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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I studied in a convent school for 10 years. Most of my character formation , views and beliefs are the outcome of those 10 wonderful years. Being a convent school, there were prayers said religiously. There was a catechism class for catholic students and a moral science class for the others.

I used to visit the church in the school almost everyday.  Nobody was forced to believe in anything. Even though born as a Hindu, I  learned to draw the cross and kneel down before God to pray. It was not a compulsory procedure, rather it was a matter of choice.But still I loved the church and the serenity it offered.And thinking about it today, the prayers were quite simple then. It was either to get good marks or to make a teacher absent that day. Nothing more serious than that.

Near the big chapel, there was a small shrine of a saint. To this day, I do not know which saint it was. But I still remember the calm and smiling figure holding a child in his hand.  More than the chapel, I loved this shrine. It was because, i believed that the prayers there were more effective. The effectiveness would be more, if I offered the saint some lighted candles. And so lighting candles there also became a regular procedure. Whatever the reason,  I used to go there regularly. I had a faith that if I pray maybe it will be possible. I believed in the mystery called God and a possibility and hope for miracles and happier times.

And then years passed, times changed. In between I visited the chapel once, prayed. That's it. Sucked up in the rush of daily life and changing scenarios I never went there again. And a period came where I lost complete faith in the institution called God. I started thing a bit too logical and became doubtful about God and everything related to God. So, I almost became a  non -believer.

I used to visit temples. Not by my choice, but as an obligatory procedure, with family, or for functions that I cannot avoid. I used to stand there with folded hands, but seriously no sincere prayers came out of my mind. I never questioned anybody's belief. But that there was a spark of doubt in me that always stopped me from believing and praying. Why should I? What is the need? Why these folding of hands before just an idol? If I do it or not do it, whatever should happen will happen. I just couldn't do it. And it went on.

Today, my kid goes to a nearby playschool. I go to drop her daily and all is happy and well. Near her school, there is a small temple. Everyday while passing in front of the temple, my daughter folds her hand and prays " Ambotti rakshikkane".. translated " Oh God, Please take care of us". Just a moment, but she does that. A habit she has developed by seeing her grand-moms pray daily I guess. Then she turns around and asks amma you not praying? I nod my head, but still I couldn't get myself to pray.

Until today, when I went inside the temple. I didn't have any agenda or intentions. Just that I was a bit disturbed. No special reason at all. I was not feeling good. I wanted to tell somebody I was not good.But, I didn;t think there was anybody who would understand.So, on my way back from school, I saw people coming from the temple serene and happy. So, I thought maybe I should just go. And I went.

I didn't chant any mantras or slokas coz I don't know any. But I went inside and stood ther ewith folded hands again. Then I told God, I am troubled. That's it. Nothing more. I didn't ask for any help or miracle. Just a chat that I was troubled somehow and I did not know why or what.And stood there for sometime with folded hands and closed eyes.

And surprisingly I felt good. I felt as if a heavy heart had just been unloaded. I felt the peace and serenity I had experienced many years back when I used to stand in front of my school chapel. I felt happy.

Maybe it's the serenity of the surroundings or maybe it is the fact that you have someone to confide your problems .I guess more than a miracle worker it's a close confidante that many seek in  God. Someone who listens and at times like your close friend help you out. Somebody who will be there with you throughout no matter what. Someone who has years of wisodm and has a helping hand to lend you.

I still don't understand what has come over me in the past few hours.  Maybe this is what they call miracle. I still don't understand doing pujas and stuff. Maybe, I will get to know about it one day.

But for now, I have found my peace with God.


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