I just got back from a trip to my grandmother's house in Nagpur. For the 4 days that i was there, i took a morning walk with my uncle who is a Brigadier General in the Indian Army, and as i just realized after all these years, an extremely interesting human being.
Each day we had a different topic of conversation, arbitrarily chosen. On one of these walks, we had an interesting discussion on Religion and Philosophy.It started interestingly, when my uncle suddenly asked me, "Are you an atheist?"
Now I AM an atheist-at least according to the dictionary. Basically I don't believe in worshiping God, in religion or idol worship. I do, but, willingly partake in all the social and cultural activities which have a religious inclination. This i do as per the advice of my late Grandfather, firstly because these are abundant in India and secondly to avoid antagonizing my parents and stay away from societal controversy and consternation. Considering all this, I Do believe in a power above myself and that the universe is governed by a higher energy force, this I do for my own reasons.
So, getting back, I answered my uncle's question in the affirmative and explained to him that I believe in the omnipotent energy, of which I have seen proof, and this belief I require for strength when my mind is weak or when I falter.
He then explained his point of view with the help of the Upanishads and the Bhagvad Gita. Having said that, I must clarify that though a religious person himself, he took a purely philosophical approach while speaking to me.
It would be quite impossible to retrace the exact discussion owing to my rather poor memory and the fact that we digressed a lot in the course of the discussion.
But at the end of it I wished to summarize the conversation. That resulted in the following:
The concept of 'God' is a man-made one. Every different religion is the result of the limitation of the mind of man in the way of 'conceptualizing' God.
For eventually every religion in essence preaches the same thing- 'God is and omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient manifestation of our belief.'
Religion is a tool for initiation into the 'philosophy of life'.
The various contorted consequences and unfortunate abbhorance in the name of religion is a result of the decay and limited cognitive and perceptive abilities of man's mind or a shrewd mind with an ulterior motive.
I found in my eccentric perception a certain degree of consensus between the age old 'Bhagvad Gita' and modern day philosophies of Ayn Rand, who propounded the concept of 'Objectivism'.
The Bhagvad Gita says that, Lord is not removed from the universe i.e. they are one. I interpret this thus- You are a part of the universe, thus You are a part of the Lord.
So, if the Lord is power, then you are in that power and a part of that power!
Ayn Rand, exults the capability of MAN, not men, and HIS potential, above all else. This concept she calls Man-Worship.
These two philosophies in conjecture tell me,
"To believe in MYSELF, MY energy, spirit and thought and move towards MY goal."
Everyone has a right to their own opinion and philosophy-this is mine.
This may seem like a warped or half-baked or even a brilliant philosophy, with which people may agree or disagree, but, it is MY PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE.