Monday, 6 January 2020

My return to my gods

I grew up in a city.
And what i saw was many temple visits. By many people. Without that deepest charity, without that deep and active engagement with the disparity and poverty, that is the soul of everything.
I saw many rituals without the essential values. Of karuna, daya.
I questioned religion itself. Through adolecsence.
And then in my youth I moved to a village.
And only there my understandings began.
Rituals were simple. The daily lighting of the lamp in every home. The daily worship at the village temple turnwise, home after home. Festivals celebrated as a community. in simple ways.
But what was practiced all the time was Dharmam. Referred to in every second sentence, and lived in every moment.
The courage to give away the last glass of rice to the bhikshudu at the door. The faith that we need to follow Dharmam, and what is due to us will come to is, if it should. The practice of keeping the door open when one sits to eat, so that one can call in and feed another passing by. The understanding that what is central to life and living is Dharmam, values. And the courahe to live by that understanding.
All this by a community, called SC, landless, assetless. Illiterate.
Yet richer than any I had known.
And then, and only then, I understood the soul of religion. And it was here that I regained my religion and my gods.
Religion is vast. And depending on our courage and integrity we draw as deeply or as superficially we we choose.

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