If you type religion on google search, you’ll read ‘Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.’
But is this what religion means to the current generation?
Today, religion has mostly disappeared into the background. Of course you see temples, churches and mosques everywhere. But how many young people actually have faith in God; in Krishna, in Jesus or in Allah? Most people I ask say “I’m an atheist.” Or more often, “I’m agnostic.”
I come from a Hindu background, where my dad and mom pray every morning and light lamps in the evening. But honestly, I’m not too sure if I will continue this ritual, let alone pass it on to the next generation.
Religion is increasingly becoming something people look to when they have nowhere else to go. If not that, it’s just another reason to organize a boring function and give everyone a proper South Indian meal on a banana leaf (I’m not complaining).
I believe that most of us are Hindus or Muslims just to fall under some category. No one goes deep enough into the religion. I’m pretty sure nobody even knows what the Bhagwad Gita says. I’m one among them. I know how to recite a few shlokas but those are just a set of words I learnt by-heart. People, barring a few exceptions, have very limited knowledge about the philosophy and history behind their religion.
Also, religion is getting too commercial these days; Iskcon and Tirupati, topping the chart. You’re supposed to find peace and serenity at temples. If anyone associates Tirupati with either of these things, I’d scoff. You wait three hours in the queue to see Venkateshwara’s idol and when you finally catch a tiny glimpse over someone’s shoulder you hear ‘Jargandi jargandi.’ Before you can even process these words, you’re pushed away. You have no choice but to walk away hoping God heard all your prayers in those two or three seconds.
And Iskcon sells pizzas and burgers as prasad. Sure, anything becomes prasad once you offer it to God, but if your intention is really to please God, and if you actually follow Hindu scriptures, I don’t think Krishna will be too pleased to see a burger and a blackforest cake before him instead of a pot of butter.
Basically, religion as a belief system seems to be fading away as generations pass. Everybody has a different view about their own religion. Perhaps these differences in opinion are causing confusion in younger generations. Our grandparents told us stories about Lord Rama and Krishna. But who is going to narrate these stories to our grandchildren?