November 09, 2009

How Deep Does Religion Run!!!

This is not a question but a statement.

I was just thinking about Nehru's famous last will and testament where he poetically talks about wanting some of his ashes to be mixed with the Ganga river at Allahbad — something a traditional, ritualistic Hindu would dearly love to do.

And this was the "agnostic visionary of modern India" who expressed this wish. And of course he opted for a typical Hindu cremation and nothing else.

When I think of myself, I too find that cremating a dead body is a logical thing to do rather than burying it like Christians. And I am supposed to be a staunch atheist.

I am wondering how much of my thinking is ultimately colored by the fact that I was born a 'Hindu' and how much by pure logic. The only logic that I can see to burning a dead body rather than burying it is this: when you bury a dead body, you are basically occupying a piece of ground for ever ... and to think that our time on this planet began when we were born ... we didn't exist before that. But once we are dead, we will continue to occupy a piece of land on planet Earth FOR EVER!!!

Imagine doing that for all 6 billion of us humans and who knows how many more of us!!!

In fact, there was a story recently in the papers that London is running short of burial ground for its 8 million residents ... quite understandable for what has been a major center of human civilization for a 1,000 years.

Well, I guess religions run deeper in us than we realize ... sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

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