Why do human beings turn to god?Religion basically pertains to god and his worship.
It is for one or all of these three reasons:
- Fear and respect.
Fear and respect are two sides of the same coin. Fear begets respect and respect begets fear. Today the purity of respect does not exist.
When you talk of god you are talking about the most powerful entity in the universe.Therefore it is logical that a major portion of the respect which is professed is based on fear – perceived fear of acute and brutal reprisal.
So what really constitutes the genesis of religion.Religion like culture is the product of a particular place ,at a particular time for a particular specific reason.It is therefore necessary to review, amend and re-position rituals and practices from time to time to be in consonance with the present.
Hinduism is not a religion per se. It is just a philosophy or a way of life. It basically evolved around riverine civilizations.
Christianity evolved from Judaism in and around Roman civilization.Judaism is probably the oldest religion and Islam the most nascent.
Everthing in life is simple. We complicate things and make it difficult for ourselves. What is difficult for us, we make it impossible for others thereby giving rise to what is called a problem.Finally to seek a solution to the problem we seek divine grace and intervention. When this grace and intervention is not forthcoming in spite of our penances and obeisance we blame our fate and luck .
We include all our near and dear ones also in this ambit.We never see ,accept or acknowledge anything wrong on our part. As long as we are able to blame somebody we are satisfied.We cannot blame anybody for our own inadequate efforts or lack of enterprise. We must quickly recognize, accept and make good our mistakes.
We are all brought up with stories of appeasement to deities .
we are taught to look up to people who are more ritualistic than spiritual. What is called as “mannat” is nothing but quid-pro-quo.This is either in cash or in kind or both depending on the levels of expectation and fulfillment.
All places of worship have their ratings based purely on their record of fulfilling expectations. People are very blatant and upfront with their demands and also very open and benovalent when their demands are met.
Thus worshipping a diety in say Vaishnodevi or Tirupati is considered far superior to worshiping at the small shrine next to your house.Like business schools and other institutions temples also have ratings. There are also specialists among temples and deities – for health, marital problems etc.We also have VIP darshans – wherein some individuals are equal to god.
Religion which is supposed to unite us actually divides us.
Like a rodent which is constantly foraging for food we are also looking up to every possible temple and deities in the single minded quest for that one miracle which will dramatically enhance our life.The fact that all this ventures have a very low success ratio is no detterent – we firmly believe that we will be that one chosen one.
In this we are no different from a person go to the casino or buys a lottery ticket.
It is high time we should realize that religion is spiritual and not ritual.It is not that we believe in miracles. We always actually expect miracles.
We are a nation of day dreamers.