I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, and I was talking to him about Krishnamurthy, and he put me and Krishnamurthy in the “Atheist” group. If only my grandmother could hear him, she would banish him to an ungodly world. People, who know me, might go on hunger strike and request (rather demand) him to take the words out of our conversation and won’t withdraw until he offers unconditional apology.
Jokes aside, is that were I leaning to? All my life, I have been deeply religious; I used to pray for hours. People think that I spiritually enlightened one. For example, some time back, I walked into a room, where my brother’s mother-in-law was reading and discussing a book about meditation to some of her friends. The moment she saw me, she introduced me to her friends and said, that I have the power to go into deep meditative state by the snap of a finger. I asked her, where she got that idea from? She told me that she has seen me in the prayer room, sitting and performing puja for hours. I did not continue the conversation because I know I can’t, I just moved on.
For the most part, I am still religious but I am pondering or challenging my mind to find some unanswered question. To achieve this, I am utilizing some tools and theories. One such theory is prophesied by Jiddu Krishnamurthy. The fundamental question from his thought process is to question ourselves why we need God. As per him, one such element which drives us blindly to a faith is fear, fear of death, fear of rejection (from the environment such as family, society, and friends), fear about future etc. So how do we overcome fear? With the help of 2 key elements; creative thinking and unadultered learning. What is unadultered learning? When one associates himself with a group based on religion or country then his learning is limited to that group isn’t it? One may be so sure that religion or his country is the best, thus he forgets to think beyond his limitation. So he asks us to forget these limitations and let the mind work on his own.
To further amplify, lets discuss why do we perform pujas or why do we go to church or mosque. Every religion promises heaven except Buddhism where everything is in a cycle of some cosmic events. Nevertheless, we confine ourselves in a given path, to achieve a Promised Land. But are we sure that these codes will lead us there? Or to take it the next level are we sure that there exist a promise land? Science has the changed the world we live in upside down. Given that, can we still go on life with Adam and Eve theory without questioning it? Hinduism is better off, because the religion is flexible, there is no fixed rule. It is up to the human to figure his path. With that, I am happy that my religion lets me ponder the truth or even question the scared text. That freedom now lets me contemplate the effectiveness or importance of pujas. Agreed, pujas do give me a great sense of satisfaction; it does make you feel secure but is it the answer?
Sometime these so called scared path, lets the individual kill others, harm others, makes them indulge themself with a feeling that they are superior than other, but do they ever questioned their path. We don’t, because we have a fear about ourselves(how assured am I of success), fear of our environment, and by loyalty, by that I mean, if someone higher than us, may it be our parents, our religious leader, if they put forth a theory then it has to be true right? Do we take a moment and question ourselves what if?
With that complex relationship we immerse ourselves with, it’s our environment which creates reality right? Explore these realities. If we want to succeed, we have to lose this win/loss orientation. Stop this mentality that we have to be right all the time. Be conscientious, listen and understand the surrounding.
To further exemplify, from Buddha’s teaching, Just as your breath which arise and fall, you’re thought, emotion, perception of the world will rise and fall. Just as the sun, Buddha says if it arises it will subside. This is called the, the law of impermanence. This relative world we live in, which is a cosmic mix of space, time and causality, nothing is permanent. So our sufferings come from our attachment to these fields of permanence or idea of permanence which exists in the impermanent world.
Now, to the part which I still need understanding. Buddha argues not to worry about this impermanent form of yours. You are not separate from others; you are at one with everyone else. Your attachment to self and your life at this current junction makes you go through suffering. I guess he argues to get the bigger picture, some cosmic continuation of life which goes around in circle.
In the end, in our current self, Jiddu Krishnamurthy, ask us to accept self, thus accepting everything around it. How do we achieve this? He says that it is through creative thinking and unadultered learning. How do I prepare for a self like that, by not having fear, by not having a confined vision (my religion, my country).
To conclude, to answer the question put forth by my friend, I am not trying to become an atheist. I am tired of being in this rollercoaster ride, where one day you are elated and the other day you are depressed. I am tired of the environment we live in, where one’s self overtakes basic human tendencies. Finally, I am tired of life with “Fear”. To overcome these limitations, the path makes me question the fundamentals. Does it make me atheist? I don’t think so. I think it just makes me understand things better.
Note – Some of the material here are referenced from Jiddu Krishnamurthy and Chopra.