'Man could perceive some unseen, unheard, untouchable, non-aromatic divine power only after the evolution of his imagination.'
Ajay Kansal in his latest book 'The Evolution of Gods' attempts to explain religious scriptures from the world over. He talks about how most religions claim that God has made man, although no supernatural power has been identified by science that created and governed humans. According to the author, men could perceive gods and demons only after they invented language. There are several similarities in the ancient scriptures which later fashioned the organized religions of the world.
What kind of suffering or bewilderment made people bow before these unfathomable powers in the first place? Does God only exist as an excuse for events which can't be explained? Why, when and how did mankind begin to worship gods? These questions are answered in the book. It also traces how religion has affected mankind and its evolution from the time of ancient philosophers who believed in Adam and Eve to today's scientific discoveries.
Kansal does an admirable job of dispelling various myths and beliefs by backing them up with solid historical and anthropological facts to explain the evolution of gods and religion in a manner that makes immense sense. A lot of research is evident and the book stimulates discussion and debate. The author provides incredible examples from across the world from Skhul Cave in Israel which contains evidence of the first burial to the Naskapi - a tribal group in Canada where people consulted the priest before every venture.
Although it seems to be the work of an atheist, the book is not a rant against religions but a scientific explanation behind each and every belief which exists around them. A fascinating book, it is well written and to the point. The writing is such that those unfamiliar with the histories and mythologies around religions can also get the author's words. An interesting narrative written in a sort of timeline, it is worth a read.
Title: The Evolution of Gods; Author: Ajay Kansal; Publisher: Harper Collins; Price: Rs 199