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.