Let me precede this spiritual soliloquy by stating that I am in no ways the perfect Hindu, in no way the most knowledgeable being on the subject of religion, but let me also precede the following monologue by saying that I do have a specific and determined path to God (Hinduism) and I do have faith and conviction in one God above all (Krishna). I am not in the business of pointing fingers, placing blame, or considering my own personal beliefs and values above those of others. With that personal disclaimer stated, I must express, I feel compelled to share my opinion on irreligion and it’s rise in modern times. It is stated in the Gita that we are in the Kali phase, or the phase of the universe in which irreligion is at its highest and the lack of conviction and faith is at its most critically and morbidly low.
It seems that God is now an option, something that an individual can add on to his personal plate of life like a side salad or a soda. More people (especially the younger generation) question God than ever before. The freedom of thought has led to the freedom of faith which in turn correlates to the rise of irreligion. I recently had an eye-opening conversation with a cousin of mine who, through of a series of questions and answers, revealed to me that he more or less wasn’t a Hindu. He practices the ideals of Hinduism (vegetarianism, going to temple), but he doesn’t really know who God is and doesn’t really follow or believe in all the practices of the Hindu religion. Basically, he does the things he do that are in line with the Hindi religion because of habit. He doesn’t eat meat because he never has and was always told not to. So habit has conditioned him to be, at least on the exterior, a good Hindu. When I told him of my beliefs, he painted me as a religious extremist, a citizen of the world with overwhelming conviction and overzealous faith.
Has irreligion risen so much as to label a novice religious person an extremist??? If you talk of religion with others and speak strongly of your beliefs, there are those who will look at you awkwardly and view you as a crusader of your beliefs, a missionary of your religion. If I hold a strong belief in my religion and in the God I worship, am I an extremist??? By all means, I am not – but people whose faith and conviction is weak would consider you so. Why is that??? Why do people fear religion and doubt that which they cannot prove false??? I also understand that neither of this can be proven true, and most people latch onto that uncertainty and use that as a means to justify their lack of faith. I understand that and the fact that everyone has justifiable reasoning to explain the things they do and the way in which they choose to live their lives. What I don’t understand is how people can label a person like me of average religious beliefs an extremist?? Are people that afraid of religion, that incapable of comprehending and understanding another person’s strong beliefs, that they view anyone with any conviction an extremist??
I definitely think that terrorism in the modern day, especially religiously motivated terrorism, has influenced the minds of the youth. People in America see the religion of Islam and Islamic people in general as cruel, heartless people – when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Islamic people are the most peaceful, kindest people I have met throughout the places I have been on this globe. There are those very few in the minority who chose to wrongly use religion as a motivating factor in killing innocent people. They have given a black eye to Muslims all across the world, and the image of the religious Muslim in this country will forever be changed because of that. In effect, people use the Islamic extremists as a prime example of what is wrong with religion and to justify why their beliefs are weak and their doubt is strong. Could anything be more further from the truth??
When did it become so difficult to believe in something that couldn’t be proved, something that didn’t need to be proved??? Are we all headed toward the road of Scientology and atheism?? People now more than ever, especially with the advancements in technology, seem to question anything and everything. Irreligion is on the rise…