Religion, A teacher?

I often wondered if Religion is really a teacher. Does religion really teach us hatred, or anything at all? No it doesn’t. Here’s why.

 

Quite contrary to what most people around the world think, I believe that religion is a medium to express one’s feelings or interact with a higher power, if one believes there is a higher power.

Like I said in my previous post, Religion was only created by our ancestors to give us a tool to interact with the higher power, and is just a way for Man to connect to his God.

You might ask me, if religion is a medium, what then is Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism, Islam? According to me, all these are differentiated approaches of religion created, developed and followed byMan.What we on normal terms call teachings of Religion, have been developed by man, but Religion as such is abstract, what we make of it, is what is portrayed. So religion by itself does not teach anything.

You might now ask me, what about the numerous religious texts that we have with us today like the Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, and so many others. You might say that these texts form the very basis of religion that people around the world follow.

These texts were often prescribed by one among the people like Moses and Jesus. And legend has it, that these people preached those things, not to carve out a particular sect but to teach people how to live, religion or no religion, god or no god. It’s important that even an atheist is loving, and giving.

Thus these texts are not exclusive bases to religions but are a set of universal values.

To explain the working of religion better, I would like to make an analogy. Religion is like a Language. A Language is a medium for people to communicate and express what they think. It connects a person to another. Religion is that language that creates the link between man and god. It’s not the language that teaches you emotions, but the emotions you express through language.

I could use the English Language to tell person ‘A’ Hello, and tell him how much I respect him. I could also use the English Language to tell the same person ‘A’ how much I hate him, and wouldn’t like to meet him ever again. The words I speak, come from thoughts and I use the language as a mere tool to convey my message.

These same words would sound and be inherently different if spoken in another language. Similarly, the various havens, poojas, animal slaughter and other such actions have been developed by Man to express his belief in God.

Without man’s ideas religion cannot exist, so it’s really what man makes out of religion and not what religion makes out of man.

It’s only fair to assume that crime or charity happens as a result of man’s feelings in the name of religion. At this point, if you ask me, whether religion teaches hatred, I would tell you point blank that it does not.

If there is an extremist group that bombs the twin towers out there, its probably because they are psychotic neurotic and just about every other word that explains that they need psychiatric help, with the only impossible explanation being Islam.

The same soap that cleanses you can be instrumental in causing a dirty explosion. You can’t blame the soap, really, it’s just lifeless. The user however, is breathing, living and thinking. Thinking positive or thinking negative. That’s the question.

 

Why Religion?

At 17, like any other teenager, I began to question the conventions prescribed and followed by the world at large, and like every other teenager, I formed my own set of beliefs, principles and values.

Belonging to a country like India, with its varied yet rich cultures and traditions, one such area that attracted my attention was Religion. I often wondered what religion is.  And after a lot of speculation I came up with my own definition.

But before that, let me tell you Why I think we have religion.

I believe that our wise ancestors formed Religion, for two major reasons.

First being that Man could have a pillar of support and strength at all times. There are many instances in a man’s life when he feels lonely, gives up hope, and might feel the need to show his anger, distress, or jealousy. Religion plays a vital role at these troubled times. It makes Man believe that there is a super power that is watching everything, and there will be justice delivered at some point of time. It gives him hope that he can survive the troubled times, and experience the light at the end of the tunnel. Religion is not important only when there’s trouble in man’s life. At relatively happy times, the same belief that God is watching from above, gives Man the motivation to be good. And that is why, Man helps the poor, develops compassion for nature, animals, and fellow human beings too.

Secondly, Religion instills a sense of fear in man and keeps him from doing wrong which could be harmful to fellow human beings.

When a man follows this, he feels good. He feels satisfied, as if he has completed a task at hand and achieved in full. This feeling of satisfaction, provides Peace. And when a man is at peace with himself and his environment, he will not cause any harm, and instead will be instrumental in helping his fellow beings and help them find peace too.

Having this ultimate goal of Peace achieved in his life, Man can live in perfect harmony with nature, and lead the perfect life, with no qualms and worries.

In addition, Religion gives him the strength to deal with grief caused by loss of another human as Man takes it to be the working of the Higher power, that he so strongly believes in.