What is my religion ???

Disclaimer : This may be taken by a lot of people to be Blasphemy. If you are one of those fanatics – please don’t read below this. You need to be rational and sane in mind to read the following.

Am I a hindu ?

Were Ram and Krishna gods ?

Did the Ramayana and Mahahbharata really happen ?

Am I religious ?

The last question was asked to me recently. How do I explain it ? Can I say that I believe in the Hindu religion ? But then what is the hindu religion ? Is it the worship of Idols ? Is it the chanting of mantras ? Is it the building of great temples and donating loads of money into these temples ? Is it following customs blindly ?

For me that is not my religion. How can I believe in a religion which is so selfish that by giving more money I can get more favours from the god ? If he is god – why would he be needing all the gold and silver that people donate ?? How can I believe in a religion which says we are to worship idols and then forget the people living around us ? How can I believe in a religion where people go and make deals with god ? How can I believe in a religion when it segregates people based on caste. How can we claim a river ( Ganga) to be holy and yet dump all the filth from our homes and factories into it ? We claim to call it mother ( ganga ma) and yet don’t do anything about throwing filth into it . How can I believe in a religion which makes all sorts of allowances for a few and treats the rest like dirt ?

NO. This is not my religion.

But I am still a hindu – in a way.

How can that be ? you ask. Its simple , hinduism is an amorphous amalgamation of religions. Yes, I did write religions – in plural. It allows me to pick and choose what and how I believe.

Hinduism is not a religion in the conventional form as is Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism etc. The obvious distinction is that it was not spearheaded by one person or prophet. It also does not have a time frame when it was concieved. So then what is Hinduism ?

Its a way of life. It does not say what is and what is not. It does not tell you what to do or what not to do. Priests have tried to make the essense of Hinduism more palatable by spinning stories about the different gods, of different fantastic epics. While people say that the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are actual events, I disagree. There are too many inconsistencies in it – like the Bible. At one time I used to think how improbable the Bible is. Now I put the other 2 epics also in the same frame.

And the people who profess to follow Hinduism … well what can I say about them ??

The cow is considered holy by hindus – but it is left to roam the roads of big cities at the mercy of the automobiles. You can see them on the roads of all big cities like Delhi and Bangalore, and people are just apathetic about them. I believe that the cow was revered by the people as it is one animal of which you can use all the parts – like it still does for the Masai tribe in Africa. It gives milk. It can be harnessed to plow the fields. Its hide can be used for clothing and other things. And it provides meat.

Meat ?? Doesn’t hinduism say that it is forbidden to eat meat ? Nope. Hinduism does not say that. Its the priests who do. There is enough evidence in older literature that says that brahmins used to be meat eaters. Its only after the advent of Buddhism that vegeterainism caught on in India. Ever wondered to what used to happen to the animals who were slaughtered for the bali in the religious yagyas ? No doubt they all ended up in the fat bellies of the brahmins.

Is idol worship Hinduism ?? If so, then we are going against the Bhagwat Geeta. But since Bhagwat Geeta is essentially what every Hindu connects with – we cannot go against it. So… do we still have to idol worship ? And what if the interpretation of the Geeta is also wrong ? Ever heard of the book “The Geeta as it Was”?

Hinduism does not tell you what all you should be doing – that is done by the priests so that they have control over you and your coffers. Its up to you whether you wake up from this maya jaal . But it takes guts. Can you ?

Awake ! Look around you and realize that religion is not about idolizing. Its not about killing other people in the name of religion. Its not about looking down on others who don’t follow your blind faith. Its about waking up to your surroundings. Its about not blindly following what someone says.

But people still follow blindly. I think its more of a matter of having such a fear of the unknown that they will do anything so that they get salvation – a concept which I don’t think exists. If you believe in Hinduism – then why don’t you do what the Geeta says and realize that this is all a mirage – a maya jaal ?

Some links :
Why I am not a Hindu
Oh you Hindu. Awake !

Books:
The Prince of Ayodhya
– A book where Ram is given a new treatment. I kind of like the book – it is much like books from Robert Jordan , or even something like playing Warcraft.

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~ by Vibhu on October 17, 2005.

2 Responses to “What is my religion ???”

  1. VERY WELL WRITTEN. People like you who think aloud make this world a better place to live. I fully understand your frustration. There should be VERY FRANK DISCUSSION about every aspect of every culture and religion. Every culture and religion has the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY aspects in it.Best parts of Hinduism I like are:1. You can be atheists and still proudly proclaim you are a Hindu. In fact the CHARVAKA philosophy or NASTIKA philosophy, [existed during the Vedic period] founded by CHARVAKA rejected the existence of God and considered religion as an aberration.2. You have the right to worship or NOT to worship any God.3. If you worship, you can worship that God or in any form since Hindu scriptures state GOD HAS NO NAME OR FORM. 4. You don’t have bow down in front of anyone or follow any ritual.5. You have the right to criticize any scripture or any one.6. You have the right to burn a copy of the Bhagavad Gita and nobody will care[ unless one of those extreme Hindu see you doing that…hahahah]7. NOBODY IS CONVERTED TO HINDUISM. Hinduism is a culture and people are not normally converted to a culture.Voltaire in Essay on Tolerance wrote: I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it. Hinduism is the symbolic representation of what Voltaire wrote.

  2. “Anyone who searches after truth can be called a Hindu, since Hinduism is the relentless pursuit after truth. Even an atheist can proudly proclaim, he or she is a Hindu. ABSOLUTE FREEDOM OF THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS – That is the cardinal principle of Hinduism.”

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