Yesterday a friend asked me "Are you religious? Do you believe in God?" Since both the questions were asked in the same breath, I think "Religion" and "God" are synonymous for my dear friend....just like they are for most people.
I have thought about this a little in the past. I have had some discussions about it too. Here's what I think:
Illogical as it may be, I like to believe that there is a Higher Power, looking over the world. She/He is God. I will use He in the rest of the post for convenience. He loves His children, but that does not mean He will always grant our wishes. I think of God as a parent, who is always with me. I turn to Him in grief, asking for strength. And I thank Him for every little (and big) blessing.
Coming to Religion...I don't understand it well. Why do I have to go to a Mandir to talk to God, when He is everywhere? Why do I need to chant a prayer that I only half understand, when He understands my feelings even without my putting them into words? Why should I follow rituals, when He only wants me to be a good human being?
Since I don't understand so much about Religion, I am not religious at all. If I follow any rituals, it's only coz I find them sweet, cute or see a scientific logic to them. You won't catch me doing the rounds of Mandirs or begging for favours.
Someone once said, "Common people do not pray. They only beg."
I couldn't agree more. Have we invented the concept of God, only to ask for favours? Hard it is, but I try to refrain from doing this. It is instinctive to turn to God in times of distress. But how fair is it to measure your love for God, on the basis of your blessings?