12. Why keep away from religion?

With the arrival of Kamal Nayan, my efficiency increased manifold. Now I can afford to sit home and do more research on Geodesic Dome and low-cost housing because the market work was taken over by Kamal Nayan. He was very much active in coordinating with factories and shopkeepers. For me, Geodesic Dome had great importance, not only because it was affordable, but also because it symbolizes the philosophy of Mission Tirhutipur. With this structure, I wanted to convey the fact that we are here to challenge the status quo. This method is widely used in Ad industry and it is known as subliminal form of communication.

It is very difficult and painful to think and act in defiance of the status quo. There is a book ‘Zero to One’. Its author Peter Thiel says that such persons are Contrarians. They are the people who believe in something which is not in existence and for the majority of the people that can never come into existence. Contrarians are true creators. Whether it is a physical invention or a revolutionary idea, it is always brought by the Contrarians. Being a Contrarian has its own dangers. From the majority point of view, these people are impractical or ‘crazy’ because they readily throw everything behind an unknown and uncertain dream. In the world of contrarians, the casualty is very high. Very few of them become ‘successful’.

There is no doubt that I also belong to this fraternity. To traverse this difficult path, I use all types of secular knowledge that are available to me. But if someone says that I have chosen this path only because of such knowledge, then it is not true. I consider all secular knowledge at my disposal only as complementary and supplementary. My real strength comes from the faith and belief that I am bestowed with as a born Sanatani Hindu.

The principle of reincarnation allows a Sanatani Hindu to dream anything big and achieve it. For him, nothing is big enough that could stop him from dreaming and achieving it. He knows that if for some reason he is not able to fulfill his dream in this life, then he will get another chance from God and will keep getting it till he fulfills it. Despite this privilege, a Hindu does not want to be born again and again. He wants salvation. It is taught to him through various socio-religious systems that you should follow only your dharma (duty), leave the rest to God.

It is to be noted that the beliefs of Sanatan Dharma have not been created by any single religious leader or incarnation. Rather it is a composite form of the codes, rules, and traditions that evolved in thousands of years. In today’s words, its nature is like open-source software. It is flexible enough. Any qualified developer can write his code in it. Not only this, there is so much scope in this system that every user can customize it as per his needs.

Today’s Hinduism can be called the latest version of Sanatan Dharma. Its composition is amazing. It is not limited to idol worship. All types of religious and spiritual practices are prevalent here. It is open even to those who do not believe in god or Vedas. Here you can follow any kind of faith and belief for your spiritual progress. Today’s Hinduism is like a mega-store of the spiritual world where all kinds of philosophies are available.

It is ironic to see that people baptized in ‘modern education’ are always ready to condemn religious beliefs especially that of Hindus. Their condemnation is the result of a wrong perception emanating from a perverted mindset. They never go in deep to study the logic behind the beliefs and practices of Hinduism. It is true that many aspects of Hinduism have become distorted and irrelevant and should be changed, but it is not wise to dismiss the whole system because of those shortcomings. It is as if one sees the muddy and stagnant water somewhere on the banks of the river Ganges and jumps to the conclusion that the entire course of Ganges from Gangotri to Gangasagar is ‘dirty’.

In my view Hinduism is like an old palace, whose courtyard is very spacious, its foundation is deep, the walls are strong and the roof is also in good condition. Yes, its plaster is crumbling in many places and the interior has also become disfigured. I am glad that I have inherited this palace, and not a 1 BHK builder flat in which the scope of reconstruction is almost non-existent.

When I talk about working on software and talking to System-1 under Mission Tirhutipur, I always look at the huge Megastore of Hinduism where there is a vast array of beliefs, practices, customs, and social structures. The goods found in this store are robust but not branded. Most of the items are covered with a layer of dirt. However, the good thing about this store is that it has unlimited variety. I am glad that every item of this store is easily available to me. I can take whatever I want and use it without paying any price or royalty. Look at my luck, I don’t even have to take permission from anyone for using the items of this Megastore.

The exterior of Hinduism is identified with the caste system, the system of gotra, the rules of fasting, rituals, and a long chain of deities. Along with this, there are many beliefs that are associated with practicing Hindus. Mission Tirhutipur will try to make meaningful use of all these in the path of Vyavastha Parivartan. We want religion to be an integral part not only of private life but also of public life. Keeping away from religion and all religious traditions has no sense. Secular wisdom and law of the land are not powerful enough to drive the chariot of Vyavstha Parivarthan.

Mission Tirhutipur believes in the positive use of religion, be it Hinduism or any other faith. If we get a chance to work in a community other than Hindus, we will not hesitate to take the help of any religious symbol, practice, or belief that is favorable to the society in general. For us, religion is the most effective key of communication.

However, it was too early for us to apply our ideas in Mission Tirhutipur. At present, we were busy in the markets of Delhi doing all sorts of purchasing for our Geodesic Dome and other needs. On 22nd November when all assignments of Delhi were complete, I expedited the process of the return journey. I was eager to reach the village as early as possible so that I can build my geodesic dome.

That’s all for this diary. Next time I will discuss a side effect of technology that afflicted me while going to the village. Goodbye.

Vimal Kumar Singh
Convener, Mission Tirhutipur

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