To be a Hindu. Tharoor hits the nail. He spells out some home truths about the religion and what it means really to be a hindu and not alluding to the saffron brigade here.
And I relate to it, all.
I believe in the One Above but not in places of worship. The last time I went to one was two or more years ago. Not that I won't but I don't have to. I could as easily have been a christian or a zoroastrian or a jain. And that is what being brought up within this faith has provided me with.
I have more of a private chat with the One ever so often. And its true, that whenever I have been down and out and just chatted it out inside, the scene has changed...there is definitely a superior force at work, within and without.
It could be a moment of stillness in the middle of my chaotic day, an idyllic time by the great sea which never ceases to touch me deep inside, touching a fine old tree and feeling the peace within. Or just smiling at someone I dont know, helping someone out in any way....
My mother has her own lil mandir at home...she believes in God, the works, she believes the One Above has seen her through many trials and is the reason she has achieved so much on her own, though I would only give her amazing resilience and courage the full credit - she is an unconventional lady who has pretty conventional views on life, the feminists would easily claim her for one of them...she reads the assorted japp books...despite being a scientist (retired, now) she would i think qualify as the devout one among us. She has colleagues/friends from other faiths too and has visited their places of worship too and thus has no problems embracing their beliefs.
My dad views temples and festivals in a more socio-cultural light....where he can hear great pieces of literature being read, meet some like-minded people, where he can observe rituals and understand the source of these....it takes him back to his childhood....he attends the Gita lectures where the book is discussed and analysed....the Vedanta sessions...enriching the spirit and the mind. A whole other way to staying in touch with the spiritual.
Yes, the Gita - a source of strength, solace and an acceptance of the rhythm of the unknown. I remember a time when I only had this book for company in a foreign land, I was yet to get cable or membership in the local library. :-) I can still return to it. Or not. The words remain inside.
As parents we can hope to provide our daughter with the same open skies where she can soar to without looking back and not let her faith pin her to the ground.
We all need to believe in something....some find that in God, some in love, the fundamentalists in their warped idea of religion, others their work, their children, their drugs, their causes, their lusts, and even the atheists have their non-belief to hang onto. Something greater than us has to drive us on....that something which helps us graduate from being mere shells. Call it passion, life force or faith.
anyway, an interesting read...