Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Religion and its problems
These days,we often hear communalization,communal riots,communal tension etc.etc. Our newspapers are often filled
with all kinds of news regarding these problems.Inter-religional problems are not even limited to problems within
a country only.They often manifest themselves the main reasons of tension between the countries.Often,there are
wars based on the differences different communities/countries have.
In essence ,these problems have an alarmingly large percentage among all problems faced by humanity.And this fact
forces me to take a look at our current structure and foundations of religion ,as there definitely ought to be a
Let us delve into the origin of the concept of religion in order to understand it.In the early stages of spiritual
development of humans ,a normal human always had a system regarding how she/he spends her/his life.There were certain
rules that were adhered to,regarding leading everyday-life.These rules were formed by common agreement among the
people who lived together.People started calling this "Way of life" as religion.Mind you ,at this point of time ,
this set of rules was not at all very rigid,In fact the rules were just some guidelines regarding everyday life.
Then ,slowly different concepts of spirituality started sinking in each religion.Many beliefs started attaching
themselves to each religion.Slowly the structure beacme rigid (may be unknowingly). And now,they stand as they are
today,with all religions being as diverse in their nature as they possibly could be.
And the single-most important transition that came about ,was "communization" of religion.That is, the social
platform ,each religion got.Each religion formed a "commune" of its people.
Having understood and analysed the origin and development of religion,we now delve into what exactly is the
cause of all these problems we see around us,regarding religion.
After formation of these "communes" ,it was natural ,that these communes would have an "opinion" of their own,
regarding certain issues ,in fact almost all issues.And this "opinion" got much importance,as it was supposedly,
the opinion of ALL people in that community.The problem arose here.When a perticular person doesn't like a
perticular rule or guideline set by this commune,a conflict was indispensable...Further ,as the "commune" gets
too much of an importance ,there are always clashes between different communes.This makes the situation completely
problematic.Further,due to psychological reasons,people change their mind about a perticular problem just beacuse
the commune thinks otherwise.This discourages independent thought and right actions.
According to me,religion ,is a very private affair for a person.As said earlier ,as this is a set of guidelines
a person sets for himself/herself ,it is purely personal.This sets a definite boundary between ,the private life
of a person and that of a commune.As each person,in principle ,can have very different set of assumptions regarding,
the way he/she wants to lead his/her life ,including his understanding of spirituality and his view on
theism/atheism.I think,if we understand that ,then most of our confusion melts away.
In such a case,then,the definite boundary ,which I talked about, works perfectly and nobody has any confusions about
exactly what part of a person's life is decided by a commune.Only those parts which cross the boundary of the
individuality of a person ,and affect the commune in a prominent way (for eg. a person cannot,in principle go on
committing murders,arguing that its his/her part of religion) ,should be checked by the commune.
I have broadly commented on what I felt was the problem with current structure of religion.And though I do not
claim that the solutions I suggested are completely feasible/plausible in current circumstances,even the basic
understanding of the problem,is ,I think,very benificial.