Religion in India – Faith vs Reason

In my previous post, I wrote about the absence of scientific temper in India and the need for those well informed, to voice their opinions against superstitions and customs that have chained our society.

India today seems completely at the mercy of ill-placed faith. Instead of individuals standing on the shoulders of faith and rising to a higher level, we find that it’s today working the other way round. As festivals, miracle babas and religious processions get bigger, they are further pulling down the person caught in it.

What’s worrying is that despite affluence and higher education getting to the cities, the queues outside temples on a so called auspicious day, just keep getting longer. Even youngsters are caught in this. What’s the sense in visiting temples on the day of an exam? Why would God be good to you only because you visited a certain temple on a certain supposedly auspicious day? Wouldn’t God find good deeds and behaviour, the only thing that mattered?

Astrology: The dates for most marriages are determined by astrology that has no logical or scientific basis. I unfortnately too complied with this and married on a day that was supposed to be auspicious. It wasn’t because I believed that marrying on that date and time would really make a difference, but more because I just played along with what the elders in the family decided.
I think that was a mistake and I should have refused to comply, as that would not only have helped me feel better about doing the right thing, but perhaps might have also built up some awareness at least amongst those close to me.
Vaastu Shastra: I saw a TV show about “Vaastu Shastra” (Art of Building) a few days back and the lady expert was confidently dishing out rubbish on live TV. If a person has come to a stage where he believes that the reason why his business is not doing well is that his toilets are facing in the wrong direction, then I think he needs immediate medical attention and not Vaastu Shastra.

  • Sugo

    “”India has lagged behind the West primarily because for 100s of years, we have lost our focus on progress and instead looked at religion to solve our problems.””

    I think you never been deep into west & its practices.. every where they have that kind of things .. just dont write thinking every thing around there in India is bad.. when you are out in the world.. you can understand what greatness they have and what weakness and stupid things they do.. You are writing from sitting inside a well.. come out and see what is happening in real every where and every one feels others is best thats obvious to human..

  • Sugo

    “”India has lagged behind the West primarily because for 100s of years, we have lost our focus on progress and instead looked at religion to solve our problems.””

    I think you never been deep into west & its practices.. every where they have that kind of things .. just dont write thinking every thing around there in India is bad.. when you are out in the world.. you can understand what greatness they have and what weakness and stupid things they do.. You are writing from sitting inside a well.. come out and see what is happening in real every where and every one feels others is best thats obvious to human..

  • It’s very likely that similar things are happening in many other nations. If they are, it’s just as unfortunate as what’s happening here.

  • It’s very likely that similar things are happening in many other nations. If they are, it’s just as unfortunate as what’s happening here.

  • Charuta

    Hi Harshad,

    i agree that astrology and vaastu shastra are not true. But i would like to tell you a story of one of my neighbours. A family of 5 – All in good health, educated and leading life happily. Since the elder son was getting married, they decided to renovate their house. L-shaped platform was the latest trend so they had to do it, for which their gas connection and ‘Dev Ghar’ was shifted from East – West to North South.

    Soon the marriage was over and within 2 months the head of the family died in a road accident. He was walking on a footpath when a car bumped him – he died on the spot. The family was trying to cope up with the loss – they learned their younger daughters would – be husband has called – off their marriage – reasons unclear so on and so on ….. there was a burglary at their residency.

    One of our neighbours requested them to perform puja / some kind of shant etc… in which they were told that the reason for all these happenging could be the renovation work (shifting devghar and gas connection)

    Renovating the house again and again was not possible – till one day they decided to take a new house and now they are staying happily.

  • Charuta

    Hi Harshad,

    i agree that astrology and vaastu shastra are not true. But i would like to tell you a story of one of my neighbours. A family of 5 – All in good health, educated and leading life happily. Since the elder son was getting married, they decided to renovate their house. L-shaped platform was the latest trend so they had to do it, for which their gas connection and ‘Dev Ghar’ was shifted from East – West to North South.

    Soon the marriage was over and within 2 months the head of the family died in a road accident. He was walking on a footpath when a car bumped him – he died on the spot. The family was trying to cope up with the loss – they learned their younger daughters would – be husband has called – off their marriage – reasons unclear so on and so on ….. there was a burglary at their residency.

    One of our neighbours requested them to perform puja / some kind of shant etc… in which they were told that the reason for all these happenging could be the renovation work (shifting devghar and gas connection)

    Renovating the house again and again was not possible – till one day they decided to take a new house and now they are staying happily.

  • PriestSevina

    You are right about this: people have started to listen to a lot of people that haven't got a clue about religion and what it should do for people. I for one am closer to christian faith, but that doesn't mean that I am entirely devoted to that because lots of church leaders today are people with no spiritualilty and morality. That is why I have found my own way which is a “combined” religion. My relation with the divinity is special and very personal and nobody could have what I have.

  • i agree that astrology and vaastu shastra are not true.