Bribery and rituals
(19-May-2010, 11:04 PM)Lije Wrote: I think it has to do with desensitization. These kind of stories are taught to kids from a very early age. Things you learn as a kid are very hard to undo later on.

Spot on.
As a kid, I used to read lots of comics (mostly superheros... superman, mandrake, blah blah) and I would occasionally read "Amar Chitra Katha" which was full of these mythological stories. Even at school, one of my subjects was telugu, and the content was significantly stories/poems of this kind. They target kids..
Richard Dawkins has said time and again why brand children with religion... cant agree more.

Each time I hear such a story, I wonder who the hell wrote it and where..

I have not yet looked into Indian constitution's seperation of religion/state.. I wonder if we could start writing letters to the authorities regarding flouting of such in schools.. I am sure such efforts may have already been undertaken.. pointers will be appreciated.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
(15-Jul-2010, 06:01 AM)TTCUSM Wrote: Your understanding of Hinduism seems really superficial.

That statement shows the problem with the label "Hinduism". Maybe for you philosophies like Vedanta define Hinduism. But for me Hinduism is what the majority of people who call themselves Hindus do in their day-to-day life. If the case were that only a minority of people performed rituals and the majority followed the path of jnana, then I would agree that my knowledge of Hinduism is indeed superficial.

Isn't it natural though, that as humans you will be fearful of losing what you have?

Also, one question that always comes to mind is: this is so widely accepted and so popular. There must be some reason for that?

When rational inquiry fails to answer questions\events\fortunes\misfortunes, you tend to start looking for answers everywhere.

What do you think?


(21-May-2010, 11:27 AM)Krishna Wrote: There is also the tradition of making religious pledges. Some examples are:
a) If I pass the exam, I shall break a coconut in xxx temple
b) If my daughter gets married, I shall donate xxx amount of money in yyy temple
c) If I get the promotion, I shall donate my weight in bananas in zzz temple
d) If I am able to clear my debts, I shall shave my head

Very few turn to religion to
i) find peace of mind
ii) to understand the inner meaning of life
iii) to get liberation
etc, etc.

Popular religion is nothing but a trade / business deal going on with an imaginary business partner. Most of them turn to religion / God to strike a business deal! "You get me 90% marks in Maths and I shall donate Rs. 90/- in your temple", and so on.

I read somewhere that day trading in the stock markets is primarily driven by greed and fear. I think the majority of those who turn to religion are also driven by greed and fear. Greed for more and more, desire for what one does not deserve and what is not achievable drives one to take such religious pledges. Likewise, fear of the unknown, fear of losing what one possesses or is possessive about also drives one to plead for divine protection.



Do you guys ever had a chance to perform/sit through this Satyanarayana Pooja? I sat as a listener once when I was in my teens and detested it the most on the same day. It has the main elements that religion offers to devotees, FEAR. That's about it. And for me, its not a bribery, it's more of an extortion. The Pandit, while performing the pooja in Sanskrit, narrates some episodes or "katha" in Marathi (I am in Maharashtra). The katha goes like, one rikshaw puller never went to temple and all, but one day on the advice (was it free?) of some poojari, performed this pooja and earned enormous (?) wealth. And many such examples (Sorry for my bad storytelling).
And yes, few stories about the importance of the correct way of performing this pooja. So only expert bhramins can perform this pooja.
In short, if you don't perform Satyanarayan Pooja then you are doomed.
Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them. - Ambedkar
[+] 2 users Like nispat's post
Temples (especially in Tamil Nadu) take bribes for getting you to the front of a line, for a special "darshan" or a better view, amidst a crowd of jostling sweaty people, of something you could see in a photograph, if you wanted to.

Really surprising how people are willing to pay, for an experience which still is, unpleasant.

India's religion is corruption, from the temple to the government.
The illusion of seeing God up close and personal is of utmost importance to many individuals. So, the additional money that they spend to get a fractionally better glimpse of the idol or the amount spent to cut ahead of line, even if by a few numbers is seen as an investment rather than a bribe.
If religion's tenet of Godly omnipresence is humored for even a moment, these folks would realize that it means the same to say the same prayer from the comfort of their air-conditioned home instead of making a hazardous pilgrimage and risk getting trampled to death.
Moreover, if God really is everywhere and in everything (the Narashiman Tale of God being in a stone pillar) we can simply worship the air conditioner itself and save us some serious cash. Biggrin

Also the first post where we do deals with God- One coconut for every exam aced. Think of it this way: Does the
very entity that created all of time, space and all of existence really care so much for a coconut or a hundred rupees? Unless you know something that even God doesn't know and you're willing to share it with him, he wouldn't care. Oh and if you did know something that even God didn't know, passing that exam should be child's play! Doing deals with God seems childish, but imagining it this way should help break that superstitious belief. It's essentially vindication we're after- I've studied my best and I'll leave the rest to him!
Nick Flowers
"It's alright, I rarely meet anyone who's able to read it properly. Although personally, I never thought that it to be an odd of a name. Once I give people the pronunciation, they tend to remember my name by easily associating me with it. A unique face, a unique moniker."

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