Thursday, June 28, 2012

A LETTER TO GOD - 4


A LETTER TO GOD - 4

Dear God,

Surprised? A second letter from me within a week, does’nt it mean that you are constantly in my thoughts? Well the truth is that you are appearing before me more often. Today I saw you and listened to you speak. There was a huge crowd as usual, people blocking others view of you in a bid to have your darshan. Initially I was annoyed, but later I realised that it was pointless to squeeze my way through to look at you. So I remained where I sat and watched you on the TV screen and was satisfied, for you seemed much closer and I could hear every word you spoke. I could understand whatever you spoke, for your words were simple and your logic impeccable. All around me I saw satisfied looks as if to say that they had found the answers to their questions and doubts. How much of what you said will be retained by them after they leave the temple and go back to their homes is open to conjecture. I felt that you were addressing me and responding to the questions I had raised in my earlier letters. I was happy but my doubts still remain and I still believe in you.

You started with the question ‘Why does one pray to God?’ and went on to elucidate logically the necessity of God in our lives. From time immemorial we have always believed in a power that governs the course of our lives, a power that is beyond thought and beyond human comprehension. That you are beyond our comprehension is still very much valid in our times. So why does one pray to God, it is because he wants something and believes that it is not possible for anyone  in his vicinity to satisfy these needs, you can say humanly impossible. You added that it is Hope that God gives you and all that he demands is faith. Hope, that is what I have been talking to you about in all my letters, and that is why I keep writing to you whether you reply or not.

Bhakti or devotion to God, you said can be put into four categories. A person prays to God when i) he wants deliverance from suffering ii) he wants the fulfilment of his desires iii) he wants the knowledge to realise himself in a bid to understand You iv) he has attained realisation. You said that we will find only the first two categories prevalent and the other two are not relevant for you to address as they are already on the path beyond the self.

So one prays to God seeking deliverance from suffering or for the fulfilment of his wants. You said that God is impartial and there are no different yardsticks with which he measures people. All are equal in front of him. It is only devotion that counts, pure unstinted devotion. From what I understood, if our prayers are not answered then it means that our devotion is not complete. You of course acknowledged that questions may rise in one’s mind regarding the disparities that exist, a man who prays suffers and a man who lives an immoral or unethical life, maybe leading a comfortable life. You went on to add that the results of one’s actions will soon catch up and the effects may be felt either in this life or the next life. Karma, that is the catch word.

This is where my problem lies. I have already written in my first letter that this cause and effect explanation does not satisfy me. It is of course an easy way to explain away things beyond our control.

You see I have never disbelieved in you. Though questions are raised and your silence is  exhibited as proof of your non existence by people who do not believe in you, I only ask why are you silent.

There is this book ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins which challenges the very idea of your existence. I bought it out of curiosity and tried going through it, but left it midway because I felt the arguments expressed in the book were bigoted.  

We have never been able to pinpoint the boundaries of this Universe, the more we discover the vaster it seems and there can never be an end to the frontiers. At the micro level things are only a probability. When it comes to understanding you, there can never be a formula. But my angst is real, where has this germinated from I still fail to understand. Why do I feel the way I do? I guess no one other than me can find the answer. You will observe from all my letters to you, that I have never questioned your existence, whatever form you may be in. You are the only answer to all the unsolved mysteries of this universe and there will always be unsolved mysteries despite all that man can discover.


Yours truly, I remain a believer.

  

Monday, June 25, 2012

A LETTER TO GOD - 3


A LETTER TO GOD - 3

Dear God,

It has been sometime since I wrote to you. Not that I did not have anything to write about, but because I have been flooded with more doubts, misgivings despite the fact that I have poured my heart out to you in my last two letters. Incidentally I may remind you that I have not received any reply even the customary blessing from you. Anyway I take it that you have read it. You may have decided that I do not need any answers and I have to find them out by myself. In which case, why should I still hang on to you. You keep dangling that ‘hope’ in front of me, like a carrot in front of the donkey, that is why. But like I said before, I shall continue writing to you whether you hear me or not, whether you afford a solution or not.

Today I shall talk to you about ‘The Guardians of God’. You look surprised? Well yes you have guardians, you must be aware of them. They guard you from people like me, they do not let me approach you, lest I pollute your presence. Doubts are blasphemous, and you are an outcaste if you do not adhere to the code they have  laid down. They take your name and say that it is how one should approach you or worship you. Did you say such a thing, dear God? It seems that I know you better than these people, you would never say such a thing, for you never say anything.

Today I watched you from a corner, for I wanted to catch a glimpse of you. I was happy to see you, it did not matter whether your gaze was directed towards me even for a fraction of a second. How could you see me when there were so many eager faces thrusting themselves to catch a glimpse of you and hoping that you will reward them with your benign smile, a smile of recognition.

Someone I knew asked me why I had not worn a dhoti and put the holy ash on my forehead before coming to see you. I had never really thought about it, I just came to see you. I told him just that. He looked bemused and moved on. I have decided that next time I come, I shall accordingly adorn myself and see whether I can get closer to you.

Today I saw that there are people, who are more equal than others, who can get closer to you and who are above the norms that have been laid down and attributed to you. At least that is how they feel, but I know that it does not matter to you, but it matters to people like me.

Of course I appreciate that it is necessary to have these ‘Guardians’ to protect you, looking at the frenzy that your presence evoked, there could easily have been a stampede and even you may not have been spared.

At the end of it all the general consensus and the topic of discussion was that the entire function was well conducted. Pardon me, but I left before you started your address to your devotees. As is my wont I later asked someone as to what you spoke, I was told you spoke very well and that was it.

It intrigues me whenever I wonder whether you bless everyone who comes to you or are selective in your blessings. For if you bless everyone then there should be no reason for anyone to be unhappy, but that is not the case. So are you selective? If so why? I know you will say ‘ be sincere and truthful in your prayers, have patience’. Yes I have been waiting.

Coming back to the ‘Guardians’, last week I had an occasion to visit Kolkata after a long time, just for two days. The people I had gone with insisted that we visit the Kali temple at Kalighat, after all a visit to Kolkata is incomplete without visiting and worshipping you there. And what a visit it was! I do not think I shall visit you there again, even at the cost of incurring your wrath, for that would be preferable to try and see you there. I had resolved before the visit that I shall not succumb to the lure of the pujaris and their henchmen, to get a preferential treatment and a closer look at you. But what happened, seemed beyond my control. The minute I alighted from the taxi, I was hijacked by one of the henchmen and I succumbed. Though I did put up a resistance and held on tightly to my purse, I had to loosen the strings a bit. I was not allowed to see you unless I had filled the outstretched hands of one of your guardians, who stood at the entrance to your sanctum sanctorum, who shouted that it is not possible to go inside and pushed away anyone who wanted a peek at you atleast. Of course depending on the amount one put in his hands, he was  allowed a glimpse of you. I lasted exactly five seconds, the next thing I found myself being escorted by the henchman to be blessed by a purohit who uttered something, placed his hand on my head and demanded Rs. 1100 as dakshina. I kept my wits around me and paid him Rs. 100 and got out of there fast. On my way back I followed a trail of red liquid leading to the exit, only then it struck me that it was blood. The next minute I saw a lamb freshly bathed and with flowers around its neck being led in and I understood why. I only remember the look on the lamb’s face, oblivious of the fate that awaited it.

This is not an isolated happening for you will find the Guardians everywhere. They have become more important than you

God, is this a part of your machinations? is it you who has ordained all this? Your Guardians have made you into a commodity and sell you and you keep watching. Of course you can be sold because there are buyers. The number of people wanting to see you, touch you and ask you for favours is ever increasing. So you see the demand is far outstripping the supply and maybe that’s why you have these Guardians. But how many come for your sake, to understand you and be with you?

Of course I know you will say, that only if I have true faith I shall overcome all the obstacles and you will reveal yourself to me. But the question now is ‘Why do I seek you and what difference does it make whether you reveal yourself or not? You are only making it more difficult and the obstacles insurmountable’.

Till next time,

Yours truly, once again I remain. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

DECADENCE


Decadence

Cobwebs on the ceiling,
And in the corners of my mind,
Unswept dust on the bookstand,
A decadence, I cannot understand;
And in front, the mirror stares,
At the wrinkles on my face,
The Buddha sits his eyes closed,
Cannot see my agony.
Through the broken window,
This stifling heat burns me;
Outside the smell of burnt grass,
Chokes and strangles me.
The barren trees, the parched river,
Dead fish and the carcass,
The dead bird coos no longer,
The ghosts and the shadows linger,
In the corners of my mind.
The caterpillar is long dead,
But the worm it crawls inside my head,
Bores its way excruciatingly,
Numbs my nerves and my will
I could not move, I stood still.
The hours and the days pass,
Ever so quickly without a pause,
I wake up to sleep again,
I feel no joy, I feel no pain,
Just a fallen tree on the ground.

It has set in, I know for sure,
A decadence, I cannot understand.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

ILLUSION


Illusion

I always wondered,
What this life is about,
For with every step,
I have faced a doubt.

I had grown,
With what was shown,
And I believed,
That all was known.

But as I looked around,
To my dismay I found,
The things I believed,
Had no ground

So I searched,
for what was true,
but where to start,
I had no clue.

Then I met a wise old man,
He said “follow me if you can,
I shall show you the way,
That I also ran.

But do not think
This is the only way,
You have to choose,
What suits your play”.

He stared ahead for a while,
Then looked at me with a smile,
“Life has been a long grind,
It nearly drove me of my mind.

All that I once held as dear,
I found one day disappear,
And in pain I stood and cried,
Till all my tears had dried.

And as I sat under this tree,
Suddenly it dawned on me,
That all of life is but a dream,
The truth is we are born free.

Life is just a river that flows,
On its way it winds and grows,
To settle down in tranquillity,
To finally merge with the sea”.

With these words he walked away:
I followed his foot prints on the sand.
Soon a gust of wind blew across,
Wiped the footprints with its hand.

So I sat under that tree,
Closed my eyes and tried to see,
The light that had lit the lamp,
From this darkness to set me free.

And as I delved deep inside,
I saw an orange circle of light:
And I pushed all my fears aside
Stood absorbed at this sight.

Through this circle, as I plunged,
Merged with the light that shone,
I found my form disappear,
And my identity all had gone.

And as I slowly opened my eyes,
I came out of this confusion,
And it came as no surprise,
The world outside, an illusion.