By Rahul Bhardwaj:
There are over 7.2 billion people on this planet and everyone has the ability to lead a happy, successful and peaceful life. Everyone has the potential to define how to achieve this happiness, this so called inner peace which will help sustain and grow human kind. But this ability is not acquired at birth by anyone, it has to be nourished and taught by people who are already living on the planet, who have seen right/wrong decisions being made by the world and have squeezed out the essence of the right way of living. And the new generation using this knowledge is supposed to further try to make it more effective. This is the way society should have run, for an effective human existence.
Who is God?
Humans’ greed and ambition to control things has led to this divided and broken world that we live in. Across the centuries many humans have come and gone claiming to be God and demanded to be worshiped, but eventually all died. So the question arises- who is God? Does he actually exist? Or is it a figment of imagination of humans who need to believe in a super being for strength, at the time of adversity? One thing which we can be sure about is that we are all are one species whether black, white, brown, or anything. If some virus is deadly for humans in Africa the same virus will be deadly in India. This is the one thing which I admire about viruses or in fact science on the whole, it doesn’t discriminate. In fact, to put it clearly in the words of APJ Abdul Kalam, “Science is global…Science is a beautiful gift to humanity, we should not distort it. Science does not differentiate between multiple races”. To add to this I would say science is ‘universal’ as it does not differentiate between species as well.
How religions came to be
There are roughly 12 major religions in this world but if we look minutely the numbers touch 4200. Being a rationalist I believe in science and evolution, and I believe we evolved from our primitive state for a reason, to exist above all, to be at the top of the food chain. While we evolved physically but our major strength came from our brain, using our higher intellect we became the most dominant species on this planet. But we didn’t stop there, few wanted to control other humans as well which is where all the conflict started. Since there were lot of changes happening for human race we needed to define a set of rules which will reduce conflicts and maintain peace. Following those set of rules would help us become a civilised society and these set of rules were not to be forgotten but to be passed on to future generations. And this is how religion came into existence; it was a necessary tool to convert a troglodyte to a civilised human. But as time passed, it became a tool for suppression and an excuse for multiple wars. So religion, which was actually nothing but a way of life, changed to a rigid cult. For me religion has served its purpose, it has made us civilised and made us evolve so that we could make laws to define right and wrong in a society. So why do religious men believe it is still very much important for humans to believe in God? Do we not know by now what is right and wrong? Many claim that right and wrong can only be identified by believing in God but, I say, believe in humanity and it will be much more enlightening than believing in God. This theory goes like this, “If any action taken by you hampers any human by any way it is a sin”, this is actually as simple as it sounds. Now let’s test this theory to any of the teachings of any holy book e.g. murder- this kills a human, which is against humanity, so it is a sin. Jealousy or envy- this compels us to think or do things against a fellow humans so it is a sin, lust- this makes us use a fellow human for a particular time to satisfy our needs so automatically it makes it a sin, pollution- it destroys environment which slowly destroys human kind hence it is a sin. Now let’s test this theory with respect to homosexuals, as per the religious leaders in all the religion homosexuality is a sin and the reason given in almost all the books is that homosexuality cannot lead to a child or an offspring (scientifically speaking they are telling the truth), but is it bad for humanity? Adoption in many cultures, including India, is considered the last option for any couple, if someone visits an adoption agency society thinks the couple is incompetent to produce a child. The same is portrayed in many movies in Bollywood as well. There are countless number of children who live without parents in this world and they need a home, who shall fill that void? In countries where gay couples are allowed to build a family, they are doing so through adoption. So if we look via humanity’s perspective they are helping a human grow by giving him/her the proper love and care required, hence homosexuality is not a sin with respect to humanity. Using this theory, any action which is seen from humanity’s perspective can give us the idea of wrong and right, therefore it is not important for us to consult any books to tell us right from wrong but, the bigger question is how many of us want to know that? If you already know your action is wrong for humanity, how will you convince your conscience to do that wrong task? And yet we do those things against our conscience and because of this very reason every religion provides ways to cleanse the human soul from his or her sins, which sounds very attractive to every human as it gives us the freedom to commit sins, and allows us to get forgiveness from a super being that supposedly created us all. Now holy books never tell you to commit those sins but it also says through numerous texts that it is okay to commit sins, as we are just humans, and our superior being (God) has made us this way.
What I believe in
I too believe in a super power, I too believe there is something that created us and I refer to it as ‘universe’. Features of universe are unknown (just like God), its reach is beyond science (just like God), it has created a perfect environment for us to live (like God) and it has the ability to destroy us completely (just like God). Universe basically works on energies, and these energies in religions are called as Spirits. You must have heard the phrase in all holy books that spirits never die and through science we know that energy cannot be destroyed, it just transforms from one form to other. So every life and death is a process of transformation of energy in universe. When you die your energy can be transmitted to anything in this universe, let’s take an example to explain this theory. When a person dies, whether you bury or burn the body, the energy is getting transmitted to nature through various means, and it will eventually reach one or many humans as we are on the top of the food chain in this world. And this energy will be further used to create an offspring. So we see that the life cycle is a work of the universe and not some other supernatural being.
What exactly is a prayer? Why do we have it in all religions?
Prayer is a submission to the fact that God is supreme and will lead us to a better life. Praying gives humans confidence and strength to lead their life with a belief that someone is watching over them, and to accept that everything that is happening is for their own good. But what actually happens is that we start attracting positive energy from the universe, which gives us the confidence to perform tasks, which we were bound to do anyway, but in a more effective manner. So praying to the universe seems more logical than praying to something fictional.
The way I see it, religion has passed its expiry date in this world, and it is no longer required for human existence, rather it is working against humanity, and is leading us to a self destructive future. Fear will always lead a man to religion and reason will always lead a man towards science. To put it in simple terms universe created man, man created God, if universe wants, it can destroy both.