Bhagadatta on his elephant on the Kurukshetra battlefield
As the great battle of Kurukshetra continues, both the Pandavas and the Kauravas suffer huge losses. Great warriors are killed. Thousands of soldiers lost their lives. Bhurisraba kills ten sons of Satyaki. Bhagadatta mounts his elephant and almost kills Bheem. Ghatotkach engage in a ferocious battle with Bhagadatta. In the camp, Bhishma keeps trying to bring some sense into Duryodhan, while the blind King Dhritarashtra laments alone in the palace of Hastinapur.
After Abhimanyu and Uttara’s wedding, the Pandavas get busy planning to claim back their Kingdom. They knew, Duryodhan wouldn’t give back their due without a fight. They begin to seek alliances of powerful kings. To fight the Kauravas they need a large and strong army. Duryodhan doesn’t sit idle either. He doubles his efforts to reinforce his military might. Both the parties prepare to fight the ultimate battle which now seems inevitable.
Recently I watched this wonderful TED talk by Alain de Botton. He was talking about atheism, but unlike many other more radical atheists, he did not reject religion altogether. His philosophy is that, there is a class of people who do not really believe in the existence of god or gods, but they like the other aspects of religion like the rituals, the music, the literature, the art, the myths. Alain says that these aspects of religion, the more popular aspects which enrich us in many positive ways, we don’t have to reject them. I don’t want to go into the details of his talk, you can watch the video and listen for yourself, but this concept which Alain calls Atheism 2.0 rang a bell in me.
I love to attend our Durga Puja festivals, love to hear the mythological stories associated with Durga and Mahishasur although I don’t believe they really exist. I love to listen to the sonorous chanting of the “Chandi” or listen to the ecstatic Kirtan music and feel elated. I love Shyama Sangeet, I like to watch plays and listen to stories of Hindu mythology and the epics, although I don’t feel compelled to believe them as historical truth. And I believe, I am not alone. Many of us who have been sitting on the fence of religion, wondering which side to land on, now have this third option – Atheism 2.0. We refuse to be indoctrinated by religion, refuse to believe that ours is the best and for that matter any religion to be better than any other. But we gladly accept the goodies that these religions offers us and thus enrich ourselves with those aspects.
I would like to know what others think about this.