Flip Side of Religion, Dharma and Madhab

The moment humans became religious should have been the end of all conflict, but unfortunately, everywhere in the world, religion has become the main source of conflict.

This has taken the most number of lives and caused the most amount of agony on the planet for thousands of years. This is only because people believe in something that isn’t a reality for them.

PS: This piece of writing is my perspective and no one needs to agree or disagree with it. I repeat, I’m no expert but I do — like others — have a voice and freedom to express it. 

Somebody believes in something, somebody else believes in something else, and naturally, conflict can’t be avoided.


Religion started as an inward path, but over time got twisted and has simply become a set of beliefs.

We need more people to comprehend the precise meaning of religion. It’s the most distorted word.

The meaning of religion

The word religion comes from the Latin word Religare which means to rejoin or re-connect. Re-connect with what? The answer according to me is to reconnect with self, others, and the divine. And even if we take out the divine part due to lack of scientific evidence, re-connection with self and others remains the goal. 

However, I then found on the internet that this source of the word religion is in disagreement. Does that mean that all fine sentiments about the word’s significance are worthless?

Nothing is worthless if something can be learned from it.

The essence of religion

Religion isn’t a bad word. It doesn’t encourage people to stop thinking. Religion encourages people to think about how they can rejoin themselves or reconnect with an almighty who is infinitely more intelligent and loving.

I’ve witnessed those who’ve dedicated their lives to reconnect with the almighty, become infinitely happier than those that fight against God or even the very idea of an almighty or intelligent designer. Almighty might also mean the universe or supreme being or different things for different people.

The problem of misinterpretation

There’s huge disagreement about the word religion and its definition. People define religion as a set of beliefs and duties, and then atheists assume that because a set of beliefs has become corrupt, religion is corrupt.

A different perspective

Ancient wisdom has an interesting perceptive. Let’s see what I understood after reading various ancient scriptures:

  • Dharma is a Sanskrit word, often mistakenly used as religion. But it’s not, in fact, Bhagavad Gita, in its introduction, gives a beautiful definition of धर्म — ultimate duty or can be interpreted as righteousness or love.  The world has seen a river of blood flowing all over in the name of religion. It’s the order, the law that governs that are all interconnected and interwoven with love and light.
  • Madhab is an Arabic word, often mistakenly used as a religion. The real meaning is route or path.


Ancient wisdom provides clarity of what religion is and as per that we can see that Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, etc. are all ways or paths to reach religion —not religion itself; as per my limited knowledge and perspective.

5 thoughts on “Flip Side of Religion, Dharma and Madhab

  1. Thank you for the link to this, Agastya! This is fabulously and sincerely put forth. Also, within all my reading of ancient Eastern wisdom, I have not encountered Bhagavad Gita, so that will be an interesting reading material for me.

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