- No Bible or religious text verses.
- No personal experiences (I experienced God as a child type)
Besides ignoring lack of evidence, despite thepassed from parents to child and society to people. Just state your motive for why you continue to believe and how you do so.
Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
Thank you for the A2A.
At the outset, I must tell you that I do not believe in ‘a God’. That takes away the entire meaning of my faith. I believe in God. I believe in a Supreme Power. Formless. Gender-less. And yet, all-pervading. Omnipresent.
For me, God is someone I talk to. Not just sing praises about. And my faith permits me the freedom to believe in who/what I consider as God. We are taught that there is God’s presence in iron and in rust. We are taught that there is a piece of God in every living thing, big and small. We are taught and encouraged to ask questions and to keep on asking questions about any aspect of our faith until we arrive at an answer that is satisfactory to us. Nobody tells us how to live our life based on a dated set of rules. I am a Hindu. The guy sitting next to me is a Hindu. But our idea of God and worship are different. And our faith accommodates all variations. Nobody threatens us with dire consequences if we don’t pray or don’t follow certain rules to live our life. It is our wish whether to believe in a Power, in one of the manifestations of that Power or not to believe in it at all. We have hundreds of thousands of religious books and not just one common rule-book for all. We are free to pray or not to pray at all. We are free to choose how we wish to pray. It is this absolute freedom that is so enchanting. There are no strings tied and yet, we don’t even feel like going astray. For nowhere else would we get the bliss we enjoy where we are. There are staunch Hindus and there are atheist Hindus and there are moderate Hindus. They all live together in harmony. Which other faith allows this?
While growing up, I was exposed to the Bible and the Qur’an just as I was exposed to our scriptures. We were told as children to love and respect all faiths like our own. We never underwent any kind of ‘indoctrination’ from any quarters that tried to assert that our faith is the best and that all others are false, or that the power we consider as God is the one true God and that all other notions are false. No. We were instead told that different people take different roads to reach one single place. Everyone’s ultimate destination is the same. The road we take to reach there is irrelevant as long as people traversing on it are happy. I know I am quite happy where I am. If my faith had been stifling in any way, I would have broken loose and ran for my life. But it isn’t. My faith teaches me good things, it teaches me to do good to everyone, it teaches me not to accept anything blindly and that I have to ask questions about why I am doing certain things. The faith can be questioned. The customs can be questioned. If they are irrelevant to the current time, it can be amended or removed totally. We are not the same as our ancestors. They lived in a different time. They lived a life suitable to those times. Times have changed now, and our faith and our customs have also evolved along with us. And I think this is absolutely beautiful.
It is just like the sand and the palm story. If you try to close your palm around a handful of sand, it will escape through the gaps between the fingers. The tighter you close your fist, the more will be the sand that escapes.
But if you take the sand in an open palm, it will remain there for as long as you wish it to remain. People and faiths are like that. The more controlling a faith gets, the more disgruntled its followers get. Give people freedom and they won’t feel like going anywhere else 🙂