Pilgrimages are perceived as being for the very young or the very old. Others are busy battling with various destinies, promotions, and postings; swing votes and sweeps; long cars and short loans; stents and sentiments.
It is, however, known both practically and intuitively, that every karma, action, of every human being is accounted for and balanced. But it is the nature of this Kali Yuga, where time moves so swiftly, that it renders this knowledge useless. No known gadget can give human beings an evaluation of their lives and a choice of destinies. Maybe someday, there will be e-mail updates on how one fares on the karma scale, weekly reminders on balance of sins and, perhaps, a mobile app for moksha, salvation. Until then, religion is the only answer.
Religion in the modern age, however, must be capable of existing outside its own realms; it must possess a truth that can survive the scientific temper, and include freedom of choice in a world bred on democracy and free will.
Our lives, crowded as they are, with a bewildering variety of karma and experience, might make it impossible for us to sift through each thought, word or deed to know the quotient of sin. The modern God must be One who absolves absolutely and simply.
Modern religion has to make space for the four objectives of life listed in Hindu scriptures as Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha (virtue, wealth, desire, salvation). Happiness can be achieved by achieving any one or all of these, but only with virtue, Dharma, as the first objective of life. Pray for victory in an election, but not for someone else's defeat; ask for a successful business deal, but not that a rival may lose it; seek happiness for oneself, but not wish for unhappiness for others.
The true purpose of God in the modern age is, then, to help change destiny. There is not enough time for devotion, submission, and penance. And yet, the devotees beg for a better life, a better fortune, a better posterity. But do the gods reinvent themselves to suit modern times?
A God who is worth worship does.