Everything in the universe is made up of entities and their attributes. We individuals are made up of entities, which is why we are what we are today. If you are reading this try to list all those entities that make you, all those which constitute in shaping your personality. What are those? ….You name?, your place?, your family?, your country?, your caste?, your friends?, your money? Your education?, your possessions? Your culture? Your job? Or your RELIGION?…. your GOD? Enough has been said and discussed about the concept of God. The never ending inquiry about theology, evolution of life and both will never find sure conclusions. Lately, I have been undergoing a mind boggling rumination regarding the interrelation (if it exists) among faith, religion, astrology, god, philosophy and karma not necessarily in that order. Well, there are disadvantages of reading too much history. It breaks down the entire belief system that a large society and a country was built on. A beautiful thing about time and people are Stories! There are many. Some are real, some are myths, some are both. Again I want to distance myself from the argument of whether the Mahabharata and the Ramayana happened for real, whether Krishna and Rama existed for real, were they fictional or just normal kings who were exaggerated in volumes by fanaticising poets in verbose literature. Yet, basic inquisition does not pull back though the explanations are mere theories.
My basic question is when did Religion come into being? May be the foreign historians criticism was to be accepted. We Indians did not have a historical sense. There is no proper chronology. The exact date of the Mahabharata War is yet to be deciphered and not without controversies. Probably this inquisitiveness was not new only to our times but dated back from when man started to read and write. The questions of how, what and when in the universe were inevitable. Questions of what was that one thing which created life? What was that force which was responsible for a certain event? Why do we worship 330 million deities in India today? Was there an era of gods? Can it be that prior to 1500 AD, there was no scientific explanation to why rains occurred or why did the sun set, and the people in those days personified the natural elements to be some supernatural forces or Gods. Like we have today, the Sun god, the fire god, the rain god etc. Is this how nature worshiping started? The concept of god started evolving and also the idea that, to lead a fortunate life you need please the gods. Otherwise how do we say that the gods too had the same anatomy as ours? The eyes, nose, hands, legs etc.
People had visualized them as their look alike. And to express the magnificence of powerful gods in imagination the dual hands and multiple heads were added. If religion does not answer the life questions then what can? Can Philosophy do? We have the most amazing philosophy in India. The Hindu philosophy helps one to quench the thirst of inquisitions through self study. The six schools of Hindu philosophy could stand as a perfect code to solve all the existing impediments in the world. Nyaya (logic and reason), Vaisesika (Vedic Atomic Theory), Sankya (Nontheistic Dualism), Yoga (Self-discipline or Self- realization), Karma (Performance of Duty), Vedanata ( Conclusion of Vedic Relevation). Of all these, practicing Yoga is the best source to seek all answers and inner peace. Again, I am hovered with a regret that religion had taken over philosophy. Why is the influence of chanting mantras in Sanskrit above the power of philosophy? Why hadn’t the learned clan in ancient India not pressed on spreading philosophy but binded people in blind faith? Faith in its literal meaning is a belief without proof. What was the logic behind the rituals? The way things were prescribed to be done.
How were they going to answer questions like why we were born on this land, belong to these parents, belonged to this caste, this class and this race? There had to be some credible calculation. In India, we could possibly achieve at least near to perfect society. It is unfortunate that secular ideologies and teachings were overshadowed by religion and ritual. Sometimes it makes me wonder what kind of a culture are we proud of? There had to be philosophy and doctrine rather than god and religion. For me, my dream doctrine would be a school of thought which preaches harmony, help, duty and ethics, patience and tolerance towards others opinions and perceptions. After all, all that we possess is not caste, religion, race and wealth but Consciousness. To harness this inner potential should have been made everyone’s dharma. It is not god but consciousness and mind that should be observed. These too entities are like time and space are vast, immeasurable, possess no dimensions such as length and breadth or starting and ending. This argument stands out in support of another ancient philosophy which lost light, called the Carvaka or Materialistic Philosophy.
This says that entire function of a human being is his knowledge and his Conscious. In today’s society of established believes it is impossible to revive philosophy. What dilutes the conscious is faith. Idol worship is an example. Some may question why idol worship is religiously wrong. No doubt it is a beautiful amalgamation of religion and art but, the caricatures are faces and shapes given by different people with different imagination. I guess this explains religious intolerance, riots and communism. If a community does not practice idol worship questions like ‘How does your god look like?” are unavoidable. The Bible says that god is omnipotent and omnipresent. I am asking is it not ‘energy’ that is there everywhere? That shows energy itself is God, god is energy. Like we worship other natural elements, we have been worshiping energy although we haven’t acknowledged it. It is the cosmic energy that fills every space carried by particles and waves travelling in time. There is abundant cosmic energy which brings balance. It is the energy of supreme consciousness and intelligence which helps in leading a happy life and also transforms the conscious.
It obviously requires effort to gain command over the mind. For a common man, this sort of understanding is difficult. An ordinary human being needs something easier to trust upon, to feel secure. That is why faith prevails. Someone who escaped at the nick of the time from a dreadful accident or achieved something without expectation would term it as either god’s blessings, luck or favouring stars! Yes, another of ancient Indian studies and contribution to the world is Astrology. I don’t deny astrology to be mathematics and science, it absolutely is. Stars definitely influence the day’s happenings and the places we pass by. But, the pandit in the temple asking us to perform a graha shanti puja, people offering costly ghee and milk in the background chorus of chanting some mantras in an alien language is something beyond my comprehension. How is it that even greatest reformers like Vivekananda haven’t spoken about Probability? Yes, there is a mathematical concept called probability. Keeping in mind all the restrains in your life, for a certain event to occur probabilities play a role. The Schrodinger’s equations shows it lies between 0 or 100%.
It cannot be determined accurately whether it is 0 or 100 as the wave functions vary with time. To that matter nothing of astrology or quantum physics can predict anything accurately. The theories of Karma Siddantham and destiny can also find explanation from probabilities and possibilities. The Karma- mimamasa of Hindu Philosophy professes that Karma is not god- centric but human-centric. Until we are born it is a probabilistic event after that probabilities are transformed into possibilities. We can influence the outcomes of our lives through our Consciousness. Our intelligences and free will to react and respond is what decides our destiny. It was rightly said by someone- “Our destiny lies within us”. The concept of dharma, or performing duty is to establish harmony and peace in cosmic life. And it does not require any explanation as to why our karma comes back to us. It comes due to repetition in interaction which in turn increases probability. I must have sounded too fanatic throughout. I am not bent upon proving that religion is irrelevant. As a secular atheist I respect other’s belief in God. I believe in astrologists because it is great to blame the stars if things don’t go well!
Well, I am not for propagandizing the scientists fraternity but all this is a fair contemplation of any aware person. There are still no answers to why some believe in signs and omens. What is that serge of positive energy which fills us as though assuring that the day will go well and it does! My zestful inquisitiveness will not end here. If life is about touching, feeling and living in the present moment, why believe in superficial things or invisible supernatural things?