Saturday, January 12, 2008


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.


c e e d y said...

This is one topic of great interest to me. Having been reading and exposed to all kinds of philosophies due to my training I completely agree with you summary.
My take is that all of us need someone to blame or thanks somehow for taking a desicion or doing a particular thing - so there enters GOD - you ask him and if you get it wow!!!!he blessed you and if you dont - ha!!!! he thinks its not for me.
BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU IN PERSON - DO YOU KNOW YOUR NEEDS!!!! - try saying that and you are lablelled as a selfish bas#%$@....
Anyways another great book by Ayn Rand - that I recetly picked up is "the virtue of selfishness" - av to read it :)
thanks for sharing and besides this hope you had great food and lots of lovely moments :)

vitruvian said...

i know all about being lbelled selfish..
but u know its oka..because its our life in the end...and if we know w=how we want to live it then...
why the heck shud we care abt what others opinions of us!!
yea...i just picked up "Virtue of Selfishness" 2-3 days back..i just finished Anthem...which i absolutely loved...imagine...the CONCEPT of discovering "I",,we take that so much for granted!!
yes..i did have loads of great grandmoms an excellent cook...that seems to be a universal truth na? ;)
and i enjoyed my relatives thoruoghly...i'm sad that i dont really get enuff of them...


Rahul Rad said...

I have always been bemused why Rand is so abnormally popular in India. Anyway, about blaming followers instead of religions, I think any ideology is only as good as its followers are. If nobody practices it right, perhaps there is a reason for it.
Nice post Sneha!

dharmabum said...

it is not the idol, but the ideal behind the idol, that is worshipped. also, it provides us with a powerful object to focus our thoughts upon, in order to quiet the mind which is otherwise so full of nonsense. most of all, it is a symbol of hope - for simple bums like me, who can't philosophize about abstractions :)

Nothingman said...

very narcissistic philosophy of life, all me!

Suits me ;)



J E E V Y said...

hey sneha!
u have an award waitin at my blog!


Ashu said...

hey Sneha m back :) quite meaningful post. but me too blank and down (with cold) to write my cents on it....

wud write it soon :)

take care and you rock :))

gunj said...

i think d most believable n inspiring is ayn rand's philo in life...atleast to me!

Mez said...

Too deep for my understanding :(

Standbymind said...

I would really agree with the summing up...

Seriously...Nice read!!!

vitruvian said...

@Rahul Rad:
I dont know about why Rand is abnormally popular in india as a whole...but i like her coz i dig her works for me.. ;)

i too am simple in my faith..
but why do you need the ideal and why isn't an ideal enough for u..when u kno thats what it is...

oh yea..the narcissist in me is too alive...
so thats the way my philosophy goes too...

@J E E V Y:
He thanks a lot...thats my very first blogger award...
how sweet of u!!

not a problem...u just take care and get well soon..

hey..thanks for dropping by..
yea..most definitely ayn rands philosophy tho extreme is the best..

chill...i just ramble...noting much to understand anywhich ways..
nice to see ur new blog.

hey...thanks a lot...

gbalakrishnan said...

like u said i think to each his own is the way to be, hence i'm totally against any form of "organized religion"..have a take on this topic myself have put it check it..would like to know ur thots...and by the by, by my definition your not an atheist..:)

The hidden depth.. said...

suits me too;)

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