Friday, 15 March 2013

Oh My GOD!

The moment I have realised God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
Swami Vivekananda
We have over the centuries freed God from the temples of our bodies to stone walled temples and stone made idols where God resides albeit only in our minds. Bound in chains of our greed and selfishness it is not to God whom we pray to but an imaginary magician whose only job is to fulfill all the wishes and desires of all humans.

Now, of course the point to be noted here is that these desires and wishes are of all types with varying degrees of greed, self-centeredness and self-indulgence. Is that all God does, indulge us if we indulge him by praying to him, bribing him with money, gold and sweets? Does God exist because we need him or is it that he exists thus we revere him?

I have been told that the answer lies in spirituality, meditation and things related to the power unknown. I have also been told that I am a shallow individual who really does not know what she is gabbing about. I do agree that as far as my awareness is concerned I have not even begun scratching the surface of the vast sea of knowledge that exists in this world especially about the power above.

But really, my belief in God is very simplistic. I truly believe in a God who is kind, benevolent, loving and very, very generous; a God who doesn’t ask to be prayed to, to be bribed with gold, money or milk and coconuts. All he wants of us is to be what he created us to be…human beings.

I am not an atheist, but it is also true that I am not very religious. It is just that my religion is different. I am just someone who believes that we are people who are wasting their time being mean to each other and horrible to each other and doing all sorts of things we shouldn’t be doing and all the time never thinking that these are sins God does not want us to commit. We pray to God while doing the most reprehensible things all the time never once thinking that it’s not our prayers that God wants but our good deeds. I thus believe in the religion of humanity.

Most importantly most of us then have the gall to ask God to forgive us for our sins. All the shashtang namaskars and offerings to God will not take away the fact that we only pray to God for two reasons, one because we are afraid and the other because we are always in need of something.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” 

Soren Kierkegaard

Many visit temples, sing bhajans so that they can attain peace of mind, follow the path of God to lead a disciplined life and give meaning to their lives. However, how many of us do that because we have no ulterior motives. How many of us really want to search the truth and the true meaning of life and religion or God? It has newly dawned on me that the true reason behind worshipping and praying is to teach us to be humble, teach us concentration, the art of communication and above all make us aware of the omnipresent nature of the almighty.

While I do believe and entrust my faith in all of the above, true worship for me is to be kind, generous, affectionate, humble, someone who has empathy for others, someone who will not wilfully try and hurt others. True worship is when we recognise and remember the fact that God resides in not only every human being but all of creation, animate and inanimate.  

I cannot help thinking that the best way of knowing God is to love many things. Love this friend, this person, this thing, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding Him better.

Vincent Van Gogh

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