Thursday, January 19, 2006
Religion and Relationships
"Aathigam pesum adiyaarkellam Sivame Anbaagum
Naathigam pesum Nallavarukellam Anbe Sivamagum"
"In the begining was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God."
This is something that has been irritating me for quite some time and things came to a head when my colleague took me to a remote temple in Shollinganallur. Almost retched when I saw the idol (akin to the one shown), only with more skulls. And to see those miserable humans wearing red shirts and veshtis added to the effect. I cannot understand how educated people can come about to depend on such demonic activities. To worship skulls, animals, reptiles, humans; to perform sacrifices and penances; to go on yatras and pilgrimages; the entire gamut appears horrible and devillish. I cannot understand how we, who are god's creation can create idols of our own image and worship it. We are misusing the power of our word and empowering the most ungodly and foul spirits. Let me elaborate.
I believe in god. And by accepting God, one has to accept evil too. And if we really accept God, what we are talking about is a relationship, not a religion. By accepting and asking for God, by seeking God in our activities, it is enough to keep evil away.By rebuking our darker side and praising god, it is enough. Vade Retro, Satano. The power of the word - for if you start worshipping a spoon or a fork for long enough, it WILL get a power over you - but not a godly one. Therefore, I also believe that there is no need to go out to temples, worship our penis, pray to bulls, snakes and vultures, fast for 40 days, go to various religious hillocks, wear the rudrakshamalais and climb to mountains on bare feet. God is a friend, who accepts what we do in our entirity. And if we fail, as we often do, he would forgive us, for he is loving. I cannot believe in a God who asks us to fast or perform penances or would condemn us to hell. I cannot see how, by wearing a chain for 40 days and chanting the name of a god and a hill, and in those forty days refrain from eating out, seeing a movie or gawking at a girl, our sins would be cleansed, and we become devout humans. I do not see how by not shaving or cutting our hair, we would have our sins cleansed.I do not see, how if by eating a cow or drinking Alcohol, I am less a person or how God would shun me if I do. I do not see how, by breaking a 101 coconuts or feeding a 101 beggars, he would grant us our deepest wishes. If such a God existed, I spit on him - he is no better than our corrupt politicians - a coolie.
My God is a friend - one who knows what is best for me. A friend to whom I can pour out my heart and soul. One who loves, accepts, and forgives. A person who walks, sits and stands with me. I believe that just as a friend would not enter a house without an invitation, all we need to do is to ASK. Ask him to be with us - and the rest is done.
It is easy to proudly call us brahmins, christians, muslims etc. and ramble off a list of antecedents. It is equally easy to screw somebody, stab him in the back, all the time quoting a gods name. I had a brahmin acquaintance, a devout SOB, who would worship a 100 gods, and harm a 1000 humans. To me such a creature is lower than the lowest scavenger.
" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and staff, they comfort me"