Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Killings in the name of Religion

I find it very distressing to read/ see killings of innocent human beings, that too on a daily basis these days, and all in the name of religion. My mind starts to question the very basis of religion in such cases. I have always believed that religion was meant to protect the human beings, and not the other way around. I believe that religion is required to make me understand the unity of this Creation, of how each and every thing in this universe is interconnected and essential for the survival of this finely balanced and beautiful creation. I believe that no religion teaches the killing of others in the process of imposing one's beliefs on them. I definitely feel that such cases need a more holistic re-interpretation of the basic tenets of the religion, by wise and more knowledgeable people, rather than going by the interpretations of the people who make a livelihood by preaching these religions. I believe that we have come to a time in history when it is too dangerous to leave religious interpretations solely in the hands of our pandits, moulvis, granthis, priests, and other worldly religious leaders.

Image Courtesy: Google Images

What is religion? defines religion as "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs". As per this definition, religion consists of 'a set of beliefs'. 

What is a belief?

Belief is the "feeling of being certain that something exists or is true".

Where does one get these beliefs from, as far as religion is concerned?

The person acquires these beliefs from ones immediate surroundings that are based on a person's family, place, and time of birth. I got my beliefs from my parents; I trusted them; they cared for me and looked after my every need; there was no reason to distrust them or even distrust their beliefs; they always had my best interest in mind; I could not have survived without their care and affection. I knew they had my best interest in mind; they had proven that by ensuring my survival, and growth against all odds. 

As I look back at my life I find that I was born in a Hindu household and was thus exposed to my immediate family's conception of Hindu beliefs, from birth. In case I had been born in a Muslim household, I would have been exposed to Islamic beliefs. I had no say in the matter of my birth, and thus of my belief. It was, I believe, pre-ordained. 

Pre-ordained by whom? 

By my Creator, who also happens to be the Creator of every one and every thing else on this, and other planets. How else could we all humans have been designed in the same mould, with very minor and superficial variations, of course. The evolutionary process has put us in the top of the heap, or so we think. We have evolved to have a very powerful brain; however, the power of this can be quite different in different human beings. And fortunately or unfortunately this is where our beliefs reside, by design. 

Whose design?

The Creator's design; a very intelligent design that can store vast amounts of data of the material world acquired through our five senses. However, this data can only be the one that we pay attention to during our experience of life, and our learning from life. We have the capacity to plug in to the cosmic energy field of consciousness too, from where we can draw major lessons of our existence. Since every individual has an independent brain that is a repository of his/ her own experiences and learning, then each individual's brain will interpret and perceive the same facts differently, based on his individual history and geography.
  • Newton saw the apple falling from the tree (a fact), and with great thought and deliberation came to 'discover' the phenomena of gravity. Gravity always existed, but he plugged in to the super consciousness and 'discovered' it for the future human generations. 
In case each individual's brain is hardwired differently, based on one's own experience and learning, then it stands to reason that no two individuals would be able to conceive the same facts in an identical manner; or in short 'every thinking individual would conceive the same facts differently'. Same is the case with religion, or God, or any thing else in this universe.

Over millenia, many belief systems have come in to existence and have been codified in to religions. As per Swami Vivekananda, every codified religion comprises of rituals, mythology, and philosophy. The rituals and mythology in any religion, I believe, are with the sole intent of developing faith in the individual. There is no proof provided for the mythology; some rituals make sense, some don't, but religious leaders of most religions do not permit one to question these. This goes against the grain of the Creator's intention of giving each individual his/ her own individual brain with which he can experience the material world, and if required, also to delve deeper by invoking the super consciousness, which is directly linked to the Creator, through contemplation. Religious leaders rarely talk of the philosophical part of the religion, as most are not competent to discuss that, as they are in the profession of religion to make a living.

Any thinking individual should be able to visualise that in case we are all the Creation of one God, and all available evidence points to that, then we should all be living in harmony. However, our brain loaded with divergent belief systems create a divide. This divide is strengthened by people who benefit from the profession of teaching/ imparting of different beliefs - be it the Pandit, the Moulvi, the Priest, the Granthi, etc. They cannot trudge your path for you. They can only teach you the rituals and give you the mythology. Their interpretation of the religious texts maybe at total variance to what was intended, as their brains may not have evolved to the level that is required to interpret those texts.

Once an individual has developed faith that a God exists, then it is an inward journey, as all questions and answers are within your own consciousness. No external help is possible, as no one can trudge the path for you. You have to develop your own link with your Creator, in whichever form that you wish to. There are no intermediaries is my firm belief. Once you develop faith, I do believe that you would then respect all of God's Creation, and would be very averse to violence/ killings, as no faith can profess destruction of the Creation of the One Creator.

I believe that there are many paths (religions) to the same destination; each chooses his own. Belief just happens to be the starting point, and that I believe is based on our birth, by design. This belief is strengthened through rituals and mythology, so that one can undertake the final journey alone by turning inwards, where the communication is between you and your Creator only, without need for any ritual, mythology, or external help. Religion is a very personal affair of an individual with his/ her own Creator. No religion is better or worse; right or wrong; no one needs to impose his/ her beliefs on others; and it is my firm belief that religion should make us more tolerant of others, because if we believe that we are the creation of One Creator, then we have no reason to kill any part of that Creation.

No comments: