As a kid we used to stay in our ancestral house . Me and my cousins were given normal religious education. We had tutors who used to come over and teach us the path to divine eternity and afterlife. So my religious beliefs (or the lack of it) has nothing to do with me not getting any opportunity to learn. And since I grew up in a multi-religious society, I have a fair idea of some of the other religions as well. But apart from the fact that its all different versions of the same story, I just couldn’t agree to any of them fully.
I believe that there is a greater power. I believe that we are not alone in this universe and there are things which are much beyond the the understanding of the human mind. But who are we to define that power? Who are we to set the rules and regulations for something which we are not even capable of understanding? Whichever religion you take, there is always a human link between the divine and the rest of us. One can argue that those links’ purpose of life was showing the rest of us the right path. So does that mean all the people who lived before “religion” was formed will burn in hell just because they didn’t have a prophet?
The human race has undergone a lot of changes over the centuries. From being just a part of the flora and fauna, we have transformed the entire world to work in a way which is most beneficial to us. And none of this would have been possible if humans didn’t support each other and work together(willingly or unwillingly). So a need to control the human mind was inevitable. And what is the best weapon to control the human mind – fear.
Why do we invest in insurance policies? – fear – of not being able to control the future.
Why do we buy something we see in an advert (e.g. : washing detergent)? – fear – of your long trusted detergent not cleaning the clothes properly.
Why do we spend so much on self grooming? – fear – of not looking acceptable.
Why do we wear a seat belt while driving? – fear – of getting a traffic offense ticket (safety comes a distant second).
Why do we stay back late at work? – fear – of upsetting the boss (dedication died a long time ago).
Why do we smoke that first cigarette? fear – of not being “cool”.
And why do we hide that from our folks? – fear – of knowing the fact that being cool can also get you grounded you for a long time.
So its pretty clear that nothing can beat “fear” as the best tool when it comes to controlling the human mind. And sadly that is the very tool which forms the backbone of any religion. “You follow us or burn in hell” … ” You follow us or you’ll never get salvation”….. as mentioned earlier – different versions of the same story.
A person is good by nature, NOT because of him/her following or not following any religion. Take care of yourself. Take care of your loved ones. Try and be good a much as you can. Heaven and hell is what we make of our lives right here on mother earth.