>I am a theist ( Thats apparently the word. But it’s more like the opposite of an atheist and I don’t think I am the opposite of an atheist). Anyways, I believe in God. In quite a lot of them. They are fascinating. And also helpful and comforting, when there be need.
We have the Gods and Super Gods. The Super Gods are the most popular ones. Especially here in India.
Then there are temples- the more famous ones, which enshrine Super Gods and are all-powerful. One trip and all your wishes come true. We prioritize our wishes. The most important and needed ones are reserved for the Super Gods.
Oh, the pointlessness of it all, at times.. I go to the temple and see so many people, immersed in their prayers, asking God to provide cure and bounty. The rich and poor, the literate and the illiterate, they all seek panaceas. Its reassuring and disturbing at the same time. So many of us, placing the responsibility of our lives on One Super Being and leaving it all, almost. Why do we seek what is within us outside? Does the very presence of it outside us make it more powerful for us? We don’t have faith in our own selves but a God.
And why the need for temples? We have our own Gods at our places and do our daily worship? But does that extra effort put in to go and worship shows more devotion on our side? My mom used to say that more the difficulties and struggle you go through to “see” / “visit” God, the more pleased he’ll be with yourself. And even if that doesn’t happen, you’ve probably done too much struggle to deny it. We keep convincing ourselves.
Is it that we are looking for a refuge? Its easier to put the blame on destiny, luck, God and “the mysterious ways in which he works” when something doesn’t happen in the desired manner. I myself find comfort when I go to a temple. Maybe its conditioned in me. But I don’t want to fight it- not when I voluntarily chose to go there and seek something. I do not seek all the answers to life or truth or any such thing. Its those simple and silliest of wishes that we ask for- all that lie more within our power than anyone else’s. But still we do worship and pray. I personally like to go to small obscure temples where there’s not much crowd and its more peaceful. I can also justify it with the fact there are less prayers competing for God’s attention. However, I also reserve the important prayers for Super Gods and do my 5/ 7/11 Tuesdays at Siddhivinayak. My God knows I’m selfish. I think all Gods know that. Hence, they came to be.
But then, I look at all these “followers” and “believers” and ask if I have any right to question their faith? But I’m questioning my own faith isn’t it? And if I question it- do I have any faith at all? But then what is faith? Does its scope lie only within its defined meaning of complete, unfaltering trust? Isn’t believing enough? I am a believer. But should that imply that I don’t question?
But how can I not question? There is no commandment forbidding us to think and question. Even if there were, would we follow it? Its not convenient.
It all boils down to three things: Convenience, Selfishness, and Fear.