Strengthened Beliefs.. err.. Non-Beliefs

It was 3 years ago, at the time I was leaving Chandigarh to Join Infosys, Hyderabad, that I went to a Gurudwara/ Mandir on extreme insistence of my parents. It happened again, today when again I am set to leave Chandigarh. It was a trip to Golden Temple, Amritsar this time. There was an unordinary rush at the most important pilgrimage place for Sikhs. The first thing that struck me, apart from the scorching heat was lack of any kind of security system – anywhere. While there were around 40 – 50 Thousand people, I couldn’t spot a single policeman. To plan and execute some bad things seemed to be the easiest thing to do there. The next thing to notice was the enormous rush of people. There were huge lines and average time a person took to get 2 minutes in front of the Guru Granth Sahib in the main complex was rumored to be 4 hours. We had some VIP ‘contacts’ which reduced our ‘turnaround time’ to 30 minutes.

This thing led to confusion for me. You go to a religious place to pray, pay homage, thank god or ask for His blessings. But there too one doesn’t have the patience to stand for his turn. All this basically becomes a ‘task’ which has to be completed. Not that I am targeting people who have VIP influences. Even the one standing in line is not by choice. Given a chance he will jump to take the advantage. While, as VIP you bypass the line, you get jealous and sometimes angry looks from the ones standing in lines. Who wants to stand in long lines, in so much heat?
Even inside, in front of the sacred book, while paying obeisance, there is so much pushing and pulling to get ‘close to God’. So much that even if one wants to pray in silence for a minute, he can’t. Seconds later, you will experience a push here and a nudge there.

Who has the time man?? Get over with it quickly. It’s a task. After completing this task, you have the next task ready – to manage a touch at the sacred tree. And then to get a sip of the holy water, a dip in the ‘sarovar’. You fight your way through all these and emerge a winner. At the end you are satisfied – not because you feel spiritual or at peace with yourself but of finishing all tasks in record time (courtesy VIP connections)

Carvings on the Golden Ceilings
Ironically, my beliefs in being a non-religious person were strengthened today. There was not a single moment after entering the complex that I closed my eyes or folded my hands – not even while kneeling down and paying the customary obeisance. For me, it was just an opportunity to see a historical place, admire the beauty and click a few photos to put in Orkut and blog. But unfortunately, there were problems even with that. Inside the main building, as I stood admiring the precision and accuracy with which a pattern was carved out, I was quickly shoved off as I was blocking the line. May be going to Jalianwala Bagh and Wagah Border could have been more satisfactory for me.

Photo to put in Orkut 😉

16 Responses to Strengthened Beliefs.. err.. Non-Beliefs

  1. Amrut says:

    >I saw your foto on orkut and frankly was surprised… What happened to u? How did u change?Your blog clarifies that… Nevertheless, foto mast hai…God is an interesting concept you know… God as he is percived in the society is someone or something that weakens you… You stop taking responsibility and everything is “bhagwan ne kiya or karwya” types… I hope, you got what I want to say… I am not an atheist though i dont believe in the god of the society…There is some divine power, something supreme to me which gives the world the shape it has.. which makes colors, which make rainbows… which makes time… I dont know what not… This divine energy is there to strengthen us and not weaken…Since I am not as clear as you are about your belief, i cant say I can be considered part of the dichotomy that beleives in god… Infact, it is not a dichotomy at all.. this belief in god!!!

  2. rOmpy says:

    >o kake…RDB wali foton li hai na?

  3. >badi fast hai tu…bt agreeing to sum points, ill like to add, they say god is everywhere, then y do ppl take so much pains to visit a temple,y nt rather sit at home and be at peace..standing in the queue,u thnk all the while, y did i even bother?[p.s-foto courtsey island girl]

  4. Fleiger says:

    >Oh, I always hate waiting in lines… It is always better to go to some obscure temple in a beautiful place. Visiting the god and being in nature, two birds etc etc, you know…

  5. SiD says:

    >@amrut: Agnostic is the word for you I guess.. @rompy: nahi bhai@island girl: haan.. the fotos are (except one) courtesy your camera (jisko khareedne mein mere bhi paise lage hain)@fleiger: I agree. though I would prefer the second bird more to the first 😉

  6. Cuckoo says:

    >How much I echo your opinion. Also, God never expects or asks you to worship him or even keep a fast for him. They are all man made… We manipulate them to suit our own ways.

  7. Cuckoo says:

    >Btw, you are looking dashing. 😉

  8. SiD says:

    >@cuckoo: Thanks a Lot.. 😀

  9. Anonymous says:

    >I do believe that going to these much hyped places like Tirupathi (it’s more about shedding money n gold for donation than darshan), Vaishno Devi, Shirdi and any other places you talk of are merely man made customs. But beside all these things there is still something magnetic that would always drive people to these places. You can’t say its blind conviction of Indians as this would happen in any temple, mosque or a church you would visit anywhere. And I think that’s the supremacy of supernatural being. But as human as we can get, technology would always be with us – so VIP entries, mobile phones inside religious places are something that no one can stop unless we, I, don’t want to. It’s a matter of choice. You can choose to be at home and pray to god, or be in VIP queue and have quick ‘DARSHAN’ or like million others stand in for hours. If at the end you feel that you were close to GOD and could talk to him, it’s worth every effort.Just because if Mani Mahesh, or Kailash Parwat are at unimaginable heights it does not mean one who goes there is more devoted than the one who visits a city temple by a car.So all in all – I would put it as various facet of GOD. Don’t miss any;. I would say I’m a firm believer in GOD and would love to visit each place like this – it brings me peace being there and firms my faith – these places are spl to me atleast. Close to realization – close to GOD.-Neha

  10. SiD says:

    >@Neha: Its great that going to such places can bring peace to you!I am sure it does to many people..That is why they come there in first place. But what I felt there was a feeling of jealousy in the ones who were standing in the queue and may be a hint of pride in ones having VIP entries… if one has come there for himself, to have peace, then i dont think what others do should matter to him a bit. He should be focussed on getting close to god, not only for the 2 minutes in front of God, but all the time standing in the line – which sadly I didn’t find the case to be…

  11. >@neha: the lasr tym we went to golden temple i felt at peace too.. but this tym was different( wid sid both tyms bdw)…sadly these places r no longer same..or maybe we visited at a wrong tym…for peace..have u visited the vivekanand memorial in kanyakumari???

  12. Anonymous says:

    >No haven’t been to that corner of country yet – but now on the list currently is golden temple – haven’t been there. I believe charm is still the same – pace of our lives have changed – no longer time to spend few more moments at God’s place or even if we have time others don’t – so at the end every one is in a rush!!!-Neha

  13. Alesea says:

    >I agree with the task part but i believe that people go there with a lot of belief in their hearts…may be after being there it is a little difficult to pay homage but deep down people do come with ‘strengthened beliefs’…n i have seen people stand in lines and wait for their turn…things are really not that bad…though i agree with quite alot of things that u have mentioned

  14. Sanchit says:

    >i sometimes wonder, being ‘religious’ takes us towards God or away from him…u have illustrated the irony very well …

  15. Anonymous says:

    >hey all….i think u all enjoyed nice time……i m also enjoying in infy at mysore…….my training will finish on 29th august……….can u help me that where i’ll get post after training…. there is any choice.i got dot net.i m basically frm bhubaneswar.can i will be posted at bhubaneswar……..and after many dayz leave i’ll get……Amit

  16. Pingback: Golden Temple « 360 degrees

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