Absurd, as it may sound, religion is the most potent tool in the hands of the ruling elites to subjugate the populace into manageable herds. What swords and armies could not achieve,religion did so with gusto in one fell swoop.
And the delicious irony is that we congratulate ourselves in our exalted roles as "BELIEVERS."
What we ARE can never be a question of Belief.What we Are, we are inherently,ipso facto.We don't have to walk a straight and narrow path prescribed by religion,guided by wise men called Gurus, to be what we Are.And this has been succintly described us "AHAM BRAHMASMI" not only in the Upanishads,but in all the ancient traditions all over the world.
Imagine a king's son being kidnapped and raised among beggars.He doesn't have to BELIEVE in anything. He just has to KNOW,a priori, that he is a King and not a beggar.It's as simple as that.He doesn't have to go through elaborate rituals and practices to reclaim his lost heritage.
The purpose of religion is to confuse and brainwash us into thinking that we are beggars and we have to remain in perpetual serfdom to best serve a hypothetical entity called GOD.When we are socialized in this culture of perpetual serfdom,we are trained not to question the depredations of the ruling elites.
Whether Organized Religion is Evil or not, is a value judgement which is best avoided. But it certainly crushes our Creativity,our Originality, our Pulsating Energy and our Freedom.And that is a very important reason for the majority of humanity living in absolute squalor,poverty and disease.
The moment humanity Wakes up to this Knowledge, they will set right things for themselves.