Temple of faith

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I was on a break this week from work, I always enjoy my breaks when either I have nothing to do, or I am on travel seeing new places. This time the break was for a reason totally unlike me, A pilgrimage break. I am not that much of religious traveler, don’t like to frequent holy places.

This time I was on my way to one of the most famous, really rich and extremely crowded temples in India. The turnover of this temple in terms of donations from the people can easily put to shame the biggest of the industries in India. The most icky feeling about the temple, is the amount of crowd, and their unruliness.

If I were to describe my trip, First half of my trip was a nightmare, the second a hell, with a short glimpse of glory in between.

As I stood there in the queue to enter the shrine, with lakhs of people waiting, thousands of kids crying, hundreds around me pushing, my only thought was to feel atleast once that, the faith was worth the pain. I just wanted to feel atleast once, “I want to go through all this for the faith I have, the religion I follow, and all the good things god has done to me“. I just wanted to feel the holiness once.

Right there, standing, I was facing a conflict. I wanted to concentrate on my faith, think about praying, but no, all my mind could do was think about my paining foot, which was being stamped, by I don’t know, how many people, my one year old niece who was crying because of suffocation and because we got separated from her mother due to the commotion, my hungry nephew who just wanted to get off the line and go back, my old aunt who was low on sugar and really struggling. Just a look around, and you can see lot many elderly people struggling, kids crying, people fighting over their places in the queue. I simply could not get the feeling of holy spirit.

The question on my mind was, is it really worth, to go through all this for a moment of faith. Or was this my failure, my inability to concentrate on my faith, my inability to overcome the worldly happenings and concentrate on just one thing GOD. I admit it was my failure to think beyond other things, I doubt if many people who were there had that ability either. I think I would anyday give more importance to my kin over my faith, my worldly life over this so called religious life.

I may sound extremely un-religious, I guess I am not, I am just not a big fan of a particular temple worship, I think the God, or the religion is same anywhere, any temple, any city. If I am not able to focus and do my own little prayers, I don’t think that should be the place I should be in. I am sure no religion ever talks about a particular place to pray, nor any God talks about a particular place.

With All said and done, I must admit that the feeling when you actually have that short glimpse of the idol, there is still that enormous faith which comes out of you. It may not be focused, spiritual and honest way it should have been.

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6 responses »

  1. I know what you’re saying and personally, I abhor any kind of ‘organised worship’. After having been through enough of the jostling and very ‘unholy’ experience of big religious gatherings, I’ve concluded that spirituality is an individual pursuit, best done by introspection, alone, as quiet as possible. Perhaps that’s blasphemous but I’ve found my peace this way rather than the first…and what more is spirituality but that search for the divine?

  2. i’m probably the most unreligious person in my class. not that i’m proud of that.. but i am interested in learning more about my religion, it’s just that i wasn’t brought up in a religious environment..

  3. Like ideasmith, I abhor organised religion. Yep I understand why people turn to it and what they find in it. But I don’t think spirituality is something that can be or should be packaged and organised. It is a personal communion with “god”/the creator/the universal energy/spirit whatever one chooses to call it. As such, silence, introspection, nature or meditation bring one far closer to god that idols, altars, temples, shrines and churches. But hey, that’s just me. We each walk our own path and each path, ironically leads to the top of the same mountain – we just enjoy different views.

  4. Guys, this was not something to do with spirituality, I never mix spirituality with religion and faith.

    @Ideasmith.
    Actually I dont abhor organized worship, sometimes I feel inadequate and unable to understand the tremendous faith some people have, and end up being in dilemma to chose the self or the blind faith.
    As far as spirituality goes I totally agree with you..

    @Jos,
    A small suggestion, I am sure you would have amazing things to learn about religion, just make sure you learn the right way, and more importantly more than the ritual the real intent.

    @Absolute.
    I would go a little further, I kind of find few places easier to control my mind, and hence love those places, some people might find this place in a church or a shrine, and I have no issues against it. But A particular place, amidst all chaos, somehow cant believe people can really achieve what they sought out for, atleast not me.

  5. I’m suppose to be going to Rome this spring with my aunts. While there, I am sure I will travel to The Vatican which is the Catholic Mecca. I was raised Catholic, but for many years I have no participated in Church and do not really consider myself a Catholic. I have no idea what my experience will be like, if I do end up going to Rome and The Vatican…but I imagine it’ll be similar. I think the main reason I will make an attempt to go through is to see The Sistine Chapel.

  6. @Silver
    Hope you have a great trip, there is so much to learn with religion, its just the fact that intent and the true principles have got lost somewhere down the ages

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