MIDWAY : The true gods
Swagat Raj Pandey
Why did your wind-bell give you the wind-bell?" is one question my elder brother asks me whenever he looks at the wind-chimes my friend gifted me on my birthday. At every inquisition of his on the topic, I ask myself the same question, "why did she give me the wind-bell?" I never hesitated to ask her why. She explained it by saying that she found me very religious and was somewhat the first person to take her to temples she never visited. According to her I was a person inclined to the more spiritual life and the moment she saw the wind-bell reminded her of a religious guy, who according to her is supposed to be me.
After hearing her explanations, I asked myself, "Am I religious? Do I believe in god or not?" As being born in a Brahmin family, I am accustomed to all the religious duties one has to know and perform. The habits and duties that have been put on me by my family members have made me look like I am religious.
Being a Hindu, I obviously have to be part of all the religious functions and ceremonies. Going to temples, performing pujas and all other regular stuff all owes to the habits I have been made to acquire. As it is said, "Habit is the second nature of man", my habit of respecting the unknown supernatural power and state of god has become my second nature. Even then, who is god? What is god? Where is god? Is god he or she? How is god? Has anyone seen god? Has anyone ever met god? Has anyone ever known god? Who told the world about god? How did that person know about god? Did that person meet god? etc. are questions that arise in my mind every time the topic of god comes out.
About six years ago, when I was with Ezam Uddin, a Muslim classmate of mine, I remember bowing in front of a big frame written ‘Allah’ in Urdu. He was astounded to find a Hindu bowing in respect to a Muslim idol. I don’t know why but I always have a feeling that either I shouldn’t believe in god or if I did, the name of a religion should not be why I should have any regard to it. And, it’s been the same throughout my life, until now.
As far as I am concerned I hold that if we truly believe in god, our parents are the true gods. Respect them, love them, have faith in them, follow them, and worship them. Nothing else matters if you don’t worship your parents, the true gods, the gods you know, the gods you can see, the gods who know you and most importantly the gods who truly care for you and do not hesitate to be there at all times.