Sincere and honest persons earn their living by sincere and honest work. Dishonest persons do so by cheating those who work and earn. To the category of dishonest parasites who thrive by cheating the credulous among honest workers belong the teachers, preachers and priests of dubious religions and cults; Mystics, Saints, Arahants and Sidhas who claim that they have acquired enlightenment through meditation or penance; Gurus, Babas, Anandas, Rishis, Swamijis and Yogis who claim that they have obtained miraculous powers through yogic practices or as boons from Gods; oracles, exorcists, charmers, sooth-sayers, fortune-tellers and all types of occultists who claim that they have developed their special powers through spiritual exercises, astrology, palmistry, numerology, telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis (Psychokinesis), precognition, necromancy, spirit possession etc.
Thousands of credulous spectators prostrate before the miracle-performing charlatan. Money pours in lakhs to be shared by the juggler and his agents. It is indeed a tragedy that among these crafty God-makers are some of the highly qualified scientists of that country. – Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor in his book “Begone Godmen ! Encounters with Spiritual Frauds”
In an age of reason and enlightenment, that is here and now, with man going to the moon and beyond; man increasing his longevity not by praying to Gods of different religions but by availing the present day medical miracle; man still unable to tame the nature’s fury by prayers and havanas, it is time man puts an end to his obsession with God and religion. It is from this obsession practice of various kinds of superstitions originate.
This is the reason why I admire our Chief Minister Siddharamaiah. He wanted to bring a law about two years back itself to end this pernicious practice of superstition. But, many still living in the dark ages and afraid to come out into the light of reason, vehemently objected to this Bill. The Bill was provoked after the self-deprecating ‘Made Snana’, a disgrace to human dignity resulting from a worse kind of superstition, appeared in the media.
Yes, some say “it is a question of one’s belief,” leave it alone. That way the inhuman practice of ‘Sati’ too should be allowed under the same illogical logic. I have studied in Political Science that ‘people per se do not know what they want (may be due to ignorance or fear of what they can’t face in times of sickness and misfortune); therefore, it is the duty of the Government to give them what they need.’ Now, our people need a law to ban all kinds of superstitions, specially those that are socially and individually dangerous, cruel, humiliating and above all useless at the end.
The Bill with a long, meandering title “The Karnataka Evil, Inhuman and Superstitious Practices Prevention and Eradication Bill, 2014” would now be introduced in its diluted form during the next session of the State Legislature, which is in November-December. I hope, no matter in what form, this Bill must be introduced and passed, passed unanimously. We can make amendments to it later to achieve our goal of liberating our society from the evil of superstition completely.
BJP, being a Hindu conservative party and Hinduism having maximum number of superstitious practices, compared to other religions and communities, may have its own reservation. But BJP should rise to the occasion, walk the path of reason and enlightenment by supporting this Bill.
No right thinking person can countenance the practice and customs such as human sacrifice, exorcism (using violent methods like beating, kicking, incinerating at different body parts, make the ‘possessed person or the victim’ sit on a swing across a flowing stream and then cut the ropes thus making the victim plunge into the water), black magic, witch-craft, magic remedies for various ailments, aghori, made snana (circumambulating the temple or sanctum sanctorum rolling half-naked over the leaves with left-over food after the meal with the belief it would cure some diseases and God will fullfil the wishes of the performer of ‘Made Snana’), self-flagellation as a ritual (this ritual of self-inflicting injuries is found in a non-Hindu religion also), throwing of an infant from a height on a bed of thorns (similar to the practice in Sparta, Greece, where the new-born is left on top a hill over-night), parading women in the nude, Devadasi tradition of Hindu temples, sexual intercourse to invoke supernatural powers (Tantra meditation), killing animals by biting their neck or sucking blood from the slaughtered animals like chicken, pig, sheep etc., etc.
The rationalists are right in asking the unanswered question: Why offer in sacrifice domesticated docile animals to your Gods? Why don’t you offer a lion or a tiger?
The Hindu epics are replete with such practices, however, for those days not considered superstition but a ritual to please the mighty Gods in their high Heavens. We have the classic example in Mahabharata of ‘Sati’ performed by Pandu’s second wife Madri. I have read that when the telephone was to be introduced in Saudi Arabia, the Sheik was warned by his religious heads that it was a devilish instrument intended to harm the Sheik. The Sheik was then advised to chant certain verses from the Holy Quran from his telephone while the Mullah received the call from the other telephone. When the Mullah heard the verses in its pristine original form, the Sheik was told that there was no devil and he could have the telephone installed in his Palace.
So life goes on. To each his own belief. It is like our watches. None go alike, but each believes his own, as Alexander Pope wisely said. But then the superstitious rituals practised are a disgrace to human dignity. I wonder why this practice should not be brought under the ambit of Human Rights Commission.