Are you part of a cult?
What is organised religion, and what is a cult?
Organised religion is a structured system of faith or worship, especially one followed by a large number of people, such as Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Similarly, a cult can be defined as a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object.
The timeless Vedic Sanatana Dharma is neither of them. However, care needs to be taken lest one be talked into organised religions or cults, or even inadvertently slip into such systems which stand and thrive on conditioning the minds of its followers who cease to ask questions but blindly obey what they are told even if they happen to be absolutely bizarre, far-fetched, and illogical stories.
A brief self-test:
1. Do I feel greatly offended when someone makes a negative remark about my religious group?
2. Do I blindly believe whatever my religious group or my religious leader tells me even if it has no rational explanation?
3. Do I believe that whatever my religious leader says overrides even the truths taught in scriptures such as the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and all the Upanishads?
4. Do I get upset when someone, whom I personally know, does not agree with what my religious leader, whom I do not know personally, says or does?
5. Would I be ready to go to the extent of breaking ties with someone I have known for a long time only because they found fault with my religious group and religious leader, or criticised it?
6. Would I dump those who have always stood by me only because they do not like my religious leader?
7. Do I feel that in my religious group or with my religious leader, I have found my ultimate place, and that I do not feel there is anything beyond it?
8. Do I cherry-pick verses from various scriptures to validate and justify my state of being mentally conditioned?
9. Do I believe that my religious leader is so elevated that through my devotion to him or her and to my religious group, I can actually overcome the never-failing and absolutely unforgiving natural law of Cause and Effect aka Karma?
10. Am I convinced that my leader is holier than me and that his touch or even his or her glance either personally or from their picture, can wipe my past Karma, give me a clean slate, and a comfortable life that is trouble-free?
11. Do I feel that my religious leader ‘knows’ what I want and would make my life wonderful simply through my devotion to him or her even if I do not perform Karma or do what is rightful to achieve my goal?
12. Am I convinced that praying to my religious leader, either deceased or alive, can remove my ‘sufferings’ which are, as a matter of fact, a part of my Karma-balancing process as also of my Karmic evolution?
13. Would I be prepared to sacrifice my family, friends, and wealth for the sake of my religious leader?
Well, should your answer be ‘yes’ to any one of the above questions, some of them, or all of them, you can be sure that you are part of a brain-numbing cult. It also means that it is time for some introspection or to seek professional help in order to check the level of brainwashing that you have been subjected to and to find ways to free your mind from slavery so that you can get back to rational thinking and to the attitude of asking questions that ancient scriptures of the Vedic Sanatana Dharma advocate.
Remember, Freedom, both physical and mental, is the greatest blessing after one’s own life and good health. Guard it with all your might because it is the only factor that will help you be a true seeker and guide you in the path of your own spiritual advancement.
May you stay abundantly blessed with excellent health, peace, love, prosperity, and above all, freedom.