Monday, August 25, 2008

In search of God

Recently i had the opportunity of going to a Christian Prayer Service. The hymns reverberated to my ears and as soon as the signal reached my brain it gave me a mixed feeling of nostalgia and perturbation. Nostalgia...because i grew up singing these hymns in the Catholic school i attended for fourteen years. But why was i disturbed? To my chagrin, i noticed that i couldn't identify with what people were trying to do over there. Why do people pray? It made me think. Since then, my world has been in a state of pandemonium.

I kept ruminating on the same feeling for the rest of the day. I thought to myself - am i a heretic? My father is a devout Hindu. Never misses his morning prayer. My brother and mother pray often enough too. I had a strong belief in the institution of God myself. One thing that i absolutely loved doing was going to temples. The aroma of incense and the sunshine yellow marigolds filled my nostrils and gave me a feeling of elation.I felt closer to god in a temple.

Whatever happened to that young girl of twenty something who turned to god for every mishap in life with the utmost conviction and resolution? Was she lost somewhere in this 'regatta' of life? Over the past few years she was exposed to the apocalypse which made her realize that life is not just about God. Did she then become an iconoclast? I'm not too sure.

She still believes in God but not in praying. She still believes in a supreme power that transcends this planet, but cannot alleviate the pain and suffering of humans. She still believes that God is present but not in specific places of worship - not in temples, mosques or churches but that He is omnipresent. She believes more in humans and humanity. She believes that God is in Goodness. And that goodness resides in the hearts of humans. She believes humanity has, is and will always be the only path to God, not religion.

Then, what does it leave her at? Is she a heretic? Yes ,she is. If she does not conform to the age old norms of religion, then she is a heretic. If she believes praying is not the path to salvation ,then she is a heretic. She has understood the axiomatic truth, that God is the mysterious power that pervades the whole world. She has accepted that if one believes in God,then goodness is his second name. And if this ingenious line of dogma makes her a heretic, so be it.

Vincent van Gogh once said - "But I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things". That is what the underlying connotation of God's omnipresence is. And you don't have to be hallowed by God to realize this unsurpassable yet modest truth.


Chinar said...

Hey , I never got a chance to read ur blogs before..but today when i started reading i got quite interested in the Ujala who has evolved so much from her early twenties when i knew her! While reading your article "In search of God"...just a few things struck my mind. Why would some one who doesn't goes to temple or any other house of prayer would be called a heretic? As far as i could understand your article, you seem to have developed new beliefs about what is God and how you would like to approach Him. and you chose in "doing good" and not "going to the temples/churches". Aren't these all different ways of approaching Him? I won't say one is better than the other as I don't know yet! You do have a belief that he exists, its just that his form has changed from mere idols to more stronger abstract notions of human kind. I will not call you a heretic (partially 'coz i follow similar principles and I don't call my self one:) ).

Chinar said...

..just to add another line...isn't it just another form of religion too? don't all religions emphasize on being good to your human kind? so if you follow one aspect of the norms of religion and not the other....are you considered a heretic? I don't think so!

I am someone who is no different from the millions you see around. said...

I have an answer for one of your questions.The rest I dont care.

Q. What happened to that young girl of twenty something who turned to god for every mishap in life with the utmost conviction and resolution?

Ans. She grew up to be a forty something woman.