January 13, 2013

Stop this madness, god.

In a country that follows 300 crore different gods, religion is a sensitive topic at the best times. Write something that is deemed even a little controversial and you are sure to be censured by all and sundry. Self proclaimed keepers of the faith pounce upon those they feel are 'derogatory' to their notion of absolutism. And every religion/sect/cult/society is hell bent (ironical eh?) in shouting hoarse about its supremacy over others. In all of this fish-mongering, it is ironical to note that the gods have allowed such wide-spread destruction of the very planet that they supposedly protect, led by their worshippers and their delusional notion of worship.

At the very heart of it all is Hindu-ism. As a Hindu by birth, this is a religion that I have seen up close and personal, having practiced its rituals for a large part of my life. It is also the predominant religion of this country and hence the reason why I speak about it first. Over the years, I grew to be discontent with religion when most of my questions remained unanswered. When I asked my parents why we needed to burn firewood in the middle of the house to cleanse it (Havan- as I am an Arya Samaji), and why were we not worried about the smoke it generated, I was told to keep quiet and not get in the way of rituals.Every Ganesh Utsav, I looked at the state of all our water bodies and the sheer destruction of the flora & fauna and wondered whether the Elephant god would approve. Diwali brought with it widespread air pollution and filthy streets as we burst crackers by the car-load, on streets which bore the brunt for days. And while we confessed to being animal lovers, our house-hold animals suffered with the crazy noise levels that the crackers generated. Holi brought with it immense amounts of water wastage, with chemical colours that reacted with our skin and more often than not gave us a rash. Today is Makar Sankranti which means that hundreds of birds will be injured by glass covered maanja and possibly die. The Maha Kumbh is round the corner and thousands of people will dip themselves into the Ganges- by far one of our most polluted rivers due to the sheer amount of garlands, diyas, ashes, etc that are submerged into it in the name of our religion. The pollution of the Ganges has now reached cancerous levels and yet we carry on, doing what we must, because it is the way things are done.

I am in no way trying to say that any one religion is to blame. I would instead place the blame squarely on each and every one of our shoulders. Everytime we go ahead and throw bread into the nearest lake to feed the "fishes", or garlands due to the idea that the gods will be happy, or immerse idols into waterbodies that feed the life force of a city, we are killing ourselves a little more. Think about it, the 5 elements that we are supposedly supposed to worship- Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Sky have all been polluted by the very practices used to venerate them. And yet we continue unabated, blinded by practices and rituals that should no longer apply. Stop this madness, god.

1 comment:

Parag Gupta said...

Good point.

I think it's more than just the rituals. Each of these rituals were created for a reason. Indian Culture, and especially Hinduism, is filled with metaphors. They were to create a sense of right, and a sense of how to be. It's the misunderstanding & the lack of context of these, which led to lessons becoming "rituals".

Holi, is not about chemical colors, it is about letting go of your ego, and accepting God in everyone of us.
Ganesh Utsav, is not about parading a huge idol, and then dunking it in the ocean. It's about the cycle of life.

I can only wish, and say: If only.