Faith is a very interesting word. Every person has his or her own definition for it, which one defines it on the basis of one’s faith. Whether it is that strong belief in one’s own values and principles or the belief in God, every person draws his force to achieve their ambitions and aspirations based on their faith.
My mother is an extremely religious person and her daily routine is embedded with a lot of prayer and rituals. Initially, this habit used to irk me, but I have come to accept that her faith in God is everything for her. The belief is such that every issue in life will be handled by God (her faith) and for this she does some more prayers (than the routine ones). There would be a lot of other peripheral prayers such as bhajans and chanting of mantras, etc that would go with this package. I believe in God myself and yes trust in that super power to help me be content with myself. But, I feel there is an inherent difference in our belief. Trying to explain this might end up being controversial and also quite lengthy, so let me just say we both have our own faith which gives us our strength.
I got thinking about faith when I happen to visit a temple with ma. Apparently, the last time she visited this temple, the priest had requested her for some donation, which by means of sheer miscommunication turned out to be a huge one. As it wasn’t a constraint for her, she did it and also took it in a positive way that the God herself wanted something like this from her and it is for the good of the family. I have no problem with the donation, but the way it was conveyed or incorrectly conveyed is an issue. It is apparent that the priest is a street smart person and knows who could possibly afford such donations. Donations have always been easy to come when the name of God is involved. It isn’t a discovery to say that donation, if not in the name of God, is a herculean task to achieve. I cannot blame people too, at least when one donates to a temple, one knows that at least some of the resources would be used for feeding the poor and the needy. The same cannot always be trusted when we give a supposed needy individual.
But what happens when this belief in God and faith for many is exploited and abused? Or one form of faith is imposed on the others? It becomes one of the most despicable of things to deal with. An example of this is the latest addition of a temple to our colony. The idea of a temple was nice; it didn’t intrude my life in any way. Plus, unlike many other temples around the city, it is very peaceful with very few visitors. Some folks feel that the builder constructed this temple to undo his past wrong doings. We shall leave their motives aside for now. But then, wait till you know about the red cherry on top of the cake. The core set, who set up this temple, couldn’t just let us live in peace, wasn’t that obvious? 🙂 They installed two speakers, exactly in front of our house; unfortunately it is located geographically at the center of this colony. So, these days our mornings start with a jolt with bhakti songs (tunes mostly sourced from movies) and sometimes with some sanskrit chantings. The tolerant Indian mentality is prepared for such gross invasion of privacy during Navratri and other puja times, but day in and day out makes life – miserable!
I am not sure for how long exactly that I will be able to put up with this, but then I might have to turn a rebel soon. I do not know how passive resistance works here. Do you guys have a solution for such an invasion?
Till then, I will get some ear-plugs from the chemist. 🙂
Have a Happy Independence Day!