Sunday, December 15, 2013

Where I ramble about religion

The term "against our culture" puzzles me.

I'm not the most religious person around, but I grew up reading every single Amar Chitra Katha comic I could lay my hands on (including one memorable Delhi Book Fair where I spent my entire allowance on all the ACK comics at the first stall, and got them bound into three volumes), as well as C. Rajagopalachari's versions of Ramayana and Mahabharata, so I feel like I know something about the stories of Hindu mythology, if nothing else.

And the thing that always struck me about our mythology is how flawed our Gods are. You look at everything Indra did, sometimes for nothing other than pride. Krishna, Shiva, Rama - they've all done things that not everyone would say was the right thing to do. Sometimes they regretted and/or atoned for their actions, sometimes they didn't. But I feel like our Gods were a lot more tolerant than anyone gives them credit for.

I've also been to a few churches and attended a few sermons in my life - probably understood them a lot better than any puja I might have gone for too. And a common thread I've always heard in them is that it doesn't matter what you've done in your life, as long as you believe in God and accept Him in your life, you will be accepted by him into Heaven. Which always feels like a bit of a cop out to me, but also convinces me that if there is a God out there, or a gazillion of them, he/they is/are a lot more accepting and human than us mere mortals.

I've heard the phrase "against Indian culture" being countered by examples of sculptures and writings from ancient times. But for those who use religion as an argument to not accept something about a person, you need to go back and remember how accepting your religion really is.

Because our gods were flawed. And heck of a lot more tolerant than those who claim to follow them.

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