"Each one prays to God according to his own light." - Mahatma Gandhi
Religion is such a wonderful concept. When Karnataka was hit by massive floods, I remember, how generously people helped in the rehabilitation of the homeless. They held a strong belief that if they help people, God will help them when they are in need.
The same religious beliefs, over time, have led to immense problems. Fundamentalism, riots, conspiracies, treachery - people commit every crime in the name of religion. As a young boy, I was always confused by the concept of religion.
To date, I don’t know if I am atheist or a believer of a supreme power. Maybe, I am an agnostic at heart. But recently, I devised a theory, which has helped me answer many questions that have long since disturbed me.
To understand the theory, you will have to understand the way I perceive ideologies. Whenever I think of a particular ideology, I sideline the man with whom the ideology is associated with, and tend to understand the ideology in its core form. I will explain why I do this. Non-violence is generally associated with Mahatma Gandhi. This shouldn't mean that non-violence was Gandhiji's invention. History has many other followers of non-violence (Gautam Buddha, King Ashoka). Ideology is much larger than the man. A man can have his or her own interests while simultaneously following an ideology. It is man who breeds politics that has its own peculiar engulfing effect. Let me explain this with a few example.
Socialism in its purest form is a beautiful idea. It is an economic order for keeping everyone happy. Whereas, Socialism + Politics = Communism (also Maoism, which have become mayhem for my nation).
Capitalism has its own merits. It is a natural law based on the survival of the fittest. But Capitalism + Politics = Imperialism. India has suffered long by British policies of imperialism.
Patriotism is the base of development in many parts of the country. But when Politics engulfs Patriotism, terrorism is born. Wars are fought.
Nationalism when divided by political barriers becomes regionalism. This is the case with every 'ism'- you name it. Any ideology when merged with politics becomes a curse on mankind.
The same rule applies to religion. When trying to impose religion on others for political motives, dogmas are born and riots take place. I really don't understand exactly what these religious fundamentalists are trying to defend? Does god really need defending!
When Swami Vivekananda travelled the country on foot, he saw innumerable temples that had been by demolished by foreign invaders. He fell at the feet of the goddess Kali in a temple and asked, “How could you let this happen, Mother? How could you permit this desecration?” Goddess Kali replied, “What is it to you, Vivekananda, if the invader breaks my images? Do you protect me, or do I protect you?”
Does god exist? I don’t know. But for those who believe in god, let me make one thing very clear - God exists at a level that is beyond the need for human defense. If man claims to defend god, then that speaks of either a lack of belief in the omnipotence of god or a misplaced sense of vanity in ones' relation with god.
Your relationship with your god is truly a personal matter for you. You have no right to impose it on others, or question one’s relationship with their god. God is similar to our parents. We don't compare parents. Do we?
When your god is being insulted, this is the ultimate test your own faith in god. And when you respond by immediately passing normative judgment and hating another human being, you are failing to acknowledge the cracks in the faith within your own heart. This is an internal insecurity that has nothing to do with the actions and practices of others. You are at fault!
Isn't the struggle of faith, a faith within, a private and internal affair that has nothing to with your neighbor?
Think about it....