Religion in my opinion has nothing to do with God at all. Someone once said that 'Religion is opium for the masses' and I totally agree. Religion offers quick methods for salvation, say this mantra, perform this yagna and you can appease the Gods, thus successfully annihilating all your sins. The only reason I can think of for why people chose to believe all this is that the world was a big place then, there was lesser awareness, tribal instincts had not totally perished and education was more or less religious in nature. Religion seeks to dominate and rule, not guide and advice. Sure, there are some jewels in every religion, after all nothing can be deemed aboslutely wonderful or totally worthless. Definitely, there are some aspects than shine like diamonds. I would sooner perish than condemn the Bhagavad Gita and there seems to be a phrase here and there in all the lengthy scriptures that all religions have, that strikes a chord, that stirs something deep within. But then it's all submerged in the sea of illusions that is piled upon us. Perhaps our wise ancestors when they gave us religions, were only trying to make us think about God, about some higher force and they did not wish to reveal all the secrets of the Universe for fear that they might not be understood or that they might be used unappropriately. But I think, if that was so, the judgement should have been left to us. A lot of religion survives on the assumption that people will accept and believe anything as long as it seems profitable to them, hence the carrot and stick method applied in all religions for coaxing people into good behaviour. Religion tells us that truth and love are important but it does not tell us why or how. This is the age of reasoning and the age of awakening as well and we cannot be expected to accept everything as face value, given that so much of what floats around is false and concocted. How then can religion be exempt from the universal wiles of men? Spiritual advancement or liberation of the soul is to me a very personal process and though guidance may be available, the realization has to come from within and nothing can help you for that.
Religion only creates differences, as it is we have all erected so many psychological barriers to stop us from truly loving each other, do we need further barriers created by society like religion and nationality? Religion is like a part of our attire, to be discarded when we no longer feel the need for it. We are all wearing layers and layers of clothing, consisting of our appearance, our memory, our opinions, our language, likes and dislikes, nationality, culture, religion, sex, age, voice, family and a thousand other things. One by one we have to discard all these. And then we will discover that pure nothingness within us, hidden all this while, but present nevertheless, just waiting to be discovered, just waiting for you. In that pure nothingness, there is no black or white, no good or bad, no right or wrong. Religion to me seems painfully physical, undeniably human. There is nothing even remotely spiritual about the religion that most of us practice and believe in. No amount of ceremonies, rituals and incantations can act as a map to deliverance, salvation is possible only by your own will. Decide for yourself this moment, whether you want to continue living like this or experience something higher. There is one thing that can be credited to religion, it does the function of informing us that there is something higher. We all know that God exists but we haven't really experienced God, we haven't really felt God inside us. That is the true goal of life, not some strict adherence to a Vedic ritual. If there is only one truth, only one God then why do we have so many religions, so many theories propounded by various people? Even religion is part of the outside and the truth lies inside.