How people follow a religion

Rarely does a person follow a religion because he or she analyzed it carefully and then chose it to be best ideology to believe in. In reality people adhere to different religions because of following:

a. They were born in a particular family. This is default religion and remains so for most of us. Just because we were born a Hindu, Muslim or Christian, we consider our birth-religion to be best. This birth-superiority coupled with brainwashing/ marketing that happens on us, makes most of us jingoistic about religion.

b. Many follow a religion because the society that they lived in followed that religion dominantly. This is based on natural human urge to comply with the trends. Also it makes them more secure and less alienated.

c. Many others change their religions because they want to marry a suitable life partner from another religion. This trait is used as a strategy to convert people in tactics like Love Jehad.

d. Many of us feel unrecognized in our own community and hence change religions to gain more recognition in new society. This is major cause of people drifting away from Hinduism.

e. Among Christians and Muslims, a lot of inter-conversions take place because of the way their respective evangelists market their own book and highlight defects in other’s book. This is more like a Pepsi vs Coke happening. This is also true for the boutique baba religions.

f. Many in West and Page 3 Indians are drifting to Buddhism because that seems to be a fresh respite from dogmas of Bible and Quran for more intellectual and introvert ones. Contemporary Buddhism is basically first step of Vedic Dharma minus the emphasis on self-control. So it is very easy and intuitive for typical western people who live in a lascivious society and thus find concepts of self-control bit too impossible for themselves. For example, one is expected to do Vipashyana and meditation, but need not become a vegetarian or shun all forms of vulgarity.

g. Many other convert because of lure of money. This is the favorite ploy of Christians in developing countries like India. A minor variant is lure of glamor associated with Christianity and the access of attractive white people who they can use for seductive marketing among youth, combined with rock shows etc.

h. A lot many change religions because modern day degenerations like caste based discrimination is humiliating for them and predator religions offer them the delusion of equality of status and respect. This was very true for dalit Christians who now face same discrimination in Christian society as well!

i. A very rare set of people actually analyze all religious ideologies in unbiased manner, or introspect on various aspects of life and then make an informed decision. The Arya Samajis of first generation belonged to this group. Though the modern day Arya Samajis are nothing but mostly Arya Samajis by default, as described in point a above.

Solution to the confusion

This in brief is the status of religions as they exist today. Religions would continue to exist and create controversies till planet earth exists because ‘after death what?’ would remain a puzzle forever for human beings. A more pragmatic approach to living peacefully in this confusion would be to:

a. Shed all levels of intolerance against those who do not subscribe to my religion’s view of ‘what after death?’

b. Continue having dialogues and discussions on this perplexing issue, as well as other mundane issues. Continue challenging each others’ beliefs to reject falsehood and accept truth. But this should be done without involving personal enmity or hatred and in most objective unbiased manner.

c. Promote the virtue of meditation, self-realization and charity for all human beings (regardless of religion or birth) which are most important recipe for peace here and after.

d. All religious heads should start taking religion not as a personal business or ego issue, but means to discover truth, Thus everyone should have dialogues, come up with common tenets and evolve a pro forma of universal religion that is same for all human beings and for all times. Each society/ individual should be given liberty to fill in minor details as per their own needs, without transgressing the overall framework.

e. The 11 tenets of religion as mentioned earlier should be foundation of this universal religion. Compassion, Character and Charity should be the guiding light.

I personally believe in Vedas being the only performa of such a universal religion. But even thrusting of Vedas as only truth, without due study by an individual, would be against the very essence of Vedas itself.

Name of book, thus is not important. But the knowledge is. Let everyone follow the universal religion and whatever be the truth, we shall be guided towards that automatically in proportion to our efforts.

Till the intelligent among us work towards such a performa of universal religion, neither shall we be able to discover the mystery behind life, nor can there be peace in world. What shall remain is only the jungle rule of those who desire dominance in name of religion through politics, force or deceit.

Mere declaration that all religions are good, would be a fruitless exercise as we all internally know that this cannot be the case. A more sensible approach would be to actually work towards a truly good religion – a universal religion – through consensus and deliberations and then let that be the ONLY religion sufficient for human beings. As mentioned earlier, each society/ individual should be given liberty to fill in minor details as per their own needs, without transgressing the overall framework.

I may be sounding too idealistic or impractical with these suggestions. But almost all practical realities of today had genesis in something impractical some time ago. My conviction is that the practicalities of today will take us nowhere. It is my conviction that all sensible people of the world seek such a universal religion. So there is indeed scope of this idealism becoming realism tomorrow. That tomorrow may not come very soon, but still our efforts would make it only closer and closer!

May the cults of intolerance and blind faith be destroyed through compassion and persistence!

May the truth prevail!

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