[Reader-list] Bhagat Singh: An Atheist, view beyond Mr Devgan's Potrayal

Rahul Jindal zombielabs at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 25 03:56:27 IST 2002

Not sure about the origin or the veracity of the following, though it makes a logical read.

  Why I Am An Atheist

  By Bhagat Singh 

  [Oct. 1930]

  A new question has cropped up. Is it due to vanity that I do not believe in
the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God? I had never
imagined that I would ever have to confront such a question. But conversation
with some friends has given me, a hint that certain of my friends, if I am
not claiming too much in thinking them to be so-are inclined to conclude from
the brief contact they have had with me, that it was too much on my part to
deny the existence of God and that there was a certain amount of vanity that
actuated my disbelief. Well, the problem is a serious one. I do not boast to
be quite above these human traits. I am a man and nothing more. None can
claim to be more. I also have this weakness in me. Vanity does form a part of
my nature. Amongst my comrades I was called an autocrat. Even my friend Mr.
B.K. Dutt sometimes called me so. On certain occasions I was decried as a
despot. Some friends do complain and very seriously too that I involuntarily
thrust my opinions upon others and get my proposals accepted. That this is
true up to a certain extent, I do not deny. This may amount to egotism. There
is vanity in me in as much as our cult as opposed to other popular creeds is
concerned. But that is not personal. It may be, it is only legitimate pride
in our cult and does not amount to vanity. Vanity or to be more precise
"Ahankar" is the excess of undue pride in one's self. Whether it is such an
undue pride that has led me to atheism or whether it is after very careful
study of the subject and after much consideration that I have come to
disbelieve in God, is a question that I, intend to discuss here. Let me first
make it clear that egotism and vanity are two different things.

  In the first place, I have altogether failed to comprehend as to how undue
pride or vaingloriousness could ever stand in the way of a man in believing
in God. I can refuse to recognize the greatness of a really great man
provided I have also achieved a certain amount of popularity without
deserving it or without having possessed the qualities really essential or
indispensible for the same purpose. That much is conceivable. But in what way
can a man believing in God cease believing due to his personal vanity? There
are only two Ways. The man should either begin to think himself a rival of
God or he may begin to believe himself to be God. In neither case can he
become a genuine atheist. In the first case he does not even deny the
existence of his rival. In the second case as well he admits the existence of
a conscious being behind the screen guiding all the movements of nature. It
is of no importance to us whether he thinks himself to be that supreme being
or whether he thinks the supreme conscious being to be somebody apart from
himself. The fundamental is there. His belief is there. He is by no means an
atheist. Well, here I am I neither belong to the first category nor to the
second. I deny the very existence of that Almighty Supreme being. Why I deny
it shall be dealt with later on. Here I want to clear one thing, that it is
not vanity that has actuated me to adopt the doctrines of atheism. I am
neither a rival nor an incarnation nor the Supreme Being Himself. One point
is decided, that it is not vanity that has led me to this mode of thinking.
Let me examine the facts to disprove this allegation. According to these
friends of mine I have grown vainglorious perhaps due to the undue popularity
gained during the trials-both Delhi Bomb and Lahore conspiracy cases. Well,
let us see if their premises are correct. My atheism is not of so recent
origin. I had stopped believing in God when I was an obscure young man, of
whose existence my above mentioned friends were not even aware. At least a
college student cannot cherish any short of undue pride which may lead him to
atheism. Though a favourite with some professors and disliked by certain
others, I was never an industrious or a studious boy. I could not get any
chance of indulging in such feelings as vanity. I was rather a boy with a
very shy nature, who had certain pessimistic dispositions about the future
career' And in those days, I was not a perfect atheist. My grand-father under
whose influence I was brought up is an orthodox Arya Samajist. An Arya
Samajist is anything but an atheist. After finishing my primary education I
joined the D.A.V. School of Lahore and stayed in its Boarding House for full
one year. There, apart from morning and evening prayers, I used to recite
"Gayatri Mantra" for hours and hours. I was a perfect devotee in those days.
Later on I began to live with my father. He is a liberal in as much as the
orthodoxy of religions is concerned. It was through his teachings that I
aspired to devote my life to the cause of freedom. But he is not an atheist.
He is a firm believer. He used to encourage me for offering prayers daily.
So, this is how I was brought up. In the Non-Co-operation days I joined the
National College. it was there that I began to think liberally and discuss
and criticise all the religious problems, even about God. But still I was a
devout believer. By that time I had begun to preserve the unshorn and
unclipped long hair but I could never believe in the mythology and doctrines
of Sikhism or, any other religion. But I had a firm faith in God's existence.

  Later on I joined the revolutionary party. The first leader with whom I
came in contact, though not convinced, could not dare to deny the existence
of God. On my persistent inquiries about God, he used to say, "Pray whenever
you want to". Now this is atheism less courage required for the adoption of
that creed. The second leader with whom I came in contact was a firm
believer. Let me mention his name-respected comrade Sachindra Nath Sanyal,
now undergoing life transportation in connexion with the Karachi conspiracy
case. From the every first page of his famous and only book, "Bandi Jivan"
(or Incarcerated Life), the Glory of God is sung vehemently. In the last page
of the second part of that beautiful book his mystic-because of vedantism -
praises showered upon God form a very conspicuous part of his thoughts. "The
Revolutionary leaflet" distributed- throughout India on January 28th 1925,
was according to the prosecution story the result of his intellectual labour,
Now, as is inevitable in the secret work the prominent leader expresses his
own views-which are very dear to his person and the rest of the workers have
to acquiesce in them-in spite of differences, which they might have. In that
leaflet one full paragraph was devoted to praise the Almighty and His
rejoicings and doing. That is all mysticism. What I wanted to point out was
that the idea of disbelief had not even germinated in the revolutionary
party. The famous Kakori martyrs-all four of them-passed their last day in
prayers. Ram Prasad Bismil was an orthodox Arya Samajist. Despite his wide
studies in the field of Socialism and Communism, Rajen Labiri could not
suppress his desire, of reciting hymns of the Upanishads and the Gita. I saw
only one man amongst them, who never prayed and used to say, "Philosophy is
the outcome of human weakness or limitation of knowledge". He is also
undergoing a sentence of transportation for life. But he also never dared to
deny the existence of God.

  UP to that period I was only a romantic idealist revolutionary. Uptil then
we were to follow. Now came the time to shoulder the whole responsibility.
Due to the inevitable reaction for some time the very existence of the Party
seemed impossible. Enthusiastic comrades-nay leaders-began to jeer at us. For
some time I was afraid that some day I also might not be convinced of the
futility of our own programme. That was a turning point in my revolutionary
career. "Study" was the cry that reverberated in the corridors of my mind.
Study to enable yourself to face the arguments advanced by opposition. Study
to arm yourself with arguments in favour of your cult. I began to study. My
previous faith and convictions underwent a remarkable modification. The
Romance of the violent methods alone which was so prominent amongst our
predecessors, was replaced by serious ideas. No more mysticism, no more blind
faith. Realism became our cult. Use of force justifiable when resorted to as
a matter of terrible necessity: non-violence as policy indispensable for all
mass movements. So much about methods. The most important thing was the clear
conception of the ideal for which we were to fight, As there were no
important activities in the field of action I got ample opportunity to study
various ideals of the world revolution. I studied Bakunin, the Anarchist
leader, something of Marx the father of Communism and much of Lenin, Trotsky
and others the men who had successfully carried out a revolution in their
country. They were all atheists. Bakunin's "God and State", though only
fragmentary, is an interesting study of the subject. Later still I came
across a book entitled 'Common Sense' by Nirlamba Swami. It was only a sort
of mystic atheism. This subject became of utmost interest to me. By the end
of 1926 I had been convinced as to the baselessness of the theory of
existence of an almighty supreme being who created, guided and controled the
universe. I had given out this disbelief of mine. I began discussion on the
subjects with my friends. I had become a pronounced atheist. But, what it
meant will presently be discussed.

  In May 1927 I was arrested at Lahore. The arrest was a surprise. I was
quite unaware of (he fact that the police wanted me. All of a sudden while
passing through a garden I found myself surrounded by police. To my own
surprise, I was very calm at that time. I did not feel any sensation, neither
did I experience any excitement. I was taken into police custody. Next day I
was taken to the Railway Police lock-up where I was to pass full one month.
After many day's conversation with the Police officials I guessed that they
had some information regarding my connexion with the Kakori Party and my
other activities in connexion with the revolutionary movement. They told me
that I had been to Lucknow while the trial was going on there, that I had
negotiated a certain scheme about their rescue, that after obtaining their
approval, we had procured some bombs, that by way of test one of the bombs
was thrown in the crowd on the occasion of Dussehra 1926. They further
informed me, in my interest, that if I could give any statement throwing some
light on the activities of the revolutionary party, I was not to be
imprisoned but on the contrary set free and rewarded even without being
produced as an approver in the Court. I laughed at the proposal. It was all
humbug. People holding ideas like ours do not throw bombs on their own
innocent people. One fine morning Mr. New man, the then Senior Superintendent
of C.I.D., came to me. And after much sympathetic talk with me imparted-to
him-the extremely sad news that if I did not give any statement as demanded
by them, they would be forced to send me up for trial for conspiracy to wage
war in connexion with Kakori Case and for brutal murders in connexion with
Dussehra Bomb outrage. And he further informed me that they had evidence
enough to get me convicted and hanged. In those days I believed-though I was
quite innocent-the police could do it if they desired. That very day certain
police officials began to persuade me to offer my prayers to God regularly
both the times. Now I-was an atheist. I wanted to settle for myself whether
it was in the days of peace and enjoyment alone that I could boast of being
an atheist or whether during such hard times as well I could stick to those
principles of mine. After great consideration I decided that I could not lead
myself to believe in and pray to God. No, I never did. That was the real test
and I came, out successful. Never for a moment did I desire to save my neck
at the cost of certain other things. So I was a staunch disbeliever : and
have ever since been. It was not an easy job to stand that test. 'Belief'
softens the hardships, even can make them pleasant. In God man can find very
strong consolation and support. Without Him, I man has to depend upon
himself. To stand upon one's own legs amid storms and hurricanes is not a
child's play. At such testing moments, vanity-if any-evaporates, and man
cannot dare to defy the general beliefs, if he does, then we must conclude
that he has got certain other strength than mere vanity. This is exactly the
situation now. Judgment is already too well known. Within a week it is to be
pronounced. What is the consolation with the exception of the idea that I am
going to sacrifice my life for a cause ? A God-believing Hindu might be
expecting to be reborn as a king, a Muslim or a Christian might dream of the
luxuries to be- enjoyed in paradise and the reward he is to get for his
sufferings and sacrifices. But what am I to expect? I know the moment the
rope is fitted round my neck and rafters removed, from under my feet. that
will be the final moment-that will be the last moment. I, or to be more
precise, my soul, as interpreted in the metaphysical terminology, shall all
be finished there. Nothing further. A short life of struggle with no such
magnificent end, shall in itself be the reward if I have the courage to take
it in that light. That is all. With no selfish motive, or desire to be
awarded here or hereafter, quite disinterestedly have I devoted my life to
the cause of independence, because I could not do otherwise. The day we find
a great number of men and women with this psychology who cannot devote
themselves to anything else than the service of mankind and emancipation of
the suffering humanity; that day shall inaugurate the era of liberty. Not to
become a king, nor to gain any other rewards here, or in the next birth or
after death in paradise, shall they be inspired to challenge the oppressors,
exploiters, and tyrants, but to cast off the yoke of serfdom from the neck of
humanity and to establish liberty and peace shall they tread this-to their
individual selves perilous and to their noble selves the only glorious
imaginable-path. Is the pride in their noble cause to be - misinterpreted as
vanity? Who dares to utter such an abominable epithet? To him, I say either
he is a fool or a knave. Let us forgive him for he can not realize the depth,
the emotion, the sentiment and the noble feelings that surge in that heart.
His heart is dead as a mere lump of flesh, his eyes are-weak, the evils of
other interests having been cast over them. Self-reliance is always liable to
be interpreted as vanity. It is sad and miserable but there is no help.

  You go and oppose the prevailing faith, you go and criticise a hero, a
great man, who is generally believed to be above criticism because he is
thought to be infallible, the strength of your argument shall force the
multitude to decry you as vainglorious. This is due to the mental stagnation,
Criticism and independent thinking are the two indispensable qualities of a
revolutionary. Because Mahatamaji is great, therefore none should criticise
him. Because he has risen above, therefore everything he says-may be in the
field of Politics or Religion, Economics or Ethics-is right. Whether you are
convinced or not you must say, "Yes, that's true". This mentality does not
lead towards progress. It is rather too obviously, reactionary.

  Because our forefathers had set up a faith in some supreme, being-the Al
mighty God- therefore any man who dares to challenge the validity of that
faith, or the very existence of that supreme being, he shall have to be
called an apostate, a renegade. If his arguments are too sound to be refuted
by counter-arguments and spirit too strong to be cowed down by the threat of
misfortunes that may befall him by the wrath of the Almighty-he shall be
decried as vainglorious, his spirit to be denominated as vanity. Then why to
waste time in this vain discussion? Why try to argue out the whole thing?
This question is coming before the public for the first time, and is being
handled in this matter of fact way for the first time, hence this lengthy

  As for the first question, I think I have cleared that it is not vanity
that has led me to atheism. My way of argument has proved to be convincing or
not, that is to be judged by my readers, not me. I know in the present,
circumstances my faith in God would have made my life easier, my burden
lighter and my disbelief in Him has turned all the circumstances too dry and
the situation may assume too harsh a shape. A little bit of mysticism can
make it poetical. But I, do not want the help of any intoxication to meet my
fate. I am a realist. I have been trying to overpower the instinct in me by
the help of reason. I have not always been successful in achieving this end.
But man's duty is to try and endeavour, success depends upon chance and

  As for the second question that if it was not vanity, then there ought to
be some reason to disbelieve the old and still prevailing faith of the
existence of God. Yes; I come to that now Reason there is. According to. me,
any man who has got some reasoning power at his command always tries to
reason out his environments. Where direct proofs are lacking philosophy
occupies the important place. As I have already stated, a certain
revolutionary friend used to say that Philosophy is the outcome of human
weakness. When our ancestors had leisure enough to try to solve out the
mystery of this world, its past, present and the future, its whys and
wherefores, they having been terribly short of direct proofs, everybody tried
to solve the problem in his own way. Hence we find the wide dufferences in
the fundamentals of various religious creeds, which some times assume very
antagonistic and conflicting shapes. Not only the Oriental and Occidental
philosophies differ, there are differences even amongst various schools of
thoughts in each hemisphere. Amongst Oriental religions, the Moslem faith is
not at all compatible with Hindu faith. In India alone Buddhism and Jainism
are sometimes quite separate from Brahmanism, in which there are again
conflicting faiths as Arya Samaj and Sanatan Dharma. Charwak is still another
independent thinker of the past ages. He challenged the authority of God in
the old times. All these creeds differ from each other on the fundamental
question., and everybody considers himself to be on the right. There lies the
misfortune. Instead of using the experiments and expressions of the ancient
Savants and thinkers as a basis for our future struggle against ignorance and
to try to find out a solution to this mysterious problem, we lethargical as
we have proved to be raise the hue and cry of faith, unflinching and
unwavering faith to their versions and thus are guilty of stagnation in human

  Any man who stands for progress has to criticise, disbelieve and challenge
every item of the old faith. Item by item he has to reason out every nook and
corner of the prevailing faith. If after considerable reasoning one is led to
believe in any theory or philosphy, his faith is welcomed. His reasoning can
be mistaken, wrong, misled and sometimes fallacious. But he is liable to
correction because reason is the guiding star of his life. But mere faith and
blind faith is dangerous: it dulls the brain, and makes a man reactionary. A
man who claims to be a realist has to challenge the whole of the ancient
faith. If it does not stand the onslaught of reason it crumbles down. Then
the first thing for him is to shatter the whole down and clear a space for
the erection of a new philosophy. This is the negative side. After it begins
the positive work in which sometimes some material of the old faith may be
used for the purpose of reconstruction. As far as I am concerned, let me
admit at the very outset that I have not been able to study much on this
point. I had a great desire to study the Oriental Philosophy but I could not
get any chance or opportunity to do the same. But so far as the negative
study is under discussion, I think I am convinced to the extent of
questioning the soundness of the old faith. I have been convinced as to
non-existence of a conscious supreme being who is guiding and directing the
movements of nature. We believe in nature and the whole progressive movement
aims at the domination of man over nature for his service. There is no
conscious power behind it to direct. This is what our philosophy is.

  As for the negative side. we ask a few questions from the 'believers'.

  (1) If, as you believe, there is an almighty, omnipresent, omniscient and
omnipotent God-who created the earth or world, please let me know why did he
creat it ? This world of woes and miseries, a veritable, eternal combination
of number less tragedies: Not a single soul being perfectly satisfied.

  Pray, don't say that it is His Law: If he is bound by any law, he is not
omnipotent. He is another slave like ourselves. Please don't say that it is
his enjoyment. Nero burnt one Rome. He killed a very limited number of
people. He created very few tragedies, all to his perfect enjoyment. And what
is his place in History ? By what names do the historians mention him? All
the venomous epithets are showered upon him. Pages are blackened with
invective diatribes condemning Nero, the tyrant, the heartless, the wicked.
One Changezkhan sacrificed a few thousand lives to seek pleasure in it and we
hate the very name. Then how are you going to justify your almighty, eternal
Nero, who has been, and is still causing numberless tragedies every day,
every hour and every minute ? How do you think to support his misdoings which
surpass those of Changez every single moment? I say why did he create this
world-a veritable hell, a place of constant and bitter unrest ? Why did the
Almighty create man when he had the power not to do it ? What is the
justification for all this ? Do you say to award the innocent sufferers
hereafter and to punish the wrong-doers as well? Well, well: How far shall
you justify a man who may dare to inflict wounds upon your body to apply a
very soft and soothing liniment upon it afterwards? How far the supporters
and organisers of the Gladiator Institution were justified in throwing men
before the half starved furious lions to be cared for and well looked after
if they could survive and could manage to escape death by the wild beasts?
That is why I ask, 'Why did the conscious supreme being created this world
and man in it? To seek pleasure? Where then is the difference between him and

  You Mohammadens and Christians : Hindu Philosophy shall still linger on to
offer another argument. I ask you what is your answer to the above-mentioned
question ? You don't believe in previous birth. Like Hindus you cannot
advance the argument of previous misdoings of the apparently quite innocent
sufrerers? I ask you why did the omnipotent labour for six days to create the
world through word and each day to say that all was well. Call him today.
Show him the past history. Make him study the present situation. Let us see
if he dares to say, "All is well",

  From the dungeons of prisons, from the stores of starvation consuming
millions upon millions of human beings in slums and huts, from the exploited
labourers, patiently or say apathetically watching the procedure of their
blood being sucked by the Capitalist vampires, and the wastage of human
energy that will make a man with the least common sense shiver with horror,
and from the preference of throwing the surplus of production in oceans
rather than to distribute amongst the needy producers-to the palaces of kings
built upon the foundation laid with human bones.... let him see all this and
let him say "All is well". Why and wherefore ? That is my question. You are
silent. All right then, I proceed. Well, you Hindus, you say all the present
sufferers belong to the class of sinners of the previous births. Good. You
say the present oppressors were saintly people in their previous births,
hence they enjoy power. Let me admit that your ancestors were very shrewed
people, they tried to find out theories strong enough to hammer down all the
efforts of reason and disbelief. But let us analyse how far this argument can
really stand.

  From the point of view of the most famous jurists punishment can be
justified only from three or four ends to meet which it is inflicted upon the
wrongdoer. They are retributive, reformative and deterrent. The retributive
theory is now being condemned by all the advanced thinkers. Deterrent theory
is also following the same fate. Reformative theory is the only one which is
essential, and indispensable for human progress. It aims at returning the
offender as a most competent and a peace-loving citizen to the society. But
what is the nature of punishment inflicted by God upon men even if we suppose
them to be offenders. You say he sends them to be born as a cow, a cat, a
tree, a herb or a best. You enumerate these punishments to be 84 lakhs. I ask
you what is its reformative effect upon man ? How many men have met you who
say that they were born as a donkey in previous birth for having committed
any sin ? None. Don't quote your Puranas. I have no scope to touch your
mythologies. Moreover do you know that the greatest sin in this world is to
be poor. Poverty is a sin, it is a punishment. I ask you how far would you
appreciate a criminologist, a jurist or a legislator who proposes such
measures of punishment which shall inevitably force man to commit more
offences ? Had not your God thought of this or he also had to learn these
things by experience, but at the cost of untold sufferings to be borne by.
humanity ? What do you think shall be the fate of a man who has been born in
a poor and illiterate family of say a chamar or a sweeper. He is poor, hence
he cannot study. He is hated and shunned by his fellow human beings who think
themselves to be his superiors having been born in say a higher caste. His
ignorance, his poverty and the treatment meted out to him shall harden his
heart towards society. Suppose he commits a sin, who shall bear the
consequences? God, he or the learned ones of, the society ? What about the
punishment of those people who were deliberately kept ignorant by the haughty
and egotist Brahmans and who had to pay the penalty by bearing the stream of
being led (not lead) in their ears for having heard a few sentences of your
Sacred Books of learning-the Vedas ? If they committed any offence-who was to
be responsible for them and who was to bear the brunt? My dear friends: These
theories are the inventions of the privileged ones: They justify their
usurped power, riches and superiority by the help of these theories. Yes: It
was perhaps Upton Sinclair, that wrote at some place, that just make a man a
believer in immortality and then rob him of all his riches, and possessions.
He shall help you even in that ungrudgingly. The coalition amongst the
religious preachers and possessors of power brought forth jails, gallows,
knouts and these theories.

  I ask why your omnipotent God, does not stop every man when he is
committing any sin or offence ? He can do it quite easily. Why did he not
kill war lords or kill the fury of war in them and thus avoid the catastrophe
hurled down on the head of humanity by the Great War? Why does he not just
produce a certain sentiment in the mind of the British people to liberate
India? Why does he not infuse the althuistic enthusiasm in the hearts of all
capitalists to forgo their rights of personal possessions of means of
production and thus redeem the whole labouring community-nay the whole human
society from the bondage of Capitalism. You want to reason out the
practicability of socialist theory, I leave it for your almighty to enforce
it. People recognize the merits of socialism in as much as the general
welfare is concerned. They oppose it under the pretext of its being
impracticable. Let the Almighty step in and arrange everything in an orderly
fashion. Now don't try to advance round about arguments, they are out of
order. Let me tell you, British rule is here not because God wills it but
because they possess power and we do not dare to oppose them. Not that it is
with the help of God that they are keeping us under their subjection but it
is with the help of guns and rifles, bomb and bullets, police and millitia
and our apathy that they are successfully committing the most deplorable sin
against society- the outrageous exploitation of one nation by another. Where
is God ? What is he doing ? Is he enjoying all I these woes of human race ? A
Nero; A change (changez): Down with him :

  Do you ask me how I explain the origin of this world and origion of man ?
Alright I tell you. Charles Darwin has tried to throw some light on the
subject. Study him. Read Soham Swam's "Commonsense". It shall answer your
question to some extent. This is a phenomenon of nature. The accidental
mixture of different substances in the shape of nebulace produced this earth.
When ? Consult history. The same process produced animals and in the long run
man. Read Darwin's 'Origin of Species'. And all the later progress is due to
man's constant conflict with nature and his efforts to override it. This is
the briefest possible explanation of this phenomenon.

  Your other argument may be just to ask why a child is born blind or lame if
not due to his deeds committed in the previous birth ? This problem has been
explained away by biologists as a more biological phenomenon. According to
them the whole burden rests upon the shoulders of the parents who may be
conscious or ignorant of their own deeds led to mutilation of the child
previous to its birth.

  Naturally you may ask another question-though it is quite childish in
essence. If no God existed, how did the people come to believe in him? My
answer is clear and brief. As they came to believe in ghosts, and evil
spirits; the only difference is that belief in God is almost universal and
the philosophy well developed. Unlike certain of the radicals I would not
attribute its origin to the ingenuity of the exploiters who wanted to keep
the people under their subjection by preaching the existence of a supreme
being and then claiming an authority and sanction from him for their
privileged positions. Though I do not differ with them on the essential point
that all faiths, religions, creeds and such other institutions became in turn
the mere supporters of the tyrannical and exploiting institutions, men and
classes. Rebellion against king is always a sin according to every religion.

  As regards the origin of God my own idea is that having realized the
limitations of man, his weaknesses and shortcoming having been taken into
consideration, God was brought into imaginary existence to encourage man to
face boldly all the trying circumstances, to meet all dangers manfully and to
check and restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God both with
his private laws and parental generosity was imagined and painted in greater
details. He was to serve as a deterrent factor when his fury and private laws
were discussed so that man may not become a danger to society. He was to
serve as a father, mother, sister and brother, friend and helpers when his
parental qualifications were to be explained. So that when man be in great
distress having been betrayed and deserted by all friends he may find
consolation in the idea that an ever true friend was still there to help him,
to support him and that He was almighty and could do anything. Really that
was useful to the society in the primitive age. The idea of God is helpful to
man in distress.

  Society has to fight out this belief as well as was fought the idol worship
and the narrow conception of religon. Similarly, when man tries to stand on
his own legs, and become a realist he shall have to throw the faith aside,
and to face manfully all the distress, trouble, in which the circumstances
may throw him. That is exactly my state of affairs. It is not my vanity, my
friends. It is my mode of thinking that has made me an atheist. I don't know
whether in my case belief in God and offering of daily prayers which I
consider to be most selfish and degraded act on the part of man, whether
these prayers can prove to be helpful or they shall make my case worse still.
I have read of atheists facing all troubles quite boldly, so am I trying to
stand like a man with an erect head to the last; even on the gallows.

  Let us see how I carry on : one friend asked me to pray. When informed of
my atheism, he said, "During your last days you will begin to believe". I
said, No, dear Sir, it shall not be. I will think that to be an act of
degradation and demoralization on my part. For selfish motives I am not going
to pray. Readers and friends, "Is this vanity"? If it is, I stand for it.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/attachments/20020625/12acc36b/attachment.html 

More information about the reader-list mailing list