Published on February 4th, 2013


That thing called God

Jatin Sharma wonders where the line between our faith and the display of our faith begins to blur, and why.

God can be defined in a number of ways. Someone can define God as a superior power, another as faith and someone else as just a personal feeling. I define God as a personal feeling. God is always The One. The One who makes you become a better person. The One who makes you not lose hope even in the worst of the times. The One who makes you take care of each and everything that you come across, and which needs your help.

God was created by Man. Man was created by God. But the whole concept of God has gone haywire these days. Everything around God is not so much about God, but more about Man’s own interpretation of God. God is being manipulated and I think God must feel truly helpless right now. No shashtras or holy books have specified that you need to put up a mammoth display of your worship or prayers. But with each passing day, the actual display of our faith is becoming bigger and bigger. Everybody wants to prove to the world that their faith in their God is bigger than others’. We are not praying to God anymore; we are pandering to a religious ego.

I was in Andheri yesterday, and I saw this gigantic rally on a ‘display rampage’. The rally took place during peak travel hours, and thousands of people, both belonging to the faith or not, were hostages to the whole drama. People were forced to see how ‘cool’ this faith being celebrated was, how amazing it was to worship someone a God like that. Commuters and autorickshawwallahs were reduced to becoming hapless victims of traffic snarls, besides getting really late for work. Plus, there were loudspeakers blaring, and these must have scared a thousand birds and hundreds of street dogs for miles.

Let me remind you that I am in no manner against any particular faith, but the whole public display of one’s faith and one’s God always makes me think about the matter. Are we and our intentions really pure when we want to worship God? I’ve often asked myself: why is a Rs 5,001 worth aarti  bigger than a Rs 1,001 one? Does God have an accountant to keep score of the value of each individual aarti offered and who decides, for God, whose prayers must be answered first? Why is there so much pompousness attached to the most simple thing in the world, this thing called God?

If God is truly in your heart, no one can shake your faith by approving or disapproving your faith, and it simply does not matter how many julooses or holy processions you led amidst growing traffic on the streets. Your faith is like your heartbeat – nobody but you knows it is there, and you can feel it if you pay attention.

And the whole idea of coming together and celebrating one’s faith is perfectly fine, but please, can it be a gathering at a single place to accommodate the like-minded? Don’t go shouting on the road and screaming your lungs out to declare that your God is the best. No doubt he is, and we all respect Him/Her for that. Just don’t go out and make your God a pawn in a competition that decides which God wins. After all, doesn’t your God tell you to win others’ hearts by love and compassion, and not by loudspeakers and competition?

Jatin Sharma is a media professional who doesn’t want to grow up, because if he grows up, he will be like everybody else.

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