By Nakul Arora:
The word religion etymologically means connecting back to the origin or the source. In this case, the origin is stated to be the supreme self residing in every person. Thus, religion is meant to help a person get closer to his/her origin. For this purpose, there are hundreds of religions operating in present-day world with each religion having multiple sects within it. All of them claim to take a person closer to the origin, albeit with different paths. All these religions are however based on the same eternal principles that govern the universe, the difference lies in their way of preaching the principles. The Vedas explain the need of the religion by stating its stark similarities with science: It states that as science is necessary for the development of the world, so is religion necessary for the development of an individual. Thus, religion can also be stated to be the technology of proper living, following which would ensure a person’s individual well-being. Thus, if religion is so important, shouldn’t it be chosen by a person so as to suit their personality? However, it’s exactly the opposite of it that happens; religion is forced upon most of us right from our childhoods with little or absolutely no knowledge given on the importance of it or any option of any choice.
For the people who question the presence of many religions, stating the fact that since all of them lead to the same truth, then why is there a need of different paths, why doesn’t everybody follow the same path. This question will also help us in analyzing the reason as to why most of us find it difficult to accept the religion which our parents force upon us and why it’s very important for us to get to chose our own path. According to the Vedas, every human has a body to perceive and act, a mind to feel and for emotions and an intellect to think and reason out. The presence of these along with a person’s past Karma determines a person’s personality and thus, the path to attaining enlightenment (which is the goal of all religions) is different for different people. Thus, the presence of different paths leading towards the same goal is justified. The Vedas also state that a person should only take up a particular path after careful study and reflection. However, when we are made to accept a particular religion without any proper understanding, we mostly end up following the associated beliefs and customs blindly. Thus, the presence of religious fanaticism today is mostly due to the blind faith with which it is followed, which is itself a result of religion being forced upon children without any reasoning.
Our parents kill our intellect right from the childhood by driving in us a fear of evil upon our questioning the beliefs. For them driving a fear of the gods’ in the child is a sure way for him to follow the belief. The fact that religion is useless if not taken up by a person after due reasoning and full belief holds no importance to them. In most cases, they were themselves bind to a religion in their childhoods. This tradition of forcing is what is leading to the huge aversion for religion amongst the youth today. The young people today, look upon religion as a rigid practice of fanatic beliefs, customs and dogmas, most of which appear to them as just means for practitioners to get money out of people in the name of faith. Most of them are not wrong, for religion has degraded in the past times, however, if they were to sit down and see the evolution of religion and understand the need of it, they would eventually agree to its importance. They would understand that all religions propagate themselves as mere paths designed to bring a person back to one’s origins. All religions also propagate the importance of individual thinking and introspection for moving along the path preached by them. The parents need to understand that just forcing a religion on a child wouldn’t necessarily make him into a follower. To become a follower, a person has to understand and reason out first and then if his/her mind agrees, they would be true follower’s not blind followers. Also, for the most of us who are blindly following a particular path from your childhood, its time you made a promise to not do the same to your child. Instead, you should explain to him the importance of religion while he is growing up and then let him chose his calling. The world today needs people who know the why behind what they are doing.