I like the concept of religion. No matter what atheists and rationalist might say, I believe that humanity will always need religion. I dont believe that any particular religions like Christianity or Islam or various religious doctrines of Hinduism are here to stay. All of them will vanish some day or other into oblivion, new religions will take their place.
Living on earth is a difficult thing. As human beings we face a zillion sort of problems. We need inspiration to go through these problems. So we develop God, an all powerful entity that has the power of removing all obstacles from our path. Winning trust of this powerful entity is all about praying, performing a ritual and so on. Over years the problems humanity has faced have been changing and so is the nature of religion and rituals. Once upon a time people were too concerned about natural forces and hence there were rituals that people believed can control the Gods of those natural forces. Now a days, most of humans face completely different kind of problems. These problem are related to stress, feeling of incompleteness, emotional and other kind of insecurity and so on. So we have people preaching “come to Jesus he will solve all your problems” and so on.
There is a famous Akbar Birbal story where the King declare a contest where a person who can stand naked in a frozen lake for an entire night would get a reward. Many try but only one succeeds. When the king asks him the secret of his success he says he looked at the light coming out from the palace and convinced himself that it will help him keep warm.
Now, rationally speaking there is no way those distant lamps could have provided any heat to the man. All those who failed before him too probably might have done the exact same thing, the real reason why the man succeeded was because his body was strong enough to endure that environment. But that doesn’t really matter. Human psyche needs that distant lamp, it needs that inspiration , it needs a source from it has to derive it’s strength. No matter how we evolve I believe that this fundamental need will always exist and as long as it exists will keep searching for those distant lamps and build an fantasize that it is actually affecting him. That will take a more sophisticated form and will become a religion.
I like Hinduism and I keep criticizing mono-atheist religions such as Christianity and Islam because these religions do not offer a choice other their disciples. Hinduism on the other hand lets the person decide his own religion. I feel that freedom is essential for any human being. It is because of that freedom the religion has survived for so long. There is no way you can destroy it because it lives the everyday life of it’s people. Look at Mahabharata. It is said that it was written by one man Vyasa, but we have thousands of versions of Mahabharata, there is a rich folklore around it each modified by it’s creators to suite their needs.
During India’s freedom struggle, Marathi authors use to write “what appears to be” a mythical drama such as “Keechak Vadh” and so on. These dramas would pass the censor board easily because they would appear to be mythological stories but in reality inspired people to fight against the foreign rule.
The objective of this blog post is not dissect idea of religion but to talk about those little things that give us strength, compare them to religion and then argue that each one of us can build our own version of religion.
If I have to describe my religion the 4 part series of movies named “Karate Kid” would easily feature in one of it’s cannons. There is a fifth movie too released a few years back but I dont count it in because it is not really original.
Whenever I feel distressed Karate Kid is one of the movies that I watch. The movie is about a wise Buddhist soldier Mr. Miyagi who is also a Karate Guru. Each movie dwells on his relationship with his student Daniel and in last part a girl Julie. It is about a wise man and rebellious and/or beleaguered student trying to team up. I am not sure if this movie will appeal to many people because it is not as glossy as the modern movies, there is not much action either but yes, there is a lot of philosophy delivered by Mr. Miyagi.