Thursday, November 15, 2012

From the Philosophically challenged

Life is irony in action! This Diwali I decided on going back in time  and being cheerful, open to people, calmer, excited about things, not being dark and gloomy, listen more than talk  and a few more things like that. I tried all of them and hopefully by the end of this month succeed to achieve 5% of what I set for myself.

And just as I was thinking on these lines, #internethindus was trending, people were talking about Ram-the imperfect husband, my brother made me watch OMG and my mother asked me if we could go to a few temples. Yes, simply put, I went through shades of blind belief to whatever you call it in less than 72 hours. But I believe (trying to) that one should try and be open to experiences. 

While I do not believe in a temple dwelling entity, I am prone to believe that there is a higher power. A power that is not necessarily listening to every problem of yours, but is somehow helping you get on with life. This power could be channelized at home and not necessarily in a queue of 4000 devotees. What I was looking forward to on this trip with my mother was just a getaway. My mother being religious loves temples and I am not a fan (not the blasphemous kind). I needed the quiet time and something new to write about and this trip seemed a perfect opportunity to do that. I have tried the praying to specific god’s and gone on to questioning his existence and I have been fairly comfortable with both. I have no issues with believers; I cannot be expected to be the temple trotting kind. I am more of the destination vs.  journey kind of person, I really think what the ancient people intended when they said “theerth yatra” was the idea of transformation on the way and not merely just at the place of worship, if you are going to come out as crude, as closed, as spiritually challenged. What is the point of making a really tiring journey?

As I entered the temple I did not feel anything, for once, I wasn’t asking, telling, talking to God. I was merely registering everything around me. I was simply as spectator, if you will. It was quite weird for me, my first temple visit in the last 7 months and I did not feel like saying anything I was exhausted of emotions. I was glad that I saw what I did and I got out of there. Beautiful temple, no doubt about it. As I headed out to a porch outside I was dreamily looking at all kinds of people, utter devotion in their eyes, I realized I did not have that. I did not want to say I don't trust, I did not want to openly declare that all this is a lie. But like I say, to everyone his own.  I had too many questions may be, which is why I could not openly endorse the idea of this belief. 

I wanted to feel blessed, blissful, calm on the inside and not hurt and none of it happened. Nothing, If that were to happen in a day, we would not live this life the way we do, would we? Drums were beaten, conches were blown and I just sat there registering all of it. But then something in me tried to make sense of whatever was happening around me, I realized we needed a God, most of us need a God to feel better about ourselves, we need a God to feel like we are not responsible, and we need a God to put the blame on. We want a God. We all want a God, a caretaker. That I-got-your-back kind of an entity. We want him to have a face, a name. We can call him whatever but we want him.

I listened to people attempt to explain religion to me at lunch and the how the youth fail to see religion as important, I really feel that youth aren't closed to the idea of religion, just different. There is a difference; people often call themselves religious and interchangeably as spiritual. They confuse traditions and customs for spirituality. After fully establishing absolutely nothing, I was still the same confused person I went in.  After I put my over thinking self in action -I realized some things, This universal power or higher power if you think of it is really explainable. It is the theory of a pre-determined universe. It can be explained as the power of attraction, that everything you want to be, you want to see, you want to feel can be attracted towards you. People believe in God because it gives them one central focus, it gives them one point to take their problems to. What we do when we pray is to really send out explicit details into the universe about what we want and in that temple like fervor our emotions are elevated. We find it appropriate to ask what we truly desire.

But I being me am philosophically challenged. I cannot quote books, I cannot quote exact science and I sure as hell cant make an argument for either side because I am not sure.   

But something about the trip that truly made it worth it are the fact that I stood in front of an elephant and gave him a coin, like any trained animal he handed the coin to the mahut and blessed me. I don’t think the elephant knew he was blessing me. I was in awe of this little guy who just stood there, quietly eating bananas and simply just walking around.His gigantic structure and his beauty were something I was in awe with. Something so spectacular was born! 

Other than that my trip to the museum was pretty epic, I stood there amongst tools made by ancient man. Thousands of years ago when the idea of God was pretty nonexistent. Somebody asked that there be something to make life a little easy and the idea of making something like a stone instrument came about. Looking at the statues and carving and weapons and everything I realized how inconsequential we are. We are simply standing on top of a mountain claiming to have no direction when infact there have been thousands of people who have been down the same path and frankly we are too scared to ask for directions. All these people have come, stayed and perished and lots of us will still do the same, but what matters is not to feel great to the people outside but feel really good on the inside.  

Our problem is our inability attach labels of human greatness and divine intervention, we fail to recognize what we have pulled off and fail to register that the whole world is conspiring for you to succeed! (That last thought was courtesy a lot of Hindi movies) As I left, I prayed, I prayed that I can get my focus back on, I prayed that my belief be restored, I don't want to be religious I just wanted peace. 

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