Religion is a funny thing and subject to interpretation. This blog-post is not for the strong-hearted but for the softer lot. People who are simple and God-fearing. Which God, who’s God, God or not, I leave that to you. Very recently, I was gifted a book authored by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman titled ‘The Inner Fire – Faith, Choice & Modern-day living in Zoroastrianism’. No I am not a follower of Zoroastrianism but reading books on religion is interesting. I am a practicing Hindu, secular in her outlook, who wants to know more about other religions from across the globe and looking for answers in life.
I don’t do the daily rituals of pooja. I would like to, but, in all honesty, I am lazy. Yes, just that, lazy. And I realize that the rituals that have been made part of our religion, any religion, are made only to bring about discipline in our lives. If we are asked to offer our prayers or namaaz in morning, it is primarily to ensure that we start our day early. Similarly abstaining from vices is probably to ensure that we achieve greater productivity and stay away from evil. The list goes on, with every ritual or ideology, supported by logical reasoning.
So for me, my inability to follow the rituals is not germane to my being religious. I am religious in my own accord. How? One may ask. The answer to it lies in a google search that I did? Well, actually multiple searches. I decided to look at ‘10 lessons from ….’ Putting the names of the religion in the dotted space. Inevitably, the lessons were the same. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and even Scientology, teaches us the same fundamental principles to live our lives by.
If the name of the religious scripture is hidden and only the tenets are shown to any individual, one cannot differentiate from one scripture to another because the teachings are the same. Be kind to your fellow human being, do to others as you would have them do to you, believe in the power of your work and work hard without thinking about the results. Be righteous, practice gratitude, help others, respect others, smile and be happy.
Such simple preaching to follow yet religion has become the source of all conflicts in the present day world. If we really practice the tenets of our respective religions, I don’t think there will be much conflict left in this world. If we can practice forgiveness and replace hatred with love, not much sadness will prevail. If we practice charity, we can eradicate so much misery from this world.
The problem lies therein. Instead of trying to be better human beings, better individuals, we let our perceived reality replace actual reality. A little kindness, a little smile, a nicer tone, a cheerful disposition will go longer way and make us achieve everything that we want.
Yesterday, a friend of mine said to me that, ‘I wonder why Ambani goes to temple, he has everything.’ I quipped, ‘probably to get peace of mind.’ For all of us, peace of mind is, perhaps, very important. At the end of the day, we all wish to eat food, live a comfortable life and sleep properly, without stress or tension. But, this is all easier said than done. To bring about a rational view towards following one’s religion, is so much different from being a good human being. Religion is not teaching us to be bad, our fellow human beings are. To that effect, the only test that prevails, is within our hearts. I have always believed that the heart invariably tells us whether what we are doing is right or wrong? That feeling is always there, that feeling that tells us that karma or ‘tit for tat’ is omnipresent. We will pay for our sins in this birth.
Although sometimes I wonder if the same will be applicable on the Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Nirav Modis’ of the world? Nonetheless, I shall be pragmatic and forgive them and forgive all those bank employees, who have troubled me to take out my hard-earned money from my savings account, and made me sign twice on the back side of the cheque-‘twice’ mind you and yet, gave Rs. 11,000 Crores to someone, who probably didn’t stand in a queue in bank to withdraw money, by signing ‘twice’, yes, ‘twice’.
It’s surprising but, that these banks, who guard their Rs. 5/- pen with a cord, in case a miscreant steals it, just lost Rs. 11,000 Crores. But, before I go about pointing fingers, I am going to practice forgiveness and control my rage against these suited-booted miscreants. I really hope that in my lifetime, I do see karma catching up with these criminals and that I live to see that day when they are caught and punished. But, until then, I will practice forgiveness and stay content with signing on the cheques ‘twice’ with the Rs. 5 pen securely guarded by the bank, should someone want to steal and run away to Belgium or any other European destination, with it.