I exist therefore S/HE exists.
Recently my better half Deepika had a big launch of a program for which she had put in lots-n-lots of hard work. Still she was very apprehensive about the success of the launch and kept asking me, “What do you say, will it go well with leadership team?” As if I am the “know all” Almighty! However, just to calm her down, every time I would say, “Don’t worry everything will be alright and the program will be a success.” Honestly, I had absolutely no idea about the program efficacy as her job profile of a Human Resources Trainer was beyond the realm of my understanding. She went to Bangalore to launch the program which was webcast to involve huge number of employees at all corners of the world. I got a SMS in the evening of the launch day wherein she said “My launch went well. Relieved.” I was happy too as if it was the other way round, I would have a tough time! She came back later that night and first thing she said was “Tomorrow I have to go to Sai Temple and the Pahariwala Temple at Moti Bagh.” I asked “Why?” Because she is not a very religious person and her temple visits are very infrequent. Deepika said “Because I made a promise to visit these places if my program launch was successful.”
Last month, we had a get together (night-out) of classmates (friends) at Hotel Rajhans, Surajkund. We were meeting some of the friends after a gap of 8-9 years. The usual merriment started as soon as we checked in to our rooms. It was raining heavily since morning so no outdoor activity was possible. Amongst various topics that were discussed at random was the existence of God & Ghosts. I said “Both are imagination of fertile human minds.” My dear childhood friend (we were together since class 4) Bishu (Biswanath) retorted sharply “What are you talking about, Krishn is very real and so is Shiva and Rama. Don’t you know what Bhagwan Krishn said in the Bhagwat Geeta?” I was little taken aback by his reaction but just to poke him a little more “How can you believe in those stories in this 21st century? Grow-up, the Ramayan & Mahabharat are just stories given the epic status. The generations of Brahmins who wanted to rule the lesser mortals who were ignorant, and the Kshatriyas & Vaishyas helped in propagating these fabled tales, because it suited them too.” Surprisingly I found there were many takers of my theory though some of them admitted that they do invoke the Blessings of the Almighty of their choice at times of extreme stress or crisis. The flip side of that discussion is, Biswanath is not talking to me since that day!
I gave the above two instances to highlight my point I EXIST THEREFORE SHE/ HE EXISTS. Let me clarify that I am not an Atheist but more of an Agnostic. I do not believe in the rituals of any religion or cult. I do not visit (for the purpose of praying) to any temple, church, mosque, gurdwara etc. because I strongly believe that God/ Almighty simply cannot reside in those places. In fact, I do not pray at all. However, I believe She/ He is everywhere, probably sitting right next to me and appreciating my efforts!
If one looks at the earliest civilization of the known world, people used to worship the Nature in its many forms viz. sky, air, water, fire, earth etc. The reason is simple, these were the elements that affected them, in their everyday life. Look at Greek or Roman civilization, you will find that they worshiped Gods of elements & issues that were closest to their heart, be it the nature or war or sea or music or love. Similarly, the earliest gods of Hindu mythology were Nature too, Indra, Varun, Pawan, Surya, Agni, Prithvi are some example. As the civilization grew, the number of Gods grew too. If you read the mythological stories about the Hindu God & Goddesses, you will perhaps realize that those are the pure and simple imaginations of a very fertile brain and as the years passed on they became even more fantastic and colorful. In every century, the stories got rewritten as per the demands of that time. The heroes & heroines got painted in more glory and eventually made a Deity.
I remember a story I read in Bangla in my adolescent years, it was titled Birth of a God. The story was about how a man creates a fable of god by using a stone and putting vermilion on it and placing it under a tree. In no time, the place becomes a place of worship and the man himself becomes the priest thereby earning his livelihood. I have seen many such instances in real life living in Delhi and these guys, to earn credibility, often times prefix PRACHIN to the name of the chosen god to depict the place viz. Prachin Hanuman Mandir or Prachin Bhairav Mandir etc.
Then came a period, when people got frustrated with the existing gods and looked towards cult figures which were later transformed into Gods or Demigods. I may get lynched for saying this but this cult figure becoming god perhaps started from time of Buddha followed by Mahavir, Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Guru Nanak et al. What is surprising is that none of these persons in their lifetime called upon their followers to transform him into God. What they preached was a simple basic way of life to live at that time. The main theme of the sermons of these great men can be surmised as –
- Love all creatures
- Protect the weak
- Provide shelter to the homeless
- Educate the uneducated
- Do not be adulterous
- Give alms to the needy
- Take care of the elderly and sick persons
- Be peace loving at all times
However, as time passed, some of the more opportunistic followers became leaders of each of these cults and decided on a course of action for the rest of them. The primary aim was to rule over the rest. Just like the Brahmins of Hinduism which with the help of successive Kshatriya Kings and ably supported by the Vaishyas (the business class) created a permanent caste system (that was earlier based on the professions) and established their fiefdom, the Priests, the Moulavis and the Monks created their own fiefdom by fear psychosis that if one do not follow their dictate, immense curse will befall on them. In the process the general mass of people has become GOD FEARING instead of GOD LOVING. In all religion, one thing was common, the downtrodden mass of people were neither encouraged nor were facilities provided to them to get educated. Again the reason was quite simple, an educated person will question the authority of the very establishment of these religion/ cults whereas the uneducated will blindly follow the faith, however illogical and unreasonable it may be.
In the modern days, you have some people being called as God Man or God Woman. These people do not project themselves as God but as a source of reaching out to God. In the process, they gather large number of followers and even larger wealth. The general public gets swayed by the sweet talk of these guys when they promise a heaven on this mortal world. These guys play with the fear, anxiety and stress of the people and create a Halo around self. They know that religion is the biggest and most potent intoxicant than alcohol and drugs put together. You can get out of the latter but there’s no way out of the former. They make you a slave of the faith sans any logic and reasoning.
In this world, only one relation provides unconditional love and that is the love of the Parents to the Child. More often it is a one-way traffic that is from parents to child and NOT vice-a-versa. You will see the mother and father lavishing their love on the most rascal son of theirs but seldom the other way round. I consider the Almighty to be my Father/ Mother and I am pretty certain that even if I am doing something sinful, He/ She will continue to love and shower me with His/ Her blessings. The Fear has no place in the Child-Parent relationship.
What will please the Almighty? There are few things, I feel, if we do, it will immensely please the Almighty and He/ She will shower you with His/ Her blessings for all times to come.
- Instead of feeding the idols in the temple, feed the hungry that lines up outside the temple.
- Instead of spending millions of money on different ceremonies, donate some part of it at least to the charity that takes care of the poor, sick and elderly.
- Take care of this earth; this is the only place in the whole universe that you can call your home.
- Educate the masses and only then you, as humanity can progress.
- Consider your parents as God and take care of them at old age when they need you the most.
- Be a friend to your child and guide him/ her to the path of righteousness.
- Never be afraid to say or hear the truth.
- Be tolerant but never doubt your faith in humanity.
- Remember, we may not know but all creatures in this world have their utility for the Mother Nature.
- Always be thankful that you are alive and enjoying the fruits of life.
You have one life, live it as virtuously as you can. There is no guarantee that there is a next life or even if it is there for arguments sake, you will not remember this life then. It will be a new beginning. Be Spiritual not Ritualistic. Remember all roads lead to One Moksha.