Every person has reasons why he/she believes in something. Every one has their own set of beliefs that makes them feel better. For me, not believing that there is a god has made me much more positive. Because it’s a relief to think there is no one in the sky who is saying, “Screw this person in particular!” There would be no hope for me when the most powerful entity has decided to do that.
Many people frown upon the fact about my beliefs or my lack of it. They accuse me of forgetting my culture and my roots. Well, that’s not true at all. I’m fully aware of where I come from. I know my roots and that is what keeps me grounded. And I still do follow some of the cultures. But there are good cultures and bad cultures in all societies. And I choose to follow the good cultures like; respecting the elders, listening to people who are older than you, loving your family, respecting your parents, respecting the teachers, loving the younger ones, being kind to others and several other basic values of a harmonious society. That is my culture.
I was raised as a Hindu. My family is religious. But I’m lucky my parents gave me the freedom to choose what I wanted to believe which is rare in the Nepali society. My parents always gave me reasons to be good and kind without relating it to God even though they have their own firm beliefs. It’s a satisfying thing to do something good for people without having the greed of being placed in heaven after you die. It’s a practical thing to do too; you can see the results right away. You don’t have to wait until you die. The genuine smile and happiness that you see after you’ve done something nice for a person is the reward itself.
However, there were times when I was not like this. There are several other positive concepts in Hinduism but as a kid one concept hit me the most. According to Hinduism, whatever you are going through in this life is the price you’re paying for the sins you’ve committed in your previous life. This particular theory doesn’t have any solution to your problem. It’s basically saying things will get shittier and you have no control over what’s going to happen. As a kid who was going through some serious issues (I will post about the issues later), I thought that the god would never listen to my prayers because obviously I was a sinner and a bad person in my previous life. Isn’t that a very disturbing thought for a child who was only 6?
I didn’t open up to my closest ones the slightest. I had made myself an outcast. I thought no one would understand me if I said that because from my eyes all these beliefs were working well for them. I felt like I was a bad person for questioning these beliefs. I wanted to blend in so I just pretended that I do have the same faith.
I still prayed to the god but it was just one-way conversations with no replies from above. After realizing that the god would not be any help for me, I decided to become my own savior. I started to make myself busy by learning new things about people from various cultures and how they deal with various problems in their lives. All cultures had their own views on god, I could not identify with any of the other religions in the world either.
I liked many things that Buddha has said though. His philosophies are practical. Buddha as a person identified himself as an atheist. He was not a god; he was a mere mortal just like us but unlike us he was a genius. His philosophies are more important than the place he was born at. But it remains true that he was in fact born in Nepal that’s the only thing that I have common with Buddha, which is cool. I’m sure he would be disappointed to know now that people have made him a god and there’s a separate religion and sub-religions after him. This is dividing much more people than bringing them together. He never wanted to be a god and never promised heaven or hell. And he sure would not have wanted people to fight over the fact where he was born.
When I decided that I was not going to believe in any kind of god, I started having positive outlook in life. It was a profound realization that anything I wanted in life, I could still work on it and make it happen. That thought motivated me. I started warming up to people and tried to share happiness and my feelings as much as possible. It was working well for me and still does work.
I don’t know if there is a god but I choose not to believe in it. I am just a seeker of truth. Even if there is one, he/she should not punish me for not praying for them or be jealous if people pray for other forms of gods. Who needs a jealous, vain and petty god? If the God is so divine, he should be free of these petty feelings. So, relax the real god will not punish you for your curiosity and doubts.
Therefore, do whatever you think that makes you feel better and believe in whatever you want to believe in. But remember that you don’t have to identify with anything just because you happened to be born in that particular society. We are all different individuals. If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it just for the sake of it or because it has been going on for a long time. Try to share your feelings about the doubts and problems you are having with people you trust, you will be surprised how many people will understand you. Be honest, be kind to your fellow human beings, and don’t do anything bad to other people. And everything’s going to be okay!
P.S. I have attached a quote from a book, The mysterious stranger by Mark Twain which basically changed my life. He has worded it perfectly to portray the hypocrisy of the non-existent god.
“A God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell — mouths mercy, and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!”
— Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger