Is religion really relevant – to me?
With all the talk going on about periods, the whole thing has suddenly taken a very religious perspective. One day I was commenting on gender issues, and the next day I was talking about Sabarimalai. When did the shift happen? Why should everything we do be tied to religion in some way or the other?
Lavs said in her blog that she practices segregation because she is following what her religion asks of her. Mad Momma says that she wont eat prasad because it is what her religion specifically asks her not to do ( even though non-prasad ladoos are OK I am guessing). And I am sure there are a whole bunch of illogical things we all do in the name of religion. It is just that some are more offensive or weird than the others. And we all agrue against them because it is hurting someone.But all of them stem from the same roots – religious practice. For me personally, every religious practice that I would do should somehow bring me closer to God. Isn’t that the whole point? Every time I light a diya, it should be because I feel enlightened. Every time I join by hands in a namaskar, it is because I accept the omnipresence of God. And most of the times, I feel that my religious practices (or for that matter, any other religious practices) are not helping me.
I nearly slept through a Satyanarayana pooja after my wedding because I was so physically exhausted. So what was the whole point of doing it? Every time I celebrate Diwali or Ganesha Chaturthi, it is more because I want to hold on to the exhuberance I felt rather than to appease any diety. And I celebrate to remember and rejoice with my family. That makes it more of family tradition rather than a religious practice. When it visit a temple, it is for the familiarity of the surroundings and the emotions it evokes. It is not for increased proximity to God. Each time I pray, it is not the slokas that come to my lips. Infact, I don’t even think a prayer is necessary. God is all knowing. What more can I tell Her? I can only hope that my actions shall speak louder than my prayers. That I can live my life with dignity, celebrate it, and be a decent human being.
Religion is a creation of man. It is a so called man-made highway to heaven. But over the times it has got so much intertwined with God that today, religion and God are no longer seperate. I looked up Wikipedia, and while it defines an atheist, there is no word to describe a person who denounces religion, but accepts God. No one bothered to come up with such a word because they don’t think these entities can exist seperately. But they do, God was there before religion, before humanity, and will be there after all of us are long gone. Agreed that religion helped point us in the right direction. But I can take it from here. I can look into the Gita, Bible , Kuran, or even theory of relativity and derive from all of them. Or I can have my own theories on the cosmic questions that we all seek answers to. Because in the end, we all have to find our own way. Get our own glimpse of heaven. No religion can teach us that, it is not a 5-step assembly line process with guaranteed results. We all have to look into ourselves to find answers, to find peace.
Today, for me, religious practices are something I can no longer relate to. While the spiritual texts offer me some excellent direction, I cannot bring myself to be affiliated to one text. Because I don’t know what I might be missing. I cannot adhere to religion that is used as a political tool, as a discriminatory measure, or one that proclaims that declares that I will be damned in hell. I will not let some self professed gate keepers try and keep me away from my Creator. I will continue to celebrate festivals, as family traditions, as social events, because thats what they truly are.
Entry filed under: Random Banter.