Friday, May 24, 2013

Gods and their books...

While reading many scriptures or holy books (like Bhagvad Gita, Qur'an, Bible, Ramayan, etc.) I always wonder why these books are considered or called as holy or sacred? Most of these books which claim to dictate message of some particular God which is also supposed to be the creator of this universe in most cases (Allah in case of Qur'an, Krishna in case of Bhagvad Gita, some other God in case of Bible and so on). Surprisingly all these books are not written by the person (or God) whose message it claims to deliver, I wonder why these super powerful entities didn't bother write these books themselves if that message was so important and necessary for human species which these books claim they created, after all if you can create a complex living being like humans and whole universe how much effort it takes to create a book? These books are not also written immediately after these people delivered that message so that if these great entities can't create book on their own at least they can verify the content and attest it as a 'true copy', rather they came into print after many years the reported divine incident in all these books happened (where someone received that message). Followers of these books (and sometimes some books themselves) claim to deliver (or I should say dictate) 'absolute knowledge' for mankind. In today's world most of these books are property of some organized religion or other and they are used as manuals for framing rules and regulations (dos and don'ts) for that particular religion anything mentioned in those books becomes sacred or divine for its followers and anyone challenging them is evil or atheist or danger to them.

As such just as a literature all these books about which I am talking are good to read, they are quite entertaining and full of nice stories, they try to teach many good things via these stories, the only problem is they are written in some ancient language (the original text) which are either no more in use or are spoken in very few regions of the world but then the good part is there are many reliable translations easily available and one can read them in his/her won language if one wants, most of them are reasonably prized (or even sometimes free) and easily available. I read many of them and they make a very good read if one read them just as books (keeping aside divine or sacred aspect of them), they teach some very good things (as most of books which we read do) and also help to understand other faiths and religions apart from your own (in which we are born). But things are totally different when people or organizations take these books and form societies (called as religions) based on them, they make their own concept of super almighty God which is supposed to be a ruler of this world. They form their own definitions of many things (like marriage, role of women in society, etc.), they have their own rules about many things like how to pray, whom to pray, what to pray, what to eat, what to wear, etc. These rules are preached nicely in the beginning and once they gather enough strength, power and become dominant then these rules are forced on people in the name of religion (or God and its commands) and people who don't follow them or challenge them are considered as outliers and face discrimination and many other problems, even death.

So I think people need to ask themselves, why to give so much importance to these books? after all these are just books like many other useful books written by some intelligent people or group of people who wanted to share their knowledge and wisdom. Any single book can not contain everything required to know, it can not teach everything required to live human life, every human is different and they can have different needs. I agree that they can be great in some subjects like philosophy, religion or history but there is huge amount of knowledge outside the scope of these books which is equally important and equally relevant. Actually source of knowledge or information doesn't matter much but its relevance and contents do matter a lot, it doesn't matter who said  but it matters what is said and how relevant the content is. Good and relevant information is good and useful no matter from where it comes and bad, outdated or wrong concepts are useless no matter from which book or which person they come, it's as simple as that. I hope that people will understand this simple fact and at least stop fighting based on what is written in some book and what is not, we humans are much more than just a book, we should learn to read and respect each other then only any book can teach us something, as long as we lack some of these basic human qualities like love and respect for each other no matter which book we read or follow it's not going to make us better person.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic. 

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing)

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