We believe what we believe because of our parents and caretakers. We really don’t have a choice when we’re young, when it comes to religion. Whether we’re Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Catholic, we automatically identify with whatever religion our parents practice.
For the longest time, I identified myself as a Hindu although I am not religious. I would occasionally (once a year) go to a temple here in Toronto. Every time I ate a Big Mac or a steak, I would feel guilty because the cow is considered holy in Hinduism. It was as if there was a voice in my head telling me I was being a bad Hindu.
With all the atrocities being committed in the name of religion, it made me question my beliefs. It was only recently that it came to me that if I changed what I believed I wouldn’t have to feel guilty anymore! It had nothing to do with anyone or any religion. All I needed to do was believe something different and I could do as I pleased instead of locking myself in a self-imposed prison.
I believe John Lennon got it right when he wrote “Imagine”, his lyrics ring true to me:
“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people living life in peace…”
This is my anthem now and I do believe in a higher power, in the power of the mind, in the power of connection and love. I release myself from all organized religions and I feel free.