Among the few eternal questions that humankind has been asking through recorded history; one of the most important one has been “What is religion?” and “Who has given it to whom?” Well before you begin to jump to conclusion- well no, I am certainly not claiming to be an authority- or providing you a definitive answer to all your religion driven pain- this is about sharing a few observations, thoughts – to the limitation of this being a blog (which I am sure many of you would have also experienced) and trying to make sense within the fog of uncertainty and ambiguity!
No matter which belief system you decide to choose and follow, the beginnings are all mysterious- with some answers being found- while others still shrouded in a cloak of the unexplained! Few belief systems have symbolism, while few do not have. Some believe in the practicing to the written down guidelines by the rule- yet others offer relaxation to ensure the that the belief system is amicable to the individual and is something that becomes a natural part of the self.
But the topic is not this, the question is what happens when we have a belief system or a religion? Well one way of looking towards it through human evolution through the eons- Religions or Belief systems- have over a period of time developed and evolved to ensure that the evolving human intellect is harnessed for the larger and greater good of the individual and the community around! As human beings made progress from being hunters, nomads and civilizations came into being (at times with large kingdoms and empires that stretched far and wide), belief systems set rituals, beliefs and practices that brought in a common thread to ensure a common identity of conformity. A conformity towards expected behaviors, values and ideologies!
As long as these laid down belief systems were practiced within the confines of the kingdoms and empires and left untouched virtually for long periods of time they have flourished and become richer in expression in the form of hymns, verses, texts, manuscripts, theological masterpieces and philosophical renderings. These have in many cases added value to the religious belief systems and in few cases- has added to regressive mentions which tried to confine communities into sub-divisions using one or the other aspects of the societal structures of those times!
Everything is fine till this point; however as societies became more permanent in nature and as instances of expansionist greed and hunger for power and control began sometimes through invasion of gypsy warriors and at times by planned expansion (which could have been for some forceful need to migrate from original lands- read fearing persecution) the fabric of faith and the followers of faith began to undergo a metamorphosis and a change that worked for and against each faith and belief system across the world!
The real challenge studying Human beings is that – As humans, we are perhaps the most logic driven yet one of the most irrational beings at the same time! I mean you will never see a wild animal attack it prey if its not hungry! You will never see any animal for that matter attack (unless it feel provoked and threatened or gets confused about Your intentions!) The reason for this logic and irrational paradox within our personalities resides and rides upon our higher evolved emotional attributes – read- pride, ego, jealousy and fear! Ignorance when added to any of these attributes casts a spell that only swells with time and ultimately blinds out all rational thinking and creates a mind which has its own thinking like a runaway carriage and goes on into a self-destruct mode- not ever realizing what it is unleashing in the ensuing journey and at what cost- whatever that is being pursued is being achieved!
Over eons as faiths evolved and belief systems evolved- they have not been handed down from one generation to the next- the way they should have- that is without any flavoring of what the previous generation though and how they adapted it to suit their needs of the bygone times! In certain cases this evolution of faith and belief systems has worked well- because it has simplified understanding and follower-ship in the present times. However in some cases additional layers of ambiguity and thoughts which create animosity and rift have got planted (which at some point in time in history would have been appropriate for safeguarding the follower-ship of a particular faith in a geographical region under prevailing political scenarios then) but as these did not get dropped off – they tend to raise their ugly heads and whip a deadly cocktail of justifying inhuman acts across the present times- which really serves no one- not the faith – neither the followers and certainly not Humanity in general!
So you may ask what is the way ahead? Well, as I said in the beginning I am not an authority, nor do I claim I have the power! but what I can share with you is a few simple and human things that we all can do to ensure we individually contribute to make our immediate neighborhoods better- and once we have done that- we have better communities, societies, nations and a better world!
Always remember as a cardinal principle-
1)Religion, Faith or a Belief system is a Private matter and always allow it to be that!
2)Respect other’s faith or belief systems, so that they respect your faith and leave it at that!
3) If all questions had the answers- they would have been already answered- if there are few questions that are yet unanswered- there must be a reason for that too- leave tings at that!
4) While choosing over the right thing to do or doing a thing the right way- always choose a path which serves the greater good of humanity- if even one human is harmed by any chord that is being touched under the garb of altering or furthering belief systems or faith- that is not the right path!
5) Finally always remember- all the authentic , ancient texts, manuscripts have always preached and cherished the feeling of togetherness through affection, love and fostering humanity as the greatest service to the supreme power that you believe through the Belief system of faith that you choose and there is no second to this principle- Hold this belief and approach ahead- you will find the world is a better place than what some make it to be by telling you what suits them!
It is perhaps the greatest and the most simplest truth of life- that in the metered seconds of life that each one of us has- if we spend bickering and wasting about tings that really don’t matter – What is that we have achieved and What is the story and legacy that we want to leave behind? Think about this when you have your next coffee! Trust me on one thing- If you follow a belief system or a faith- and you do believe in something- it really doesn’t serve your Supreme Lord- when you go about discussing, fighting, bickering about things that really don’t count! If you are indeed spiritual or someone who holds a belief system dearly- all actions must align to take you closer and further towards that celestial journey- This is what all texts and manuscripts across all faiths and belief systems speak about in one voice! The Greatest service to the Supreme Power is serving Humanity!
I leave you with these sublime thoughts for the week ahead, stay clam, stay wise and remember to always act in a way that makes your presence equally celebrated as is your faith- no matter what faith that you have chosen to follow! Stay Blessed!