On the religious path of our ancestors
Most of us look love to look askance at our parents sentiments. We love to say how we are so much more liberal and broad minded than them. We dismiss their platitudes and look down on their earthy wisdom. It is a different matter of course that at some point in our senility we start resembling them more and more. But usually, we would like to maintain our arrogant disdain of everything parental. Therefore, we would love to scoff if someone points out that we are culpable of ancestral worship in our religious affiliation. What rot! we say..
But the fact remains that ancestral worship is ingrained in our ethos. And this I speak irrespective of geopolitical and religious affiliations. Most people “inherit” the characteristics that define their identity from their parents.We all agree that our identity cannot be dependent on accidents of birth. But the fact remains that accident of birth plays a huge role whether we like it or not. This is especially applicable in matters of God. A Hindu’s son is a Hindu and a Muslim’s son is a Muslim. It is not logical that a doctor’s son must perforce be a doctor but we somehow don’t question it in matters of religion.
I participate in a few religious forums. The recurring theme that I discover is that people are quite incapable of leaving their existing belief system even if it has been proven to have its limitations and many times even if it is proven completely wrong. This, to me, smacks of ancestral worship for who else but their parents have communicated these sentiments to them in the first place. I am not going to gainsay the fact that I am equally fallible and that I would be loathe to completely relinquish some of my “basic” beliefs inculcated carefully in me by my own parents.
It takes a rare individual to break out of this cycle and concede that there are alternate and sometimes contradictory points of view which can be better than their own.