Updated: Aug 8, 2020
They claim that the “real” Ayodhya is in Nepal while some Buddhist monks stage a sit-in fast at present Ayodhya stating the Ram Janmabhoomi premises is a Buddhist site. Although it is a city Mahavira visited too, the Jains are quiet about the construction of the Ram temple (a behavior to be appreciated I feel). Having found certain kinds of pillars confirms that there was something on that land for sure. However, who can tell which religion would win? After all, humankind has had numerous conflicts on religion, since there are so many that exist.
This made me give a thought not to the existence of God but to that of the religion. When the world was trying to convert a great philosopher Shri Jiddu Krishnamurti into a God, he defined religion as nothing more than fear and social conditioning. He rejected the idea of becoming a God for people and advised them on finding the meaning of one’s existence before the meaning of God. According to him, knowing God is not as essential as knowing oneself. I would agree, as a person who is unaware of his own moods cannot serve anyone else, let alone the claimed creator of the world.
He said, “But how can we be free to look and learn when our minds from the moment we are born to the moment we die are shaped by a particular culture in the narrow pattern of the ‘me’?” Today, we witness the leaders of some of the most peaceful religions known (at least to me), fighting to claim a piece of land for themselves, possibly afraid to lose it to another. How then, do these religions explain fearlessness and security? Is it just another way of presenting one’s greed to claim possession in the name of faith? Have they now proven my faith to be conditioned as well?
Such sculpted views we carry within ourselves, rejecting to accept what lies in front of our eyes and yet, tag one another as “Bhakts”. I often question whether the people called Bhakts are actually bhakts of the Prime Minister or those calling them are bhakts of the unstoppable cycle - a cycle of politics that stands between our country and its progress. During the current Corona-virus lockdown, people were seen sharing memes on social media. The ones I could not understand were about the troubles that the labor class has had to face due to migration.
Although it is impossible to judge a situation unless I am in it myself (and I believe nobody can, not even those sharing such memes), I failed to understand why these people kept walking despite free bus services and food is provided. After a conversation with a friend who would usually call me bhakt, I came to the conclusion that the news of free food and medicine was so unreal for the low-income group in India, they rejected to believe it and kept on walking. I could now relate religion to politics as I could see they were both built by social conditioning. The government is not supposed to do good for the people and God is not supposed to do badly for them.
Today, we have given ourselves in the hands of certain authorities in a way that we have set roles for them, instead of replicating their actions and setting some for ourselves. By this, I would be referring to the Gods. I feel we should never ever try to replicate the government while in India, except when you can donate something for the labor class segment instead of sharing memes or clicking pictures (thank you, Mr. Sonu Sood). While I liked mentioning some politics in here, please know that these are just my thoughts that are not meant to provoke or question anyone, and I would keep such talks light.
Thinking of the Ayodhya of Lord Ram reminds me of my grandmother. I have had the opportunity of staying close to my grandparents for some years, unlike some of the Indian children these days. We are after all modernizing and moving towards the concept of having nuclear families. Anyway, my grandmother never forced me to pray or light the diya every morning but she would take me for outings to a garden. She would put my head on her lap and start to recite the Ramayana. She was very clear about what she wanted me to follow. I would never forget how she made sure to tell me the moral of the story being, nobody is bad but the situations make them look so. For, Ravana was a great scholar. At the time I heard what she said but it has taken years for me to understand it. I sure would like to visit the Ayodhya once, whether the Buddhist, the Hindu, or the Jain, but would like to take this lesson from the place. For me, Ayodhya will always be my granny teaching me to not judge and always be kind.