As a youth I used to think that everyone was interested in religion. I mean this very generally - all around my friends, classmates, acquaintances had to be involved in some religious activity at least once a week.
Hindu's would do pooja,
Muslims would pray facing Mecca, and visit the mosque,
Christians would go to church
and in the villages,
people would consult the spiritist/healer/soothsayer.
It took a while for me to realise that these activities had little (if anything) to do with how people behaved towards one another.
It took very much longer for me to admit to myself that how i practiced "religion" did not help me to become a 'better sort of person'.
In fact my denial of this fact continued for a number of years.
I had to come back to India, where our billion people and mountainous problems of daily life finally brought home to me the fact that what I had thought to be true religion was in fact nothing but.
My friend's father helped to crystalise this truth for me very simply when one day he casually remarked that "the great religions are supposed to be pointing us towards God. But all they do is to grab a hold of us and point us towards religion".
If my religion can't make me a more loving person then it is pointless. Perhaps the fault lies not with religion but with my failure to become a more loving person regardless...
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