Monday, November 26, 2007

More Questions...

Everytime I think about my faith in God/ Religion, I cannot help but think back of the day my views on the same underwent some major transformation.

As a kid, I was brought up the typical Brahmin way. I was made to worship numerous idols, each holding a unique, unbelievable ( mostly scary) "power". Every night, I was told that some character from Ramayana / Mahabharata would take me away if i didn't slip into slumber right away. I would dread eating cuz my mom would tell me that Shiva would punish me if I didn't finish the food on my plate which I still believe was a lil too much for a 6 year old! And back then, to me these threats were real. This was the birth of my value system and my religious beliefs.

As a teen, I'd visit the temple twice a day because my grama would tell me "Pray hard for all that you want, God will listen to you." I prayed hard to get thru in my Math tests and for all the people who mattered to me. I did not "explore" my faith although other religions fascinated me greatly. My faith grew over time but I had many unanswered questions. I answered all of them in my head by believing God knows best.

One phone call changed my life. My friend passed away. My faith shattered in a moment. The first question " Why him?" Since I couldn't even get close to finding an answering that, I thought "What happens after death?" I wanted to know he was ok wherever he was. So i read up on what different religions had to say about it. Even then, I didn't seem to get one answer that is common to all religions. This is when my mind opened up to ALL the questions related to God/ religion.

What is God?, What is religion?, Why do 2 year olds get raped?, Why do currupt people "succeed"? How would I find answers to such questions? I spoke to many religious people, i questioned them. Throughout, I had an open mind cuz my mision was not to criticize or deny the existance if God. My mission was to find answers, to find inner peace. These people i spoke to, would tell me " God always plans the best for us", "Two year olds get raped because of karma; the consequences of their actions in their previous birth" etc.

Somewhere during my journey, I started believing that we are our own God. There is nothing aboe us that controls our lives and we face the consequences of our actions ( in the same lifetime :P ). But what about children and innocent people who suffer? I couldn't consider God (if he exists i.e.,) being so merciless. I became Agnostic.

Before this point when I was god-fearing and religious, I was not leading a particularly happy life. Yes, I experienced some amount of peace when I visited the temple or thought about God but otherwise that was a pretty lousy period. Things seemed to be getting worse and finally hit a new low when I lost my friend.

For over a year, I looked around frantically for answers. Suddenly, all the pieces of my life started falling into place. I started to feel, what they call, true happiness. All this and more without having faith in God/ religion.

Is this God telling me he exists and that he is looking over me irrespective of whether or not I believe in him or is it the fact that I am thinking beyond religion/ God that is liberating me?

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