MIDWAY : Quid pro quo
The nation is in the throes of festivities. In fact our festival season begins with the onset of monsoon and lasts until winter. There is not a single month in the interim which does not have a happy occasion to offer. One thing which is common meanwhile is nearly all our festivals have a spiritual ring. Every such occasion sees us taking time off to stand before a presiding deity with eyes closed, hands joined and head bowed.
The recent past, for example, threw us into hectic activities in appeasing as many as ten presiding deities. We are now fast hurtling towards a similar stampede to please that elusive Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi, next. While some celebrate time-honoured festivals by fasting which is part of the self-mortification exercise, others simply take recourse to sacrificing unsuspecting animals. Lately, there is a movement against animal sacrifice though. But we all seek blessings whenever we come across any such opportunity. Imagine also the fact that beggars on the streets and millionaires in palaces have the same divine entity to look up to.
The moot question: Who are the souls who deserve divine blessings and whether all are entitled to rewards regardless of the intensity with which they pray? The question is complicated given the never-ending queues at religious shrines or those wiping away their tears in a secluded corner of their homes. Then there are those who do not even shed tears! They have lumps in the throat.
But here is a revelation that blessings and divine love are distributed in the fairest manner imaginable. The belief is that since god is immanent in each of us, he makes it sure that there is neither cross-posting nor any short-changing when it comes to responding to prayers.
Meanwhile, going by what Brij Parikari Devi — a celebrated disciple of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj — a devotee gets as much divine love as he or she has for His Majesty! A divine quid pro quo, this. Much like lunch, blessings never come for free. The bad news is that the same divine entity may sometimes decide against rewarding some chosen few too early on in their lives. Reason being that he who presides over our affairs finds pleasure in subjecting true devotees to ordeal by fire.