Published in: The Pioneer
    Category: Religion
    Dated: 3/22/2004
Is it not amazing that Indians blessed with their great treasure of knowledge became slaves ? And who conquered them ? The conquerors, according to the Vedic standards, were uncivilised people. A knowledgeable person provided a suitable explanation. The invaders and the colonisers had no divisions amongst themselves in the name of religion. They were not confused in their aim ; they came solely to plunder the riches of India. On the other hand, Indians were divided ; the higher castes were misusing religion. The scriptures were misinterpreted by the vested interests. Such misuse cannot be the fault of religion. A knife is very useful but if wrongly used can kill also.

Anyone who has cared to assiduously study the scriptures, like the Bhagavad-Geeta can vouch that everything stated therein is perfect and useful to the mankind. Scriptures, like the Bhagavad-Geeta are actually instructions left by God, who is infallible, that is, cannot make a mistake. Gross misinterpretation proved to be the bane of the Indians. Even since then the situation is no better. Such misuse has given rise to a class of people who reject anything remotely connected to religion. Secularism is highly fashionable today, though the term is of recent origin. Niccolo Machiavelli, the famous Florentine politician credited with the invention of secularism, had actually meant it to be the separation of politics from religion. He had come up with this theory since religion being misused by vested interests in Italy for political gains.

It should be understood that religion, which is the supreme guiding set of principles for human beings, is very useful and its wrong use by vested interests does not invalidate it. By branding religion as sinister and dangerous, the contemporary society has been deprived of the invaluable scriptures, which were once the operation - manual for the well-being of mankind. Everyone is acting, according to one’s own whims and the result is chaos. Recent data shows that there has been sharp decline on all fronts. People in large numbers are suffering from stress and depression, with some studies claim that, as high as 85 percent of the people, are affected. Yet, religion or scriptures are being rejected where all the answers are readily available. Today’s society is afflicted with death wish which rejects anything even remotely connected with God, who has all the answers to our problems.

Besides the misuse of religion, we are becoming a society of non-believers since God does not readily grant our unending demands. As the material science has progressed rapidly, desires of the common man have increased manifold. Also, God only grants what is deserved by the individual and this is taken as a proof of God's non-existence. The Almighty, does not wish us to be in bodily consciousness, which is reinforced by material success. And such bodily consciousness keeps us in the material world which is full of three-fold miseries. These are adhyatmic, that is given by one's body and mind ; adhibhautic, that is given by others and adhidaivik, that is given by the natural forces.

And one can see that the material advancement has neither eliminated the miseries nor even reduced them. If anything, the miseries have increased since there is conscious movement away from God and His instructions. By earnestly following His instructions, which has been detailed in the scriptures, one would attain happiness in one’s life. And, at the end of this life shall not return to this place of misery - duhkhalayam, as described by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Geeta.
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