Every one of us has the freedom to choose our religion in a democratic state. We may be Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Muslims or Buddhists. In my view, all religions lead us to the same destination. The routes could be different but the goal post is the same. Each religion teaches you multiple ways of attaining your goal. At every stage of life, you realise that you have to improve a lot to reach your ultimate station in life.
Am I religious ? I am not sure. My definitions of religion is ” To be a better human being, every day I live, enjoying myself and making life enjoyable for everyone around me in whatever ways I can.” I am a Hindu and proud to be so. Hinduism is one of the most liberal religions in the world. It gives you alternative paths and allows you to choose what best suits you. It neither imposes any rituals on you nor directs your behaviour or actions. The same may be true for most modern religions of the world.
However, I do believe that “Religion” has become a business in the world today. The causes for this belief could be life style and stress of people today. We are constantly competing in the world and want the best of everything around us with minimum of efforts. We are in a rat race and never satisfied with what we have. Our greed invariably exceeds our need. This leads to unavoidable stress and then we fall prey to religious leaders who exploit this emotional vacuum in us.
We tread on a dangerous path out of our own choice. We want to conquer the world before anyone else. We are willing to sacrifice our health and life to achieve our goals. Sometimes, we may be willing to compromise on our values to realise our dreams. This leads to degeneration of life and also may impact our health. It not only makes us physically vulnerable but emotionally too.
While technology today could help us detect and cure physical illness, it may not be able to cure our emotional strain. We then turn to our family and friends for emotional support. When friends and family do not have the time or patience , we go to the religious gurus. They could be from any religion you follow. All religious gurus tend to exploit the situation we are in and make this their business.
We are willing to spend a lot of money to get rid of this emotional trauma. We do not realise that we are responsible for putting ourselves in this situation. We cannot blame the world or our family, friends or colleagues for putting ourselves in this quandary. Then we approach a religious guru. Most religious leaders today are running religion like a business. They look at how to exploit your weakness into monetary gain for themselves.
These are the actions, which makes me lose respect for the religious leaders. I sometimes feel bad even visiting temples or other religious places because the leaders create an atmosphere of greed in these spiritual places. Anything and everything can be monetised. You can have a darshan of God faster by paying more money. We forget that all humans are equal in front of God. We are happy to flaunt our money to get closer access to God or their forms.
If I reflect, I would like to blame myself for this state of affairs. We, as individuals have through our actions made religion a business. Our greed is exceeding our need and thus leading to religious exploitation. We start believing that we can busy anything and everything in life through money. The day we realise that money cannot buy everything in life and least so happiness, we may be better off.
As in the photo above, we have to restore the sanctity of religion by our own actions in every day life.
It is time to reflect ? What do you think ?
S Ramesh Shankar