Long ago, when our ancestors descended from the tree and started walking on the earth, we allowed religion to hijack everything from our entertainment to our morality, from our pains and joys to our gods and devils. When the immensity of the cosmic mystery overwhelmed those primitive creatures, it was understandable that they sought solace in superstitions and rituals. Today, when science has broken through most of the mysteries, revealing the principles of gravitation and quantum mechanics, unseating gods from their celestial thrones, replacing heaven and hell with black holes and stellar bodies, why does religion continue to inflict us with tragedies?
|For details: The Hindu|
The latest tragedy in a Kerala temple, like most other such tragedies in places of worship, is a man-made one. The organisers and operators of the fireworks display flung all norms to the cosmic winds for the sake of enhancing the impressiveness of the show. It’s a kind of competition. Our temple festival must be more ostentatious than the festival of all other religious institutions in the neighbourhood. The grander the display, the greater the religion!
We have to liberate ourselves from our snobbery first of all if such tragedies are to be avoided. Not only firework displays, but also religious processions, conventions and a lot of other means are employed to show off that one’s own religion is capable of making more noise than the neighbour’s. The greater the noise and grander the display, the more attractive is the religion! In other words, religion is not really about religion but about our pretentiousness and its satellite vices.
Secondly, we have to liberate our gods from their bondage in our temples, churches and other such places. When the gods are gone, perhaps we will learn to look within. And discover the delights of simple humaneness which doesn’t need temples and fireworks.