We are born on this earth to experience life. A society has been created with rules to ensure everybody can live together in peace and harmony. For example, you are not supposed to kill anyone unless you are a police officer whose job is to protect the public. You are not supposed to rob anyone otherwise you will ended up in jail. There are certain rules created by society according to the need of a particular period of time. As time changes, new things evolve, then new rules are implemented to protect the society. There are certain rules created by man in order to ensure people follow the rules of religion.
Knowingly or not, the subject of God and religion has always been a controversial topic. Some people believe in God and some do not believe in God. Some believe in God because they have experienced presence of God in some form. Some refuse to believe in God because they can’t see God with their own eyes. Both people are actually right in their own way. But the problem comes when they start to argue and defend their point of view to the extent of killing another. If we see in today’s world, people are fighting in the name of God. God say this, hence we must follow. God say this, hence we must not do this. But in reality God himself did not come and say it. A human form saying it, writing about what God has said. The funnier part is every human has a different understanding and they interpret what is being said according to their own understanding. But complicated situation arises when these people who decided to follow what “God” has said and started to force people to follow whether or not they like it.
I am born as a Hindu. I dislike any form of force to make me to do something which I did not understand or which I did not believe according to my logic sense. I consider myself lucky because I grew up having choice to explore and experience different religion and I love all religions. Religion teaches us to be peaceful, helpful and be kind. But some people are using the name of religion to create chaos and disharmony. Being born a Hindu, sometimes I do find myself defending Hinduism when some people are mocking it. If I were born as a Christian, Buddhist or Muslim, I would have also defend these religions as to what I have been taught. When I think about it, it has been fed to my subconscious since young. If I were born without any religion, perhaps my thinking would have been very different. Now my question is can we be allowed to practice own religion in peace? If I choose not to practice my religion, can I be allowed to live in peace? If I choose to explore and experience different religion to what I am currently experiencing, can I be allowed to choose that in peace? If I find that my experience with certain religion is not to what I expect it to be, can I be allowed to change to what I want in peace? Can other people and religion authority do not disturb me if I choose to follow or not follow what I want in peace?
I grew up surrounded with friends from different religion. I have no problem seeing them practicing their religion and in fact, I love seeing what they do. But the problem arises when they start forcing me directly or indirectly with rules of their religion onto me. I am raised in a multi cultural, multiracial country. One side I see a Malay fully covered wearing Baju Kurung and another side a Chinese wear short pants walking around in malls. I have no issue with both because that is their culture. A Malay muslim required to follow their religion by ensuring they cover themselves properly. But why are they trying to enforce their practice on others?
I really don’t know how the Malay Muslims can keep quiet with their rights to freedom are taken away slowly from them and they are happy with it. Only because they are told they will go to heaven? Please don’t mistaken me. I have nothing against the Malay or the Islam religion. What bothers me is that there are people who tell me to convert to Islam so that I can go to heaven. There are people who tease me just because I wear a little sexy saying that I don’t cover my “aurat”. But I am not a Muslim. Why am I being told all these? Because by making me to convert to their religion, they can go to heaven. But are you sure you are really going to heaven? We don’t even know what is going to happen tomorrow? We don’t even know where we were before we even born in this world. We were told we took rebirths as Hindu. I believe that because I find some logic in it. But again I don’t even know for real whether it is true. If I choose to believe it, I believe it. If I choose not to believe it, I don’t believe it.
Everywhere around the world, religion makes headline. The Muslim and Hindu killing each other. ISIS attacking mosque. Genocide. Mass killing. Syria with the war for years. Never ending. Another one the Uiyghurs. All because someone decided that they either follow what we say otherwise we kill them. All because of greed for power. And sometimes religion is being used as a bait. You must vote for this particular person or party because only then you will be taken care well. It doesn’t matter whether they already have black record of their wrongdoings before. All it matters what religion are they from. It makes me to think that religion is the culprit for the downfall. Selfish people using religion to get what they want and the mass follow them blindly. Because you are going to heaven.
Reminds me of Sadhguru as quoting this “If you think you will go to heaven after death, why don’t you go now? Why live in hell and suffer?”. This quote definitely got me to think. In Hinduism also it is said you will go to heaven. If you do good, you will go to heaven. If you do bad, you will ended up in hell. Every religion say this. But I want to live peacefully here. I want to do things that makes me happy. Below are my personal reason why I don’t prefer to be converted into Islam religion:
- I will lose my freedom to wear a nice dress or skirt or saree that shows hip. I have to cover myself fully from head to toe.
- I can’t eat in public during Ramadhan. I will be caught if I don’t follow the rules.
- I have to pray 5 times in a day. I will be judged if I don’t pray.
- I cannot be alone with opposite gender alone otherwise I will be caught and taken to court.
- If I die, my family will not have my body to do the rituals as per their belief.
Now, if I were to continue to be in own religion (or the religion given to me when I was born as a Hindu), these are the things that I can continue to do without any obstruction:
- I can wear anything I want including bikinis. But of course my mother didn’t raise me up in such a way, so that is hell NO. I still wear very decent clothes. But body hugging clothes, yes.
- I can choose to pray in temple whenever I want. If I choose to go only during special days, fine. If I choose to go every week, fine. If I choose not to go at all, it is fine too. If I choose to sit and meditate instead of prayers, reading mantra, it is perfectly fine. God do not punish me because I did not pray to Him. He knows I will go to Him when I’m in trouble. And yes, He is happy to help because He is the Father of All Souls. I’m not atheist by the way. 😉
- If I choose to go somewhere with my BF, no officers going to catch me. I am in my right mind, I know what will happen if I were to have sex before marriage and what will happen if I were to conceive. The only person who will scold me is my parents. I tell you I am still bound by their rules despite already reaching 30s.
- There are fasting months in Hinduism too. I can fast if I want. It is ok if I don’t.
- If I die, my family can do the rituals they want to do. Easy for everybody.
- If I want to study and understand other religion, I can do so without fear. It is not like just because I say certain “words” or see certain “things”, I will lose my faith just like that. This is called fear mongering.
- I am a vegetarian. I choose non-violence. I don’t harm another human being, animals or nature.
- Of course, I love the FREEDOM!
I am a thinker. I want to do what I want to do. I have been to a church and to a Buddhist temple. I love the peaceful vibration there. I have prayed in a church and even have one of my wish to be fulfilled. I have meditated in a Buddhist temple. I have also visited a Sikh temple. But not a mosque. I don’t know why I have never entered a mosque.
If you have read the story of Malala, the girl who survived the attack of Taliban who fought for education for girls. In her story, she described how Taliban slowly took away the freedom of their people. Taken away their rights to watch TV. Taken away the rights of school children especially the girls. Because if you are educated, you will know your rights. You will fight for it. They don’t want you to fight for your rights. They don’t want you to think for yourself. Be submissive. Follow what the religion say. Be obedient to your husband no matter what he does because otherwise you cannot go to heaven.
All I want to say here is allow people to practice their religion and customs. Please don’t force your belief onto others. If they want to know, then you teach. If they don’t, don’t force them. Just because you want to go to heaven, why force others? Others not ready to go to heaven.