Religion and God

Being from a Hindu family and spending my early years of childhood in the Holy city of Varanasi, religion has been a big deal for us. Well, maybe not so much for us but definitely a big deal for my mom and my grandparents. We were told, rather forced to worship and a fear of god was inculcated by people around us. The notion of God has been adopted across cultures since birth.

Somehow, as I grew up year by year, I began to question and my questions were never answered with concrete backings. Before I proceed further, I would like to clearly define that this is not about demeaning one’s beliefs or condemn any religious point of view. So, no offence in any way.

I have met people across cultures, and everyone had a different approach towards religion. Slowly, I started saying ‘No’ aloud to my parents every time I was asked to visit a temple with them. My grandmother would repetitively ask me to worship in the little temple that we have in the house. I refused and mostly ignored. The more they asked, the more I ignored, politely. My mom to an extent would often say, ‘you must have the habit of worshipping in our home-temple. How will you manage when you are married? They will expect you to do the rituals.’ Now what do you answer to such things really? Her expression to god has a significant importance which I really cannot relate to (and cannot disrespect either). So, I’d say ‘I choose to marry someone who respects my choices’. That would definitely irritate her and then we shared a short silence before moving onto the next topic of discussion.

That brings we to wonder something else- Are there only three kinds of people: Religious, Atheist and Agnostic?

Where am I? 

Was I an Atheist? No, my point of view differs. I did believe in something, some energy that keeps us moving. Sometimes, I’d doubt, sometimes, I would just blend in. One day, I met someone who was a real atheist. Then someone else, and then more and more people. They were all non-believers of god. ‘God doesn’t exist, so why do I worship someone who does not exist?’ I am not sure if the argument is right or wrong. But atheists in our culture are looked down upon. Statements like ‘Are you an Atheist? No wonder you’re like this.’. Like what? Never questioned that though.

I pray, I chant. But do I feel like visiting temples often or offer big chunks of what I earn to the temple trusts? No! We have different point of views when it comes to god and religion and all of it is a very personal choice. I am against animal killings, but I am also a hardcore non-vegetarian. This in no way mean I am a hypocrite, it’s just my choice to eat what I like. Instead of making donations at temples, I’d rather give that money in the form of utilities to those who are less fortunate than me. Will God not be happy seeing that?

Maybe God is a way people feel there’s hope. But does god help those who are not hard working? You don’t just get things in a golden platter right?

There is no favorable side that I pick to stick on. All I know is we as individuals have some choices (to be or not to be, to eat or not to eat, to do or not to do, to wear or not to wear, and so on). And I hope this society evolves and matures to see that if God exists, he is much beyond the stones we worship, the people we blindly follow, the rituals we conduct. God is in the decimated nature where the concrete jungles stand, in truth, positivity, peace and mercy.

What we belief may not be inherently indifferent, it is just not black and white like the extreme choices. There is hope and faith that disregards blindness.

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