The GOD’s way

“Man’s way leads to hopeless ends, GOD’s way leads to endless hopes” — anonymous

Being an atheist and yet quoting the above statement might seem incongruous. Let me explain:

India, my motherland, boasts of the richest temple in the world. We have a temple at every nook and corner rather than having a public convenience center. The only time I resort to praying to ‘GOD’ is when I am in a dire need to attend to the nature’s call. Most of our ancestors have dreamed only of completing the pilgrimage to their holy places - the wish never gets fulfilled because the number of pilgrimages we have in India can not be completed in one human life span. We have crores of Gods, literally! Well, such a number seems necessary keeping in mind the rate at which we proliferate. A warning issued in public interest— Never ever exclaim ‘Holy Cow’ in Indian public places, you might have to handle a throng which would come rushing to have a glimpse of their ‘HOLY COW’!

I see nothing good in religion. It leads to wars, inequality and differentiation of one human from other; even if she is a beautiful neighbor next door. Different cultures leads to diversity, but when these differences arise because of religion it often leads to fanaticism.

Then I kept wondering what good the religions have offered us and the answer surely is — The Festivals. Every year in the month of September we have a 10-day festival in which we pray to Lord Ganesha’s clay statues and on the 10th day the idols are immersed in a nearby water body. The processions would include hundreds of dholaks(a percussion instrument), perfectly coordinated, for a stretch that could last up to 10 Kms. And during one of these processions I saw an elderly man in his 90's, dancing with some divine energy so as not to skip a single dhol beat. His legs were shaking, body movements were shambling, yet he persevered till he reached his destination. His God and his religion are his means of living, his means to escape the world(rather to live in this world); his idea to fulfillment of life is to devote himself to his God. Just the idea of god being present gives him the immense energy to defy his body and his mind, just like many other who brave the huge crowd just to have a glimpse of their favorite Ganpati Idol. Their faith in God lead to hopes.

Ganpati’s Idol being escorted in Mumbai

I always wonder why people pray; is it to wash their sins, is it to have a good time ahead or for the strength to tread on the ‘right path’. I guess they pray for all the reasons, because if they believe that this is the God’s way then this surely is the correct way.

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