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Thursday, 4 September 2008

The 'Enigma' that is... "God"

God- a nice topic of debate. What is it to be an infinite conundrum, an eternal mystery... What is the relevance of God today? Are we being selfish? Man is born to sin. So, we have to be selfish, right? Or is it just another smart-ass argument?



Little Srijith was crying- inconsolably. He had received a hiding from his mother for tasting the laddoos before they could be offered for the pooja. Hearing his sobs, his grandmother hobbled up to him and offered him another piece of laddoo. He gave it a glance, took it and flung it out...


Srijith's grandmother would feed him stories of God's kindness. While his mother- a disciplinarian and a devout lady- would often warn him against God's hot displeasure. But she also taught him to have faith in the same God. Srijith was no Socrates. But, hearing so many things about this 'God' confused him to no end. Even the other day, when he had fallen off a mango tree while trying to pick fruit, his mother admonished him saying, "God punishes naughty children! I hope you learnt your lesson." His grandmother was different. She took him to a nearby temple and both of them prayed for his wounds to heal quickly, which they did.

Srijith's father was a man of Science and was rarely seen at home. A theoretical physicist, Mr. Bose was often busy with his research papers. But whenver he had time, he would spend it with his little son. Mr. Bose never touched upon the topic 'God'. He was an Atheist. Srijith would wonder why his father never spoke of this 'God', but never asked him. He would enjoy his father's company- precious little moments, they would be.

Fast forward, forty years. Srijith was a Professor in Theology. He could vividly recall all those memories of his childhood. His parents, and his doting grandmother. He never forgot what each of them instilled in him. All that had ignited a desire in him- a desire to know about 'God'. And he took every opportunity that he chanced upon.

"God's Love" was the first book(let) he received, at his school's fete. He was attracted by the parables of Christ. Amar Chitra Katha was there as well... He read those pictured books and was drawn in to another world. He happened to read the tales of Narada- who often had some trick up his sleeve- and laughed loud. He read how Guru Arjan was tortured- and cried. He also read how Ramakrishna Paramahamsa practised the major religions and realised they lead to the same goal.

'Jal', 'Paani', 'Water'... Didn't they look, feel and taste the same? Our Professor was lost in thought. He was still confounded by what his mother and grandmother would say. He could not comprehend how God, an embodiment of love and kindness, could also be God, that beheld fear. He was being Agnostic in his rumination... He thought of all the news he had read- animals being sacrificed, and humans as well! Was this 'God' blood-thirsty too? Had his mother forgotten to tell him that? Or was this restricted to the Mayans and Aztecs of yore- which had suddenly surfaced in some parts of today. And what about these 'God-men', supposedly blessed by the Divine...

During one of his lectures, a student had come up with a statement, "God is man's manifestation. Man needed someone to put the blame on, and lo! There was God..." Srijith wondered what his mother or grandmother would say to that!

In a tension-filled world, Srijith reflected, people go to any extent to find solace. One such place is God. Be it a Christian view of following the Right path, a Satanic view of following the Left path, a Wiccan view of the oneness with Nature... Anything! 'Tolerance' was no longer a watchword. Srijith saw that more often than not, the tension people faced was a consequence of their own actions coupled with the environment they were in. Renouncing was definitely not the answer. 'Materialism' was the new watchword.

One has to change with times. Srijith observed how most of the Hindu priests were doing well- priesthood was a lucrative profession; performing marriages, house warming ceremonies, death rituals, etc. He wondered further- Is it wrong to be 'materialistic'? After all, you want to lead a comfortable life with your family. Anyone would wish for all the comforts life has to offer... In fact, don't elders wish for the same and bless you? A priest is a man of God. And he is expected to be simple. But he has a family, and he has every right to wish for their comfort. Celibacy is not relevant today- not to everyone. People hope to do well and live their dream.




Hope is a good thing; may be, not the best of things. But all good things never die.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Manikandan writes:

very well written. Nice narration of childhood incidents. Religion has indeed become materialistic. But it is not the materialistic people who cause problems, but people with blind faith in God and the so called 'God-men'. The present situation of the country proves this right. I felt that you haven't given a solid conclusion to the post. You've almost ended the post with questions. Morons like me need more to understand completely:)

By anonymous user, # 4. September 2008, 10:52:49

Anonymous said...

Sudeshna Ma'am writes:

you can think of god in which ever way you like.after all you have created him for a point of reference in your existence. you secretly like to have someone on your side always. so you have god. you always want his help. good. when you want his help, you even bribe him. you haven't ever asked him what he wants. is he happy with you? does he enjoy your company? doesn't he find your constant demands for this'n that boring? after all he has given you the whole world to play in and the whole mankind to play with. then why aren't you satisfied?

By anonymous user, # 8. September 2008, 18:20:54

Anonymous said...

@Sid
Thanks; and yeah- that chat we had was a good one, too.

And her blog, yeah- my thoughts are on a different plane. No wonder... I knew this piece would catch your eye. :wink: Arrey, WordPress screws up whenever I try to sign up! So, you gotta wait...

By Karthik.S, # 6. September 2008, 11:40:35

Anonymous said...

siddharth writes:

Dude well written but what i have got to say is too long for a comment .. i read what u wrote on gauri's blog as well.. i din comment on that either because well i thought it had an innocent touch to it so left it the way it was ... but this piece and considering you wrote it he he ... we will discuss it sometime over chat .. if you wish

By anonymous user, # 4. September 2008, 14:57:20

Anonymous said...

@ Manikandan

I have posted another article titled 'Religion...?' http://my.opera.com/Karthik.S/blog/2008/06/03/religion You may want to see that too.

I wanted to leave questions this time around. :wink: Let's have a discussion if you need anything clarified.

By Karthik.S, # 4. September 2008, 11:55:27

alphabetworld said...

*"God is man's manifestation. Man needed someone to put the blame on, and lo! There was God..."*

How very true!

2 friends afflicted in a car accident...one survives, the other doesnt. The former's parents pray, "Thank you God, for saving my child..." So, did God 'kill' the other one???

Brilliant post! Loved it :)

Kartz said...

Thank you... Glad you liked it.

God did not kill him. I'd say, that was his destiny.

Diva said...

I will not deny-I am either an agnostic or an atheist, at diff times,dand that depends on my mood!!!!
In spite of having been taught to pray to God every morning, to be God-fearing.. to be cautious that God is watching you when u do right or wrong.... I just cant do it!!!!I feel like God cheated me and most others, if he really did exist, tht is!!
I have searched God in different places... and in diff books... But ALAS, nothing seems to pacify me!!!

I cannot stand the blind faith of most ppl in God.. I have always seen that the nicest and humblest of people I have known are the ones to face the most troubles in life... Its so damn unfair i say...

God is just like an animation character(Sorry if this is offensive, I dnt really intend to hurt anyone) we all create in our minds to find hope in, or to fall back upon.. like said- for blaming, for crying to, for fearing, to laugh along with!!!...

BUT that does not mean that I do not respect Religion or Belief or Faith or GOd, for that matter!!!!
If there is some power of thought which is giving Hope and Happiness to Millions across the world and helps keeping themselves sane and to cope up with difficulties of life.. I appreciate the Belief...
I appreciate the thought of GOD... and I respect it for the fact that it always gives HOPE and Peace to all the people across the Globe.. Hope is a good thing after all :) :)

Kartz said...

It's all right to be Atheist/Agnostic. I hold nothing against them. I am Hindu- when it comes to filling applications, et al. Otherwise, I believe in Humanism and Universalism. I also tend to be Agnostic at times, and I question certain aspects of religion.

You can go in search of God- anywhere. But it will be futile. There is God inside every person. When you say 'Namaste' to someone, you bow to the God in him/her. It is also said, God will find you... You cannot find God. I don't know what to say to that...

Life is unfair... Whoever said life is fair? See... There has to be balance. And well, if you are the party that falls on the wrong side of the balance, you cannot do anything about it. That, simply put, is fate.

And God being an animation character... Check what my teacher had to say. It is the second comment from the top. You will not be surprised. :-)

It is heartening to hear you are not one of those who go around bashing the concept of religion/God... But remember one thing. You may refer to God with a capital 'G'. Note that you also refer to yourself with a capital 'I' :-)

Yea, hope... Is a good thing. Peace, and have a nice day.

Thank you for your feedback. I have written one more piece titled "Religion..?" Do go through it when you can.

Diva said...

"Life is unfair... Whoever said life is fair? See... There has to be balance. And well, if you are the party that falls on the wrong side of the balance, you cannot do anything about it. That, simply put, is fate."

See,it boils down to very fact that there is only something called as FATE or LUCK .. and God is nothing but a figment of our imagination!!!!!
Its not that you are on either the right side or the wrong side of the balance,.... Infact, there is NO BALANCE!!! It would have been a balance if there were phases of sadness followed by happiness in all our lives... but i do not see that!! All i can see is some people suffering all their life, never gettin a chance even to do good or to be better...
And here people talk abt rebirth and stuff, saying if not this birth, we'll get happiness in the next... I personally think that its just another way of man to convince himself that all is not lost, just another way of giving ourselves HOPE!!!! its just a matter of fate and not a matter of laws governing the universe!!
The 'meaning',the 'laws' is something we try to frame up in order to satisfy ourselves... We can only speculate what things can be... But we can never know the actual truth....!!!!

Kartz said...

God as a figment of imagination... I won't say that is false. He is an embodiment of attributes that have been associated... But who gave Him those attributes? Man...

See... 'Balance' can been relative too. Let me give you an eg. I hope you are into Science. It is now known that the Universe consists of dark energy. It makes up to almost 96% and the rest is light energy- 4%. This is 'balance' as in... Any disturbance here, could be catastrophic.

I have my own theories of rebirth. I don't mind sharing them with you. I might seem crazy... Ah well. Just let me know if you would like to hear me out. :)

May be... We won't know the truth; the actual truth... But there is no reason why we should stop ourself from searching. Which is why we have such discussions.

Peace. :)

Diva said...

I perfectly agree!!! :) :) I am into science and I firmly believe there are balances in this Universe... although the ones I believe are the chemical and physical balances!!The accuracy of the distance of Earth from Sun and the Moon from Earth cannot be co-incidences or mere chance!!!.. I do believe in the beauty of creation and nature !!!
But when it comes to something like theology or philosophy(as they call it).... I tend to over-react, but thats because my heart aches to see the injustice that some people have to suffer in life!!! I might be wrong and there might be laws of Karma and rebirth and all that could be true..... I guess 'discussion' is one way we can all move forward in our search towards knowing the ABSOLUTE truth!!! :) :)

P.S.: lookin fwd to hear your perceptions on REBIRTH :) :)

Kartz said...

Adding you on GTalk. Hope you won't mind.

Praveen said...

Wiccan view..i dint understand that..pls shed more light on that

i wud like to disagree with wat u said of priests..most of them are having a bad life. they are getting petty amounts for prforming pooja.. only a select few does get filthy rich by doing pooja and all...

anyway. a gr8 article on god.

Kartz said...

Wicca is a pagan religion. Wiccans believe in the power of Mother Nature. And the oneness of the various elements/forces of Nature. They also believe in the power of crystals and herbs. Druids are the Wiccan equivalents of 'Priests'.

Wicca was, therefore, held in atrocity by the Church. Similar to our Hinduism (which has also been referred to as Pagan). I have kept it brief here. Do let me know if you are interested in going in-depth.

An about the priests... I did not mean anything wrong dude. (Also, I did not mean those at the temples. I meant the 'sastrigals') I do know that there are those unfortunate few. All I tried to portray was how people look at them. Haven't you heard people exclaim- "How come that sastri is owning the latest mobile, et al!"- ?

I meant to say, it is not wrong. After all, it is a profession these days. And who would not want to lead a comfortable life?

subhalakshmi said...

discussions r lovely! regards.
would like to add a note on the faith that one needs to have on the self. doesn mean am an athiest. god helps those who help themselves!
the confidence that one has on the self is the path to success. religion is nothing but a path to discover god which is no way around the air but within u!

Sandeep Balan said...

there hav been enough discussions on god n other stuff....wont like to add on to that...i seriously liked the way u chose to show everything through srijith's eyes...confusions a child has...his tendency to get influenced....his needs...n capturing the same of an adult....difficult one to pull off...bt u did well...well researched post....kudos.....learnt a lot....cheers

Kartz said...

@Subbu
:) Thanks, and do stop by again!

Kartz said...

@Sandeep
Thanks bro'... Glad you liked it.

Arnav said...

well written kartik ...
These are things which we ought to ask ourselves our religion...Is god really blood thirsty , does he really punish us , whom he calls his own children.. or is he the epitome of love and kindness , the one that forgives all, the one that takes care off all his children..
I really don't have an answer to this.. but I know that god cannot be both.. and hence it is just a difference in perception ..

Kartz said...

Thanks for the read bro... I thought u had already read it when it was at Opera!

:)

animisha said...

hmm.. blog on GOD..! u knw na tat am not much connected to GOD.. so am not gonna comment much but i wud say it was well written :)

jayaram said...

Gosh religion, it can take u apart.
I believe in God, not fully understood nor am I an atheist. Imagination and expression can go beyond all realms of creativity but reality is one thing that firmly exist in front our eyes.

Kartz said...

@Animisha
:)

Kartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kartz said...

@Jayaram
I guess it makes u something like anAgnostic Theist... :)

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