BELIEVERS...maybe i'll turn fanatic..atleast many will....so as long as we hav ppl who believe in THE ONLY GOD...and the LAST PROPHET and believe in perks like JANNAT and VIRGINS on killing KAFIRS...religion unfortunately can't be replaced....religion is nothing but a consequence of the herd mentality of majority of humans....the day it dies the earth will turn into a paradise..

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