(...Contd from Part I)
Young girl: Why shouldn't I have pre-marital sex?
Young girl: Why shouldn't I have pre-marital sex?
Grandmother: Whaaaaat??!! Abhishtu! Abhishtu! ( a common exclamation used by upper-caste orthodox Brahmins, to signify their horror at anything sacriligous)... why do you utter such bad words in the house..that too after lighting the lamp at the auspicious hour??
Young girl: What? Why is sex a bad word? How would we all have been born without it?
Grandmother is apparently at a loss of words and again digresses from giving a concrete explanation
G: We shouldnt have given you too much freedom. You ask too many questions! See, you-know-what is a sin. That is all. You will be punished. Our family will be cursed.
Y: But my classmate Alisha has sex all the time with her boy friend. She gets good grades.. she got into Med School. Why isnt she punished?
G: See, everything will not be immediately obvious. It will become a part of her next birth's sufferings. And oh yes! who is this alisha? Who are her parents? Stop talking to her. Bad company is dangerous, you know.
Y: Next birth?! R u kidding me old woman? I dont care about the next birth. I want a life now!!
And the Scientist chips in to confront the young girl...
S: See, the whole stigma around this topic is only the fear of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.
Y: That is it? There are a lot of solutions for that in this modern age.Hmmm...
The Atheist joins in too...
A: Exactly! They created religion and the fear of God only to enforce certain rules, breaking which was harmful to their health. Yet, people blindly follow it without questioning them. It is all a fake conspiracy - this entire religion hype.
That short conversation was only a means of my showing the biggest barrier to religion today - Not the young rebellious generation, not the scientists, not the atheists - but the people who follow it! YES!! Their blind faith and lack of a sound understanding of the true picture of one of the biggest and oldest institutions of humanity is what is marring the reputation of religion . Faith should follow reasoning - not cloud it.
For ex. The elders keep saying "Do not sleep facing the North". Why? you ask. "It is not good. The Vaastu Shaastra says it.". You are still not convinced. They then break into a mythological story to support their story that when Lord Shiva was prevented from entering the Parvathi’s private quarters by Ganesha, he loped off Ganesha’s head. Parvathi was livid and asked Shiva to fix the problem, which was apparently possible only by bringing the head of the first north facing ‘sleeping’ being. Nandi, Shiva’s cow finds Airawatha the baby elephant, chops off its head and brings it to Shiva who attaches it to Ganesha’s body & revives him. Now what has this story got to do with sleeping with head facing North? Well, see what happened to the poor baby elephant. I guess this is how it is sometimes told to inquisitive children who ask why they should not face north while sleeping.
Sigh! it is then not surprising that when these inquisitive children get older, they tend to conveniently skip placing importance to following this ritual. Yet, had they been informed at an appropriate age that the human body acts as a magnet with the head as its North Pole. If the head points north while sleeping, the North Poles of the body and Earth will repel each other, affecting the blood circulation and causing disturbed sleep and stress. Then, perhaps there would have been a bit more ligt shed on the true nature and purpose of our mythology.
Similarly, if the young girl had been briefed on the psychological inability of teenagers to really choose the right men at that age and also the subconscious strain and difficulty in having a healthy married life due to failed sexual relationships at an early age, she would have definitely reconsidered her views. Yet, why pull religion for everything without understanding it in its entirety?
Religion is something more - something else. It is more than a system of hard ruled right/wrong...good/bad. It is more than a ten limbed person who will relentlessly punish you if you do not follow her ways. .Our scriptures are a treasurehouse of hard science, discovered way long before the western technology upsurge. Every thing written and professed have a sound logic and meaning to it. Yes! I have gone back to being a theist.Yet, what I have gone back is not to the pretty faced picture of the deity to again pray for good things in life. What I have gone back to is the fundamental principles on which religion was formed. I believe the forefathers of this institution certainly dint have the current reality in mind when they formed it. Yet, secrecy and restriction down the ages has brought in this pathetic state of misunderstanding. No wonder, saffron clad enlightened people shoot up in dozens and always seem to have hordes of followers seeking magic gems that can change their life overnight. Of course, I neednt discuss the latest hot news clogging the media on you know what.
The ignorance, fear, superstitions and blind faith should go away. What is Religion? What is worship? Why do you pray? If you do worship, you should be able to give me your views without stumbling and fumbling in circles. It might not be accurate to the point. Yet, have principles. How can one follow a way of life without knowing why? Religion should be viewed in a new light.