Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Faith & Belief

6.30 am on a lazy day, way before any youngster opens his/her eyes to the day, and maybe is in the prime of his/her favourite dream, Ruhi's phone rings!! "DAMN this phone... but I didn't put it on alarm...who is it now?"

"Hey Ruha, I am off to my exam, wish me luck!" - This cheeky moron is me, and its a real life story. No fiction today!

"You idiot, I wished you last night, you are such a pest... (other expletives cannot be written on this forum!)

Ruhaa, has been my lucky charm for about 7-8 years now. She is one of the major reasons why I have passed the numerous cumbersome exams that I have. There are indeed some papers where I have not studied enough (...something like, things that require 2 months of dedicated studies, I have just about done something in 10 days), and I have managed to pass such papers too, thanks to my lucky charm. The most difficult exams, have turned out to be easy, some gruelling interviews have been a cake walk, and many more. And like you give a present to your God, when some task is accomplished, I give her presents too whenever I accomplish something. I am that serious about it!

Maybe, this is what the seers tell you about. And since everyone cannot have a Ruhaa, there is God. When you really believe its gonna work, it just works. Sometimes I even know its crazy, the way I am superstitious about this, but trust me, even then it works. Not to say Ruhaa is God for me, but maybe thats where my Faith is, and once I've assured myself, however illogically, that this can be done, it gets done.

Maybe all the knowledgable ones wanted people to benefit from this faith within and conjured up 'God' who can do anything. But why would God do something for you in particular out of a zillion people? So then you do something special, and what that special is... is some special ritual, or a chant or offer. To me it looks like a series of lies to cover up one small lie. And the lie is that there is 'One God' catering to everyone. Well maybe for once, one can even believe it, given the amount of mess there is in the world and it could only go so wrong because there is only one person on the helpline.

But I think you have to find your Faith yourself and see what works for you. Its more about something inside you, rather than elsewhere.

I am someone who in common parlance would be called an atheist. I don't like to follow a religious calendar to pray. In fact, when someone asks me to pray because its an 'xyz' occassion, I hate it. Its this childish resistance, that when someone asks you to do something, you don't like it. Its the most excrutiating thing to stand infront of god, when deep down you know that here you have to put up your best behaviour, and instead of that you are getting irked because you don't believe. Lack of belief, not in God, but these rituals!

I am quite a believer in fact; in God (if thats the favoured name), in a cosmic power and a hidden power within. But rituals, I abhore. I like to go to a temple when I feel like. I like to have that 'me time' within the sanctuaries of that divine power. There is no better place to channelize your senses than a temple, church, mosque or a gurudwara. There are days, when you do land up in a sacred place serendipitously, and thats when I feel God wanted to see me, I feel elated about it. That to me is the true connection to him. Someone once said to me, always compare God to your parents. The relationship between him and you is for you to decide. My mom hasn't defined any days, and manners in which I can hug her, or even words that I am supposed to say to her. But, there are days when I borrow more ornate words from a card, which truly reflect what I want to say to her, or sometimes I say 'I love you', or sometimes, I don't want to say anything. But thats between us, its on no calendar. Treating God like that makes sense to me, rather than praying in a particular order, muttering some chants without understanding them, and with the a fear that if you don't do it right, it will make him unhappy. Isn't it dichotomous to credit such shallowness to someone, who you pray to because of his magnanimity?

Why this sermon? Well I am expected to pray, in a certain way, for some odd day marked on the almanac! But this is definitely not to hurt those who follow rituals, maybe thats where they have parked their faith! Just don't stone me because I can't place my faith there!


zeno said...

Wish every one (at least me) would be blessed with some one like Ruhi.
Also brought back memories of "charm stuff" we friends used to practice!
Reg faith an interesting topic, oneday will come back and post a detailed comment for this post...
so true, if you believe it will work it just works!
When you deeply desire something the whole world conspires to make that happen for you-alchemist

Durga said...

One's relation with God is personal and no one can make remarks about it or dictate how it has to be done. Agreed that the rituals were there for a purpose. But with the advancing eras, the purpose is lost on humanity and blindly following rituals just doesn't serve any purpose, nor does it help anyone. As long as we all strictly adhere to our conscience, which, for me, is God residing in one's self, we should not pressurise the others to indulge in "calendar prayers" as you aptly mentioned. Going to places of worship is a wonderful thing to do as the positive energy prevelant in the place certainly affects you. Then again, one cannot be forced to go there. One needs to feel the need to go there. In short, just don't stuff your belief down someone else's throat. They'll choke!

Deepa said...

@zeno- will wait for you to come back on this! just don't take too long to look for your 'Ruhi' ;-)

@Durga- Exactly my thoughts. I even took efforts in getting to the bottom of everything that is done in order to convince myself, but some of the things are really redundant!

Ramesh said...

Hmmmm. A very philosophical post.

Agree wholeheartedly. Faith - both form and content - is deeply personal. Throughout history, organised religion has done more harm than good. but then its so tough to find your faith without some guidance, so religion does have an important place in the order of things. Having just lived in a completely atheist society for three years, I did notice a huge moral vacuum.

Deepa said...

@Ramesh- Quite true, thats why I can never wholeheartedly throw the concept out of the window. But somewhere, especially when the religious regimen has solved its purpose, the support can be taken off! Crutches should just be that, they can't become legs!

Sumanth said...

A good sermon, although it seemed a bit verbose to me.
I too agree to the point that GOD doesnt want one to go over to him on certain occasion or punishes for not coming ever, but its the faith that makes one kneel or look in the eye.
Simply put some have faith because they can see and some because they cant see anything!

Deepa said...

@Sumanth- When have my write-ups not been verbose? :) And this particularly was at a time when I was suffering from a verbal diarrhea.

RamMmm said...

:-) Landed here after a long time, but hey there is not much to cover. Snailish (or is it koalaish) in your posts, I see. :-)

Faith sometimes does move mountains, it is the inner power of you that makes you do so. Rituals are like the case of icy water, bananas and a few caged monkeys. Some hang on, because of rote, by generations.

If there is joy to you in a ritual, by all means follow it. if it isn't, ignore.

sulo badri said...

ha ha... am totally like you... connection as you say has to be instantaneous... u feel it wen u feel it... for all me its all about loving him n loving the world around!

Deepa said...

@ Sulo- Its more fun being the way we are isn't it! :)