In today's world of the Gen X (or Y or Z), the young and the restless are also increasingly becoming the atheist and the faithless. The turn of the century bringing about immense advances in science and medicine, bringing us closer toand opening up secrets of life, and the need to be practical to keep up withthe fast pace of life, leaves us with little time for our faith and our GOD.
Essentially there are two groups of people - those who believe in God, andthose who do not. And then there are those like me who are a little confused about the whole deal. The scientific, rational and practical person in usrefuses to endorse such views, as doing "poojas" and keeping "vrats" and "idolworship". We do not believe in the supernatural, ghosts, life after death, orso-called sciences like astrology and Vaastu Shastra.
Traditionally I do not believe in God. To me, idols in places of worship are stone, and the rites and rituals made up to appease the Gods and ward off evil seem ridiculous. According to me, religion is man made, conceptualized to appease gods and save oneself from disaster, in the days of the early man, when mankind had no idea what was fire or why it rained or that earthquakes cannot be averted through prayers. But today, when we know so much, it still seems we are none the wiser.
As Karl Marx once quoted " Religion is the opium of the people". What has religion given us in the current world scenario? The innumerable number ofriots and Jihads? The murder of joy and peace, one brother killing the other,all in the name of God? Petty religious issues taking precedence over thefeeling of humanity? Look around you, and you will find nothin more. If this is what we get for believing in God, then do we really need Him?
The answer is YES, WE DO! There is a downside of believing in God and following a religion, but there is also an upside. Atleast in the name of God, some poor souls get some money and food in the name of alms and "langars", some people do not commit sins sometimes for the fear of wrath of God, some peope actually do good, say good, think good, believing it to be the path to find God, be safe from devil and hell, and go to heaven after death.
I say- hell and heaven, both are on the earth only, depends on how you look at your life. Depending upon your hardwork and attitude, you may have all the pleasures of heaven here itself, or you may make your life worse than hell. God(good) and Devil (evil), they are you, inside you, inside all of us. It is uptous to decide which form has to surface and be dominant. Some people have adominant devil, some have a dominant god, but all of us have both. Depends upon how we develop ourselves.
Why does a common man need God? What does he look for in Him? What does God provide him? Broadly speaking, God is needed because of the following reasons:
• he helps us when we ae in trouble, and guides us
• he gives us happiness and provides us with material possessions
• we talk to him when our heart and mind are in conflict, share our problems and doubts
• he encourages us when all hope is lost and cheers us when we are sad
• he gives us sadness and hardships so we never forget the importance of happiness
• he punishes us when we commit sins
And to be granted the above, the religious indulge themselves in various formsof worship, like prayers, fasts, charity, festivals, rites, rituals,superstitions etc. Basically they devote themselves to live right and keep Godhappy, that is the source of their happiness.
I am only a little different. I see God in my loved ones, namely my family andother important relationships. I believe that these people are the ones who give me hope, love, guidance, appreciation, help, happiness, sadness,encouragement etc. They fulfil my physical, emotional, financial, material,spiritual, mental needs. They tell us when we go wrong and punish us if we commit sins in spite of knowing about them, they teach us what is good and what is bad.
In short, I believe that if I devote myself to the happiness of these people, Iam going to be happy. They are my God for whom I will toil, they are the path for me to find inner peace. All this IS a bit unconventional, but the questionis, would I be termed as a believer, or an atheist?You Decide!