I looked over at my mother,standing next to me with her hands folded, eyes closed in meditation as she she prayed to the idol in front of us. She was in complete devotion while her daughter did not inherit religion. My views about god and religion have always been blurred and having tried to reach a conclusion over years, have miserably failed. My family is not religious, I know this because when every Hindu family around us was busy visiting temples every week, mine went a maximum of four times a year. But my parents believed in God because every evening they lighted the lamp and sang hymns. My dad’s beliefs was very strong that his actions and decisions were usually ruled by them. My mother on the other hand read religious books and learnt Sanskrit slokas so as to please God. They never failed to take me to temple before every exam or place sandalwood paste on my forehead which is a practice after one worships God in our religion. Being brought up in a household like mine, one would expect me to inherit at least the basics of a good devotee. Oh well! I was always described as surprising.
My parents having noticed that I did not give into praying everyday has started asking me as to what makes me NOT believe in God and as much I want to tell them that the idea of “God” has never given me proof of existence, I never did so as to not destroy generations of prayer and customs. There was a point of time where I used to force myself to believe in God. A point of time where I would force my mind to succumb to devotion. It was the one of the hardest things I had to do. Because my mind knew that my beliefs were not mine. It was society casting their practices on me. Sentences such as ” If you don’t pray, you might be awarded less marks”, “If you don’t pray, you might get sucked into bad company”, ” If you don’t pray, you might never have the strength to face life”…scared me. They truly did and that was why I took to believing in a concept that I did not want to.
Being a science student, every miracle of God that has been cited as an example of God’s existence was taught to be logic and this ruined the only spark of belief I had left. I do not believe in labels due to which I refuse to classify myself as an atheist because every night, before I sleep, I pray because I had been taught to. To stop a practice that had been installed in you as a kid is indeed difficult. If you are at a point in your life where you start question God and religion, I am going to tell you something that I wish someone had told me. It is OK! It is OK to stop believing in a concept that you just cannot see the point of. It is OK to ask yourself questions that you think cannot be asked out loud and it is OK if you refuse to follow faith blindly.
It was a year back that I started praying to the universe and somehow it felt alright. Praying to religion was never understood but praying to a power greater than religion that does not necessarily include dividing people into factions based on the practices somehow made more sense to me. I believe in coincidences, I believe in destiny even though I believe that it is something we decide for ourselves, I believe in miracles and even though that is not logical…the happening of it has made me believe otherwise. I understood that being a good person was what was more important. If you think of it, the whole point of heaven and hell is to punish the sins and appreciate the good things you have done. I have not heard of not praying as a sin. Because it is not. Being a good human being, spreading the idea of love and the amount of good deeds you do is what counts. Do I believe in worshiping idols?No. Do I believe in the existence of a power greater than us humans? Yes.
To question your daily practices and routines is not a sin like how many Indian parents think so. I mean I know my parents would flip out if my views on religion was presented to them. But do I blame them for it?No. Because they have been brought up so as to believe and not to ask questions and also the fact that they are much older and wiser and maybe life has taught them otherwise and that is okay. If your life and certain incidents leads you to believe in the God you and your family worships, well and good!
Explore life. Somehow it gets you prepared for the unpredictability of it all 🙂
This post is completely from my point of view and if any of you find it disturbing…my apologies!