Nov 28, 2010

Love Because...

“I love God because God loves me.”

Quite honestly, to me, the above statement sounds twisted.

What if I found out God did not love me after all. Does that mean I would not love God anymore?

My elders did not teach me how to pray. There was no method. I had to stand in the pooja room and put my palms together just like everyone else did. And then wait till everyone stopped. That was all there was to it. As a kid I would recite a few 'mantras' my Grandmother taught me, and everyone would go like, “Awww.. how adorable!” No one really cared what the mantras meant anyway. In a way, I am very very grateful for this. I guess it is because of this that I have no opinions, and because of this that I can be open and honest about certain things.

As I grew older, I tried asking for things. Eyes closed, palms together and I would make a list in my head. First rank, new shoes, pretty bag, make my parents proud.. and so on. After a while, it felt fake. If this is really God I'm talking to, I figured, what's the point of asking? If 'God' was right here, in front of me right now, I should be so overwhelmed that I would go crazy with tears... not remember that the guy I have a crush on should notice me! It all seemed so petty to me. So I stopped asking.

I then tried to think, “God, I love you.” That thought made me feel sort of empty. Sure, I knew what love was. I loved my parents, and just a few of my friends. Not even all of them. And strangers, I was sure I didn't love any of them. So what was it about God that I should love, I questioned. Should I love because of the good life He/She/It has given me? Well, that would be gratitude, not love. Besides, would I not love if I had a bad life? No, there was something missing with this concept of loving God, something was just not right to me.

And so for a long long time, at every festival and every temple, where I had to put up the farce of closing my eyes and putting my palms together, I thought of nothing. Absolutely nothing. I had nothing to say to God, and I was honest about it.

Today, things are different, life is different. My perception is very different. Today, I don't even bother going into a Temple. Most of the times, I don't bother putting up any farce. Today, when I have my 'eyes closed, palms together,' I am still blank. But this blank is not like what it used to be. This blank is beautiful. This blank is bliss. This blank is absolute and all-encompassing. This blank is Love.

Overwhelming love. So much that if I were to open my eyes and find a stranger beside me, I could hug them as I would hug my own. So much that if I were to find a tree before me, I would be in love with every single aspect of it. I would love every flower, every grasshopper, every vegetable and every rock. I once saw a cat hunt a chameleon (something I would normally be disgusted at) and felt nothing but love. Love for creation.

Love. Not Because. Just.

Nov 13, 2010


Today I felt compassion within me for a few minutes.

It happens to me only about every once in a while. And yet, when asked about my biggest strength, I can only think of compassion.

I thought today about how small I am. Insignificant. Ordinary. Un-special. No, not in a self-deprecating manner. More like, in a realistic manner. Sure, the human race has been really great and is capable of a lot more. It's amazing how far we have come in terms of science and technology and arts and all that. But is it really fair for me to use the word 'we?' I have no part in man's progress, personally. I am a mere spectator, the user, the consumer, the audience. My contribution to this world, humanity, this universe has been and most probably will always be nil. This is me being honest. This is reality. My lifestyle is focussed on my survival and my well-being, not on contribution. Just like millions of other people.

So it got me thinking, what is it that I could even be capable of contributing, if I ever decided to contribute. I have no great special skills. Not a scientists mind, not an engineers, definitely not an artist's. I am not rich to give away money, nor am I influential to make other people give away money. I do not have enough knowledge to impart to children, atleast nothing that Wikipedia cannot tell them anyway.

Give I can, only of myself.

So I was walking on the street today, looking all around me. Suddenly people didn't seem like people to me. Suddenly, each person I looked at seemed like this intensely vulnerable being with layers and layers of protection about them waiting to jump to self-defence should anything attack them in any way at all. Some through violence, some through hateful speech, some through fake cheer and laughter. Suddenly I was being mirrored in everyone around me. Same core, different exterior. Suddenly, I was emptied of all judgements. Suddenly, I was full of love.

It all lasted a good two minutes. Suddenly, I then lost it.

This is my meagre contribution. Like the small, pitiful gift of beaten rice poha brought by Sudama. I wonder if there is a Lord Krishna lurking around somewhere to see some value in this.