Sunday, July 29, 2007

A visit to the temple - A Rare spiritual experience

Today, I visited the temple after ages! Its been over a year since I have paid a visit to the local temple I used to frequently visit with my parents when I was child. Years of westernization - rock music , hollywood, Television, & agnostic orientations, coupled with a nihilistic outlook towards life have rendered me very cynical towards the very concept of religion & God & especially to conventional forms of worship.

Yet when I went today to the temple, I prayed - I prayed from the bottom of my heart. I was in peace with myself for those 20 minutes. I was far removed from the daily bustle of life, from the negativity & pessimism of the daily News, from the din & chaos of a maddening megapolis, from the lack of objectivity & confusion that surrounds my life and yea - not to mention, from the programming!

What surrounded me was a sense of peace & bliss. The flickering of hundreds of small diyas, the ringing of bells, the idols cast in black, colourful malays(garlands) that adorned their necks, the priests performing puja, the devotees with their offerings, the priests chanting Sanskrit hymns which originated thousands of years ago. Technology has created the illusion of the world being smaller, but reality is that there is so much diversity of human art, culture & religion! Where technology fails is to enable us to be at peace! And perhaps, to escape the routine monotony & the woes of daily life, man seeks refuge in the shelter of God's abode.

I prayed yet I did not utter a single sanskrit mantra - my prayers were said in English. After all, a prayer is supposed to be the gateway for you to connect with God. What use then, is a prayer in Sanskrit when you don't understand it? I prayed for myself, for my family & for the world. I prayed for success in my studies, success in projects that I undertake - but most importantly I wished & prayed that my life becomes structured, that there be direction &objectivity to it & that the cluttered & confused mind be tidied for clarity of thought. I also prayed that wisdom & foresight prevail upon this world & that God help us seek solutions to some of the problems facing man today.

After those 20 minutes of silence, prayer & solitude, I was certainly rejuvenated. Its been refreshing - a much needed break from loud music, endless television programs, movies & all other associated forms of escapism.

There is something deeply satisfying in the thought that we are being guided by an invisible force, that this force will be there for us as a guiding beacon in times of despair. Call it faith or maybe the human mind's psychological need, "God" is comforting. I still have some reservations to blindly accepting God or associated humanized idiosyncrasies, but thats another matter.

There are events & facts in the world which lead me to be Agnostic, to be a non-believer. And yet, there are acts of good samaritans going out of their way to help or heroically rescue others, which affirm the existence of a positive, omnipotent & omnipresent force that guides us. Yet, I must admit - for a long time now, I have believed that the situation in the world is too unfair & grim for me to blindly believe that God exists. If He does, why doesn't he intervene? Perhaps because he wants us to learn on our own? I really do not know.

My point simply is this - whether God exists as a real entity or is the result of the human psyche - it is deeply humbling & peaceful to imagine yourself to be a server of such a pristine cosmological master. Though slavery of any form is an abomination, yet it is deeply moving in some way to subjugate oneself at the hands of such a force. To tuck oneself in God's arms, free from all woes & without a care in the world.

In the end, I do not know whether God exists or not, but I sure hope & pray he does.

11 comments:

CruciFire said...

hmmm... the post pretty much echoes my attitude too but i am yet to go to a temple and lose myself in 'heavenly' environment... and the argument still persists and im confused too... utterly confused! can't seem to get out of it for quite sometime now... its getting maddeningly difficult to focus on everythng..anything! good post nonetheless...

Hari said...

nice one dude...din xpect u to post on such a pious and vacillatory topic... keep the gud wrk goin !

nandu said...

so,u experienced divine intervention today??r u serious..cant believe it..he he..nice to read sumthin different though..gud post

Directionless Wanderer said...

@crucifire - I share the same confusion & absolute lack of clarity of thought .... my mind too wanders once too often from one thing to another, so that I can't seem to enjoy any particular thing .... and yea - I am also confused towards God & religion .... but I feel deeply & pray that He does exist because its a comforting feeling .... nyways, thanks a ton for visiting & reading!


@Hari - I can clearly see that the GRE preps are progressing very nicely indeed! :P :D .... but hey thx for visiting my blog & taking time to read the musings of this rant-master!


@Nandu - I didn't experience divine intervention, but yea - I got the feeling that I want God to exist .... I felt rejuvenated & refreshed .... mebbe its unbelievable knowing me :D, but its true .... thanks for visiting & reading the post!

"Manson" said...

You are not alone..wont go the lengths of discussing the topic here cos that would be trivializing it..Its means a lot to a lot of ppl u know..

Hope your confusion gets cleared soon enough.. And that when it is.. It only makes you more stronger and happier.. cheers to god ;)

Bit Hawk said...

Could not help remembering the Woody Allen's quote from the movie "Love and Death":
'If there exists a God, I dont think He is necessarily evil. The worst thing you can say about Him is that he is an underachiever!'

Arun Parasuraman said...

hi RAI a truly gr8 post man..keep it up...it was really thought provoking i simply luved it....Cheers

shridhar said...

good one. I wonder why you dont blog more frequently? on second thoughts..... maybe i know why.

Amber said...

Rajiv,

You echoed my feelings completely.

A weekly visit to the temple always leaves me with the same soothing experience that you so eloquently described.

Tension-free, Bindaas life lead karo, mere yaar !!

bALaji vEnkaT said...

going to a temple is something that even i havent done in a long time..
its A THING which ive done whenever ive visited chennai or the other places in tamilnadu..

u r right in defining the different types of escape routes which we take.. :)
keep it up!

Anonymous said...

read ur post after long time.....!
good post ...as usual...
ahem...
after readin the last line...i was reminded of this quote by Voltaire...

'If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.'

;)

keep writin...