Opposing Religion is not a Fashion!

“In brief, without being mindful of death, whatever Dharma practices you take up will be merely superficial.”

Thus said Milarepa, a Tibetan Yogi. The whole point is, if I don’t get what death is, I simply fail to grasp what life is! If we forget the inevitability of death, we also tend to forget good feelings and deeds in life. The fear of death compels a person to be united with religion and the notion of rebirth encourages him/her to think of good deeds. Religion is a tool to regulate human behaviour. It functions to ignite a person’s sense of morality. ‘Fear’ and ‘Power’ are the modes of making people abide by something. Both have their respective politics. There is no problem as long as anything like this helps in maintaining world peace and happiness. Therefore, our ancestors called religion, the foundation of life. It was when people started using it with vested interests, a range of problems and issues started surfacing. The foundation turned inanimate and the dream of building the best of the humanity on the same remained a dream. To rebuild the abode of humanity, it is pertinent to understand what religion is and what its nature is.

Another aspect is, everything inspired by goodness assumes religion automatically. Possibly, you may not call it by any religion. With civilization developed religion and society. The two played an important role in the development of human beings and in keeping them together. Religion has given rules and society has given customs. When we look at today’s society, we realize that human beings have faith in compassion, empathy, love, etc. During a natural calamity, many people become eager to help each other. Many young people today nurture humanity by joining NGOs. Many young CEOs of large companies engage in social service under their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds, but as we talk to them about religion, they would say, “Well, we believe in secularism.” Initially, it seemed fashionable, but today it seems that a class has persuaded its mind for it. Therefore, it is required for us to convey the true meaning of religion to the people, to explain and to raise awareness about some of the limiting beliefs that have taken root in the intervening years. Religion nurtures unity, development and humanity. Religion teaches every human being to love and be accountable to another human being, religion teaches compassion towards others, not selfishness, religion teaches love in society, generosity in letting life live, religion is such a paradigm of one’s own behaviour, which teaches us to behave in a way that does not make us feel embarrassed when we look at our face in the mirror.

Gradually, though, things began to change, and religion started hampering the liberation of mankind. Religion is a list of do’s and don’ts. Dharma means the way to heaven and Adharma means the abyss of hell. This was the first step in turning people away from religion. People are controlled by fear or by the governing power, which is an attempt to make them act in some way under a single authority. Religion initially gave birth to unity among human beings, but the narrowing of religion led to the same religious conflict, and hence, knowingly or unknowingly, the youth and the educated class turned away from religion. If we look back 20 to 30 years from today it gets clear that this lack of religion is born out of some insistence. Religion is not for celebrating a person but virtues. Dharma means the establishment of virtue and character through the establishment of the Ultimate. Religion, is, therefore a brilliant way to attain Paramatma, the Ultimate and by that cultivate humanitarian values.

Truth, love, and the power of the soul are the instincts of these three human beings.

Paramatma can be reached only through these three ways. Paramatma is not outside, it is inside, so the self-realization of these three ways is to become stable in one’s own nature and to remain consciously stable in one’s own supreme consciousness. The three main instincts of human elevates one for the attainment of Brahman. It is only through the development of these three instincts that humankind gradually progresses. Thus it is the task of Dharma to become a master of Trimarga i.e. knowledge, devotion, and karma through true love and power. Do today’s religions free man from ego, hatred and lust and free him from duality and stabilize him in Advaita? These are the foundations of the religions. Are today’s religions founded on such pillars? If the answer is no, then we have to understand that we have not been able to understand religion properly. In this world, no one can give anything to anyone by force, be it love or hate. Every human being decides for himself, how much to take in his own character and how much to give to another. The character of a human being is represented by this ability to give and take.

We have to establish true religion today instead of being secular. In normal activities, when people involved in charity and welfare activities, their innate sense of obliging comes forth. Here religion plays an important role because religion teaches detachment in any charity or welfare activity. There is no ego or any sense of superiority of obligation, but only immense love towards each other. This truth of human life is very important. Religion is not respected because the details of some of its practices are not known. It is the only reason why modern youth is going away from their value-bearing religious practices. Once again, we have to brainstorm it. ‘Jain Avenue’ works extensively to make them take a pause from the speed and contemplate over what is a true religion with enormous love, are you in for the support? And of course, spirituality and religion have a strong correlation however I have only focused on religion in the current editorial. The following month, the editorial will discourse the correlation between spirituality and religion. 

Dr. Sejal Shah (Ph.D)