After two world wars and innumorous number of communal riots across the world the Divine has ceased to exist for us, at least for all practical purposes. Christian or Jew, Hindu or Muslim whatever your inherited religion may be the basic truth remains that you were born naked and will die so with or without your respective religious rituals. Thick volumes written in support of religion fail to provide you food, shelter, medicine, security from bloodshed and cancer, warmth and sex when you need them from others of your community, even friendship or emotional support in crisis. Love for a man or a woman, a child, a pet dog, a plant you have watered and nurtured is never like the artificial love for your imagined Christ or Vishnu, mythical characters like Krishna, historical and long dead little known – in real human sense – characters like Muhammad, Buddha or Christ.
In everyday life the religious person follows the common sense which is strictly empirical. Philosophy may be your pleasure or pastime but if it becomes your passion God only save you from madness. God remains there as an expression, as an idea of an imagined cultural superstructure like I used it to describe my feelings just now. And that will be there always, even after hundreds of years of hypothetical Marxist rule. God is like your imagination and you cannot trick him out of your system, it is bound to come back and haunt at some points of time when you are happy or when you feel ill, particularly in moments of dire frustration, confusion and crisis. God is another name of fatalism in which one wants to find peace and a central answer to the most complex issues of life one finds beyond his or her intellect.
There is another very strong justification of God which is commercial. The churches and Hindu temples, Islamic groups and Zeonist organisations are platforms for creating assets. People do not feel bad to grow rich in the name of noble causes. Even the Marxists play that game very well and have been exposed in many places while attempting to do that. Religious hypocricy never gets exposed because human beings like to assure themselves that they are noble and virtuous and the enemies of their causes are not. Capitalism may be understood as greed for profit by many but religious capitalism is respected, encouraged and practiced the world over.
Buddha left his home to find solution of miseries – death illness and old age – so far as the fairy tale script of his biography goes – as a young man and left palace for the forest. He meditated and went through depression and neurosis for a long time and emerged with a religion preaching the golden means – the famous middle way. He prescribed that desire should be extinguished and that would give one peace and spiritual freedom. He became a monk and created a large monastic order like later Christian religious army of monks in Europe who played such a critical role in the history of human civilization.
Alas, history proved him totally wrong and his religion miserably failed to save mankind from miseries – internal or external. Why did he not go out to help others, the poor, the sick ,the downtrodden and try to help them with his inherited wealth and power position, his brilliant intellect and noble character ?
Jesus died by crucifixion and his religion spread all over the world but did that make any difference to the mediaval peasants in Europe who were exploited brutally by the feudal lords both lay and monastic ? Does Christianity answer to the problems of diseases, poverty, ignorance, exploitation of man by man ? Did Christianity stop the Spanish and the Dutch and the English to brutally colonise Asian and African countries ? Did Christianity change Hitler’s heart before the Holocaust ?
Hindus are confident they have the oldest religion to boast of and their religion has one and only, single answer to endless maladies of human life. All they at the end of the day deliver is nothing but meaningless, repetitive, nebulous talks about rebirth, sanskaras, emancipation from endless life cycles. Even Tagore and Radhakrishnan talked of Hindu thoughts and Vedanta which can teach the world a new way to live. Gandhi endlessly talked of Ram Rajya ( kingdom of the mythical King Rama ) while trying to lead a very chaotic confused nationalist movement to oust the British from India through shrewd common sense only. Western or Eastern, any religion you may check out you will discover they are like camphor, they evaporate after only you probe them with hard logic and practical experimentation.
Religion nevertheless will remain a sweet word to many. Those who are afraid to accept that there cannot be a single simplistic answer to human life in all its complexity do like to believe in past scriptures and regulations, religious teachings and codes and rituals. They build intellectual defence in support of their false beliefs and try to make fools of themselves as well as others. It is tragic to see such a waste of human energy, honesty and aspirations which might well be applied to the good work in many areas of social life and providing the poor vulnerable struggling human life some dignity which we so earnestly require.