If you were to meet me in person, you would definitely not consider me a religious person. But I do believe in God, I have a tremendous faith in the power of the universe and the balance it maintains at all times.
When I think about God, I can’t help but remember a night when I must have been 14 years old or so. My mother and I got into a discussion about God. At that stage in my life, I was a non-believer, I challenged everything that was ‘establishment’. My mother is a spiritual person, and her daily routine involved visiting the temple in our neighbourhood. We had done it for years and one fine day, I told her I didn’t believe in God. I would go with her to the temple and refuse to fold my hands, I would refuse the prayers, the prasad… I just could not believe that entire generations were ruled and controlled by this thing and this concept of the all powerful god.
It was at the end of one of these rather disturbing days that my mother decided to sit down and have a chat with me. Of course, my mother and me, both being what we were, the chat became a heated discussion, with me challenging her to prove the existence of God. Her faith, her belief, her energies as she explained to me the significance of God in our lives, was something incredible.
While that night ended indecisively, with both of us holding on to our points of view; it was a night we both recall on a regular basis. Over the years, as I grew up and discovered life, I felt a strong presence of God in my life.
Well, if you ask me what God means to me today, I would not be able to describe him / her. As a child I have grown up praying and talking to Lord Krishna, so yes, when I visualize God, it is Krishna. But more than the form, I believe I connect to the energy, the other self that listens to me when I talk to myself. I like to share my concerns with this friend of mine, I often go to bed at night talking about the day that went by, about anything that has been bothering me.
To me, my God is a friend. He does not have too many rules and regulations, and most times he is fine just listening to me.
Of course, he does talk to me when I am confused, and gives me indicators when things are not going right. Like most people, there are times when I listen to him, and others when I am running so hard, his voice just does not reach me. But I know he is always there for me. Even if I am caught up in stuff and have not had a time to connect with him for weeks sometimes, he is ok with that.
I have come to believe that my discussion that night with my mother and her unswerving faith rubbed off on me in a big way. Sure, I took a few years to accept that, but I know it’s there – deep inside me. A belief that I and all those I care about are taken care of. That is one of my most cherished possessions – a sense of being cared for and protected at all times. And nothing that has happened in my life has shaken that.
Feels nice. And by the way, thank you, God for being there for me. Always.
~ Bharti Athray