Friday, August 24, 2012

As clear as mud.....

In my earnest pursuit to find the meaning of religion and understanding religious dogmas & doctrines, I have lost all that I had and it has left me more confused.

And if you search the internet to seek the ultimate truth, it will leave you more confused.
Now, let me clarify right at the onset of this post that being born in a Hindu Kshatriya family, I still do my bit of religious norms. And
this post is not to demean my own religion.
But, I am hoping someone will enlighten me with accurate and believable facts that will clear the mud. Yes, at the moment, it is as clear as mud.
I will seek what it is to know the difference between "my" religion and what is said in "their" religion. Possibly, I might address
that in part 2 or 3 of blog.

Let me start by telling you a story, woven and fabricated to make it an easier read.

Long long ago, one man, a blogger like me, got up early in the morning and looked for the shiny object he had found in the deep
jungle. It was the talk of the whole village for weeks. Don't ask me what it was, but if it was there today,
it would have probably been the biggest diamond of the planet.
So, he searched everywhere and could not find it. Helpless and disturbed, he took the big stone and scribbled on a place everyone could see.
He drew "the diamond", a sky, a sun, a moon, himself with an axe and the thief. So, if you'd look at it, you would have understood that it meant he
would punish/scare/kill the thief with his axe, if he found out that person any day under the sun or any night under the moon.
It turned out that there indeed was a thief who stole the object and tried to disappear into the forest.
He was killed by the wild boars and the diamond was recovered by a hunter who gave it back to the rightful owner.
The news spread like a wild-fire on how the diamond was recovered. By the end of the week,
the diamond owner suddenly sensed an overwhelming feel of importance. It is human tendency that you tend to add a bit more to your pride/achievement.

And since the Sun and the moon were the most powerful objects that the ancient world knew, all he had to say was that he asked these objects
for help to seek his prized possesion.
With time, the person, by virtue of his co-incidences got richer and powerful. His empire spread and with it came a sense of insecurity.
By this time, his grandsons had taken over the reigns and one of which was probably the most thoughtful of all.
So, he wrote down everything needed to protect his empire.

In broad terms, there are four facets that worried him, viz:-

a) How to make others follow his decisions.
b) How to protect what he already had.
c) How to multiply what he already had.
d) How to keep running what he had.

To make others follow his decisions and largely be succcessful, one has to be disciplined or atleast be in a disciplined environment or society.
So, it was laid down as a rule that we must live a disciplined life, not steal, not kill(unless if it is for a virtuous clause- a mere escapade
had to be there) and so on. Thus, was laid the foundation of religion on the basis of an insecure man's thoughts.
It was obvious that incase of wrongdoings, there would be punishment for the guilty but the verdict had to come from a being which was a form of
OMNI - omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, thus became GOD. GOD had to be watching from the skies since the sky was everywhere and you couldnot
escape not being watched for your misdeeds. Now, a group of people started to work more on spreading the word of GOD and kept adding to the "Do-Dont's"
After generations, these people came to be known as priests.

People who safegaurded the wealth of the rich grandson were praised for their valor and they became protectors. People who showed the elite family
how to increase the wealth became businessmen and the rest ran the daily operations for the family.
Generations later, this became the pillars for what we call the Caste system in Hinduism.

Ever wondered why a Kshatriya is not supposed to eat pork whereas he can take mutton? I dont see any reason except for the order of preference based
on the social standards(caste divide) that was set. Obviously, goats are more cleaner than pigs, isn't it?

So, as I listened to the Bhagwad Gita, for the unknown, in Ch.4, Verse 13:-
The Lord says:"The fourfold caste has been created by Me, according to the differentiation of Guna and Karma"
There are references to the caste system in other chapters as well and people might argue that the interpretation is wrong. However, it is known
that we humans can scheme anything to suit what we believe in. (For those who have already been acquainted with Dr. Zakir Naik).
And that is not the 'divine knowledge' I am seeking. Why is it that the most revered scripture for us Hindu's is so "HUMAN" ?

Heaven and Hell again, I feel, is a manifestation of what follows in running a disciplined society.
"Don't kill, you will rot in hell. We have been told. Give alms to the beggar and St. Peter aka Dharmaraj will write it down in the good books
which adds to ease your entry to heaven." But, wait a minute, where is Heaven? Most of you imagined of the clear blue sky with cotton clouds.
And hell, yes, deep down in the earths crust, hot magma oozing and people crying seeking out for help. Hollywood influenced, eh?
So, backtracking, hollywood got it from the scriptures which again, of what I have recently started to believe in, is an insecure man's security bond.

Now, it must be a tough job to write each one's task every second of their life, be it animals or humans or immovables like tree.
If we sensed and belived that there is birth after death and we continue to change forms, then why do we change just into animals and not to
living things like trees. If that was the case, how would you evaluate if the tree lived a virtuous life or an evil life?
As for good and evil deeds, let us take the example of giving alms to the beggar.
I feel the beggar is lazy and he can earn if he wants to so I shoo him away. But religions don't have that condition.
So, if I am not following the religion here, how is a decision made on whether my action was good or bad?

Why is it that we have to wait till the end(post death) to get the verdict on whether we are going to heaven or to hell?

Be it stories or movies or even the scriptures, God always prevails over the Devil. Why is it that God doesn't once and for all get rid of
Devil so that there is everlasting love, peace, happiness i.e. turn into the Kingdom of God, that we say will cometh?

I was blindly following my religion and when I started listening to the scriptures, I began feeling great. But, slowly that changed.

So, do remember again that I am seeking the truth and just about it.

..To be continued...