The struggle of religions is too grossly obvious to comment. The origin of any religion of the world can be traced to some great personality who was at once a philosopher and a mystic and who is intensely craved for the welfare of humanity. When the utterances of such a great personalities were written down, classified, codified and dogmatized, solidity crept into the religions and it went on increasing in geometric proportions when the vested interests took the reins of religion into their hands.
There are some common points in all the religions like the ideas of God, worship, faith, honesty etc. But due to the peculiar prejudices developed in every religion, each is different from the others. In fact the prejudices have affected the religions so much that even the conceptions of God, worship etc. have been coloured by the peculiar brand of any particular religion. The present day position is that each religion is generally identified by its peculiar prejudice. Normally the struggle in any religion is directed towards maintaining its prejudice and not to get rid of its shackles.
The utility of religion really ends when a deep impression is formed on one’s mind that there is something else beyond this material world, which is to be realized. It is for the individual to go in search of that and to realize that. No amount of social formulations or group prayers can quench the individual’s thirst for the Infinite. Of course, religion promises the realization of God. But when a seeker starts on the spiritual journey, the institutionalized religion becomes a dead-weight for him and at every step he comes across one prejudice or another of his religion. Even if he becomes bold, casts away his own religion and takes up another religion which he considers to be more promising, he is very quickly disillusioned with his new book when he actually starts his quest for higher attainments in the Divine Knowledge.
The aim of almost all the religions has been reduced to establish a common brotherhood even as the political ideologies aim similar wise. If one wants the dictatorship of one clique, the other wants the dictatorship of another clique. Due to the rapid growth and quick results of political philosophies, religions have become anachronisms. Therefore, the militant religions have blatantly taken up the political ideologies and there have grown up groups of people voting for theocratic states. Even among the members of any religious fraternity, jealousies, rivalries and competition to seize power over their brethren are so apparent as to cause disgust and repulsion.
The method of religions also have degenerated to cause mental stupor or reduce and dupe the faculties of thinking in man. The suggestions of reward and punishment have reduced worship and God to mere mechanical actions and anthropomorphic entity respectively. In the name of peace, dullness is sought for in the name of brotherhood of man, quarreling cliques are formed. In the name of humility inner grossness is increased resulting in pride and egoism.
There had been saints of caliber who had practiced the methods of several religions and came to the conclusion that God, Allah, Hari, Hara, Rama or Krishna denote the same entity. Attempts had also been made to reconcile the quarrels among the religions by emphasizing the common points or precepts of all the religions. Ironically enough of all these attempts have resulted in the formations of yet more religious sects, once again indulging in the same old quarrels. When one comes across these attempts of reconciliation and unification in the oldest books of even the oldest of religions, a sort of skepticism creeps in, doubting the efficacy of religions as a solution for the problem of man.
Those desirous of saving the religions have to rise above them and get command or mastery over the spirit or the essence. Afterwards they have to introduce the real life in the religion to reorient its struggle to emphasize the need to have the essence as the main point in view and its ritualistic and prejudicial aspects should be tailored down to suit the times and climes. The lesser the prejudices healthier the struggle. The lesser the superstitions the better the growth. But it is a hard and uphill task to refine and tailor down the religious things, because politics and social psychology have got vice-like grips on the present day religions. The religious leaders can’t afford to lose their positions and the people in general won’t listen to the exhortations for independent and bold thinking. The only way is to pray to God to help His representatives and His devotees.