Why GOD exists? ~ an atheists anthropological narration.

2 09 2010

On the day of ‘Janmashtmi’ ~ the day celebrated by Hindus all around as Lord Krishna’s birthday; I find myself occupied by thoughts that bring me here. On this auspicious day Devotees express their love for Lord Krishna in a manner as varied and as weird as it can get. From luxurious fasts to mindless gambling; from joining mad rush at midnight at Krishna temples to touch the symbolic ‘cradle’ to taking an extended weekend off from work. Faith manifests itself in myriad forms.

Over last 5000-6000 years of human civilization the GODS have changed with changing times. Earlier, during the pre-historic times, during the period when humans were wanderers like animals there were no GODS. The basis of life was survival and not significance. Gradually with passage of time ‘culture’ started building up. ‘Culture’ is what a human society conceives as its values of significance for that period of time and for that geographical region. Families, Small colonies, housing and  more importantly agriculture showed up first. During this era the humans started realising their dependence on nature. Rains, soil, rivers, winds, fire etc. But they never could understand the methodology to control these elements. And hence the concept of ‘worship’ came into existence. What humans can’t control they either worship it or forsake it depending on their need at that point of time. If the uncontrollable element is needed than worship it and if it can be tamed or could be done away with, than gladly forsake it. During this times the elements of nature like Trees, Rivers, Winds, Rains, Forests, Sun, animals etc. were worshiped.

This quality of human nature led to evolution of culture and new concepts of property, irrigation technologies, animal husbandry and eventually trading and economics. And a new element called WEALTH came into existence. Across all times, most human race has been lazy intellectually; and they never put in efforts to understand and meditate upon any happening. And so understandable and controllable man-made concepts start becoming in-comprehensible and intriguing and uncontrollable. Same happened with the so-called evolved human race. The elements of wealth, property, technology etc. that came into existence to reduce their dependence actually made them more dependent. The human race became less dependent on older elements of nature and became more dependent on newer elements of economics (the function of which was to make them independent in the first place!!) And this obviously needed new sets of GOD’s.

It is important to note that by this time ‘language’ had developed and with it the never ending human imagination.  This led to creation of stories and legends of Great Men and Women, which we today refer to as mythology. So came Laxmi, Saraswati, Durga, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh etc. With trade, economics and human population flourishing the conflicts of human race also increased manifold. Earlier  only physical strength was the medium and antidote for conflicts; but now with human imagination flying physical strength no longer was mighty enough. Something more mightier had come into force. And that was MORALS. Morals are guidelines created by a society/culture to get desired behavior from a large section of people. Aristocracy and morals came in almost at the same time. The people who weren’t intellectually lazy realised the need for dependence of the human race and so they utilised the power of language and imagination to create stories of GODS that preached moral values. Those intellectually powerful people were Kings and Aristocrats and rest all were mere subjects.

With passing time people realised that moral values ain’t holding true always. Even after subscribing to moral values they are not able to experience happiness. Be content with what you have, do not be greedy, do not look at others property, love your spouse, be obedient to elders, kindness, generosity, patriotism and many more such morals were on the verge of destruction. The aristocrats  realised it and so they had to come up with a sustainable format for allowing to maintain and manage morals. This led to the inception of the concept of ‘organised religion’. An aristocrat backed by a Religion can control the subjects in a much smoother fashion. The intellectually lazy subjects fell into the trap and diverted energies into the reciting of hymns and carrying out of religious rituals while the Intellectuals enjoyed being in control. With this another power center came into existence. A natural corollary of fostering Organised religion – the powerful religious leaders came into existence. With this came the era of Religion and ‘Bhakti’ as often referred in Indian history. Language and Literature and education all laced with the thoughts and concepts of religion- wherein it was talked about the world being created by GOD and GOD being the ‘All MIGHTY’. And so naturally the caretakers of ‘All MIGHTY’ viz. the Priests and Popes and Sadhus became more and more powerful. This era saw the beginning of worship of a ‘living human’ be it in the form of a Yogi or a Sadhu or a Priest or a Pope.

With passage of time Aristocracy lost its power to Religion. Religion could tweak Morals as per the needs of different times, and human race had already subscribed to Religious Morals. And so gradually KINGS died and Temples and Shrines took over. But Religion was not capable of managing peoples aspiration for wealth and ‘good life’ and so a new order, a new force was required. Society now had Haves and Have nots. People with wealth and property and People devoid of wealth and property. Conflicts arose. But religion kept them at bay. Growing trade led to the need of an entity which would uphold religion and also manage the arising conflicts. This led to invention of Democracy. The formation of GOVERNMENT. A body whose function is to take care of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ both and yet can never go above religion. Basically a care taker. By now this element has also become a force that wants to control rather than take care. And a totally new dynamic is formed. Political leaders and Preachers of Democracy became New GODs. World got Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and likes. This led the seed of the modern human society as we see it today. There is Government, there is Organised religion, there are Haves and there are Have nots. The four segments of the modern Human Race.

During this modern time, both human population and technological advancement are growing manifold. Globalisation and Internet have created a mixture of cultures. We have in our belief system our database of GODS and along with it modern education and globlisation are subjecting us to different stories and life styles. We earlier used to celebrate our GOD’s birthday with fast, but new western culture tells us that celebration has to be luxurious; and so came in Luxury fasts. The way they are done now. Where you have tons of options of eating even during fasts. The concept of introspection and meditation got transgressed into noise, luxury and show off. And this takes us to the brand new element of this modern era, which the human race is dependent on  FAME. After Nature, Wealth, Morals, Religious Gurus, Political leaders it is the era of CELEBRITY. In every possible field FAME is what the human race is trying to achieve. Hence Capitalism, Glamour, Fashion, Sexuality, modern Spirituality are the forces that rule the world. A new set of GOD’s which include the highest achievers of each of his forces are into existence. Each one has his/her own GOD. A Bill Clinton or a Dhirubhai Ambani for some; An Amitabh Bachchan or Shakira for some; An Armani or Versace for some; a Michael Jackson or a Lata Mangeshkar for few while a Osho or an Amma for others.

Religion is still sustaining. It has included FAME and CELEBRITY craving in its constitution in an implicit manner. Religion accepts charity, philanthropy, religious investments and donations as neutralizers for some other sins that you may  incur. The problem that is created is that under this arrangement only ‘haves’ of the society can get rid of their sins. What about those who cannot afford charity or philanthropy?? For the first time since its inception Religion is increasingly becoming distant from the ‘have nots’ of the society. What the ‘haves’ can control ‘have nots’ cant. And so the ‘have nots’ need an element which  they can worship inorder to express their dependence. This seems to be calling for a new order; a new set of GOD’s.

If at all I have to forecast. The answer to this last question will define the next age of human race. If I am correct than the signals are already showing up of this new element. An offshoot of Organised Religion – It is Religious extremism. And mind you the four segments of human race viz. The government, The Religion, The Haves and The Have nots they all are so intricately intertwined that  they all will together create a new set of GOD’s. This new GOD could be anybody from an Osama to a lesser known Wangari Mathai (noble laureate environmentalist)

From merely being an un-understandable element of dependency to being a complex caricature of Morals and lifestyle dependence the GOD has constantly changed. But the fact is GOD will always remain. Earlier human race was based on the value of ‘survival’ but now it is thriving on the value of ‘significance’. And so instead of being grateful or loving towards GOD;  we now Fear GOD.

Whatever we do or aspire to do is to feel significant. We study to give us a label, we choose a university which has some brand value, we wear clothes that says things about our status and attitudes, we follow religions that benefit us, we marry the one whom we can claim as our property, we build homes, businesses, relations …every damn endeavour is to feel significant. The fight for survival ends with life. But the craving for significance have made us believe that our ‘properties’ out live us. The more assets (both material and relationships) we have that could out live us, makes us feel more significant and more happy.

I do not believe in GOD. (maybe this statement is what makes me feel ‘significant’)