A kindly woman, enfeebled with age, was sitting besides the temple gate with her palms raised. I shattered a coconut in front of the idol with hopes that it would magically add points to my karma. My gaze fell on the kindly woman. I was filled with genuine grief just contemplating the sort of lifestyle she has to lead. I looked away. I dropped a 100 Rs note into the Undiyal (Temple Trust Collection Box) and spared 2 Rs change for the kindly woman’s palms. How did I forget God’s lessons of Compassion? All in the name of Religion.
I panicked listening to the words pouring out the fortune teller’s mouth. He calmed me down with a pious grin and presented to me a crimson knotted-thread. Minutes later, I left the fortune teller’s abode with the pricey accessory around my wrist, eternally grateful for his timely help and worldly advice. Not long after, I climbed onto a crowded bus with a struggle and waded through the unyielding crowd to find a support rod to cling onto for the remainder of my journey. The bus reached my stop. I clambered down accompanied by the usual commotion only to find a hole cut in my pocket where I once had my phone. I grew furious. I felt wronged. I felt ashamed. I had been robbed. Once? All in the name of Religion.
His eyes cringed as the miniature ‘vel’ (spear) pierced his cheeks. His eyes grew teary and the pain and ordeal he was going through were evident. But, that did little to stop him. He marched on still resolute to fulfil his end of the bargain. A bargain with whom? God? If only pain and ordeal were currency in the ‘God-world’. All in the name of Religion.
We don’t think twice before inflicting pain upon ourselves as a bargain for something we want but we grow apprehensive when asked to pledge our organs for donation, to be of use to someone when the organs will be of no use to our dead and decaying bodies.
We search for God in Godly-men when he exists in our thoughts and random acts of kindness. We live in a world where the act of reaching out to god is commercialised and the promise of material satisfaction is sold like vegetables. Temples have lost their meaning. We tabulate and keep score of our karma and pray to god for material gifts quoting our karma score to justify how we deserve rewards. If only Santa Claus was real. Somewhere along the way we forgot God preaches contentment and chose the ignoramus path of using prayers and religious offerings to fuel greed and propagate hypocrisy. All in the name of Religion.