What is religion?
“Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe”
That’s a basic definition of religion! Religion is something that serves as a door to spirituality…to gain greater understanding of universe which gives the believer a sense of inner peace.
The founders or gurus of different religions, whether Nanak or Krishna…Mahavir or Mohammad…Christ or Buddha…or anyone else…all of them just focussed on gaining selfless knowledge of the divinity and inner peace. But when I look at religion in these times…”religion” has metamorphosed! It now serves the purpose which our respected gurus would never have imagined!!
For some, religion serves as a launching pad to being a celebrity…for other it means raw power! Some use it to acquire enormous amount of wealth and others use it for a greater cause of teaching lesson to some ignorant people who still believe in the earlier stated purpose of religion!
Now, we have a set of preachers (entirely different from the founders) who are intelligent enough to tamper and manipulate the age old texts and make people do anything and everything in the name of The One! And then we have others who in collaboration with these preachers capitalize on the innocence of common person!
Religion has now transformed in one of the biggest businesses of all times! It has both B2B & B2C models of functioning. There are centres where the end consumer directly goes, pays (daan) and enjoys the services; and then there are other businessmen who bring in hot shot religious leaders to endorse their business. One of the biggest business clients of religion is now “Politics”!!
As kids, we read in stories that “धर्म ने खूंखार डाकू का हृदय परिवर्त्तन किया” (religion transformed the hearts of fiercest of the criminals), and to my amazement, it is still valid in this time, just that now it is not the heart, but looks which are transformed using the religion! Earlier their used to be Kharag Singh & Baba Bharti (refer Hindi story haar ki jeet) & Tulsidas and now we have Asarams and dharmatmas!!!
It is amusing to see how the religion, which was just a set of different guidelines and methods focussed on how to live a happy and fulfilling life, has transformed to total fascist theocracy! And now these extreme regulations are the ones which create maximum troubles for anyone! Don’t eat food at this time…don’t drink water at that time…don’t meet that type of people…don’t do this…don’t do that…and then the next level of the extremism…punish the person who does this…beat the group who says that…kill those people as GOD doesn’t approve of them!
I am sure God could earn a hefty premium by selling of ownership of religion to the Devil! After all present form of religion has made the functioning of the devil so easy!
It’s not that everywhere religion has degraded to this level, just that, now a days it is really difficult to locate places and people who function on old school concept of religion! Let’s where it goes in future!