In my last blog, I tried to explain how religions changed their course and led to the state where people altogether have lost their trust. I wrote, “The worst thing in the present world is that we cannot blame the corporations or the atheists for the present state. While the consumerism and materialism are unified in efforts across the world, the religions and philosophers are more distant and divided.” As a result, people today do not take religion seriously and they treat them irrelevant; Connecting to it only for either entertainment or a sense of belonging to the community. People live their lives without a rooted belief in the art of life. They have no opinions on what the leaders of the world say or change in the society; And are left alone and vulnerable to the evil forces for manipulation and exploitation.
In Hinduism, we say that the soul travels from one body to another like a person changes clothes. But the irony in the present world is that the beliefs and opinions are as diversified as there are brands of clothing; And people change them as the fashion changes. Especially, when most of the world has a democratic system of rule, this culture becomes poisonous. How can a divided society come together to vote for a unified nation? And at its weakest point, a dishonest person, a corrupt politician or an ambitious corporation sneaks in to offer false hope or a sense of belonging; And rules the majority by suppressing them and making the people feel more helpless.
The Modern Chaos
We do not need statistical research to see these phenomena. Often, we come across some good news and some bad news in the world. In the absence of knowledge of the cause and effects, we make wrong conclusions about the contributing factors. Most of the people are least bothered to do something about anything, a few people try but are not able to do anything and a few attempt the problems from a wrong perspective yielding only failures.
It is undoubtedly clear that the present population is more sensitive and open minded than the people of the recent past. If we try to focus on the good, we will find several communities fighting against racism, extremely orthodox caste systems, corporate monopolies, over-exploitation of natural resources etc. But do their leaders empower them with the necessary tools. When we look at the debates on these topics, we find that the talks are majorly about religious differences, government orientation and international affairs. The topics that are free from the burden of speculation are progress and unity. While the theosophical thoughts and abstract ideas are put on stand, left to be discarded for good; Deceiving technical jargons are fed to the people to keep them busy in finding the bomb. The result is that while our ship is on a sinking course, we are searching for leaks in the sky.
Religion vs. Atheism
For example, one can listen to any debate between an atheist and a religious person. I do not intend to blame science, but it is a fact that often a person of science (the only person of the modern world who can talk with reason and logic) takes the side of atheism. If we work the debate, we find that the scientist breaks every religion one by one while the religions cannot defend themselves. Every religion is bound to not only fight atheism but also one another. Atheists often use the non-agreement in different religions as a weapon and establish every religious thought as a debatable myth; While even the incomplete scientific theories are taken as facts. If we look at the psychology of beliefs, we will find that the modern atheism is much stronger than the so-called ‘God’s will’.
For example, one scientist is accepted as the spokesperson for all fields of science. All fields of science accept him as the authority, and he credits all the theories with their respects. But on the contrary, every little sect of all religions must have an individual spokesperson. Neither will the followers of another religion accept a spokesperson from a different religion; And nor will a believer of one faith ever appraise another. The result is that while science has contradicting theories like big bang, perpetuality, multidimensionality, cyclic universes etc.; It still claims to state the facts against a non-scientific theory of the Abrahamic religions. At the same time, when science and technology though has taken the civilization to the level of extinction in the name of growth and progress; It still wins against Hinduism by challenging its fascist caste systems and extremely orthodox and mythological rituals.
Diversity through Religion
Now the question is, “Should we follow all religions? And how do we know which theories to pick from which religion?”
The answer is that secularism and atheism are the same. Unity is only possible if we do have differences in the first place. While the selfish corporations take people away from faith and incept the corrupt ideals of materialism; Religion is the only tool that creates a healthy diversity. We can follow any religion our hearts feel like. But we must have respect for others. I am a Hindu, but if I read Quran or Bible, it does not make me an apostle. I can gather information from all over the world but establish my faith in the one I choose. It is an undeniable fact that the world, a nation or a group can be secular, but an individual cannot. To have a belief, we must give in to one and the only one faith.
Lessons from the Oldest and Most Diverse Religion
For example, India has majority of Hindus, but she has seen the incoming of all the other religions. Now, I do not want to present myself as biased, but I cannot think of a better example. Muslims were first traders, then invaders and later the rulers in several parts of India. If we look at the history, the core Hindu saints while strictly following Hinduism, without a sense of resentment, have written documentaries and biographies praising Prophet Mohammad. The ‘Bhavishya Puran’ characterizes Moses, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammad as teachers and saints (not as sinners, non-believers or Quafirs); And at the same time establishes that Hinduism is the greatest religion. The Hindu religion respects and treats the religions of Jainism and Buddhism as their own. India has accepted every philosophy that she has encountered and yet has majority of Hindus.
I will also confess that in the recent years, there has been a retaliation at the cost of several lives even in the Hindu community, and I could blame this phenomena on the fact that after thousands of years of endurance, Hindus finally lost their composure. But I will prefer not making excuses. I personally condemn the violence in the name of religion and the fact is that it was all a political propaganda and was carried out by the not Hindus but criminals. The true Hindu belief still lives in the culture and custom of the Shankaracharya discipline and we will find that there is no violence but only debate there.
The prime thought here is that the religious clerics today are highly hypocritical. It does not appear to be trustworthy if a Muslim cleric (I am taking the name of Islam first because it is the youngest religion) asks the new generation to value the ancient scripts of the holy Quran; When at the same time it aims to insult other religions. The religions can produce an effective outcome if they stand true to their word and Muslims respect Christianity, Christians respect Judaism, Jews respect Zoroastrianism and Parsis respect Hinduism; While Hindus respect them all.