With today’s general definition of being religious person, I can be considered as an atheist (નાસ્તિક). I rarely go to the temple, don’t even remember the basic mantras like hanuman chalisa, chants, shloka’s, never do fasting, strongly oppose outdated religious belief and so on.
However with experience of studying Bhagvad Gita and glance of many spiritual and religious views from books, elders, YouTube videos and friends, it came to be the reverse case. From the eyes of Bhagvad Gita, I found that most people including me knowingly or unknowingly are in the path of being religious at different level.
However when someone ask whether one is religious. What should be our answer ? And under what basis our answer should be.?
This blog might give one a new dimension.
- Principles of being religious.
From the view of Bhagvad Gita, the broader principles of being “Religious” is as below.
- No arrogance of one self.
- Empathy for all (No superior, No inferior – Everyone as equal as You).
- To live life in present moment without having expectation about the results.
- To understand one’s inner ability and to keep enhancing that ability.
- To understand the creator and it’s creation.
- Consistent devotion towards the creator.
The traditional religious path have mostly focused on consistent devotion towards the creator (Point No. 6). However today my focus is on other points, which unfortunately perceived religious people had often neglected.
What I personally believe that if one follow first 5 points, then consistent devotion towards the creator will be a natural course of action in one’s life. However if one directly start on the path of devotion for the creator without following the other religious principle then i.e. nothing but foolishness.
From all the religious principles, to understand the Creator and it’s creation is foremost important. Because if we understand the said principle than to follow the other religious principles would be easy.
- Who is Creator. ?
The creator is the first intelligent author who created this whole Universe.
One may believe that nature has created universe. So next question, who created nature ?
If we look deeper into the elements of nature, then sun existence lies in its light, fire existence lies in its heat, water existence lies in its fluidity. If there is no light, heat and fluidity in sun, fire and water respectively, then this elements has no existential value.
In Bhagvad Gita – Adhyay 7, the creator is explained as existential value of the nature.
Creator has multiple role and it can be understood in end number of forms. However the closest and easiest way to understand can be it’s form in our human body.
In general sense our body is just accumulation of atoms. However if we open our body, then we understand that our body is not just accumulation of atoms, but it is well planned and well coordinated body considering all survival aspects of it. Then who thought for this coordination ? Can atoms be the thinking machine ? If we ask this question, then we can understand the role of the creator as “creative coordinator” of all the atoms.
However creator role does not end with creation but his role extends to be the maintainer of the world.
Let’s look at one of the five world elements i.e. Earth, here we can also realize that creator not only coordinate the creation but also maintain the creation.
Earth is moving 25000 miles per day. Per hour 1040 Miles. As per science it is said that if the speed of earth increases / decreases even slightly, then there could be no farming due to atmospheric change. Then who is giving this knowledge to Earth to maintain the Earth speed and how ?.
Here the role of the creator can be also seen as the maintainer. And without this maintainer, there could be no possible existence of this Universe.
The more questions we ask we would realize the presence of this first intelligent author in every thing we see, feel, hear, smell and taste.
This first intelligent author is popularly known as the Creator / God / Aatma / Soul / Allah / Krishna / Christ or any possible connotation.
I will further use God from all above name for two reasons,
- If we understand the commonly known full form of God, then it gives holistic view of God.
G – Generator (Creator),
O – Operator (Maintener),
D – Destroyer (Third role of creator)
- “God” being religious neutral name.
- Why we are not able to see God. ?
After understanding the existence of God every where, one may ask why we are not able to see the God then.
Let’s understand with below example.
Eg:- One man went to jungle and got thirsty after sometime. He observed that jungle is so green without rain, surely there must be lake / river around. He searched for water everywhere around but he did not find any river or lake for water. Lastly one sane man saw him and called that man at his home and served him water.
To complete his curiosity, he asked that sane man that how jungle has so much greenery in spite of no river or lake around. How tree maintain it’s greenery without water.
The sane man answered that roots of the tree can use the stored ground water to maintain their greenery when there is no rain. But human does not have roots in soil so they have to dug deep to get the water. Humans needs to understand the right place to find water rather going with the flow of senses.
The reason we are not able to see / feel / hear / taste God is because we are searching God at wrong place.
What has happened in the traditional religious principle that it had limited God availability in the temples / churches / mosques / consecrated places.
From 7th to 10thAdhyay in Bhagvad Gita, all forms of God has been explained. In 10thAdhyay which is popularly known as Vibhuti Yog, the author has described, how our human senses can also feel God presence.
If I explain the crux in glance. Then God existence is in everything as life energy and his intelligence pervades the maintenance of this world. Every creation that we can see, feel, hear, taste and smell in this universe are all coming from the same creator. And we humans is known to have received the special gift to understand the role of creator and creation. God is the essence to celebrate our own creation.
However there are many who find no reason to push himself to understand God. Most people today is engrossed in fighting for better survival in this world. In this process, one tends to forget who is their creator and reason behind their own creation. And this is because of presence of one big cloud between us and God and i.e. Maya.
- What is biggest Maya in this world ?
When one consider the world existence as the permanent truth then it is biggest Maya.
Maya is delusional. Even though being the part of the maya still remaining detached with this maya is what religion / spirituality help us achieve.
We should not waste this life remaining entangle into maya of this world as other animal species. And thus religion help us to come out of this biggest maya. If one want to find some easy achievable attitude to get detached of maya, then it is advisable to see one’s manifestation as a visitor of this impermanent world. This role as a visitor will also help one realize that one’s own manifestation is impermanent body.
- Tata Twam Asi
In our Upanishad there is mention of very intrinsic aspect of our manifestation and i.e.“Tata Tvam Asi”. Tata means Creator, Tvam means You (Creation). It means you are the creator and irony is you are the creation. In Bhagvad Gita, in 1st to 6thAdhyay, Tvam is Explained (What is you and How is you and How Should be you) from 7th to 12thAdhyay it describes Tata (Who is God, his Presence and his Form description) and from 13th to 18thAdhyay, it is about adjoinment of Tata and Tvam. “Tata Tvam Asi” means when creation adjoin with creator, creation becomes the reflection of creator.
This explains us the final bond between the creator and creation.
- What religion do for us. ?
Religion is the medium which make us constantly realize that there is someone above us who is all pervading in this universe. One may consider this form in any possible connotation like Krishna, Ram, Allah, Christ, Buddha, Mahavir, etc,. Religion make one understand their role as a temporary Visitor in this world. Then it help one realize that the creator (God) within the creation (Oneself) is permanent. And then it make us further realise one’s current manifestation as impermanent. Lastly religion make us understand that there is same creator (God) in every creation. This self realisation will then bring peace, happiness and love in one’s life forever. To elaborate,
Peace– There is nothing to achieve, as you know there is nothing to take from here. The ever lasting peace with no arrogance and expectation.
Happiness– As this manifestation has been chosen by one for celebration, exploration and dedication, there is just happiness in this role.
Love – Everything you see through your senses is You. If you can love yourself, you can love each creation.
- સેવાપૂજા Vs પાઠપૂજા
Today most of the perceived “Religious People” have taken the way of “સેવાપૂજા”
સેવા–Altruism, પૂજા – Devotion.
To see altruism as devotion or devote in the form of Altruism. This religious path is very noble, however this path of સેવાપૂજા is often devoid of Knowledge(જ્ઞાન). Here many people have considered the સેવાપૂજા as serving only god in the mode of doing morning puja, going temple, jap mala’s, yagna’s, chanting Shloka’s, participate in religious bhajan’s, doing fasting, etc. I do not have aversion for all this way of serving to god. However, I averse, when it is devoid of knowledge / meaningful reason behind doing this activities.
Here there is ignorance in understanding the difference between theist and and atheist.
Being Atheist (નાસ્તિક) can be decided by two characteristics.
- One who does not believe that there is any power beyond himself or nature.
- One who does not have knowledge of the creator in full form and cannot differentiate between the creator and nature (False Ego).
Today unfortunately most perceived theist people often goes in to the atheist category, as they have rarely tried to put more thoughts in getting the knowledge of the creator in it’s real form.
In Gujarati Language, to go above the way of સેવાપૂજા, there is another religious way which is more ideal than the former and i.e. “પાઠપૂજા”.
પાઠ – Attain Knowledge, પૂજા –Devote towards that Knowledge.
First attain knowledge of creator and then devote in varied forms of worship, meditation, karma, altruism, etc.
And beauty of this પાઠપૂજા is that once you attain the knowledge, devotion towards the knowledge and also સેવાપૂજા will automatically be the integral part of life.
- Worship (ઉપાસના) VS. Devotion (ભક્તિ).
In understanding religion and religious people we also need to understand the difference between Worship (ઉપાસના) and Devotion (ભક્તિ).
When one go to God after understanding the powerlessness and helplessness of one’s own self, then he is worshipper of Creator.
Most people worship God rather devote to God. And this happens when they does not understand the role of God in world and his way of existence.
Today, people when left with nothing , worship to God. However in this case, one goes to the God as an beggar and only ask for worldly happiness. We often pay more attention to modes of worship, rules of worship, however we forget the crux of worship. This often makes us God fearing community.
There is difference between worship (ઉપાસના) and Devotion (ભક્તિ).
- Devotion requires to accept four main Philosophy.
- God is creator of all beings and knower of everything.
- God has created this universe and all the elements of universe (including us) and he is all Pervading.
- Whatever one have got in life should be contentment. (No begging for worldly matters – This also brings the concept of gratitude for whatever you have got in life).
- Apathy for one’s own manifestation. (As one is just visitor – one rather paying more attention to manifestation should be more concerned about its role. Manifestation will die, but role will remain).
Devotion may be achieved with certain basic human principles like
- No greed and envy,
- No fear,
- Empathy for all
- One who has won over anger,
- One who knows creation and creator,
- One who can differentiate between creator and creation and also understand the relation of creation and creator.
This basic human principles make one religious and spiritual.
- Next step after being religious is to be Yogi
One who follow the religious path consistently then becomes Yogi.
Yogi’s are the one who understands the powerlessness of it’s own creation and power of the devotion. They maintain equilibrium in every situation and towards every sense objects. That Yogi than be Yogeshwar (Yog – To Join, Ishwar–God, Yogeshwar – Adjoin with God).
- Why to Worship God ?
Lastly one may ask if I achieve all the basic human principles and also attain Knowledge of the creator and creation and understand it’s relation then why I need to worship to God.
To understand that, imagine oneself to be the boss of the Company.
Now there are two types of employees in your company.
- There is one employee who does all the work with full heart and is devoted for the growth of the company but he never wish good morning to boss or praise boss for the opportunity provided by him.
- There is one employee who does not do work allotted to him whole heartedly. However always wish boss good morning and praise him for say all right reason.
What type of employee one will prefer for one’s company. ?
One will tend to choose the 1stPerson. As there is no meaning of good morning if he does not do work whole heartedly. This is so simple to answer, right?.
If this philosophy is so simple for normal humans to understand, than imagine God / Aatma / Soul / Krishna / Ram / Allah / Christ / Nanakji/ Ma Amba who have created this complex world would ever choose the second employee ?
One who go to temple everyday, do lots of fasting, remember all chants and shlokas but does not follow the basic principles of Human, should deserve to be true employee of God ?
Let’s see then the possibility of third type of Employee.
This third type of employee is the one who observe all human principle and also acknowledge God grace.
This is third type of employee who God loves the most. Because here love and respect are two ways. Because here employee acknowledge the grace of boss as he understood the importance of opportunity provided to him.
Going to any religious places and following religious rituals are the form to pay gratitude to the creator for it’s creation. This wonderful world is made for our celebration. And we humans have got special elements in the form of Senses, Mind and Intelligence. With this we are able to understand this world and make this world a better place generation by generation. And this all can happen only with power of the God. And with continuous gratitude for the power given to us by God, it will slowly help achieve love for God and last step will be the union with God.
Today most people are going to religious places with an expectation that by showing gratitude, God will give them the required worldly happiness like money, prestige, wife, children’s, etc. However that’s not what religious places are meant for. The temple’s, mosque, church, etc are the places where one can bond with the creator with peace. We offer water, milk, flowers, candles to the god for gratitude rather expectation.
Today many of our generation never goes to the temple because they mistrust that it can help them. This mistrust because when they look towards the people who worship to God, they see that such people rarely observe the basic human principle of love for all, happiness in everything and peace in mind.
In both sides it is loss to human kind. The real religion is somewhere lost in the middle. In no way I mean to disregard the traditional modes of Worship, there is strong science behind this tradition. However I just wish that tradition be followed after achieving the right knowledge and after understanding the real science behind the same.
So next time if one ask, Are you religious ?. You better know the right answer.
Thanks for the read. Your comment, like, critic, share and any acknowledgement will give a boost to improve myself to bring better content in the future. Lots of Love.