From God-fearing to God-loving.


“Om shun…Shanaischaraya Namaha”…is all that my lips chant since yesterday… Yesterday was a really auspicious day, the religious calendars said…with all those moon, sun, planet and star positioning….some great day that had come after a span of 170 years….isn’t it amazing??

I was amazed too…this day was called the Shani Divas….the day of the Saturn god….known to bring in hard times for people like you and I….

S o many poojas would have to be done…so many chants…so many rituals…lest we invoke Shani Maharaj’s annoyance and all that we would then have would be misfortune…

So then pooja’s had to be done any way…even the not so pious man would fear being an atheist this day….So everybody joined the bandwagon of devotees to please Shani Mahaprabhu and earn their share of the fortune cookie….

Thank God that it was my friend’s papa who had taken us to Mehrauli…the Largest Shani temple in Delhi…Had it been my papa I would never have been able to make it to the pooja mandap… 😛

From 7:45 to 10:45….we were in the queue…with thousand others….a small booklet of Shani mantras….a parched throat and a scorching sun above was all that we had…Me and my friend were taking turns reading that tiny book for a while thinking the queue would dissolve as we did so….but then we had to turn back and take solace at the increasing numbers behind us rather than the numbers before in the queue…

From dusty streets to green carpet strips….we never could know where the actual temple was for nearly 2 hours…as the media people from India TV and P7 thronged the place for an interesting capture….

The wait led to a relieve period as we saw the temple gate and the mist from the unusual water spraying fans touched our red hot faces….Maroon never seemed soo good before until we were shifted to a maroon carpet patch and came to realize this was the last part of the queue… 😀

Unitl then I had lost the last iota of energy…ceased looking back or front…had shut my lips indefinitely….and just kept the chant going within my head, knowing that I may swoon any time soon. 😛  My friend’s father with hair all gray and forbearance at an epoch was my inspiration to keep me going in the infinite wait….

I was surprised to see new entrants fighting their way into the mid of the queue with so much of an audacious shamelessness, in lying to the volunteers that they were there since the morning…. O great!! they really understood the essence of praying to God and visiting temples….chicanery and deception had seeped into our bloods so much…..that made us lie on days that we considered so auspicious….

As the queue ended and so did the wait eventually…we caught a glimpse of Shani Maharaj’s Gigantic idol….I could never explain the turbulence within me…the sight made us all forget that our heels were roasting on the heated floor…I had prepared a long list of family ailments and ”things to ask for”….soon that list started playing in my head…Rewind…Pause…Forward ….and Play…. 🙂

As we all bought Pooja Thalis…we were sure God would definitely hear us this time…. We had come so far…waited so long….and had held on to faith all our lives…. Yes…the pain was worth a reward….

People were all frantic and flustered as Shani Maharaj was known to be an angry God… They should certainly perform all those rituals….and all the more religiously lest they displease bhagwanji….The Fear Factor frenzying the Diya hall…where the crowd kept on crashing into each other and each of us….at the peak of our panics….as our Diyas didn’t light…”O my God what a omen it was!!….Will it bring misfortune for sure…or was there any ritual that would compensate???!!!!” 😦

They said we were supposed to light the Diyas with our own matchstick and should not share the flame with another’s diya…as it would dump his sack of sins onto ours….O God!! Never  would I take anybody’s sins!! Was my share of sins less bothersome that I would crave for more…!!???!! 😛

…there was a separate queue for offering oil to bhagawanji….we entered that too…bought our offerings and set off…But Lo!! They would only allow Men folk to do so…and only when they took their baths and changed into a miniscule piece of red langot!!!…. 🙂

So all we could do was hand over our bottles to a someone in the queue and take leave…

….Gulping down the last sip of the lassi there and looking at the new people in the queue…we were delighted beyond measure….that we had finally done it!!

Dozing off in the car….I came back to my senses in the underground parking of Bangla Sahib…I wished for a bed but was bumped into the lift…. 😦

And as we entered the gurudwara compound…the moments were overpowering… fraught with flash backs of my entire life…

People say…” Hands that help are holier than lips that pray…But then I came to know this after coming here…after coming to you ….. to fold my hands in prayer…to open my lips for taking your name…. Your prayers have made me realize…I need to understand first and to be understood second….”

As I came to see those hands that not only joined in prayer but also helped the needy… those lips that not only chanted your name but also uttered words of compassion… I felt strangely relieved….I didn’t have to choose which was holier….which was better 🙂

As we kept our shoes in the shoe racks…I wished there would be any ritual to keep me consumed…to keep me away from this “difficult to handle” feeling…but I hardly could find any…I found myself gaping at the all sophisticated people who might have been dropped by a Mercedes and were polishing shoes here….cleaning the floor with a radiant smile emanating from their faces….

The water from the tubes at the feet of the stairs wet my feet…I felt it wet my heart too…cleaned my feet and cleansed my soul…. as I bowed down to kiss the stairs…I saw little girls of my age were offering the Amrit Jal…never had the water tasted soo different…We took the halwa Prasad into the gurudwara…and having done the parikrama….sat down to pray…

Then it just would not stop…dripping incessantly… as if determined to flush away all that I had…and never again moisten my cheeks….I suddenly had a running nose too…and I found myself floundering which one to wipe…the eyes or the nose??!!

Thank God that we drape our Dupattas over  our heads here…that hid some of the water flow…and Thank God…that she never questions too much….perhaps she was going through the same as was I…

They were chanting the Amrit Vaani…and I was startled to find my soul responding to a language that I couldn’t even remotely understand….The words Prem and Satya…..being repeated over and over …..and tears running down over and over…

I couldn’t take it any more and so decided to move out…as we got into the waiting hall for having the langar….I was still trying to figure out why couldn’t I ask Bhagwaanji for a single thing from my wish list….except a “samastanka bhala hou….May everybody have your good will….” How dumb I was to forget wishing??!!…the shani chant still hanging around my head….made me feel dizzier than ever before…..

The wait ended soon and we were made to sit in a commodious hall with an assortment of people from all layers of our social strata…

It was more than describable more than divine as a feeble old man kept reciting… “ wahe guru da khalsa …wahe guru di fateh….and something followed by a satnaam….” I switched off everything within me…even the chants…. and my lips repeated his words….

We finished the lunch and set out….

Everybody was smiling at each other…as if they had known each other since ages…. everybody seemed so fearless….the intrepid aura clearly warming each soul…there was no ritual that could go wrong…there was no folly that could enrage Bhagwaanji….there was no nothing that could stir up the serenity….all that pervaded was Peace….

As we were buying a few kadaas…the echoes of the amrit vaani was playing both loud and gentle….something which meant…”You have come here to me….with all your fears….but just don’t forget my child….you need not fear when I am here…. Just don’t worry….Surrender yourself….surrender….because I am there….and I will take care….”

Thanks…..I do believe you will take care….all my life I have asked you for so many things..never realizing you already knew what I desire….what I deserve….and that you will take care….

I had feared all my life whether my prayers would be answered?? Whether the diya that I couldn’t light at the first stroke would bring me misfortune??  Whether consciously  or unconsciously I commit a folly…and what if the folly isn’t a folly, but a sin??…..Never realizing,  I was merely a medium….whatever happened and whatever would happen was all a part of your design….

Today I go back….and having taken so much from you…I return back all that I had been collecting since consciousness prevailed….Yes….I  give you all my fears….just one…that, “Do I deserve all that I desire??” for the first time in life I pray to deserve rather than desire….Well …I know..You would take care of everything….and you would make me capable of deserving whatever I desire in life…and beyond…..

I had come here God-fearing….and I go back loving you….loving myself…loving whatever you have surrounded me with….

I go back fearless….I go back God-loving……

Because I know…You would take care……

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7 responses to “From God-fearing to God-loving.

  1. Pingback: Shabrimala to Shani temple- tale of anti-Hindu feminists – YugaParivartan

  2. YOU ARE ALWAYS GREAT AT WRITING ……………..BUT REALLY THIS WAS VERY HEART TOUCHING………………..

  3. Hi Rocky nani!
    this is surely a cool post!

    • Hi dear!
      thanx fr the compliments…

      • Hey Pammy,

        I would say this blog have changed us in realizing that there is always something good b4 us but we have to have some hardship b4 achieving tht.

        God is gr8, he knows who struggles and who enjoys the reaped benefit of others. Life is holy & divine if we don’t expect anything frm life but put our sheer efforts for that.

        U have rightly pointed out in this blog and i encourage everyone who is a follower of her blog, do read this, if u wanna realize the importance of prayers in our life.

        “Love all, God will luv u”
        All the best for ur future pammy.
        Gr8 piece of writing.

        Regards
        ARMY

  4. Hey dear….its beautiful….Having known u fr years , I know that you wud have really felt all these….N i wish that u get all tht u desire because u truly deserve all teh gud things in life….

    • loads of thank u dear… for such good wishes….good will is something that is hard to find these days….thnx fr giving it 2 me.. 🙂

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