Religion evolving or devolving?

Is religion evolving or devolving. Most Hindus believe that religion is devolving. In past yugas or eras knowledge of God and our spiritual nature was better known. We are currently living in the Kali Yuga, the lowest of ages, where false and misleading religions will appear. In previous yugas knowledge of God was better, in the Satya Yuga or golden age everyone knew God and lived in ritiousness.

This idea of the golden age is seen in many religions. Even Islam and Christianity believe in the Jewish story of the garden of Eden. Native American religions talk of a time when men spoke to the Gods and animal spirits or “totems”. The Australian aborigines speak of a dreamtime, when the tribal laws were laid down.

Hinduism is the religion with the truest record of this time, passed down orally in vedas before they were written down, but with many checks to ensure that the learning was accurate.

Christian and Islamic missionaries have started teaching the opposite, that the earliest religions were the most corrupt and that their respective religions are the culmination of revelations. This is despite the belief of the garden of Eden in their own religions.

To see if this argument has any value we can look at the history of their own religions. Each has its history of reformations, where followers of the religion have decided that the religion has become corrupted, and lost the true message. This doesn’t look like an upward climb to a spiritual high point to me.

The spread of these religions has been a spread of intolerance and destruction, denouncing those with differing ideas as heretics and putting them to death. Though there are people within these faiths who show true spiritual advancement, it hardly looks like an example of evolving religion.

The history and nature of these religions does not support the idea of religious evolution from corruption to the perfect revelation. Indeed, I would say that it supports the idea that religions are fragmenting and devolving more. Hold on to the revealed truths from the past ages rather than hope for a new, more perfect revelation.

3 responses to “Religion evolving or devolving?

  1. But that very devolution is part of a broader evolution, isn’t it? The Hindu idea of cycles seems like we are constantly evolving, and breakdown is necessary for something new to be born. So in that sense we devolve in order to evolve.

    • Yes,
      in the same way that growing old and dying is making way for the next incarnation, the devolution of the universe (including religions) makes way for the next cosmic cycle.

  2. myownashram, the following carl segan’s YT footage throws some light on the question you raised.
    [Tandava: Inline video changed to link] http://goo.gl/R36TI

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