Religion, GOD and Spirituality - II

Coming to GOD now... well, for me, any person or thing who/which has helped me at a time when I most needed him/it, is a manifestation of God only! My friends, who stood with me when my mom died, were God for me at that time! People who helped me get back on the path of Spiritual Growth and Self Awareness, when I was wondering about where my life was heading, were God for me at that point of time in my life! In fact, even my maid seems to be like God in disguise to me, when she comes in at JUST the right time to lend me a helping hand in coping with a house full of guests!

God, for me, is the Supreme Energy, my Higher-Self or the Divine Consciousness. He is the Light that shines on all beings. However, just like we can't see light by itself, similarly we can't see God in his formless existence. But the way we see the objects that the light falls upon and gets reflected from, same way we see manifestations of God in different forms; we see different reflections of this Divine Light called GOD!

So often it happens that I am desperately searching for some answers - about anything and everything, about myself, about my very existence, about life itself, about how and why things happen the way they do - and suddenly I would meet someone, a complete stranger maybe, who would provide me the answer I'm looking for in the course of a general conversation! Or I would land up on a website having the answer for me, while I was browsing for something completely different on the internet! Something or the other would happen around me, which wouldn't be directly related to my question in anyway, but would nevertheless provide me the sudden flash of insight I need! And at that particular moment, it feels like God Himself has manifested in that form to give me the answers!

Call it my stupidity or naivety if you will... terming these "coincidences" as "acts of God"... but over the years I have realized that believing in an invisible super-force, present beside me at all times, gives me the faith and courage to jump into the deepest and darkest waters of this vast ocean called "life"... knowing that I am not alone and that I have my "life-jacket" on me which would get me back to the shore no-matter-what!

But then again, there are some in this world, who don't even mind venturing out completely on their own!...

Hey you know what, I think I'll update this post again in the near future! I think my perceptions about God are going to change (or maybe become more expansive) very soon! So keep watching this space!

Religion, GOD and Spirituality - I

Well, I promised earlier here that I would pen-down my views on God, Religion and Spirituality somewhere later in my blog - here I am now. Finally!

Let's start with religion first. Like I said earlier, I am not a very religious or ritual-oriented person. (And my new profile at orkut also says I'm "more spiritual than religious"!) Religion, as is prevalent right now, for me, simply means "the Art of Living", as laid down by our fore-fathers. All the rituals included are for a scientific reason – ringing the bell and chanting "mantras" for sound-therapy, lighting a diya for removing negativity, incense sticks for aroma-therapy, “parikrama” around the statue, on the graveled floor of the temple, for acupressure! Even keeping a separate "puja-room" has a very scientific reason behind it - it implies that you have a fixed space in your house full of positive vibrations, and any kind of meditation done there would greatly enhance the outcome!

Now, for me, practicing ALL this on a daily basis tends to turn it into some kind-of mechanical routine, which eventually loses its essence over a period of time. I mean, what's the point of chanting mantras if your mind is totally elsewhere? So instead of indulging myself in such practices which don't really require much awareness on one's part, I have decided to follow a completely different "religion"! The one laid down by the "Five Principles of Reiki"!

Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will show kindness and respect to all living beings.
Just for today, I will live the attitude of gratitude.

I have learnt, with experience, that repeating these affirmations every morning keeps me going positive through the entire day. I have also learnt that if I'm feeling low at any point during the day, repeating these affirmations again mentally gives me the required energy boost and a renewed surge of optimism and faith!

For me...
"religion" is helping a person in need;
"religion" is reaching out with a loving hand, towards a weeping heart;
"religion" is spreading light & hope where there is darkness & despair;
"religion" is uttering a kind word where there is hurt;
"religion" is lending an ear to listen & a shoulder to cry on where there is pain;
"religion" is giving a smile to those who have none of theirs to give;
"religion" is looking after my family in the best possible way that I can.

I believe that when I succeed at following this "religion", each and every time I get a chance to, I will have found my "GOD"!

The Little Kitty

Once upon a time, there was a little kitten. She lived with her master in a very beautiful cottage, in a secluded area on the outskirts of a town, where there were several other similar small cottages along a row. It was a quiet and peaceful locality. Not much interference from the neighbors. The Little Kitty practically had the entire house to herself when her master was at work. She would play in the small garden with the ball of wool that her master had given her, she would chase the butterflies away from the flowers in the lawn, dig up dirt, or simply lie on the grass and soak the sun!

Then one day, another family, from out-of-town, moved into the cottage next to theirs. This family owned a dog - a large Saint Bernard. Now this Mr. Bernard used to have a whole lot of friends back at his "old home" - all the other dogs who lived there in the same street as him, they were all very pally with him... and together, they had created plenty of mischief and had had loads of fun!

Mr. Bernard used to miss all his friends here. He had nobody to play with here, in this small row of cottages. Every day, he used to come down to the fence between his & the Kitty's cottage and he used to
sit there and watch the Little Kitty playing with her ball of wool on the grass. He used to be really amazed when the Little Kitty got herself entangled in the wool and rolled helplessly on the grass to free herself! He'd never before in his life seen a creature who could be so silly as that Little Kitty! He wanted to play with her and be friends with her.

One day, he discovered a small gap in the fence between the two properties. It was towards the back and was just big enough to let him squeeze through it. He marveled at his good fortune and crossed over to the Little Kitty's lawn, thinking that finally he would be able to play with her and her weird ball of wool! He even took his tattered tennis-ball with him, thinking that he would teach her how to play with that too!

But the welcome he got there wasn't quite what he had expected! The Little Kitty was used to living alone, all by herself. And so when she saw this "big furry monster" encroaching her land, her personal space, she got real scared! Each time Mr. Bernard tried to come closer, she scratched at him with her sharp claws! Mr. Bernard simply couldn't understand why she was doing this. All he wanted was to play with her! But he didn't realize that the Little Kitty was simply terrified of letting him get close to her, because she thought of him as a "City Dog", a "Big-Bully" who would probably hurt her!

Mr. Bernard tried his best to win the Little Kitty's heart, but how could he do that before winning her trust? Eventually, he got tired and left the Little Kitty's lawn, badly bruised and scarred. After that day, he even stopped coming down to that part of his lawn where
the fence overlooked the Little Kitty's garden, to watch her play. He simply drowned himself in loneliness and misery, thinking that this was not a very friendly place... and wished he could go back to his "old home"!

Four months later, a new family arrived in their neighborhood from the city. This family also owned a dog - a beautiful female Collie. Now Collie had been born and brought up entirely in the city and, as such, she had all the suaveness and street smartness that any city-dog would have. She was friendly and outgoing and knew how to carry herself with grace. So when she saw Mr. Bernard out on his evening stroll one day, she gave him a big woofy "Hi" and wagged her tail to greet him. Mr. Bernard recognized this gesture as a sign of friendship and decided to "peep out of his shell" once again.

With time, Collie and Mr. Bernard became great friends and spent almost all their time with each other! And Little Kitty... well poor thing! She never could understand that the "big guy" had meant no harm! He had only wanted a playmate in her! And so Little Kitty remained without any friend for the rest of her life... with only her "ball of wool" to play with!

--- X ---

Here's more in Fiction!

Relationships ???

Was just wondering today about the so many different relationships I am in, with so many different people... my dad, my sister, my relatives, my friends, my best friends... and also about the so many different relationships I've had in the past, with people who are not in my life anymore... my mom, old classmates, school teachers, office-colleagues, so-called "boyfriends"...

I have met so many MANY people in my life. Why is it that some of them still continue to be a part of my life while some don't? What if the people who have been with me for so long now were to leave me or grow apart from me someday? Would it hurt me? Would it make my life miserable and not worth living? Am I so dependent on any one person for my happiness in life? What difference would it make if my friends didn't have time to see me or talk to me anymore? How would it affect me if they didn't feel the need to share their lives with me anymore?

Did I bring them along with me when I was born? I did bring my 2 legs, 2 hands, 2 eyes, a nose, mouth, 2 ears, lungs, a heart, a brain... So if I needed someone so essentially here to live my life, wouldn't I have brought him/her along with me too? But I didn't. Then what exactly are relationships for? Are they just instruments God gave us to help us do our job here, complete the assignments we were sent here to do?

How do relationships come into existence by the way? Two people met. One was bold & confident. The other was gentle & giving. They spent some time together & decided they make a good team together. So they became friends. Two more people met. One was witty & humorous. The other was organized & helpful. They decided to become friends too. Another two people met. One was wise & wanted to help others with his wisdom. And the other was going through some tough times. They had reasons to benefit from each other too.

And thus I sat down and analyzed all the various relationships I have been in so far & have seen around me till now. And I realized that each person in my life came in for a specific purpose. Each of my friends, relatives & family members had a role to play in my growth & development. Just like I had a role to play in theirs. And once that purpose is fulfilled, we just "move on".

Children find friends at school... & the parents are left behind. Adults find girlfriends/boyfriends or get married... & friends are left behind too. Husbands find "challenge-thrills" at work & wives are left behind. Wives get busy with children & husbands are left behind. It's like each one of us is a "stepping stone" for the people in our lives... just like they are for each one of us!

What does this make us then? Selfish? Or is this the way we were destined to be? Is this what is called "detachment"? You need someone for a certain period in your life... and then you "out-grow" them (like clothes!) and seek the next person who'd help you along
the next phase of your life's journey. We don't get attached to our old clothes & shoes. Then why do we want people to stay with us forever? Each person in our life is there for a specific phase in our life. Then why do we want to remain stuck in one particular phase only, just so we don't have to let go of the people with us in that phase?

That two people might decide to transit together to the next phases of their lives respectively is a different matter. But if one person chooses to remain stuck in one phase, thereby holding back the other person's growth too, then isn't it better for the latter to move on without the former? What really is the main purpose of our lives? To work on our own growth or to form ties? And even if we do form everlasting ties with people, then what? Are we going to take them along with us when we die too? But we didn't bring them along with us when we were born, remember?