This post is not intended to condemn any religion, any faith or any belief. This is only a consolidation of all my thoughts on the Almighty above.
Even though I don’t believe that God has a gender, I am just generalizing when I refer to God as Him, so all feminists around, please don’t sue me.
I am not an atheist but most of the people around me, who know me, would disagree with this statement. Often, I get comments like “Hey, you don’t look like a Brahmin” or “Hey, being a Hindu you don’t even know about Ramayana or Mahabharata”. To which my retort would be, ‘How exactly is a Brahmin supposed to look like’ or ‘Where exactly does it say that every Hindu is supposed to be an expert on Ramayana or Mahabharata’. I have seen these epics only on DD, when they used to air it on weekends and that was long long time back.
People have labeled me as an atheist because my belief in God and spirituality differs from the general views that most people harbour in their minds. Unfortunately many don’t like my attitude towards spirituality and they just can’t understand my faith or values. Hence the label of an “Atheist”. But nothing can be far from the truth. I believe in God, I believe that there is a supreme power above me and you, a power so intense and mighty it has the ability to create or destroy an entire universe with just a flick of a hand. But I am not sure if this power has any form or I don’t know if the power has a gender. Like most of the questions we have about the Almighty, mine too are unanswered. But I have tried to amass all the whirling thoughts I have on God in this post.
First of all I don’t believe that to be one with God I need to go to a temple to pray. It’s not that I don’t like going to temples, it’s just that I don’t want to go to temples which are so crowded and noisy that I cannot even hear my own inner thoughts. Often, I have seen when the puja is going on in temples most women concentrate more on the neighboring ladies jewels or the sari and so on… I am not obliterating the fact that people do find peace in temples, but I cannot get any devotion in my mind when there is utter mayhem around me. I go to temples where people are less and the calm and serene surroundings help me to communicate with God. I do not pray regularly but whenever something good happens in my life, I immediately send a word of thanks to God above. I believe when you pray to God, the what, how, where and when are unimportant. What are important are the thoughts, the sincerity and the devotion you show towards Him. A man has done hundreds of bad deeds in his life; he has murdered, raped and hurt others. But one dip in the holy water of Ganges is supposed to wash away all his sins? I don’t believe that God is so shallow that he will bless only those who shower money, gold or pay some sacrifices to appease Him. Is it not more important that we live life in harmony, try to do good deeds, help others in need and spread joy and happiness? Wouldn’t this suffice to please God?
I don’t believe that there are multiple Gods. I mean Hindus pray to Ram, Krishna, Shiva and Ganesh, Muslims pray to Allah, Christians pray to Jesus, Sikhs believe in Guru Nanak Dev. But does it mean that all the prayers go to different Gods. If there are different Gods, how do they choose the religion of a new born child? Do they decide on a percentage basis, do they toss coins, or pick a chit? How? It’s unbelievable that there are several Gods. God is one and only one. Yes, he may have different forms to which we pray but there is only one supreme, ultimate power. The prayer of a Hindu folding his hands in a temple, the prayer of a Muslim bowing down in a Mosque, the prayer of Christian crossing himself in a Church, all reach to same God. Then why do we restrict people of different faith from entering our places of worship? Then why in the name of religion do we fight and kill each other? I have absolutely no idea. No religion propagates violence, to kill each other. But yet we blindly believe that our religion is great, our God is great, our faith is great. How is your Hindu God any different from the God of a Muslim or from the God of a Christian? Why are we so dead against a Hindu boy marrying a Muslim girl or vice versa? Doesn’t our religion advertise to love and not to hate?
The last thing is something I believe in: Fate, Destiny or Karma. Whenever something bad happens to a person the first thing we say to console is “Its fate, it had to happen, it was written in your forehead”. But what baffles me is the contradictory belief in praying and fate. I mean if everything is written in fate, then why do we pray to God for something good to happen in life? Why do we pray for that promotion in office, why do we pray for good health and wealth, why do we pray that our near and dear ones be safe? Everything is written in fate, so if I have to die today, then I have to die, no matter how hard I pray to God. Can God change fate? Can God rewrite destiny? But here I know that there is something we hold on to-Hope. When everything goes wrong, when everything is messed up, we still hope that God sets it right. We hope that there is a miracle from God and life turns beautiful again. Hope is the main instigator for prayer and hope is the only thin thread of light we have when life turns dark. Its hope that makes us trudge along even during the rough patches of life. I have lost much in life but I still hope and pray that someday I will get much more than what I have already lost.
After reading this post I hope that I have set the records straight with regards to my faith and my belief in God. And I hope I have shred my label of “Atheist”. Amen.