Agnostic – a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
Atheist – a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.
These are the synonyms present in dictionaries. In my 10th grade, this was the conversation that happened between me and my friend. Even though it was not a mature conversation, it went on like this.
Friend: Do you pray?
Friend: Are you an atheist?
Friend: Then what are you?
Me: I don’t know. I act as if I pray when elders are around me.
Friend: Then you are an atheist!
Me: No, I’m not.
Friend: What the h*ll are you?
This question kept coming up again and again in my mind. It was so hard for me to find an answer. I used to pester my parents by firing ‘n’ number of questions. Every single time, I did not get a convincing reply. Whenever I was asked to come to the temple, I didn’t deny or argue with my parents. I just went. Visiting a temple was not annoying, at the same time, it was not refreshing. The things that I inspired most in temples were the silence, the architecture, the sculptures. Whenever I was standing in a queue, I used to watch the people’s face. Each face reflected a thousand stories. There are few who used to shed drops of tears. Everything amazed me. One part of my brain was like “wow! what’s so special about this whole thing?” and my other part was like “meh… what’s the big scene here.” (the second part dominated). These arguments came up in my mind regularly. It’s not like I hated. The real deal was, I didn’t have any belief or faith.But, they said it’s all about faith.
I did some research and started thinking deeper. I was sure that I won’t be able to reach a conclusion on who I’m, whether an atheist/agnostic/a believer. In the end, I decided (not concluded) that I’m an agnostic and further had an idea of keeping it to myself. During tough times, people tend to visit a holy place. During happy times too, people tend to visit holy places. There are indeed highly orthodox devotees. In the meantime, I became the master of myself. Being humble and calm is the only formula of this concept. The hard times which I went through changed me completely. It opened up a new dimension in my life. I didn’t try meditation or other stuff. All I did was, to be myself. No external force, no religious fears, no religious ideologies blocked my way. If you go ask an orthodox devotee that “will you murder him?” his reply would me “No, God is watching me. I’ll be burned in hell”. If you ask this to an atheist or an agnostic he’d say “I have morals, I adhere to the law.” I would like to add a point that nobody’s a saint in this world.
It’s a free world. We can’t tie ourselves with the rope of religious beliefs and godly fears. If you ask me how many god(s) are there in this world. I’d say only one. It may be “you” or some other “he/she/they/it” which is totally based on your own perspectives and experiences. One does not require super powers for miracles to happen in life. Hard work and unshakable faith in whatever they do are enough to move on. People say praying improves the confidence level. Try pouring out those prayers to your friends/ parents/loved ones. You’ll feel the same level of confidence. You can see God in everyone.
We respect all religions. We respect the sayings and ideologies. We respect the gods. But, to put in simple words, we don’t follow any. We follow our own principles and ideologies. It all depends on what we choose. We are not committing a sin. We are just choosing 🙂
P.S – My sincere apologies if this post has contradicted your views and feelings.