Friday, June 30, 2006

On Religion, Biology and Geography

Caution: Rambling post ahead...

Two recent incidents have turned a great religion like Hinduism (no seriously, I am not making fun) into a laughing stock. First the Amarnath episode. I have always found it ridiculous that such natural phenomena like the formation of a stalactite inside a cave results in a holy pilgrimage just because the resulting ice structure resembles a "Linga" in its shape. I am surprised and bewildered at how this hoax of a religion continues to prosper. I know any faith requires a leap over the barriers of reason but it is just so childish and plain ridiculous. Now this year, apparently because of global warming or some other climate change the process of stalactite formation didn't happen naturally so the temple authorities made an artificial structure. Obviously they didn't want to part with the lucrative offerings that they get from the stupid and gullible devotees. Because accept it or not, the temple is another of those capitalist enterprises--providing services (fraudulent of course) and charging money.

The other incident happened down south. Some south Indian actress claims that she not only entered the Sabarimala temple but also touched the idol. Now women, impure as their bodies are, are not allowed inside the temple. Touching the idol would be even a more serious blasphemy since the God in question is a bachelor and a hermit.

Now some general bile. I don't understand why do we need to keep carrying the baggage of our tribal ignorance and continue with such stupid superstitions and idolatry. If at all you want to use human organs as symbols of fertility please use testes and ovary which at least makes some scientific sense. Penis and vagina are insignificant organs (okay okay, scientifically speaking of course!) and play a marginal role in the whole reproductive system.

And why don't these religious people understand that much as the menstrual cycle corresponds to the lunar cycle (by the way, did you know menstruation and moon have the same etymological roots?) there is no evil cosmic force behind it. It is just the result of a biochemical process undelying the process of ovulation. How does it being pure or impure come into picture?

And what is this about the importance of Brahmacharya? As if we had some sperm container of a fixed capacity inside our body! As for lust, I understand it creates some problems but the solution is to do something about it and be done with it. Anyway, lust has always been unfairly stigmatised in our society. I am thinking of writing something on "Lust in Western Thought". Let me find something about it.

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