Verbivorehere's Weblog

Reflections on Reality!

God for Sale

It was a new start for me and I found myself in the middle of an extremely chaotic phase! I need a break! And my sense of break was to have a conversation(rationalization/realization) in an extremely serene atmosphere! With no one to stare, no one to question. A blissful silent conversation to whichever superior force that in ways control the earth, to understand why I am running about in life! To reason out if there is any sense at all in the hustle I seem to make!

Im an ardent devotee of Krishna – solemnly baptized & christened “Mary” with considerable knowledge of the muslim practices (as a large chunk of my college & hostel life was in a muslim institute).  Mr. PI Patel’s religious consciousness is not foreign to me!

Seeking a day out for emotional balance & to remain connected with the supremacy I set off early morning with just a coffee to a famous krishna temple ( name withheld for fear of religious attrocities against me!). It was 3 hours journey from home! I went there, appalled with the hugeness i walked fast to reach my abode of peace & tranquility as soon as possible! But lo the moment i reached there I saw so many people crowded in one corner of that huge temple! Did the good lord step out of his shrine and walk till that small gate? he had larger ones the other end dint he??

They handed me a card in which a slogan was written and they were directing us in – one at a time! there were marble slabs placed till u reach the shrine at specified distance and u had to recite the slogan – “once in every step u take”!! Excuse me – I thought i came here to talk with him – to find peace! The pandit in charge was shouting aloud – chant loudly. NO – revolted my mind. I came here to talk with HIM to find that small smile behind that flute which i can find only with utmost concentration and the coolness that the water with Tulsi leaves gives me! Im not going to chant, im going to talk – hare krishna hare krishna – came the voices left, right, front and back! And by the look on their faces, they had no clue of what they were chanting or why they were! It was the only feasible way to reach the top they must’ve figured, quite like me.

I reached the jeweled statue, couldnt search for the smile as I was busy revolting agains the chanting/talking stuff still! I climbed still higher the shrine..wow a whole museum of idols, books, cinema halls, handicrafts, and eatables. I adored the sculptures, browsed through the book titles ( gasped at the prices of both), wondered since when “sponge cakes” were offered as prasadas! mused at the childrens T-shirt caption that stated “I lost my heart to (somethng related to heaven)! i mused only at the “lost my heart” words of it! wondering where I have heard it before.. my mind wandering to all the movies that had used those words!  and craved for food as my eyes landed on the huge supply of sweets, burgers, samosas that were there!

In short in my religious trip for a reunion with the self or the atma or the paramatma, I had a complete chat with the wordly trifles! I thought of food, i thought of dress, bags, sense of fashion, sculptures, artistic tastes, captions, wayward thoughts! everything but God!

Having the option of other lords to save me i thought i’ll set on the next trip
(the same day)! Many of you would be thinking Y need to travel to a holy place, why not ur home, a park – as God is there everywhere! As i said I just wanted a silent, peaceful talk with him, calm down my racing mind and a cool, serene atmosphere! I couldn’t do it at home, coz home was just too congested! No parks coz they apparently dint like the idea of a lady sitting alone in a park and i was confronted with a questioning face with such authority that i meekly succumbed to their unvoiced orders and headed home every time i visited a park alone with the intention of just sitting & meditating!

All said and done i set off my trip to the dome of peace & silent enduring – church! I carried some bread along ( a traditional offering in one of the churches here)(name withheld for fear of religious atrocities against me!) I traveled 2 hrs again the same day to find my tranquilizer and lo it was closed. In a sense I was happy, the place would be deserted and I can blabber what i want and find Mr. Peace & ask for some of his peace portion.

The guard looked curiously at the large pack of bread i was carrying! He has his reasons to stare as I do look a Hindu and the papers were full of stone hurls and violence of Hindu people against Christians! Well he directed me towards the Priest – well he is an appointed member, a mediator – but i thought i traveled in the hope of a direct conversation. I need to rush back. Its 7 and I may have a good 2 hrs journey back! I went to the Priest nevertheless, gave him the bag as my mind raced to the lonely corridor dimly lit to relieve my mental burden. But i was not to hasten, my mediator wanted my complete information, perhaps hes going to submit my file to the almighty! But we were following open door policy till now, right? even with the Almighty?

What is your name? Where are you from? You traveled all the way till here? How did you get to know of God? (err? no one else knew? i get some reward/incentives?) Are you of this church, How often do you come..thus flowed his unending quiz..long enough for me to be aware that I have to schedule my appointment with Mr. Peace for another day! As i rushed out his door he called me back to inform that I should surely meet him the next time i visit the church! His tone remided me of a beautiful lady (Guys now dnt ask me if she’s single – No she’s not!) from Poland whom i met n a bus & who started talking to me about religion. She was telling me why do I believe in a God who is into violence and adultery and why nt convert into christianity (i dnt let out my PI situation to her ;P). I smiled a very pleasing one thinking that no matter how muchever people tease me for my foolishness I’m certainly better than a damsel from Poland who expects people to hop into religions at her words like it was a running train!!! God save her from the “real people who are actually into violence!!”

Yesterday I dint for once pray for health, peace or wealth for myself or my family..but i prayed nevertheless for the supreme power which is believed by all to control earth, planets heaven and what not! I prayed that let him/her/it not be “sold” like this!! I thought the religion in me was to discipline me! I remember my mother taking me to the pooja room to check if i lied! I till date don’t have the guts in me to lie to my boss of taking a leave due to “food poison” without turning away from the God’s pic in the living room! But with t-shirts,caps,bags,walls,papers, everything having his name I have no choice but ignore! I might covet something that was sold to me, but i never would revere it.

Religion is sold, its a commodity today as dangerous as drug setting people violent on the roads. Are we foolish to believe the louder the screams the more the Lord hears it? Are we stupified to believe we are waging a tug war with the supreme power and the more the number of people in our side the more the chances of pulling him to us? Are we blind enough to actually believe that killing a creation would reinforce our tie with whom we believe as the creator! Or plain – are we ready to be the monkeys of those political wizards who take advantage of the situation in a strikingly coincidental manner – blast after blast!

Or is it coz its the age of commercialization! Today God out there is all about marketing techniques, promoting, increasing customer base, ensuring customer loyalty and the worst – competition and trust me competition that is the worst of its kind!!! Rush..grab this fantastic offer – God for Sale at 100% discount. *conditions apply. (u benefit only from promoting it further, even if it costs lives! peace! watever!)

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October 17, 2008 - Posted by | culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

15 Comments »

  1. Brilliant..! Enjoyed the way you went about concluding it…

    And I think I well know the place you referred to first up. Assuming I am correct (how I wish to say it, but not on your page- looking at the reasons why you preferred to withhold them), I will proceed with what I experienced…

    I was visiting that temple for the first time (thanks to a farcical Industrial Visit)… I hate crowded places. Literally hate them (I remember how I used to bawl as a kid before reluctantly agreeing to go to the Kalighat Kali temple in Kolkata- all you religious fanatics- hit me… :P”)…

    Digressing… Back on track… Ok. After the darshan and stuff, I decided to meditate- something which I like. A way I try to ‘connect’… Half an hour… And I was up, and went to the book stall. As I was browsing, the smart alec bookie there (No! I won’t address him as stall-keeper!) snuck a book under my nose… It had a picture that portrayed torture, pain and suffering. He said- “Repent! Or it is hell for you..!”

    That was IT… All the peace and tranquility within me evaporated and in my place was my alter-ego… A rage elemental…

    I gave him a piece of my mind… (If I delve into that, my comment will be longer than your post. It is already long now, sorry!) I did not bother abt all the eyes tht were fixed on me. And to hell with the management… He went on to say- “You sound rude. But I can see you are trying to make some sense. You can approach our gurus. They will answer you.” I just told him… “I wont talk to people who are known to brainwash others… I am proud to be what I am. A humanist, a universalist. Unfortunately, I cannot use the same when I fill-in application forms. And with all due respect, your knowledgeable gurus cannot help me. And what you just did with that book, and wht all u said… Put me off . Don’t repeat it.”

    I walked off in a huff… I am a theist. Our system is fine. Whatever religion you follow… Your wish. It is the implementation which is flawed… You think this ‘God’ is amused with all that you offer Him? Such petty things… Tcha…

    My upbringing was in an Anglo-Indian, Methodist Christian school… And I still read the Bible… I was told in my Scripture classes- “God is the giver… He is benevolent.” and the example cited then was that of Abraham and Isaac… Today I still ask… Why the meaningless sacrifices? Guess I shall never know…

    Have you read this one?
    http://kartzonline.blogspot.com/2008/09/religion.html

    Would like your thoughts.

    I will wind up my homily here…

    Peace.

    Comment by Kartz | October 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. Heyy, thats a nice take on the religion topic. Enjoyed the post, one of the best I have read in recent times.

    Theres a long commercialised stretch before the Guruvayoor Temple, I am sure you would have visited!!! U get ‘Gods’ in different forms there, na?

    Comment by vimal | October 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. So sad but so very true….

    Everything we do if for commercial purpose…you want peace of mind??? Can’t even suggest one place…

    Comment by Smita | October 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. @ Kartz – yeah i know. We come across a lot of people who want every other person to think like them! Its high time we gave them a lesson!I felt like doing do to the lady from Portland! But somehow cudnt speak up ;P

    @ Vimmuu – u caught me redhanded ;P. There are many things in Guruvayoor that i may criticize or not agree upon – the salwar rule (now changed) the special darshans, the shops..but there is an aura..a religous one inside the temple..that helps me meditate..this temple i was talking about ..everything was inside the temple!(and hey thanx a lot for the comment :P)

    @ Smitha – Thanx a lot for visiting! Im glad that u liked my ID :)…myself loved it the first time i came across the word and hav been using it ever since as my online identity :)! And for peace i wuldve suggested many a nature-blessed places if only each and every one of them is made a tourist spot and being comercialised ;P

    Comment by verbivorehere | October 19, 2008 | Reply

  5. Aah I had been to the same place,where you need to chant slogans for every step you take.I did not.Because I had went to a temple and not a ploitical rally :).That temple(???) was the most coomericialized one I had come across. Never knew gods had so much to be merchandised!!.

    Abt the church I had been to the one in my college many times and I was lucky not to have been questioned or given a talk abt advantages of religion hopping.I suggest you get into the church with the help of some catholic[I dont prefer other sects churches,they have blaring music at times] friend. God needs a known face to be intorduced to you see :)).

    The best spiritual experiences i have got are from old,unknown,not-so famous temples and eventually less well maintained shiva temples deep south of tamilnadu.I am sure you can find many such unattended ones..find them..god at times resides in less publicized places 🙂

    Comment by nautankey | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  6. I almost lost my faith in temples cos of these commercialization and only temples i go are the ones where there are no crowds and i get a peace of mind.

    Comment by praddy | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  7. While I fervently wish I had had the chance to have visited places of interest about the world while young enough to have enjoyed them, I have, ever since shedding all belief in the God of so-called “inspired by God revelations”, wondered why so many people work so diligently to find some man-made ediface in which to refresh the soul, the spirit, the psyche, the, whatever you want to call it. We have the capability to build within ourselves an “ediface” that can be reached at any moment, day or night. An earthquake may, in a few minutes, level the most beautiful of temples, but nothing can destroy the peace that comes with knowing that, if God does exist, he is not the God that human beings have made him out to be.

    Comment by mary a. kaufman | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  8. nice one! 100% true… but personally since i dont really go in search of God in any form to get peace, i dont really understand why you had to go to such lengths.n u were right. i m d kinda person who wud hav suggested u to go to a place, not so crowded or commercialized places like temple or church or mosque. u get peace whr u feel @ home (i didnt say u get peace @ home! tat may/may not b true). but if u dont feel comfy at religious places, then u shud definitely choose a better place for urself! we u say u wanna talk to God, u jus wanna talk to ur innerself(which in other words may be termed as God). so u can do tat even while walkin on crowded streets, though full of strangers, who wudnt trouble u or force u to do nething or even mind u at all. u can conveniently talk to urself when u choose to ignore all around u n ppl arnd u ignore u too, for good. 🙂 well, hope u find peace neways.. 🙂

    cheers

    Comment by AV | October 21, 2008 | Reply

  9. I really enjoyed reading it aloud. Your text is really well written. And I share the same ideas as yours, I guess.
    Thank you very much dear…

    Comment by maelinat | October 22, 2008 | Reply

  10. @ Nautanki .Because I had went to a temple and not a ploitical rally :)ROFL im sad that i dint think of such a thing while writing the post. Man u r gifted with a gr8 sense of humour

    @Praddy – I understand and guess wats my situation wen i went to a silent one here? the poojaris are shouting to each other so loudly tht i stopped praying and went and requested them if a softer mode of speech can be adopted..to which they answered YES quite LOUDLY!

    @ Mary Kaufman – I was just wondering what ur coment would be to this one after reading ur post abt eating for god 🙂 I agree..God is certainly not the ones humans made him out to be! In the least the one for whom humans fight daily!

    @AV – Ur right one need not necessarily visit a holy place for peace..somehow i wanted that coolness and serenity that day..if u knw wat im tryng to say…somethng which ul get at ur doorstep in ur home back in the countryside but nt in a metro!

    @maelinat – Soft as ever..as ur poems so does ur comment soothe my spirits 🙂 thanks 🙂

    Comment by verbivorehere | October 23, 2008 | Reply

  11. Hi verby! so good to read your work in another setting. Beth, eh.

    Comment by ehBeth | October 23, 2008 | Reply

  12. this sucks 😦

    Comment by La Vida Loca | October 23, 2008 | Reply

  13. @ Ehbeth thanks. It meant a lot to me that you actually visited and gave a comment thanks.

    @ La Vida – I dunno if ur talking about the situation mentioned in the post or the post itself! If its former as you said we are all the same under the skin! If its the latter..its just different perspectives/opinions..nothing needs to “suck” newhere.

    Comment by verbivorehere | October 24, 2008 | Reply

  14. Liked it very much.
    True, religion is sold. And dont expect anything other than a lot of marketing/selling(?) happening in the first place of worship(?) you had mentioned.

    Makes you want to puke when you realize how poorly these people have tried to mask their true motives. Seriously gentlemen and ladies out there, do we look like morons or are we really morons, blinded by the light reflecting from your polished deportment?

    I do not need to go to any place of worship to get me salvation… i can close my eyes, and slowly account for what i have done and need to do. I dont need to get into a covered space and blurt out my actions to get salvation, i dont need to climb a hundred marble steps to take me to the lord, and i dont need to hurt people to protect my identity. I only need to be ME… the Me who can take responsibility for my actions.

    Nice article

    regards,
    Jay

    Comment by Jay | October 27, 2008 | Reply

  15. @ Jay – Thanks for visiting and thanx a lot for the review..really means a lot to me!

    Comment by verbivorehere | October 28, 2008 | Reply


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