In life I have learnt (through very hard lessons) to accept my limitations as a person in this world and not push those limits to enter someone else's territory. Yet there are a few things that still distress me and force me to leave my usual composure which I try so hard to maintain. One of those things is "ANDHVISHWAAS". I would have used the English word "superstition", but no, I don't think that word captures what I am trying to pry into. "Andhvishwaas", I would rather translate as blind and often foolish faith in some people or the "higher power" as we refer to. Here, let me make it clear that I AM NOT AN ATHEIST. I however fail to understand why people place their inner locus of control into the hands of others. These days news channels are full of babas-cum-conmen who fool people so easily, playing on this very faith. This really makes me think. Are we so unprepared to face life and its consequences that we find contentment in being blindly led by others?
I recently visited a famous temple in Vrindavan. Instead of coming out blissful and blessed, I was thankful for managing to come out safely without hurting myself or others. I'll give a brief description of what I saw there... atop a platform stood Radha-Krishna, surrounded by at least four or five pujaris. They allowed us lesser mortals to catch a glimpse of the deities for barely five minutes, only to hide them again. They claimed that an evil eye would be cast on the Gods if they were exposed to the crowds for too long. How that is possible, I don't know. What resulted was utter chaos. People pushed, shoved and even hit each other in order to "purify" their souls by having just one look at the deities. I actually witnessed two men in the crowd getting violent with each other. The pujaris, while standing next to Radha-Krishna, smirked at their control over the mad public. It is instances like these, when I hear about people either walking barefoot on stony paths or cutting themselves to prove to the Lord how faithful they are to him, that I realize the enormity of people's blind faith. It amazes me and depresses me at the same time to see people disrespecting the greatest instrument that they possess - their bodies.
I don't know why people don't realize that the very God's they are praying to have all once walked the earth we inhabit today; be it Ram, Krishna, Prophet Mohammad, Guru Nanak or Jesus Christ. They were all humans; the only difference was that they realized their full potential before "attaining" the status of God. It is in the hands of people to become God, but only when they become fully human. It has been proven time and again how the most ordinary human beings later do great things in life. Yet people, instead of focussing on their inner growth and development; delve deeper into this web of superstition and waste their precious gift of life. I don't know what others think, but I personally feel that life holds an opportunity for everyone to become God. How you utilize this opportunity is ultimately your choice and hence its repercussions are yours too. Stop looking above at the sky to find hidden meanings. Stop looking at the invisible God. Look within. In the end you will find everything there.
- Asmita Sharma is a 20 year old Psychology student from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She is also my dear friend. She agreed to furnish the 100th post for this blog at my request. As stated earlier- she is not an atheist.
EDIT : I have since then deleted a lot of unnecessary posts, so while this may no longer be the 100th post, it is still special!