I am not a devout person in the conventional sense of the word. My understanding of the various religious rituals is pretty rudimentary. Not something to be proud of I know.. but also not something that bothers me in any way. I do believe in God. I do pray. But in my own way, much to the chagrin of those who expect others to believe in their beliefs.
But, doesn’t that go against the very definition of faith? It has to be personal, it cannot be generalized. Fortunately, most understand and there is a mutual respect for each other’s ideologies when it comes to Almighty.
Over the years, I have sincerely endeavored to make myself more aware about religion and the rationale behind different thought processes. This has indubitably enlightened me and also made me more accepting, more appreciative and certainly more considerate towards conflicting beliefs. What I have come to recognise is that ultimately it is all about establishing that “connection” with the Supreme. Sometimes, it can happen within the confines of the bedroom. Sometimes, it can happen because of the aura of a holy shrine. Sometimes, it can happen in the lap of nature. And sometimes, one may not feel the need to establish that connection at all.
To me, devotion has never been about pleasing God. God is not the destination. Had it been so, atheists would have gone astray which is not true in any way. God is the means. God is the path through which I find strength to introspect, to submit, to find peace and to tap the reservoir within which lies dormant at times due to the daily grind of life. The last time I had felt so deeply lost in sublime reverence was at Golden Temple. The temple was thronged with devotees, yet there was no pushing around or attempts to get in the way of others. Because, each one present there had surrendered to the divine power inside them. I could feel the spiritual connection. I felt vulnerable. I felt powerful. I met myself – my raw and unmasked self.