I recently completed my yearly Sabarimala trip. Nothing has deterred the influx of devotees and I have seen this only increasing on a yearly basis. On my way back, in a bus , one of them identified me as a devotee and enquired me about the rush. I told that it has increased and he passed a remark ‘People have increased their sins and in fear they are rushing to the temple!’
That remark got me thinking (nowadays I do not think anything on my own I guess !)
I was just wondering about my own reasons
Looking back, I do not remember when my baptism into religion or spiritualism began. The usual routine in my house was , prayer after bath and that routine has continued till today. There would be a casual enquiry on if I had completed my prayers and that was possibly a pre-requisite for getting the morning food. So naturally I got used to praying or possibly praying for food!
Also, we were brought up telling stories where GOD will punish if we do something wrong and somehow that was etched into the DNA subtly and so I can safely say I started with fear of ‘GOD’.
I have observed my grandmother, daily visiting the Ganesha temple, next to my house and requesting HIM to give her a graceful exit which HE denied vehemently and I have wondered why HE did that her, despite her having a life full of hardships. Some questions I suppose will never be answered. However, I am no one to question the Omnipresent.
I have observed my parents relationship. My mother has a strict deal making relationship with the almighty which goes something like this
“I am doing this. You better do what I ask for”
“You do this. I will do that”
You could call that a very savvy outcome oriented relationship and HE has been merciful so far and kept HIS side of the bargain so far.(You could substitute HE with SHE and HIS with HER, as she changes the form based on the deal she is making). She also has kept her side of the bargain. One incident that I do remember is her dropping of her hard earned diamond ear rings into Tirumala Hundi for something GOD had helped her sail smoothly. I knew the hardship and the years went in accumulating her little savings for that diamond ear rings. The deal making is restricted to her immediate family only and though she is getting out of this, she will go easily into this cycle if one of us get some illness or something similar.
My father , recognized and acknowledged that GOD is a superior power and surrendered completely to HIM more so in the later stages of life. So that was faith in action.
When I look at my own evolution of relationship with the almighty, I also progressed from fear to deal making, which started for selfish reasons , then to deal making for me becoming an indirect beneficiary and after that deal making on behalf of others. Not exactly altruism, but limited altruism. My deal making also generally has a 50% success rate, as sometimes I start the deal only when things are looking south.
So as to summarize, my visit to Sabarimala is it because of any of the below three
- Fear – I have done something, let me seek forgiveness or If I do not go HE will punish me
- Deal Making – I am coming for this , you better do this or you have done this, so I am coming
- Faith – I have nothing except myself to offer. I surrender to your divinity completely
or portions of each one of them ?
I think my position in this becoming clearer.
Faith or no faith, agnostic or believer, GOD or NO GOD “I SHALL REAP WHAT I SOW”. Make no mistakes about that. Call it whatever you want, we will not be able to escape the consequences of our action. This is my position.
So I started with fear , moved onto heavy duty deal making and currently in the dangerous territory of accepting and embracing HIM as he has accepted me, which could be coined as faith.
Every year as I climb up the rational side in me asks ‘Why do you torture yourself like this’ and when I climb down , I plan the dates for the next year.
As far as the increasing inflow of people, I have to disagree with the gentleman’s comment. Most people in my view are there owing to faith which you could term it as absolute or blind, but the majority is out there because of faith. The people drawn because of fear and deal making are a relative minority
So if you are one of those who believe, how would you trace your association with the all might Almighty?
Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)