Like most children, I believed in God. But when I started reading the arguments against him (it is mostly ‘him!’), I became a militant atheist. But somehow, I felt uncomfortable. The discomfort came from the fact that my mind was closed. It is true that spirituality (especially religious spirituality) is nonsense is many ways (and it is the reason for many problems for women in a country like India) but completely dismissing spirituality is not a great idea. A great quote by Alfred Korzybski captures my sentiment beautifully: “There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.” So, I’m an agnostic now and I experiment with claims, ideas, techniques from spirituality. I must say that some of them seem true to me. So my experimentation led me to a gem by ISKCON.
ISKCON is a popular spiritual organization and Bhagvad Gita as it is is probably its most popular book. I have never read a religious book with so many contradictions. I understand that everything in universe is paradoxical but this book is something else. Read the following quotes and decide for yourself. Actually, no, read the whole book and then decide but then, I’m not sure if you will even finish the first chapter (from which I have taken the below quotes).
Page 12: We living beings should satisfy the lord!
Page 16: Lord is very kind to the living entities.
Page 18: We are created for his enjoyment
Page 19: Lord is perpetually happy.
Page 19: Krishna is our father!
Page 29: If one reads Bhagvad Gita very sincerely, reactions of his past misdeeds will not act upon him.
Page 30: Let there be one God for the whole World. Let that be Krishna!
Quotes on page 12 & page 18 look as if Krishna is egoistic and even sadistic!
The two quotes on page 16 and page 19 are kind of contradictory. How can a father be happy if his kids are suffering? A father is happy despite watching his daughters being raped? If people deny this then it means that even Krishna is unhappy with the rape. Which means that we cannot find ‘ultimate bliss’ if we try to ‘find him.’ That’s what religious people claim..that if we associate ourselves with God, we will find everlasting happiness! And if we follow page 29, then even if someone had murdered/ raped someone before reading the Gita, he will be free of his karma?And what about page 30? Bible says someone else is the God of the world. Muslims say that Allah is. How can all of them be right? Whom should be we listen to?
Page 57: Arjuna did not want to kill his relatives, and if there were any need to kill them, he desired that Krsna kill them personally. At this point he did not know that Krsna had already killed them before their coming into the battlefield and that he was only to become an instrument for Krsna..
Page 63: One who is always engaged in sinful activities must utilize the process of ablution called the prayascitta. Without doing so, one surely will be transferred to hellish planets to undergo miserable lives as the result of sinful activities.
These two statements are not clear and look contradictory. In page no.57, the author makes a huge statement: That Krishna has already decided that Kauravas will die and that Arjuna is just his instrument!! Is this the way God plans for every big event in our life? This is not clear.
If Krishna has already decided that the people from the rival army will die and Arjuna will be killing some of them, then Arjuna doesn’t have any free will,right? If that is the case, Arjuna is just a puppet. The question of morality on which Bhagvad Gita is giving a HUGE lecture ( just look at the quote from page 63 above) is a joke! If we don’t have free will, we cannot choose, if we cannot make a choice, where is the question of morality? Morality means differentiating and choosing between good and bad!!
Now apply the concept of Karma to this situation. Karma and pre-determined events of God…how can they co-exist?! Arjuna is doing what he is doing because Lord Krishna decided it, right? If that’s the case then how will the concept of heaven and hell apply to him? Whatever he will do, it is inevitable that he will kill the rival army..in that case, why the fuck will he go to heaven or hell when he didn’t even choose?
One more gem:
Page 60: According to Canakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and not trustworthy!
NEED I SAY MORE? I will let this do the talking.