It is difficult to know what is right in all cases. - M.B., I.210.29

The Non-religious


By claiming to deny revering the revered, the non-religious demands Apotheosis1. Religion in its haste to leave nothing behind and dragging the load across the time-line, without surprise, becomes full of darkness and superstitions. Such a religion is not to be shunned away, least of all by those who are aware of the flaws in it, let alone holler those flaws.
A publicly acknowledged non-religious, in this sense, becomes a betrayer who reveals confidential information about his religion (with which he spent a considerable amount of time) to the public, thus making his religion a laughing stock. A friend turned foe!
Akbar- the-Great, during his reign in India, abolished the pilgrim-tax, albeit it brought huge revenue to his treasury. He did so, not because it was comical to him to see Hindus denying God’s omnipresence by making pilgrimages. He did so, not because it was his tactic, to pretend to respect all religion so as to reign without religious protests. He did so, not because he had foreseen the modern secular avenue of democracy but because he felt it was not right to tax citizens for wanting to meet their God.
The saints aim at righteousness not religion. Religion makes it easier for the common public to accept and embrace righteousness. And though, saintliness do consists in overstepping, it is only the like of Socrates and Christ, who when oversteps the boundaries, “change the minds of men and illumine the otherwise dark pages of human history”. Non-religion can never have such a pull. Non-religion when oversteps brings home only protests and hereticalness.
Religion is powerful and seductive and so is the idea of an embodied God. Protestantism, which began as a protest, ended up as a religion. Jainism, which separated from Hinduism, because of its disagreement on idol-worship, gives competition to-day to Hinduism in the field of building temples with Lord Mahaveer’s statue placed inside as an apotheosized2 God. It is sometimes argued that even Atheism is a religion, given the facts that it is the belief that there is no God. This is important because except Agnosticism both Theism and Atheism claim the certainty of their views about God and as there is no means, as of now, to prove or disprove God explicitly, both are claiming nothing but their beliefs. Thus, Atheism, the largest sect of Non-religion & Theism is at par and it would be drastically ridiculous of Atheists to consider themselves superior to Theists.
We all, once or more, in our lives, have felt the supreme in us. It is said that, Akbar, on abolishing pilgrim tax, and thus, on being praised by the public for such a righteous deed, was so exhilarated that he walked fifty-eight kilometers at such a pace that only three of his courtiers could keep up with him. It is not correct of the secular to ignore such, albeit few, insightful experiences over frequent major dullness of life.

1. 'Apotheosis' here means 'model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal'.
2. 'Apotheosized' here means 'the process of the elevation of a person (as to the status of a god)'.


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