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Born and raised in India, I grew up in a culture that has very deep believed and yet also has a lot of diversity. India is a country with over 22 languages, 29 states, and 9 religions. Although there is a lot of diversity, every subculture and religion have very strong beliefs. I was raised in a Punjabi household, which is a subgroup of the Hindu religion. My mother is extremely religious, while my father acknowledges religion he does not participate it in a lot.
Not surprisingly I and my two siblings also grew up being religious but things were about to change.
The Hindu culture is one with over thirty-three million gods, it is fair to say that we have a god for pretty much everything. There is a god of wealth, a god of destruction, a god of academics and the list goes on. Praying had become an important part of my life by the time I was six. But as I matured over the years I went from simply praying every day to trying to understand why we pray and what this religion means to me.
I started diving deep into Hindu mythologies and our religious books like the Bhagavad Gita. These did help in quenching my curiosity and my beliefs grew stronger. Soon I had a strong understanding of what the religion meant to me. As I reached 9th grade I had made several friends who came from a diversity of religions. The more I spoke to them, the more I would realize that they believed in their religions as strongly as I did mine.
So I started to question my own beliefs and soon I concluded that it’s only fair that all religions be treated equally so I started believing in all religions. This too would only last for a while.
I have always had a problem with any authoritative figures and this lead me to question God. In 10th grade, I would often debate the pros and cons of religion but I had a firm belief that there had to exist some higher force that we do not understand. But the more I read about religion and psychology I more I started doubting the idea of god.
The one thing any religion in this world doesn’t like is questions. We were never allowed to question any religious activities and just blindly believe that they work. God too was never explained well as a concept. Reading into philosophy I realized that the all seeing and all judging God that I worshiped as I kid was nothing more than a dictator. This image of God presented to me as a kid was now sending shivers down my spine.
As I left religion behind, I started walking towards spiritualism. I spent may days and night scavenging the internet to find something more satisfying. I needed a new purpose, and on the way to finding it, I discovered a tool to help me. I was discovering meditation. I always knew humans were special, we have the ability to do so much good and evil that it could affect this entire planet but meditating helped me get rid of identities and rediscover myself to try to play the good side of me.
Meditation taught me several things but I think the most important lesson that I learned was to not believe in anything. Being a skeptic about everything is the best way to live, as it makes you question everything and leaves the door open to limitless possibilities. So today I choose to be agnostic and ask questions hoping one day I can reach the answers.
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