This post is about god, or rather, god as I see, feel and experience.
God, for me, is not that all-knowing superpower. I do not say shlokas and chant, like I once did. I do not believe god resides only in places of worship. I feel that wherever I pray is where god exists. Then again, my prayers can’t exactly be called prayers. They are more of conversations, in any language that I feel like talking in, words being unnecessary. Earlier I used to go to temple and say some shlokas everyday and with some “extra” emotion on days of exams. I used to fast and follow all the rituals at home since my parents did. I don’t know what changed and when. I still fast and follow the rituals when I am with family – that is just easier. In my home, I follow none of it. And I no longer have the mindset of “pleasing” god, like before. These days I’m more like, “Namaste God, wassup?”
For me, god is another person. A human very much like myself, a friend. He (yes, “he”) listens, he responds and has a tremendous amount of patience and understanding. He understands me like no other. He is usually sitting on the kitchen counter swinging his legs or eating a fruit, listening to my endless chatter. Sometimes he just hovers around just to frustrate me – Oh, gods are also capable of frustrating, trust me. With him, though, I can talk anything I wish, any time of any day or night and I can know for a fact that he has listened to me. I can complain and rant, boast and bore and what not and he listens without a sigh. Sometimes I simply have to smile and at times, just look at him angrily. And there is a connection always. I believe that he is with me all the time, my companion. When I feel the weakest all I have to say is “please be with me, don’t leave me” and I am through the situation. When I feel the best, I only have to feel gratitude in my heart. I do ask favors sometimes, and bribes too…but then the times when he has actually helped me were the times when I took decisions on my own. I only had to believe and stand on the edge of the cliff. His confidence in me was the push. And it has always been happy endings at the end of the jump. I do not fear god. I don’t think he is capable of punishing anyone, because all my life he has given me love. Yes, we have fought too. But he has never given up on me. He has stuck with me at all times and I think that is enough to make him god. I do not do any poojas, I don’t even go into the pooja room except maybe to light the mosquito strip when there is no power. I do not even know which of the gods’ photos is in there. I don’t go to temples on a daily basis. And his being with me is proof enough that he does not need all these frills. Neither do I.
But sometimes I feel sad for him. I have no way to defend him. His name is spoiled by people like ourselves, doing heinous crimes and activities in his name, by citing excerpts from religious scriptures and what not. I would have been so pissed at the whole world if I were him… someone using my name to cheat you and make a fool of you or kill you is just not done. The things that people blame on God is just horrendous. How can he just listen to all that crap and still smile? I guess that is why he is god and I am not.
And then you have people who go about killing in the name of God. As far as I know god never asked to kill any being just to please him. Yes, even gods had battles in their time earlier but that was a righteous fight, like our soldiers are fighting to defend the country. On the other hand god hasn’t asked us to fast and not eat meat to please him. Why then do we have this big fuss about vegetarians and non-vegetarians? Why are we trying to divide ourselves in the name of religion and what we eat? As if the existing boundaries between humankind wasn’t enough? Why are people who pray to god everyday in places of worship called a “good” person no matter who he cheats, insults or murders outside of it? Why is a pure vegetarian considered better than someone who eats meat? Why is someone who puts an extra hundred in the “hundi” considered a more pious person than the one who doesn’t? Why should every bad action be justified in the name of “god”? Why, with a name of a god attached, everything becomes right? Why do people simply believe the lies when as soon as it is connected with some “god”? Can’t we put ourselves in our respective god’s shoes and see how hard it is for him to be “used” like that and still come and help us in times of grief and helplessness?
Why can’t we instead be grateful to him for designing such a beautiful world for us? So colorful and perfect… Who could have thought of water other than He himself? So clear, fluid, life-giving, energizing, so completely perfect. Who could have thought of air? Invisible, yet ever-present, life-sustaining and perfect? The earth, the sky, the sun, the stars, the plants, the trees, the flowers, the river, the ocean, tiny creatures, big creatures, creatures in the water, creatures that can fly, creatures that can walk, creatures that can crawl, creatures that can sing… and finally the human being. Isn’t it all just perfect? The varied colors, the varied bodies, shapes, sizes… The way we grow – from seed to tree, from fetus to animal/human form, from sunrise to sunset… There is so much in this world to be amazed about… God and his creation… And yet, we somehow dwell on the man-made shortcomings in this world… Religion and caste and creed, male-female discrimination, corruption and day by day we get pettier and pettier in our daily lives. And blame it all on god. How much more pathetic can we get?
PS: My “god” finally has a face. Who? Who else but Sadhguru? *eye roll*