Mostly trying to relate.

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    4 months ago

    Haha, mostly been a lurker on lemmy

    TLDR: i did rational thinking due to my scepticisms and stopped believing.

    I was born into a middle-class Hindu family in South India. Being from south we werent much religious to begin with. But my mother side of family was tad bit more religious than my fathers side of family. Usually during temple festivals, prior to the main day they would have “parayanas” or like preaching equivalent. Its basically retelling of stories from ramayana or bhagavad gitas and other literature. This guy who will tell the stories does good job at that, in the sense that his aim is to tell us the morals and the leasons we need to learn from it and to not take the story in literal sense. Those were good, those stories did help me have a strong moral compass growing up and instilled a good sense of religion.

    When i hit puberty i was still religious, not overly but somewhat in the middle between the level of religion of my father and mother. My mother being slightly more religious and still following “andhavishwas” (read blind belief) which were stuff that people tell you to do or not do. Many of those stuffs do not make any sense, some example which i could think are

    • to not go out at sandhya (dusk) time when the ritual lamp is lit
    • to not have a bath at dusk time
    • to not shake your legs when sitting on chairs or beds.
    • to not eat anything with oil in food if there was a death in the family (not just close family but extended one too) for the next 18 days
    • to not get out of house unless for emergencies if there was a death in the family (same) for the next 7 days.
    • to not apply oil to hair while looking at mirror

    And other countless many more stuff which differ from region to region. No one really followed most of this stuff but stuff like this is probably something most Hindu’s probably heard if they have atleast an elder in their family or extended family. Many of this stuff even though not strictly enforced is really annoying cause you get that stare or long advice like why it should be followed from your elder or your mother(in my case). Do understand that its not just these i listed but many many stuff which effects even day to day quality of life. Seeing my christian neighbour and friend not having such restriction on till how much time they were allowed to play outside and lousy me who had to drag my ass inside my home before dusk was always something which bothered me but it was not even a reson to forsake hinduism entirely. But i did try to find rational answers to why those were not permitted, why i should not do something because someone told someone and that someone said the same to their next generation and so on. I did find the reason for some of them eventually before i was 13 or something, for the examples listed if anyone is still reading and curious (or else skip to next para),

    • I believe the ritual lamp litting thing comes from early age practice of humans lighting fire to keep animals or other things out (Hindus believe lighting lamp will clear out negative energy)
    • once early humans have lit fire at dusk they stop going ut for resource and wind up with the day, they wont bath since most often ponds or water bodies will often be a little farther from their settlements and its a risk going out to bath at night. That might explain the restriction to not bath at night time.
    • for point 3, early hindus used to keep jars, baranis (a type of ritual jar) specifically underneath bed or below tables. Shaking your legs would probably hit those jars and it may have been something made up to protect those jars.
    • for point 4 and 5, i think it was safety practice. In early days a death in the family would mean they have had disease. And since early village hindus life was centered around temples, preventing people from family which recent death would prevent spread of disease. And avoiding oil food comes from this same belief as often oily food are avoided when one is sick. As for the oil on hair in front of mirror, i seriously have zero clue.

    Reasoning with my mother over these stuffs was like reasoning with a brick lol. These stuffs never really did affect my stand on religion though, only just snags which made me question stuffs which elders say. When i was 16-17 is when i started doubting my religion. Hinduism sure is the oldest religion and many stuffs in hindusim are borrowed by other other religion like atma and jeeva and tree of life (notice atma and jeeva sounding similar to adam and eve) and the story of manu rishi who took the advice from a fish that the world is going to be flooded and who built a boat. These and many other stories or their equivalent being found in other religion made me think at that time that possibly other religions might have cultural exchanges with Hinduism at some point and may have based their religion of them. As i was a Hindu then I respected other religion,but this realisation made me a bit at unease because at that time it bothered me that not much people were talking about it, but the similarities were many. This made me again look for other similarities, i read about the mahabharatha epic again and the ramayana, this is when thesame rational side i had when i was debunking those “andhavishwas” kicked in.

    How the hell could any of those stories be true, an epic on that scale would leave evidences that not even a million year could cover up. And the timelines, those are way off. There is no way we did have that much advancement in the early age and still be a monacrchy based rule . Someone really took their creative lberty and created a fantastic epic story to teach the importance of Truth and morals. And someone took that story and made it a religion refined over thousands of years and still refined even today.

    As a lot of these stuffs made me sceptic i began to really see them as stories and fables just something to teach morals and values. I realised most of the limitation that were sett on my life were self bound.

    Any last sense of religion i had was lost when i was 20 years old seeing the bullshits happening around the world, even on my locality. Politicians and many so called “peoples leaders” down in north India and other parts doing genocides and atrocities that i would do anything to dissociate myself from them on any similarity i have with them. People destroying mosques, cow vigilantism in north, mob lynching, caste bullshit. None of these are lessons from Hinduism but these people are hiding in its cover and associating how they live and what they do with them, inspiring and conditioning childrens to grow up believing it is what hinduism is. If there ever was a god, that god is dead.

    I stopped believing in Hinduism as a religion with that and consider myself an atheists (i have a atheist friend who claim i am not a true atheists, but i dont want to dwell on proper term which best describes me). But i do still believe on some of the morals and lesson in truth it had given me and thats all i keep from Hinduism. Never prayed, lit a lamp, or went to a temple ever since then.