By Potsangbam Susma
The general definition of religion,as we conceive it till today,is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.And this is the idea that needs to be challenged radically.
In reality,the individual understanding of religion includes more of sacred stories on the lives of religious leaders.It keeps rotating around how Jesus sacrificed his life for the people or why his father sent him on earth and how Muhammad spent his last 13 years etc and etc emphasis on the supreme God/Gods.Thus discourses are merely on moral values and ethical principles of religion. To many, Dharm is simply not the spread of love or the philosophy of kindness. People`s concern over religion lie most on how it organises the life of its followers such as the dress codes,its rituals,practices etc and not on the services it gives to mankind.The truth behind one`s faith and also another`s is still a quest of the lot.So we are ceaselessly stuck in between understanding religion and practicing religion.
They say that the purpose of all religions are the same.But hitherto the desperate wait for the masses to execute this fundamental purpose still remains because their focus is rather to criticise another religion or simply to say,keep studying the differences. Hence,this focus utterly needs to be taken to the central idea of religion i.e service to mankind for harmony and welfare of all.
Unity in diversity is the best we can think of in a country with so many differnces.Communities need to talk to each other, share values and even encourage love marriages among themselves. However, people adhere and tend to form groupings of common faith as they feel protective when they are in that type of sphere. They believe more to those who share a common faith.As a result, religion instead lessens exchanges and interactions despite preaching the mass to do so.Thus it wouldn`t be wrong to say that religion is either dividing people and setting boundaries or barricading unity and harmony.
There was once a wise saying that ” there is no religion that unite as much as common hatred”. Hatred breaks the harmonic rhythm of the peaceful life together. And sadly religion is the only thing that mounts up hatred at a large scale.
Due to the current scenario, people tend to picturise individual religion in the most negative ways.The islam before 9/11 is never the same as islam after 9/11. Empirically,it will be a cumbersome task to reverse the mindsets of present day people since they are filled with prejudices.Words like `Islamophobia` have come up recenty, which is a shocking fact. Undoubtedly, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, etc amount to religious intolerance in today`s world.
Religion and its diversity is making everything so complex. This complexification is rather causing humongous chaos instead of peace that we all seek in religion.Taking examples,about 1 million animals killed each day by KFC ,MacDonalds,Burger King etc to feed the rich and make money and no one bats an eye.During Eid,Muslims sacrifice animals to feed the poor and everyone loses their mind. Also being a cow is safer than being a woman in Maharashtra. Something is seriously wrong with a nation than places higer value to a cow than on it`s women. Instead of building mega homeless shelters ,Christian missionaries are going for mega churches.Women are not allowed to enter temples in some parts of India and whole lot more.
So the solution lies beyond the religion which we see today.And it is simple.There is no need for temples,no need for complex philosophy.Our own brain,our own heart is out temple.It is the philosphy of kindness (Dalai Lama).
In his new book “Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World” His Holiness the Dalai Lama argues that religion is not a necessity for pursuing a spiritual life. Rather he proposes a system of secular ethics that transcends religion as a way to recognize our common humanity and so contributes to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect.
The belief in neo-religion is that religion was there to guide and control moral principles and people needless of this control ought not to believe in God but try to be God himself.One can live without God and be religious at the same time.One can be good,kind ,full of love and not have a name for God.There`s no need to name a religion.There must be no generalization of God as a male or a female.One needn`t see a form of God and pray to it everyday as we should do as God does.
Fear from doing something because of one`s particular God or doing extreme things for God is not religion. The very basic meaning of Religion needs to be radically defined all over again .Rationality is the utter need of the hour for every religious person. Obsession must be destroyed. And Integrity in oneself should be preached.