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A subtle exposé

The following is an email Gurdas sent us:
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Hi!,

Below is an email I had started last October but never finished .... maybe now is a better time to do so...

Love,
Gurdas

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In the last few years, my belief in the existence of a supreme power has been strengthened through unique personal experiences. It has been said "Some things you need to see to believe. Some others you need to believe to see".
God (whatsoever be the definition) definitely falls in the second category.

With this email, I attempt at sharing these experiences. I hope they trigger the reader to question his/her beliefs and maybe, out of those who do not already, some will start believing beyond the ordinary.

This particular episode happened during my recent trips to Nashik. To reach Nashik from Baroda, I prefer going thru Mumbai. A direct connection was not available and 12 hour travel by bus is not my idea of safe and relaxed travel. So, I decided to take a night train from Baroda which would drop me in Mumbai (Dadar) at 4:30am. And then take a bus that leaves Mumbai at 6:30 am and drops me in Nashik 4 hours later.

I left office at the last hour and rushed to the house of the family who have been lovingly feeding me for the last few years. Jyotsnaben, the lady of the house and I usually chat along.
So, as I rushed through my dinner, I was telling her of my travel to Nashik and she happened to mention that since I am going all the way to Nashik, I should also plan to visit Shirdi and pay homeage to Sai Baba.

I have a different sense of religion and do not put much stock in any kind of temple or image. I hardly ever visit the gurudwara and whenever I do, it is when it is least populated. So, in tune with my sensibilities, I replied to Jyotsnaben's suggestion with haste and maybe even some contempt. I said something like "who has the time for a visit to Shirdi?"

Something inside me shouted "mistake!" but since she did not react, I too kept silent.

Food over, I proceeded to the railway station, caught the train and reached Dadar on time. The early morning air was fresh and one could feel a lot of life in it. Mumbai probably never sleeps and true to this image there were people scrambling about even at this early hour. There was a certain bounce in my walk. This was helped by the wonderful FM music on air. What else could I have asked for? Before I realised I had reached the spot where I was to board the bus. Waiting is usualy the difficult part in any journey and I prefer to be on the move. Sure there are occassions when simply sitting without a thought or movement is bliss. I looked around for a place to settle down because the bus was due only 2 hours later. My eye caught sight of a small structure with stairs in front of it. This was under a tree and the poor light prevented a very clear view of what was inside the structure. It looked like a mandir but which one was not clear. Anyway, I settled down, stretched my legs and continued to enjoy the FM music. To add to my joy there was a tea vendor and tea was soon added to my list of comforts.

So passed my next one hour. By then the sun had peeked through the darkness and it was a cozy (but not bright) light around. I got up for my next cup of tea. The shock came when I returned to the stairs which had been bearing me for the last 60 minutes.

The "mandir" was of Sai Baba.

For a few seconds I just stared. And in those moments I was grounded into dust. I felt washed away and in some strange manner loved. My non-chalance of the last evening flashed by and I have rarely felt 'smaller' in my life. I also experienced a total absence of ego. Once I got through the shock a smile broke my lips. A silent thankyou was said somewhere within my being. Not only for the generosity of God but more for his utterly unique and unforgettable manner of teaching a lesson. It is said there is no teacher greater than life. I agree.

After this episode I made another two visits to Nashik. On each occassion I sunk into the pleasure of sitting on the same stairs. Each time I was reminded of my lesson. Each time I felt loved and wanted. Each time I felt truly connected and belonging to the universe.

Time did not permit me a visit to Shirdi. Hopefully I have still been lucky to realise a truth and be blessed.

I have purposefully left out putting into words the realisation. It needs to be felt and not read or written.
One passing note - There is hardly a day when we are not touched and caressed by God and Life. One need not read any book if one can read the book of life.

One full lifetime, one full circle.

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My Reply:

Being surrounded by the miracle of Nature, it's impossible not to be overwhelmed by it. Those who are complacent turn to religion; those who aren't turn to science. Religion is the world's most elaboate hoax, God being its crux. Science is our disciplined (& often self-correcting) investigation into the truth. Religion leapfrogs logic (and truth) to house us in make-believe fantacies that suspend our ability to thing with clarity. Science treads the oft-difficult route to exactitude, gruesome though it may be.
I hope those lucky enough to be endowed with a decent education find the courage to strive for the truth. Our odyssey can make do without figments that religion entraps us with.

Comments

Anonymous said…
An oversubscribed viewpoint from Deepanjan. I was expecting something original. Shall breathe some more days before I reply to his views.

Deepanjan: The reply will come as another email. Can I expect you to post it here?
Deepanjan said…
Guru, I would love to share your comments with the rest of the world! I'll be glad to publish your views in my blog.
BTW, my views are 100% original unless otherwise stated. I always give the devil his due!
Anonymous said…
logic-something that religion is VERY uncomfortable with.

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