The recent Nepal tragedy has set me thinking again, not that I ever stopped doing that! But on a serious note, it set me on the path of stuff like faith, belief in god and such.
A newspaper article mentioned about a person, who had organised a ritual ‘saptahik pooja’ in the local parlance, on the fateful day, in Nepal. About 52 close family members had gathered for this religious ritual, of which only 9 have survived the earthquake! The 25-year old moans the death of more than 40 relatives, an entire generation, including his grandfather, his mother, all her sisters, his brother, and many others. According to him “....we were conducting the pooja to make the gods happy, they instead gave us their wrath.” Not surprisingly, he has lost faith in god. (Times of India, dt. 29/4/15, Mumbai edition).
|(Courtesy - Indianexpress.com)|
My god believing (or was it ‘fearing’?) mother tried her level best to instil some semblance of faith in god in me and did manage to succeed till I learnt to question; questions based on the tenets of rationality at an age when questions were natural. My mother would always justify tragedies with different words like destiny, karma, actions of the past life, etc. without much help though! Neither my mother, nor anybody could help much and questions gathered in tonnes while answers were scarce. With a growing scepticism towards god/faith and at an age when it was both natural (as well as fashionable), I only moved away from the ‘idea of god’ in the traditional sense.
When I read about instances like that of the Nepali youngster mentioned earlier, I only end up revisiting the same questions again. Faith, destiny, karma, actions of the past life, etc. haunt me with the same vigour as they did since the time my religious mom explained to me the causes of tragedies, both personal as well as common ones. Are these for real I wonder? Are these answers or escapism? Are these efforts to explain the unexplainable or simply make silly efforts to justify the presence of god and instil fearfulness in the gullible?
This takes me back to my childhood days, when the efforts of my mom met with the efforts of my English teacher, who taught me Abou Ben Adhem, by Leigh Hunt (For the full poem - http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173698). While I might not have quite comprehended the poem, when it was taught to me (Std V), it did leave a lasting impression on me, the impact of which was realised much later in life. According to this poem, when Abou learns that his name is not in the list of people who love god, he requested that his name be added in the list of people who love their fellow men. Next day, he learns that his name leads the names of all those people whom God loves! While no angel has as yet showed me any list of this kind, and I am no Abou, this poem, for me, generates immense faith in mankind.
When I read about people who perform selfless service, or jump to death to save some children or people, it gives me a lot of assurance that faith in humanity is a lot more rewarding. People who risk their lives in the face of adversities of different kinds, or save hundreds, without caring for their lives, be it the unknown jawan in the army, or a 10-year old who scares a tiger away, or a girl who braves the extremists to go to school and ends up with a bullet in her head, I feel much assured by mankind. If nothing, I can repose my faith in man, who is visible and understandable, than the god, who is unfathomable. Why else would he retain his house and reduce that of the humans to rubble?
|(Courtesy - Telegraph.co.uk)|
At the end of the day, my faith in humanity is restored, however, can’t say how further I am from divinity! So whatever he was thinking when he shook the earth, Mankind will triumph in the face of all adversities.
Trust me, for I ain’t god!