What is this religion, spirituality and fate? Is it an answer to man’s quest for knowing the know all or is it just a social engineering tool ? Did man create religion or religion create man? Is there anything called fate? Are human lives pre programmed and pre determined? Is the will of the human supreme or is it just a supplicant to will of god? Who are we? Where did we come from? And where are we going? These questions have been there in my mind for a long time and I am searching for answers in almost all the places I go and in each person I interact. I havent succeeded much, most of knowledge I have is shallow but still I have formed some opinions on this subject. I haven’t read any scriptures and I follow my own spiritual path, which holds no value for many fellow spiritualist for the simple reason that it is my own path. Yet, I have my own views and I am proud of them. I am planning to blog my views on this subject in the following parts.
Part I : What is the purpose of Religion?
Part II: Is Partial Virtuousness enough for men to coexist in progressive societies?
Part III: My Questions to Karma Theorists.
Part IV: What is Fate? An analogy with the Game of Chess.
Part V: My views on Atheist argument.
Part VI: Astrology and Superstitions
Part VII: Happiness. Can it explain Anamolies?
Part VIII: My Observations with Hindu Spiritualists.
The purpose of religion, their teachings, concepts of Hinduism such karma, rebirth, fate, concept of heaven and hell of other religions are all designed to mould man into a good and virtuous human being, make him a sociable animal, set him on the right path to ensure that he satisfies his own desire of attaining complete peace of mind and harmony with self and also peacefully co exists in progressive societies!!!
Life is a set of random events. In this randomness, some are born rich and some are born poor, some in advanced societies, some in primitive societies and many with hale and hearty, some with deadly diseases. As long as this earth was inhabited with just animals, there was no requirement to explain this anomaly or unfairness, because in the first place, most of this unfairness except being born with diseases, must have never existed. But since human beings think logically, they could not reason out this randomness and infact needed explanation which was and is beyond his comprehension. More than that, every day life offered infinite choices and man was always overawed and overwhelmed by this randomness. If he were to continue his incessant questioning, he would go insane. As such, there were nature, sun, moon, celestial objects, rain, storm, natural calamties that always were unexplainable to man. And the mother of all reasons was, he was never in control of his death. So undoubtedly, he started believing in a supreme force that controlled atleast his birth and death. The primitive form of all beliefs and religions were all directed towards worshiping nature and natural objects like the sun and moon, fire, water etc.
Side by side, man started to live in societies. What used to be actions out of mere freewill, what used to be actions which were a result of reasoning directed to merely suit his own purpose, were now beginning to be demanded to suit his group of people living in his society also. That called for a certain sacrifice of personal free will so as to enable man coexist, so that each man’s free will doesn’t affect the other men in the society. So, the social principles, ethics, virtues and vices were born, rather were created. Is creation of such things enough? Who would enforce them?
So religion was a one stop solution to kill two birds in one stone. Firstly, all the inconsistencies that nature’s randomness created would be explained as will of god or a supreme force and then it also provided a navigation tool for man not to lose his way in the vast ocean of humanity and remain sane and virtuous. The creation of god and his making God's will supreme, explained the unfairness and provided answers that would directly result in his peace of mind and happiness, thus satisfying the ultimate desire of man to achieve harmony with self. And by making religion his navigation tool to tread the path of humanity and helping him to be virtuous and keep his wits toghether, the ultimate collective desire of mankind was to form progressive societies in which virtuous men co-exist with other virtuous men.
Hindus talk about rebirth theory to induce the spirit of goodness and benevolence by putting a carrot in front of you. That carrot is rebirth. Like wise Christians talk about heaven and hell. Going to heaven is the carrot. We are all just rabbits running towards the carrot. But not always, and definetely not all of us. Those who see a carrot and run towards it are rabbits. And those who understand the meaning of why it is said the way it is said are humans. And when you know or when you indeed have realised that being virtuous social animal is the end, you don’t require the carrot anymore for motivation. The point to be understood is that we should not do the Right thing for the reason that we will get Heaven, but for the reason that it is right. But, may be many "right" things were beyond comprehension of common man, may be someone wanted them to be followed unquestioned or many "right" things were unpalatable but since it has to be done, it needed a divine authority and religion was the one to enforce it. Religion here is to force down a medicine which otherwise man wouldn’t take it voluntarily!
At the end of this part, I would just pose two questions to the reader:
1. Is their any other purpose of religion other than the one I have stated and comprehended?
2. To exist in progressive societies, is partial virtuousness of man enough? Is partial virtuousness is all that religion / spirituality aims at to make man live in progressive societies?
To be Contd...