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’)

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Soulmate – as i see

24 09 2009
u + me

u = me

There is something about this term which has always intrigued me. It is definitely a very romantic and dramatic kind of a term, used generally to denote intimate relationships. The subjectivity of the term makes it almost impossible to develop any specific definition of the term. Having said that the term is widely used in popular literature and also by people to express their love.

Like any other human I too have my share of beautiful intimate relations. But never could I figure out where to fit in the term ‘soulmate’.

For some reason I have been in a mode of introspection since past couple of days.  Today, also happens to be my mom’s 60th birthday. All of these lead me to a whole gamut of thoughts. Two very striking instances of my early childhood mildly surfaced over my anxious mind.

#1 Very faint visuals of this incidence exist in my mind. I must not be more than 10.  Must be in my 3rd or 4th grade. My schedule of those days was – leave for school in the school rickshaw at around 11 and to return at half past 5 in the evening. Now, it had so happened that I was so very used to the fact that whenever I reach home back, my mom has to be there to greet me. To an extent that I had made it compulsory for her. Even if she had some work some errands to run, she had to be at home when I arrive. I would not buy any damn reason for her to be not there when I come back home. She always obliged; except once.

One fine day, as I reach home, I didn’t see her at home. Must have been some unmanageable work, but that didn’t concern me. Not having her to greet me was enough to make me go in an outburst. I shouted,  I cried like mad, I wouldn’t listen to my ba, did not drink my evening ka milk(a routine I loved)…. I ran around the whole house…threw every arranged thing awry…cushions, diaries, spoons…whatever I could lay my hands on I just threw all of it around. Nothing could contain me.(mind you I was a pretty calm and shy kind of a kid. Not the short tempered naughty one, so this wasn’t any ways near to my normal behaviour) I would not even take out my shoes with her not around. At the end of my outburst when all my energy was drained I climbed atop a cabinet. The cabinet was in front of our apartment door. I could see whoever entered, but the person entering would have to strain his/her neck to see atop. Inshort that was my hide out. And I sat there waiting for my mom to come and search for me. Wanting her to go through that wait to see me. I kept crying.

All of this lasted for about an hour; that is when my mom returned home. She immediately inquired about me; ba already gives her a gist of all that had happened. She finds me. I get angry at her and cry a lot. She promises to never do this again. As far as I remember or until it mattered to me, this never occurred again.

#2 This is a few years later. I must be in my teen. The early teen period. By now I has started going to school on my bicycle. The schedule was same. I left home every day at 11.15am. I was a bit grown up now. I could go and come on my own; is what I had started believing. In those days going to school was the only routine pursuit, and I had come to a stage when I managed the logistics of it on my own. However there was this new compulsory thing that had developed.

Our block was at the end of the entire compound of the society.  From the front balcony of our apartment, the entire compound and the gates of the society were visible. Now everyday as I leave on my bicycle, it was mandatory for my mom to stand in the balcony and wave at me until I go out-of-her sight. I used to literally check it many a times by coming back to see if she’s still standing there. So she had to stand in the balcony 3-4 minutes even after I am out-of-sight.

I remember that once or twice it so happened that I saw her turn back while I was crossing the gates. That sight of – seeing her back when the ‘grown up’ me was leaving on his own for his pursuit- was something I could not handle. That visual stayed with me the whole day and for such a lame reason  I did not concentrate on my classes and remained out-of-mood. As I reached home I shared this with my mom. She tried to explain but I was not to listen. I did not want to buy any of her argument. All she can do was to agree, and she did. And as long as it mattered, I don’t remember this happening barring this one of two times.

She was a mother. I do not know how she took this irrationality and possessiveness and ego of her child. But I can speak for myself. I loved this element of the relation. Today it seems laughable, irrational, childish, stubborn etc. But then that is what connected us. Today, when I am and independent adult, yet she would be at peace only when she knows I have had my meals and that I am doing fine. But the fact remains that she was a MOTHER. And I knew it and so I would put all the mandatory measures to express my feelings for her.

Family remains your circle of  life till a certain age and time. Its like every bird has to fly from the nest. Not necessarily in geographical connotation but in psychological connotation. As one grows the pursuits start becoming much more complex. It is no more just going to school. A lot of economic, academic, professional and emotional pursuits occupy our lives. Amidst these we meet a lot of people. Some of them with whom we get close – we call them friends, some of them with whom we get personal – we call them best friends, to one we make commitment – we call them husband or wife and so on and so forth.

I am going through the same cycle. I have friends, colleagues, acquaintances, peers, loved ones, best friends so on and so forth. Each one having its own distinct space.

After all the introspection I realised something which I was totally unaware of.  I realised that somewhere I am still the same. The laughable, irrational, childish, emotional  and stubborn kid does come alive somewhere.

Inspite of that person not being my mother, I still put in weird expectations, mandatoriness and super irrational behaviour. We all do it with someone or may be with a few people where the irrational us manifests. Amidst the maddening clutter and tons of people that we come across it is with that one or few that we become childish.  Don’t know whether this holds true for all, but for me it surely does.

Any relation which is beyond mere sensory pleasures, you can call them your soulmate. The  example of mother justifies that, though I am possessive about her; the relation is not for sensory pleasures. It is that and beyond that.

And that person, who becomes my mother and makes me a kid and vice versa; that person who  I  bump into when I am not searching is the one I would like to call my SOULMATE.

Esoterica : One theory of soulmates, presented by Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium, is that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them. Over countless reincarnations, each half seeks the other. When all karmic debt is purged, the two will fuse back together and return to the ultimate.





Magic of Love!

5 06 2009

dedicated to the magicians in my life.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,

they are in each other all along.

~ Rumi

There are two types of people in the world. Believers and Non-believers.(in GOD)

For Believers everything starts and ends with HIM. For a non-believer everything starts and ends with ME. For a non-believer everything around is just matter and his/her drive is to extract value from that matter. Whereas for a believer GOD exists in matter and s/he perceives life in every particle.  Now, I am not gonna talk about GOD here. But the point I wish to make is that just as in GOD, LOVE is also a belief.

Love is a belief. One can experience it only if one believes in its existence. For a believer LOVE is what connects him/her to other being, whereas for a non believer LOVE is just a word that s/he utilises to connect to other being. For the former LOVE is the end while for the latter ones, LOVE is nothing but a means to reach to a desired end.

I believe in love. Love for me is the metaphor for life. Its a simple emotion, which in worldly matters is so highly dramatized that most of us become weary of it. If truly believed in, this emotion can take you to unknown realms of existence.

For a moment, imagine a world without love. What would happen then? Lust, Greed, Power and Control would take over. I am not denying the existence of this equally powerful and potent emotions. To an extent they rule the world and they define the structure of most societies. But the fact remains that, amidst the jungle of animal instincts there exists a humane society which thrives on an undefined emotion called Love.

How else do you explain a touch which makes you hear the other persons heart beat? How else do you explain that hug which flushes out tears from deep within? How else do you infer the phenomenon whereby seeing someone smile alters your mood? How else does one understand those hours of silences where in you communicate the most? How else do you explain that drive to be good and work hard? How else do you explain that wish to make someone proud? How else…?

It is nothing but the belief in LOVE that would explain such happenings.  It is out of love that amidst all the Greed there still are events of ‘Giving’; amidst all those who lust for power, there still are those who willfully ‘Surrender’;  among all the chaos for control, humility still prevails.

This I believe is the magic…the magic of love! This belief in love is the doorway to many varied moments, love filled moments, magical moments, which alleviates me from my physical being.

And when I look back I only recall those moments. My mind forgets events, forgets occasions, but it fondly remembers these magical – love filled moments.

Never let go any chance of expressing your love, never let go the opportunity to create magic. Just Believe, and the price that you may have to pay will seem futile.

I believe in Magic. The Magic of Love.

“Life exists in moments, and these moments are what stays with you for your entire life”

PS : A few days back I was about to commit a mistake of ‘not doing’ what I wanted to do. I was about to hold back my expressions. But I am glad that my BELIEF was strong. I finally did express what I wanted to express, did it with all the love and joy! And what followed were some unimaginable moments. Moments wherein time and space almost evaporated, I got totally drawn into that wonderful moment of love. Added a few more to my collection of love-filled moments.