Monday, March 15, 2010

Invoking God's blessings!



Before beginning I would like to thank Rima for letting me spill out my thoughts on her blog! This is my first attempt so excuse me for not being as articulate and expressive as the owner of this blog is..!!!

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!

8 comments:

  1. I also completed publishing 100 posts and was thinking of doing a teeny weeny celebration but then other things took priority.

    I can't agree more on what Asmita has written. I always consider religion as a biggest business. Women madly leave their jewllery and bundles of notes at mandir thinking that they are offering to god. I don't know about god but the pockets of trustees and pandits definitely get fat. I am also NOT an atheist but somethings do bother me. People these days take loans to build temples becasue clearly the poential lies THERE.

    Great post and makes me want to say too much., WIl discuss some time later may be. :) Happy 100 posts , Rima. Can imagine how great it feels. :)

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  2. First of all congrats Rima on yr century! I love reading yr blog & yr interesting POVs. Keep it up :D

    Secondly great Post Asmita! I totally agree with you..

    About a year ago I visited Siddhivinayak (a very famous ganesh temple in Mumbai).. I took care to go on a day tht wld be less crowded (basically avoid Tuesday, Friday & weekends).. Even then it was the most horrible experience I have had in years. Barely had I entered the inner sanctum than the priest on the other end started to scream and shove people out while they were in the midst of their prayers.. Basically they just wanted to people to come in, give away their money and get out..

    How is one to have any kind of religious or spiritual introspection or experience when you are treated like cattle? I so much prefer praying at home, at least no one governs how much time i spend talking to God :D

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  3. thank you rati for your kind wishes! and tanveer, a big thanks to you too for those encouraging words!

    i'll make sure that these comments reach asmita. she'll be delighted.

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  4. congratulations beautiful.ab jaldi 1000 bhi ho jaye ge.u r popular nw:).i was at tht temple ,last sunday yaar but kuch to baat hai wahaan jo itne log jaate hain wahaan.mujh ko bhi kuch khichnta hai wahaan,hahaahahahahchalta hai,chalta hai.RADHE RADHE.GOD bless u both.hav a nice future

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  5. For Asmita: I want to congratulate you. Good work. I have a suggestion to what you have mentioned in your post. Being a religious country, I think we would be better off converting these places of devotion into some tourism beneficiaries. Kailash Manas Yatra for one permits only about a thousand devotees per year. This makes everything including the shrine and travel so manageable. In India, we have a lot of sacred places like Badrinath, Gangotri, etc. where it becomes a challenge to manage big crowds every year. It would be worthwhile to turn these shrines into benefices. Managing the influx of pilgrims can boost tourism even during the non-peak seasons. Again!! This unfortunately ought to hurt religious beliefs.

    For Rima: This journal seems to do the job quite well. This blog is so good, I want to give it a hug!:) I have not yet finished reading all of your posts. Seemingly at odds with the increasingly short attention spans, I have already managed to sip in most of the anecdotes that you have penned thus far. It would take me forever to write something witty and fun. But it all seems to come naturally to you. W0W!!

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  6. vish, thank you for those kind words.

    zeevie, thank you for your blessings. :)

    abhi, is that you? you're quite an articulate writer yourself, i must say! your appreciation means a lot, thank you! i write down whatever comes to my head.

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  7. thanks to all of you for appreciating my post...it feels good to know i'm not the only one who thinks this way...i really liked reading about your own experiences...let's hope our inner God puts some good sense in all of us!

    -ASMITA

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Please dont mince your words!