Saturday, July 08, 2006

God

There are times when you feel pushed to the wall: and then you look at the picture on the wall. Shiva, the God, smiling down at you. At least he hasn't ditched you, you think. And you feel better. But think a little harder and you wonder -- isn't that just a picture frame? In the end you are left with your own devices to pick up the pieces and fix your life.

Yet, the smiling, serene face in the picture gives you a moment of hope. Why? Maybe because there are moments when you want to stop thinking, switch off the valves of rationality in your brain, and just surrender yourself to an unknown force; and the force has to be unknown, unseen because only then you can expect a miracle. You can't expect miracles from living beings, unless they are a David Blaine or our own P C Sorcar.

The question is, does such a force really exist? Or is it a creation of man? Does God really exist, or is he only a creation of man?I am seeking the answer to these questions. Maybe I know the answer, but I am scared to acknowledge it: who knows how many times I might need to surrender blindly to that unseen force. But some related questions keep haunting me:

1. When someone dies in an accident, they say "It's God's will." And if you survive an accident, they say, "It's God's grace." Isn't the name of God used a mere tool of convenience?

2. They say God is one, then why so many Gods?

3. They say God helps those who help themselves. So why should people who help themselves pray to God?

4. Even if you believe in God, then why, say, the picture of Lord Venkateswara hanging on the wall at your home, doesn't suffice? Why do you keep making endless trips to Tirupati? Do you have more faith in the idol of Venkateswara at Tirupati than in the picture of Venkateswara at your home?

5. By the same logic, why do people go to temples when they have so many pictures of various God and Goddesses at their homes? Is there a difference between the two? Or is it that Gods living in temples have more power to grant wishes than Gods adorning the walls of a home?

6. Why do people fight and kill each other in the name of God? Shouldn't they be loving each other? Why is it always, 'Your God-My God'?

It is all a matter of faith, you might say. And what is faith? Faith does not come out of vacuum: man creates it, he is not born with it. And once you have faith, you are not supposed to ask questions. I guess that is why I would never find convincing answer to these questions. Not because they don't have answers, but because they are not supposed to be answered.

8 comments:

Ardra said...

These questions have haunted me too- and I keep searching- and deep inside, I think I know the answer- but at moments when one is pushed into a corner- then the handing over the entire responsibility on a Supreme Force is so stress relieving- and often that sense of complete surrender helps in its own way- I guess...

recently i read this blog- http://mabui.blogspot.com/2006/07/hinduism-and-thatha.html

and liked what i read...

Deepa said...

good questions, I agree. But I have always believed that faith is believing in that which you know is not true. when you really need someone and there is no one when you strtch your hand, that force helps.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading this article before as well. Is it correct or am i just hallucinating? Monday blues, i guess.
Anyway, a nice second reading! :-)

And as for faith - I think faith is a great tranquilizer; it helps you in sleeping over difficult questions. So let it be...
:-)

wildflower said...

where god is concerned,i dont entertaian questions...because if i do so...my legs go weak,but then after i read this,may be i l think it all over again...btw i almost wait for your columns in the express...

Anu Russell said...

Do you write for the Indian Express?

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Ardra: Thanks for your comments.

Deepa: I really like your point of view!

Anon: Yes, this was my first post when I started the blog. At the time no one read my blog, but that's not why I am reproducing it now. I had intended to write a piece on women not being allowed to Sabarimala and Christians not being allowed to certain Hindu temples. In that piece, I had wanted to give a link to this post. But that piece, sadly, got deleted and in great frustration I reproduced my first-ever blog post.

Wildflower: Please do think it all over again :)

Anu: Yes, I do. I work for it.

Anonymous said...

I guess the reason people visit temples is that they feel a sort of "inner peace", though I don't understand how one can be peaceful with the unbearable crowds around. I personally belive that God is within us and living life consciously is worth more than any temple visit.But a close friend disagrees; he says temples are constructed to bring you positive vibrations, on the lines of vaasthu or feng shui principles.

On a different note, your writing is exceptionally good. I've been a long-time admirer of your articles in the Indian Express. Worked for Express briefly myself. Good job on the blog too.

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Anon: Thanks for your generous comments. When -- and where -- did you work for Express?