Monday, March 02, 2009

From Hinduism to Atheism: One person at a time

I was brought up as a hindu. I had very little understanding of what that meant, but, I knew I had to observe many rituals, pray to many gods and eat a lot of offerings. My world was not my own but was determined by the many gods who decided my fortunes, problems, solutions, life and death. It was a bleak world indeed, one which I could not control.

Then, many things happened. At the end of it all, is the reality that I am an atheist now. I no longer believe that an elephant-headed god determines whether I run into problems or not. It was not an easy task accepting this eventuality. But, it sure was a great journey. A world that I can recognize as my own came into being with a denial of polytheism and paganism. However, the demons come back whenever things do not go as I planned them to be. However, I have decided that I will not let go the contro that I wrested with so much difficulty from the many gods of hindusim.

For me, this struggle is of control. A struggle in which I take a stance that I alone have control over my life and that, things I don't see or feel have absolutely no say in what happens in my life. It has taken a lot of effort and discipline.

Now, I am st a stage where I try to convert people I know. I argue, I fight and and I reason with people's beliefs. And, I have realized it is not as easy thing to do. everyone has a right to believe in what they choose and what they want to believe. I respect that right - however, I will still not refrain from questioning their belief. I do it with everyone within my social sphere and whenever I get a chance to do so.

I find it very difficult to face off against the very people who taught me my first prayers. My aunt and my mom. The early confrontations were difficult and filled with anguish. I almost felt I was betraying their upbringing. Now, I am comfortable taking a stance in the denial of an omnipresent god.

I realize that my belief that one's life is determined by one alone and not by the divine, is not an easy principle to live by. Additionally, who am I to say if this is the right belief? I don't know. However, what I do know is that many of the alternative beliefs have caused great damage and destruction in our world. Therefore, I will try my best to reason against these beliefs knowing fully well that it will not be an easy task. One person at a time, many like me, and maybe we will get there. Maybe we won't; at least some of us would have made an effort.

4 comments:

Xai said...

is it God you don't believe in or is it religion? There's a difference between the two that I can't really discern in this post

Girish Mallapragada said...

Xai...

I think whether a difference exists or not is up to the person to decide.

In my mind, I see god as a manifestation of religion and I see no place for either in life as I know it.

Antuna Hinduism said...

Sometimes it is good to question one's beliefs and those of others, but as you said, it is something very hard to do, as people is very sensitive and very identified with their beliefs.

It is for that reason that I generally don't do it. I think that no one in this world knows for sure the truth about the divine and the trascendent (although almost everyone is sure they do), and so I leave everyone to live according to their beliefs, as long as they don't hurt other people.

Just my opinion. Nice blog.

Anonymous said...

Hinduism is way of life. How much of "Hinduism" have u acquired by listening to peopl's view and how much have u learnt by actually spending time reading the scriptures?

Hindusim does not ask u to not make an effort and depend on god for miracles to happen. It merely asks u to do ur job properly.

You did speak about polytheism, but if u actually look at it all the gods are avtars of one god.