We do so many little things daily without even thinking. These habits become a part of our daily routine. Brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, taking breath. Everything is a routine.
Is praying to God is also a part of your routine, or do you pray when you feel like it(not necessarily a predefined time) ?
I have enforced some habits into my kids. One is to take blessing of Parents and God. But, it is easier to see your parents, and know how important they are in your life; like they give you food; they wash your clothes; they take you out for fun activities and buy you toys; but what about God?
They are not seeing God. They don’t know exactly what and who is, God. Well, this part is what most of us also struggle with.
My kids they are in a habit of taking our blessings daily, morning and night. But, for God, I have to answer a lot of questions first to convince them. It’s pretty hard. Like, when I told them that God is everywhere and he/she is watching us and will protect us always. Otu, my son, questioned me, “but bathroom has no windows, so how will God see me when I am in bathroom. How will he save me there?”
We do tell them stories of Raam, Krishna, Jesus, Hanumaan, Durga, and basically any story we can tell them. So, they do know who Raam is, just they don’t know why they should pray to Raam.
And no, it is not a concern to me. They have their whole life to figure out a God of their own, in whom they will believe.
Meanwhile I did a mistake one day. I played an animated movie for them – Ramayana, story of Raam.
There were Lord Raam, killing all the monsters with big horns over their head, teeth dipped in blood hanging out of their mouths, laughing hysterically with their humongous bodies.
Raam was killing all such monsters/demons easily and helping all the sages. He was saving monkeys of his army. He was killing a 10 headed Ravana with ease; and Hanumaan, when he prayed to Raam, he got all the powers to fly over the ocean.
What my kids deciphered from all this was that you should pray to Lord Raam, if you want to have powers and stay safe from deadly monsters.
Next day all of them were praying by themselves.
But, this was not what I wanted. I would never want them to pray to God, in fear. Maybe one day they will not.
This made me question, isn’t all of us are a part of this fear propaganda – called Religion.
What has religion taught us? More precisely what these representatives of Temples, Mosque and Churches have forced into us?
If you research history of Bible, you will find that church officials have edited the bible so much to erase the kind face of God. Instead God is one who will bring wrath to you, the moment you commit a sin. He will only save you if you are committed to him. God is masculine. God is he, not she. ‘She’ can be weak. But, a ‘He’ is so strong. So, they kind of committed to mention that God has a wife. In fact basic nature of changes that have taken place in bible are to make sure that people fear God and come to church regularly out of fear.
Same is with representation of Jihad by Islāmic extremist. I saw in TV an extremist of Islam saying t his followers, to rape women of other religion, as this will make their God happy. If you kill people of other religion, you will get some 30 or 40 virgins in heaven. Above all you are not a true muslim if you do not believe in such ideology. Your God will abandon you if you indulge in music, or support woman education, or help someone of other religion. This fear of your Lord abandoning you. Fear that you may be cast as not true muslim. Fear of going against your religion.
If you think that Hinduism is free of this fear, just take a look at the line of a Shani temple, every saturday. Look at the lemons and chillies hanging on every shops. Look at your women fasting whole day without food and water, fearing if they will not do so, their God may become angry and take life of their husband or son (sadly daughters are not this important) as a punishment. We do ‘Pind-Daan’, we do ‘Shraadh‘, we perform so many rituals after someone is dead, so that the dead’s won’t get angry and stay happy wherever they are. You didn’t perform one ritual the way it was supposed to, now something bad will happen to you. Even Raam said at one point – “Bhay bin hoye na preet”, i.e. Love cannot exist without fear.
We are always trying to please God.
If we want a job, we should first please God, by donating some money to his representative. We want to get married, lets fast for 16 Mondays. You want to be a suicide bomber, first pray to God to make you successful in this holy deed, and also reserve you a god spot in heaven.
You did something bad, for sure you are going in hell. You will burn in hell for eternity.
You had sex before marriage, for sure you are going in hell. By the way have you seen the view of hell. Just do one good thing today and search google for what Hell looks like as per each religion.
I may never know the answer to whether Fear of God is necessary or not, but for me my God is to me, like I am to my kids. I would never want my kids to fear me. I would want them to love me, unconditionally. I would want them not to please me but to understand me. I would want them to believe in me and trust me. To believe that no matter what; no matter whatever worst thing they do in their life, I will always be there with them, to show them the correct path and to protect them.
My God is like me, a Parent.