Good Old Friend

Few days ago, I met my good old friend, that too outside a temple. He met me with a broad smile and sarcastic comment:-

 “What are you doing here?”

“Nothing”, I said, returning a meek smile.

We drove to a nearby coffee shop as we had met after long and wanted to have some nostalgic talk. We talked about our families and work while we drove. At the coffee shop, while we settled, his abrupt and unexpected question took me off guard.

“You go to temples, do you agree with Krishan, that at times a lie is better than truth”.

Having read Mahabharat’s all one lac verses and having read Gita atleast a dozen times, I failed to, at first comprehend his question, and later, to locate any such reference.  I took a long pause, considered my words well and was about to reply, that I remembered my father’s words, he always tells me to ascertain ones capacity and capability before debating. In his words, “Behas se pehle patrata sunishchit karna aawashyak hai, gyan supathr ko diya jata hai kupathr ko nahi”(before debating, always ascertain capacity and capability of other person, wisdom be shared with an able person, not with a fool.).

I drew a long breath, while signalling the waiter, I coolly replied, “you are right buddy, I shouldn’t visit temples”.

With only few people able to read and understand Sanskrit, Hindu scriptures have been badly translated by those who know this language, but do not understand philosophy that is deeply ingrained in Hindu history. Isolated, lose and casual translations of Hindu history are ensuring extinction of treasure trove of wisdom.

Theism Leads To Atheism

Belief in God has been a practice since times immemorial. Religion plays a vital role in defining the practices and systems which guide people through the system of complex beliefs that define God. Civilisations spread over large geographic areas had common systems of beliefs, and civilisations separated by geographic barriers developed different set of beliefs. Term Religion had no place in social systems.

Yet, ancient Greek systems of worship and Gods had a striking similarity with the practice and beliefs of Aryans which is now called ‘Hinduism’. The Gods, the weapons a particular God carried, the powers and duties ascribed to the Gods were very similar. With civilisations growing in size and geographies and thinkers trying to find explanations to unanswerable doctrines in existing religious practices started defining beliefs in their own way to create more systems of beliefs or religions. Centres of influences, to further strengthen their influence also created new religions. The ones who still disagreed with the existing systems of beliefs became Atheists.

Present day narrative of religion is entwined around human desire to overcome nature and its laws and is governed by eternal darkness which engulfs us all. To begin with, religion became a refuge from the sufferings, we had and have someone to fall back upon or to blame for those sufferings. Religion gets engraved in our minds, from tender years, in such a manner that we are prejudiced against any thinking which questions religious practice, and thus pushing us into irrevocable slavery. The ones who found it difficult to cope with above two became atheists.

Atheism on the other hand liberates one from all bondages that current narrative of religion imposes. Theism and Atheism get demarcated by the narration of religion we follow. A liberal religious practice, confirming to the laws of nature and the liberty to question the narrative of religion, where philosophy does not become the abode for the weak, but it encourages enlightenment, erases all differences between atheism and theism.

I am a devout Hindu Brahmin, I support a Janeu (Yagopavit), a sacred thread which is worn around left shoulder and symbolises affirmation to sacraments and that I shall always remain within the framework of socially acceptable behaviour. Being a devout Hindu Brahmin I have a strong belief that Hinduism itself teaches us Atheism. Essentially, our disagreement with current religious practice and our complete confirmation to correct narrative of religious practice, both lead us to Atheism.

Most revered deities in Hinduism – Brahma, Narayan, Shiv and Shakti are more metaphorical than being real beings. Brahma or Braham is super consciousness, it cannot be a physically existing object. Naryan is Nar and Ayan. While Hinduism has a very complex definition of Nar, a simple definition defines it as soul. Ayan in Sanskrit means abode. Narayan is abode to the soul. Shiv itself is has no form and thus no existence, Shiv in Sanskrit means the one gifting wellbeing to all. Shakti is wand of energy. The energy which can only be realised by Yog or union, union with super consciousness.

Metaphoric presentation in Hinduism does not halt with deities. The weapons they hold too are metaphors. Trident, the most prominent weapon in hands of Shiv and Shakti is a complex metaphor. Trident is represented by a long shaft and three sharp spears at the end of shaft. The spears represent Kaam/Karm (actions), Arth (Knowledge) and Dharm (the righteous way of living). The shaft represents Moksh (liberation or realisation of Super consciousness). Kaam, Arth and Dharm lead to Moksh.

Bhagwat Gita, nowhere talks about rituals. It talks about leading virtuous life with subdued senses, the senses which are source of Lust, Anger, Greed, fear and attachment to physical being. Theism practiced in true form does not need the concept of God and that perhaps is atheism. Atheism on the other hand leads you to realising super consciousness within, and that’s what actually theism teaches.

 

Beginning of Doubt is End of Faith

Krishn says in The Bhagwat Gita, fearlessness is granted to the ones who surrender in front of me. Fearlessness is not a tangible thing which one can have once he surrenders in front of God. Fearlessness for sure is a state of mind.  Then why at all do we need to surrender in front of God, He, for sure is no narcissist, and we can always get into that state of mind at our own.

It’s not that in case you surrender in front of God you will be absolved of all kinds of worldly sufferings and you can continue to live without fear of any suffering. If you are born you must go through the cycle of happiness and misery, brightness and darkness, hope and frustration, joy and grief, success and failure and so on.

Surrender makes you indifferent to such cycles. Your life becomes a straight line with no slope, nothing weavers it. The slope if at all exists is that of spiritual elevation, the realisation of more harmonious waves emanating from you. You keep deploying efforts but are indifferent to all that the efforts reap, good or bad, you keep aiming higher. Indifference does not mean you have no aim, you simply surrender desires associated with those aims.

Bible describes Jesus saying during crucifixion, “God have you forsaken me.” He was distracted from his vision of God, while being crucified by the pain inflicted upon him, it was not that Jesus doubted that the God would forsake him, but what worried him was how worldly pain could distract him from God. The unfettered faith that he had in God let him go in for crucifixion without feeling pain for long, and that was fearlessness.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji let his three Sahibzadas (sons) get entombed alive, refusing to bow in front of a tyrant, that was faith he had on his mission, he surrendered everything to that mission, and that was fearlessness. That’s when ‘Khalsa- The Pure’ came into existence. If you haven’t surrendered completely and have a grain of doubt within you, you are not Khalsa.

Mahatma Gandhi, after he was thrown out of train, chose nonviolence as his weapon, that was fearlessness and that came from the faith in the strength of nonviolence. He completely surrendered to the idea of nonviolence.

Bhagat Singh, after killing Saunders and throwing bombs at parliament could have escaped, yet he got himself captured. He had completely surrendered to the idea of enlightening the fire of nationalism in Indians by self-sacrifice.

Fearlessness is complete faith in any noble idea, that noble idea is God and unflinching faith is surrender. The moment your faith weavers you feel the pain and joy of happiness and misery, brightness and darkness, hope and frustration, joy and grief, success and failure and so on.

Fearlessness makes one realise the futility of abundance and absence of worldly things. Once fearless you realise the futility of absence and presence of almost everything you desired.

A grain of Doubt in the thought process of Jesus while he was undergoing made him realise he was undergoing pain. A grain of doubt on the holiness of his mission would have made Guru Gobind Singh not so great. A grain of doubt in Mahatma’s mind would have left us devoid of the great philosophy he gave to mankind. A grain of doubt in Bhagat Singh’s mind would have left him as ordinary as anyone amongst us.

An incomplete thought, blanks to be filled in by you.

 

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