Updated: Jan 1, 2020
Which religion do you belong to? This is a common question that we see whenever we are filling forms. What is this religion and how did it come into being? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as 'The belief in and worship of superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods'. Religions around the world have come into existence through the revelation of deities or through the beliefs of the founders of the religion.
Some observers believe that modern-day religions remain largely a response to human fear. Their main function is to provide their followers with a feeling of security while living in a dangerous environment in which a person can be injured, killed or murdered at any time due to natural causes, accidents or human hatred and intolerance. But, does it really 'protect' humanity? Does it make people stronger? People used to believe in religions due to faith. The faith still exists with a small difference that it is blind now. The questioning ability of the people is being taken away by the so-called 'protectors of religions'. People now believe and do things because their parents and grandparents did it. They don't ask a question. Do the Gods really exist? Do they live in holy places? Do they actually stay in the idols, statues, and monuments? And they don't ask the basic question one must ask for anything told-WHY?
If I were to tell you that if you don't plant 20 trees this year, you will die on your next birthday, you wouldn't believe me. That statement is baseless. But then, what is the basis of the things we are told by the preachers of religion? They would say some story to you and you would believe it. Why? Only because your parents believed their stories does not make you bound to believe them too. How can we believe something we don't have proof about? The holy books teach the way of living life. They might just be important lessons given in the form of examples of various characters. Why is it that we forget the lessons and the examples and just worship some character which has no significance? It is just like reading a fiction book and thinking that we might actually meet it's characters someday. That is not possible. That can only be in our dream world.
The religions might have been made by brilliant and experienced people as the guidelines for the younger generations. They introduced the concept of deities linking with some examples of forces of nature to induce fear in people. That fear would actually make them follow the guidelines and help them lead a happy life. Those guidelines were made on the basis of personal experiences and scientific theories. The guidelines are all forgotten and the new baseless ideas have come into existence. These ideas are developed by the exact same people who are the messengers or the preachers or the faces or whatever-you-call-them of the deities we worship.
They took the advantage of fear to make us believe what they wanted us to believe by telling us what we wanted to hear. They took advantage of fear to prevent us from questioning their ideas by introducing the heaven-hell concept. They took advantage of fear to spread hatred instead of love by criticizing other religions. They took advantage of fear to put constraints on whom we can love. They took the advantage of fear to fill their own pockets with our wealth. The ones who question these norms and are fearless are crushed. Who is to be blamed for the fear we have? It is certainly not them. It is us, the people. We give them the power to control our minds. We give them the power to tell their vague stories and get their jobs done. Rational and free-thinking are seldom found in this world. Its time we rise. Its time we start being inquisitive. Its time we ask 'WHY?'