Religion in India – Faith vs Reason

The other day some other expert on TV asked the caller to feed a piece of buttered bread to a black dog, as a solution to failure in business.

Numerology, zodiac experts, tarot card readers… every unscientific stream is today thriving in India. I can understand that people need mental support during times of crisis, but believing these “experts” can only make things worse.

A couple of days back, I noticed that the son of the chief minister of Maharashtra has changed his name from “Ritesh” to “Reiteish”. Perhaps some “expert” told him that was the way to a successful career. If the leader of millions does not have a scientific approach at home, one cannot expect much from his administration.

Fanaticism

Fanaticism emerges when religion / customs overide all logic and science. If hundreds are getting killed in stampedes at temples, we need to question not just the arrangements, but also if there’s any logic in a million people thronging to the temple in the first place.

People who seem perfectly sensible otherwise, will do remarkable unreasonable things when it comes to religion. For example: If a religious riot takes place in a locality, we assume that the rioters were mad men, but in reality they often turn out to be normal people with whom we would interact with everyday. It’s just that when it comes to religion, it dosn’t take much for the fuse to blow and for normal people to commit heinous crimes.

The only way to curb fanaticism is by promoting a logical approach to religion.

Democracy

How can democracy do well if those casting their votes are so used to being herded to decisions based on passion, religion or custom? If the voter is used to questioning what he is told, I am sure we would see a far superior quality of politicians emerge.

The “I will believe and accept anything and never question” attitude of the masses, is the biggest threat to democracy in India.

TODOs:

Accepted that science evolves with every generation and what was impossible 10 years back, is today reality. Yet we have to base our judgement on the science of the day. Unless the logic in something is proved to you, do not follow a custom.

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.

It’s high time we stopped wasting time and energy in things that are obviously illogical and work hard towards improving our life as well as the life of those around us.

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  • 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..

  • http://www.harshadoak.com/ Harshad

    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.

  • http://www.harshadoak.com Harshad

    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.

  • http://www.varvadhuindia.com/ Indian Matrimony

    i agree that astrology and vaastu shastra are not true.