When filling applications, I pause at the religion box. I don’t know how to classify myself in terms of religious beliefs. I want to be religious; I want to believe that there’s something looking out for my well being. I want to believe that if I’m good, good things will happen to me, and if I pray sincerely, my prayers will be answered. I know there’s no way to prove that God exists, but for some reason I need proof. I wouldn’t call myself an atheist though, because I still mumble prayers in times of need.
I was raised in a traditional Hindu family. Nightly prayers are a ritual in my family. Several religious idols can be found all throughout the house. God’s name is uttered with every good-bye, before every meal and at bedtime. I follow the traditions I grew up with, but most of them became odd habits. So it isn’t fair to call myself a Hindu.
Religion is more than just reading scriptures and reciting hymns. It’s about the faith in a higher power. Religion gives people strength to get over their struggles. It gives meaning to things that can’t be defined. Most people need to be certain that life has a purpose, and death isn’t the end. Religion provides that certainty. Whether a person believes in Christ, Vishnu or Allah, it’s all the same. It’s the rules and customs that make religions different.
These rules were made so long ago that they aren’t relevant today. Many customs have beautiful reasons behind them, but those reasons are forgotten. People try so hard to follow the rules that they forget the basic message of the religion. It’s because of rules and customs that organized religion doesn’t appeal to me.
I personally believe that every living being has a soul. Every soul is connected as one divine power. Everyone is connected so everyone is equal. I believe that everything happens as it’s meant to. There’s no right or wrong; no good or evil. Everything just is. I don’t know what category that falls under, so for now, my religion is “other.”
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