Author: Adisha
•Monday, April 28, 2008
It's raining today and I'm in another one of my philosophical moods. You have to excuse the wanderings of a volatile mind. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the Durga Temple, on RT 27, Princeton. And I'm pleased to say it brought on one of those rare moments in which I feel truly proud of being a Hindu. Though I was feeling more blessed since the trip to that temple was seemingly fated. We seldom visit temples and yet this trip turned a regular day into an almost magical one with all the signs that seems to be flying around. I'm being cryptic here but it's just a feeling without any sound basis. The temple though just a building from the outside as one could imagine in a foreign country, is the epitome of human faith in the Gods, in all forms as we know them. The Idols ( murtis ) are incredibly beautiful in all their splendor having been dressed up to perfection. In all gold and silver and bright pinks and yellows that refresh the eyes and soul. The feeling around the temple is one of calm and awe that comes from strong faith. All around me was the dignified silence of people in prayer, even though I could see the continuous upkeep being done to maintain the Idols. I have seen enough temples to recognize that This one was unique and impressive in more ways than one where the presence of God could be felt, sans the sounds of the people who are vocal in prayer.

These days, specially in India, it's hard to feel blessed in a temple without having to stand in a long line and pray loud enough so that you can be heard above the babel of the crowd. And then there is the sad state of the actual temple that makes you wonder where exactly all those donations end up. Recently, relatives of mine desired to donate some ornaments for the statue of Lord Shiva and were stopped by the temple authorities from adorning the God. On asking for an explanation, there mere answer was that They should have been consulted before, as to what needs to be donated to the temple. I may not be learned in the scriptures but I do know that one's faith is one's own and what they desire to do in the name of God is their choice. Why then, would anyone want to stop you, when you were donating something and Not taking away ?! Such events tend to disillusion one as to what actually people do, in the name of God, when they are adamant on having donations in exactly the means they desire. Yesterday, I was pleased to see there are people out there who even in far off lands, try to keep up the traditions in all their splendor and more. For in only such a place could One actually feel completely enthralled by the presence of God.

Specially, someone like me, who isn't really religious in the traditional sense, though I'd like to be but lack the necessary faith to make it a part of my routine. It was a unique experience to have my faith re instituted by the mere sight of beauty of the Idols present. It was almost like they could look at me and their perfection defied me to contradict Their existence. Never have I been so moved to the point of total belief. Except maybe at Sidhivinayak in Mumbai , Mahim church also in Mumbai and a church I'd visited when I was quite young in Goa. For me, Hinduism has always been a way of life, and I have always enjoyed the freedom it allows me to practice my faith in Any way that I please. Be it in a temple, on the road or lying in my bed having a one to one with the Big Guy knowing that He's always around to lend a ear with all His understanding. I have a close friend to thank for re assuring me of the fact that God is all forgiving as He understands best who you are and what you're going through at every point of your life. In time, I came to understand too, that though He might not answer me right away and magically solve my difficulties, things to have a way of working out in the long run. I'm sure He has his reasons for all that happens, after all it's our choices that affect our life in the end. He can only guide the way or give us a nudge in the right direction. Being honest and kind to all and trying your best to follow a righteous path is the essence at the end of the day. All that's meant to happen will happen in it's own good time, provided we Try to make the best decisions we can whenever a fork comes on the path we're walking on and keep walking in good faith.

I'm not sure, but that's how I'd like to believe things work. Having lost my faith in every sense of the word and having had it restored in due time, I've come to believe that there is a reason for all that happens provided we keep our eyes open and try to learn from every experience. My belief in God and his ways is still a work in progress, growing stronger slowly and surely. Though it still haunts me why some people who are truly faithful and religious never get their just dues despite being loyal and true in life as well. And find some others, who are religious in every way, though not exactly honest to anyone else, are amply rewarded ( or so it feels ). I'm well aware that everyone has their own demons to tackle but then why is it that some of higher faith seem to be tested more than others ?! Maybe it's just God's way of telling them that they have yet more to learn ?! Sometimes I wish that life came with a set of instructions at birth with consequences attached. That certainly would make things easier for all of us. Oh wait ! We do have those instructions, passed on from generation to generation in the form of teachings of the Bible, Quran, Gita, mythological stories or just words from elders. It would do us good to keep in mind the meanings behind tales of mythology or others' experience.

Maybe as years go by and I learn more in life, I'll have a better understanding of how the power of faith actually works, but for now, I'm just thankful for all that's come my way and pray for a more prosperous future for myself and all that I hold dear. Hopefully, a day will come when all our questions will get answered, one way or another. Till then I guess all we can do is hold onto our own set of beliefs and have faith for in the end, without Hope there would be no Life.
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1 Spin Offs:

On October 10, 2008 at 2:37 AM , dreamy said...

I have never been a religious person....whenever I go to temples with my Aunt and mom I prefer sitting outside when they go in for praying..but yes, it is very very peaceful sitting in a temple..(not the big ones where i think people just come to pray to add another name in the list of temples they have visited)
I just close my eyes and talk to god like I talk to a friend...and i know when the time is right I will get what i deserve and will not get what I dont..that is my faith :)