Musings on understanding religions and peace by mankind
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Musings on understanding religions and peace by mankind

November 3, 2023

Religion didn’t bring the earth to existence.

But religion can bring about its destruction.

By G.L. Tripuranthaka

Musing over the occurrences around the world, one does get a doubt whether man was born first or the religion. This is because, today man is fighting for the religion created by man rather than for human values. The so-called beasts of the jungle enjoy a fulfilling life founded on natural laws of the wild. But man is the only animal who has made humanity hang its heads in shame by involving in one or the other controversy and waging destructive wars. Universal proclamations of great humanitarians like Sharana Basavanna, “kindness is the root of all religions” (dayeye darmada mulavayya) seem to be limited to public oracles. The developments around the globe proclaim, “Religion is the root of all controversies.” It is unfortunate that death and destruction are increasing many folds in the name of religion.

It is natural that each one of us believes that his own religion is supreme, invaluable and immutable. But no religion says, “Kill each other.” Whatever the religious principles say, respecting other religions, is the real human value. It is condemnable that religions instead of subjugating the religious fervour of the followers are pushing them towards fanaticism to silence the other religious faiths. When we keep religion in our heart, it burns positively like a soft flame in the temple and when we allow it to rise to our head it provokes and becomes a destructive force and engulfs everything like a burning torch in the hands of an intoxicated drunkard, himself unaware of what he is doing.

Man’s lifestyle has seen a sea change. It is not like what it was for thousands of years. He is globe-trotting beyond boundary lines and leaving behind his ancestral land to find a livelihood. Naturally, he is cultivating different languages, culture and lifestyle. Change is the law of the world. But religions aren’t changing to cater to his new needs. Shouldn’t there be a modification of the religious values accordingly? One never gets to understand why the man created religion is not undergoing any transformation while the man made Constitutions are changing with time?

Now a days a religious fundamentalist can mercilessly kill another human being without reason or considerations for a fellow being. The reason for it is nothing other than religious fanaticism. The people who live in brotherhood, fall apart and fight each other when a religious intolerant incident occurs in a far away place. This is the negative  side of the religion. Religious doctrines should be an eye opener and should not turn a blind eye towards human values.

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Famous writer P. Lankesh’s words on religion are note worthy, “Ask a person who says religion is very important, how important it is for him. Is it so important that he can kill a person who doesn’t accept his religion? Can such a religion have any meaning?” These words are meaningful.

However supreme one’s religion may seem it is not possible to change the law of nature. We can’t go against it. We can’t control natural disasters. The religious head can’t escape death however prominent he is. All created should perish is the law of nature. Religious principles can’t change it. Surprisingly, even the modern educated get enraged when it comes to religious matter. We can also see that they don’t fight to save the humanity as they fight to destroy it.

It is a paradox of the century that with the increase in reformations for enriching the modern education system, the standards of human values of brotherhood rising the ability to co-exist is decreasing. Instead of following the true spirit of religion, some are thirsting for violence which unravels the cruel face of religion. Religious centres, instead of propagating the values for the welfare of humanity, are turning into centres of hatred which train and mobilise its followers. Religion should empower the peace lovers and not nurture miscreants who create disturbance.

It is a clever step that the Constitution of a country is applied for certain matters and left out to follow one’s own religion. No religion preaches that one need not follow the law of the land. Law abiding citizens are found when the religion rests lightly in their hearts. Isn’t it unpatriotic of those who follow the law to procure the ration card but break the law of the land otherwise?

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Some religions are forcibly converting people of other religions to their religion by luring the poor with food, money and jobs. Every citizen has the right to follow the religion of his or her choice. But it should be done on one’s free will. It is the height of irony that gullible people who don’t get swindled in business are getting cheated in the name of religion. This is not any less a crime than human trafficking.

Religion has become a means of survival for the political parties. There is no real religion being followed. It is not a matter of secret that they are doing politics in the name of religion. They openly take stands for or against any religion. Governments should consider each one a citizen of the country with equal rights and shouldn’t wear the lenses of religion and discrimination. The political heads should work for the peace and harmony of the society. Instead they systematically make provocative statements in front of the media and spark discord among the civilians. Many deaths and destruction occur due to this. The one who faces the wrath and suffers is the innocent common man. The leaders are safe and thriving.

The prayers and worship being held in temples, churches and mosques have no relation with the way man is conducting himself in a society. If one spreads disharmony after chanting peace in the place of worship, what is the purpose? Such preaching is worthless. If we closely watch the wars going on around the world we need to ponder where are the principles of the religions? What good religions are doing for mankind. Where is peace on earth and understanding among mankind?

In the name of religion the rights of civilians to live peacefully are being snatched away. The countries are striving to save their religions instead of the welfare of the citizens. At least now let us hope that the religions will rest in the heart. May religions work for peace and harmony.

[Note: Translated from Kannada by D.J. Shubha]

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