The various religions are one of the major reasons why man’s search remains elusive; and when I say ‘religions’, I do not mean only organised religions. Whatsoever tells you about the fundamentals of life comes in the purview of religion.
So, if parents are trying to tell the kid about the importance of grades, about the importance of getting more marks – this is religious education. If peers are trying to tell a child, how absolutely critical it is to clear a competitive examination – this is religious indoctrination. If a particular employer is motivating his employees to forget everything else and focus on sales targets, and he is saying, ‘Forget everything else, this is what you need to do!’ – This very much religious activity. This is religious activity because it is attempting to tell the listener that by undertaking this activity you will get That which you really want.
The man who is telling a woman that she should come with him and he will give her the highest happiness possible, is making a religious promise. He will never say — and romance hardly ever looks like religion, but the promise is essentially religious — he is promising God to her, he is saying, ‘Come to me, I will give you fulfilment! ’ It is another matter that he will never be able to keep his promise. All such promises get broken, all such affairs fail. The shopping mall that is telling you that you can get enjoyment by visiting it is again making a religious claim.
All the institutions that the society has set up, that promise deliverance, completeness, satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment, are all trying to do something religious. When there is so much of purported religious activity being attempted, it is obvious that getting lost would be the easiest thing to do.
~ Excerpts from the article, ‘What is religion?‘