Has religion been successful? Is religion of any value?
The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): In the previous question, you said that religion is essentially needed in spirituality, but in the name of religion Hindus fight with Muslims, Muslims fight with Hindus. So, why is religion needed?
Acharya Prashant (AP): The recorder you are speaking into will get saturated with your voice soon, why not throw it away? The dress that you are wearing will get spoiled very soon, why wear it at all? The specs that you are holding, won’t be there forever. They get dirty, they get broken; why use them?
Religion is not the Truth, religion is an enabler. Except for Truth, everything is ephemeral. Except for Truth, everything costs something. Except for Truth, everything has its limitations. So, religion has its limitations, but you have to carefully weigh the limitations against the benefits. If there were no religion, would you still sit in front of me here, like an obedient girl?
Tell me, what is it that makes you sit here obediently? Why are you calling me ‘Acharya Ji’? I am Prashant. And why must I be a guru? If you’re 30, I am 40. Look at me as a man. That’s what Prakriti has trained you to do, has it not? A 30-year-old is not supposed to look at a 40-year-old as a guru or something; you’re a body, I am a body. What makes you be disciplined? Is it fear? I hope it is not. What makes you look wide-eyed at me? What makes you try to understand? Is it your animal origins? No. No animal seeks to understand, they only seek to get some food.
You’re not getting it, are you? Alright, some of you are volunteers; many of you have never been paid a single paisa by the foundation. Why are you still here? Tell me. Why? Don’t you see the role of religion in this? But for religion, who would teach you that this is valuable? Akhil (one of the listeners) worked for 10 years in a management consulting firm; did they teach you that the Guru Granth Sahib is valuable? How is he sitting there then? And mind you, he is not earning a single penny out of being here. Did they teach that to you in your engineering or management course? Why is he sitting here? And he’s not a kid, his beard is about to turn grey.