Citizen author's experience with divinity on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi
Today is the eve before arrival of Ganesha. This blog completes now 6 years of its existence in terms of Indian calendar. Lord of wisdom is about to visit us today as we bring idols home. Next 10 days will be filled with fun and celebration. Everything around you seems auspicious. Festive air is all around and we hope to celebrate this festival correctly, peacefully and without any obstacles.
That makes me wonder sometimes at the transformation i have seen in myself from being atheist to agnostic and now a conformist. When you are young, you have some false sense of romanticism, incorrect sense of know it all arrogance, some immature ideas and false self belief. Nothing teaches you like life. Life has been a roller coaster ride and I assume it’s the same for all only gradients and routes vary. Having seen highs and lows, one gets a very serene outlook to take it all phlegmatically.
Nowadays there is an unnecessary controversy over divinity of Shri Saibaba. Reading the news around this issue and the advent of Ganeshostav, have led me to pen few thoughts about my own journey towards piety. I was never a religious kind. In fact in my house we had overdose of god, rituals, and traditions with only my father being sort of neutral to all. He used to debate the norms but also was not anti. My young blood drew me to be a believer in self than destiny or God. I was further enamored by objectivism by Ayn Rand. Stay in the hostel at Kharagpur also added to the bravado.
Then I began my journey to express myself as an entrepreneur. Journey was interesting and I enjoyed every moment of it be it in India or abroad. It was Nov 2004. I was going through lowest patch of self belief, doubt, betrayal, and setback all combining to an extent of taking toll on health. As a part of business contract initiated, stalled and stuck up in all kinds of controversy, I was called to Shirdi by the managing committee to review the project that was stuck up. As I went there i realized that the entire board was bent upon scrapping the project which we had done half way and with money stuck. The committee conveyed the same and asked me to collect the letter to that effect in the evening alongwith an undertaking to return the advance money received. It was a calamity. I was thinking on legal road ahead knowing that i had very little chance to fight the huge public trust. I was totally shattered. I had no appetite to eat snacks offered in the waiting room of the board meeting. Before that i had visited Shirdi but never had chance of Darshan due to time limit or maybe once we got entry into small vip section which i am not recollecting even today. I went out for small walk in temple premise. I was feeling like zombie. I sat on a public bench. As i sat for few minutes, i was tapped on shoulder by a very old man asking for directions. I had to no answer to help him with that. I said i was new to the premises. He asked if it was the first time i am coming here. I had no mood to continue conversation so just wanted to politely avoid him. But the guy sat near me and offered me his food. I declined. He ased why I was so disturbed. He then said one sentence which still reverberates around:
‘Whatever your problems, go and speak to the one whoever is at the heart of my problem. God will bless you.’
I walked away. But that made me think anew line of strategy. I realized that it was the CEO who was the most proactive about scrapping the project. I decided to speak to him. I went to his office. I waited for few more people to complete their work. He asked me why i was there as my letter was not ready and asked me to wait for an hour. I asked him as decided that why was he scrapping the project. Instead of that we can change all the credits mentioning his (CEO) name everywhere in the project which will remain as permanent almanac in trust history. Somehow i don’t know what inspired this argument which was like by the CEO and then he reversed the process, re-initiated work, increased scope and all was well within next 4 months with final completion in March. Immediately after the completion, got a good success over a life turning deal which materialized in next 6 months.
Maybe that old man said something abstract but I was in no mood to meet CEO but for his advice. Who was he? Was it a divine intervention or random event of things? Events like these makes one agnostic. But the after effects in my case turned me into conformist. So weak is the human mind. Or is it strong? We as human beings are very helpless in most of the matters which really matter. But then what about rationalism? Is god a superstition or its faith tonic which keeps body going? These issues have been attempted by all religions, rationalists, meta-physicist, philosophers, scientists, all and sundry. I have no new dimension to add except maybe that the concept of god and divinity is very personal one. No one has any right to criticize others neither disrespect others. My experience is all i wanted to share. In public life no religion should deny existence of other faiths and plurality. But the public nature of religion is cause of conflict since centuries. That’s what i like about my religion. And about the rituals, personally these days i feel sense of enjoyment in those but then its again my personal view and so long as one does everything with right spirit without bothering others i am ok with them.
In line with above, i will narrate an old incidence which i experienced in past in my next post.
Meanwhile as I say that divinity and god is a personal idea. Let’s celebrate the deity all together. Welcome Bappa
Author runs a blog http://nayakgiri.blogspot.com