“Fear the God.”
“God is watching everything.”
“God is omnipresent.”
These are few of the everyday statements we have been hearing since our childhood. As a child, I first believed in the concept of God. (Well, you don’t have an option at that stage.) But as I started visiting various temples, the concept seemed to be fading. Then there was a chaos. Let’s see it as a conflict between two aspects of my personality; one which wants to believe in what has been taught about God, and the other which wants to believe in facts a rather rebellious one having a conversation with me.
As a 10 years old:
Taught-minded philosophy: “Listen, your parents said that God is everywhere and the idols are a mere representation, they know more stuff than you.”
Atheist-minded philosophy: “I can’t relate to any God, There is no-one even in my mind which resembles God-like figure. Besides if I meet a four-handed human or a four headed human it would be interesting to see how they coordinate with those extra sets.”
At that age I imagined God as shown in the daily soaps of B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharat or Ramanand Sagar’s Krishna; armed with weapons, dressed in those flashy gold studded attire. It took me 2 more years to understand that it was fake.
I remember my mom explained to me that all that shown on TV isn’t real. I took the words in a different sense, for me, cartoons were fake (which I had suspected for long after few failed experiments!) but other than that it was the real deal. Real Gods were shown on the TV. Then came the Eureka moment, I met the actor who played the role of Krishna, and was relieved as well as sad that he had only 2 hands and wore normal clothes.
12 Years old:
Taught-minded philosophy: “Those damn daily soaps! Stop painting God as those serials show them.”
Atheist-minded philosophy: “Temple has an idol, but that is not God; It is just a place for people to gather and conduct business. The devotees come to the temple seeking peace and relief from their problems.”
Taught-minded philosophy: “If not God, then how this universe was created?”
Atheist-minded philosophy: “There sure must be some logical answer to this.”
14 Years old:
Atheist-minded philosophy: “Yeah so, Darwin’s theory explains the evolution.”
Taught-Minded philosophy: “Still, there are lot of loop holes in it.”
Atheist-minded philosophy: “Oh, so your theory which says god created everything in 4 days makes more sense to you rather than the one which explains it in stages.”
Having experienced village life from an early age, I had seen the extremes of religious fanaticism and always marveled at the concept of God being used as per everyone’s convenience. There is a ceremony which happens quite regularly everywhere, it’s the ceremony where a spirit of an elderly or someone with equivalent stature enters a human body and people ask for guidance from these spirits. I guess my relatives were the most beloved humans of these spirits, cause every alternate day I would find someone seeking advice from these spirits. Not just the day-to-day activities, these spirits were consulted in grave matters such as land deals, quarrels, also finding the damn cattle. As a kid I was first fascinated by these spirit loved humans and always wondered why these spirits won’t talk to me, so I started paying attention to the details of these particular relatives of mine. I stayed in their vicinity for as long as possible, the more I understood their thinking the clearer the picture became to me. There were no goddamn spirits, these relatives of mine enjoyed the power being bestowed upon them and also their greed. There were many incidents were the dispute was settled by making an offering to the spirit in form of a temple or just barren land or cattle and since the spirits favored these few people, they were given the ownership.
Then I started paying attention to the temples and it’s working. The temples worked on a grand level when it came to scamming people. Building a temple is now as good as starting a business. I have seen the rise of the temple from a ‘normal temple‘ with a ‘normal God‘ to a grand multi million rupee structure with a ‘wish granting God‘ within a span of a year. Not just temples, same modus operandi is followed by every religious house.
So that’s when I arrived at the conclusion, there is no God. We, the humans are the supreme and we should live the life as per our own rules of conduct; not the one laid by any religion or in the fear of any punishment in our after life.
I was fortunate enough to be born in India. There is a lot of diversity, there are lot of religions and also there are lots of mythological scriptures and traditions. I have always been fascinated by Indian mythology. They reveal a lot about the human psyche of that time as well as the current time. If you just look at these scriptures from an atheist point of view, you will see the flaws in the characters depicted as gods. Our ancestors knew in order to make people follow the rules, there had to be an entity which can install faith as well as fear in our minds, even when no one was to observe you; hence the concept of omnipresent god. The traditions and festivals were designed in such a way that it would benefit our body to adjust to the changes in the seasons. They were smart people, but the next generation wasn’t that smart or curious as to ask why. That’s where the things went wrong and people just started following blindly without knowing the actual reason behind it.
Being an Atheist doesn’t mean that one denounces all the rules of society, it just means you follow the rules but not because you fear the godly punishment, you do because you respect the other individuals.