We need to rediscover & occupy religion.

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India had Sanatan Dharma which was composed of a host of literature that encompassed all aspects of life. As Jainism and Buddhism developed the literature gained in volume. The addition was not spontaneous but a result of extensive debates in society. Only when all stakeholders were satisfied that any view was accepted and incorporated. 

Those debating the issues had to be not only learned but also people of strong character who followed the rules of Panini Yoga Sutras to the hilt. Even a shadow of doubt on character led to the debater's downfall and this often led to ostracisation if the cause was serious in nature.

The literature was taught by diverse teachers in the wide network of schools, colleges and universities that existed all across the country. There was no central authority that could dictate things or corrupt the process. The diversity of India prevented such a takeover and consequent corruption. 

Students were taught logic and encouraged to question everything and teachers needed to be capable of answering queries. Educational institutions were not merely intellectual but also taught morals and ensured good character. Students reflected what they were taught and were respected as products of a system. Spirituality and respect for nature was at the core of education. 

Even kings and soldiers did not escape this education that was reflected in governance and rules laid down for battles and valour. Even those who were not educated did not feel left out as the epics and tales incorporated the education. Villagers discussed them every evening and imbibed the values in them. 

But what do we observe today? Blind obedience to shady characters. Where is that written in the scriptures? Where is the outcry in case of deviations? Where is the ostracisation? This has resulted in a toxic religion where blind belief is the cornerstone of devotion. The case is the same for all religions. Muslim madrassas and Christian institutions reflect an abysmal fall in values. 

Is it for courts to ensure justice? Society leaders seem to be either sleeping or too scared to speak out. Of late has entered political correctness where there is selective outrage depending on the religion of the victim or political leadership in the state. Such protests have no value as there is no sincerity behind it but an attempt to bring down all religions. 

The word religion in India translates to Dharma or adherence to natural laws and values. It does not limit itself to religious matters but secular issues as well resulting in overall character and scrutiny of issues. If the system was strong many wrongs could have been detected early on and prevented. If Dharma in India was strong then crass materialism and destruction of nature and health would not have materialised. A lot of suffering could have been avoided. 

It is necessary to occupy religion and free it from vested interests. Strong people must once again pull themselves up from the morass and enter the field to recover the scriptures, arrange for their right interpretation according to today's needs and their propagation. Nobody should encourage destructive tendencies within themselves and try to reform. A very tough task for as a nation we have lost our strength, health and mental acumen. 

We lack Gandhi and Vinobha who were leaders with a religious background and therefore earned the respect of masses. Today leaders are despised and stay in power because of money and muscle power. Our professionals are people without character and decency and their thought process is limited to protecting their turf, purse and livelihood. They are worse than animals. People are proud to call themselves scientists but they have failed to question their science and done incalculable harm to society. 

We need to rediscover religion and once again arm society with character and values, with a questioning mind that has an altruistic motive. Let us move from toxic religion and poisonous science towards a truly spiritual future. Human beings, the animal world, the vegetable world, the environment and the spiritual world frantically needs such an approach and worldview.