I’m not particularly devout, its during times of difficulty that I lean on to God, to either show me the right way or to give me strength to get through life. I don’t visit temples regularly nor remember any particular chants, its when days go bad that I can sit and have a conversation with God. Just listing out my troubles, sometimes shifting blame, at times venting out or simply sitting quietly in peace, I don’t require an idol or a prayer or a place to do so.
Usually while travelling if I come across an ambulance with a blaring siren, I make it a point to say a silent prayer, to hope that God does save who’s life is in danger, its a habit that I don’t know how I picked up but its been the same since the past 10 years or so. Sometimes I come across people who are physically handicapped or in pain and I say a prayer for them too, just hoping that God eases their pain and gives them strength.
Someone I know, noticed this and laughed at me, questioning whether this was a just a show and that what difference would it actually make to someone, some random person.I didn’t answer, just because I didn’t want to dignify his question by a response.
I remember Pa telling us repeatedly that service to mankind is greater than service to God, that all the money that we spend on buying coconuts, flowers and incense sticks would be able to buy a needy a meal or a chocolate to bring a smile on a child’s face. I know that my prayer however small or little or unnoticeable may not bring any impact on someone’s life, but I don’t care, I genuinely feel that maybe my prayer may make a difference, though I can’t make a real contribution but if God does listen to me and makes it work then nothing better than it.
When we (me and my sister) were a couple of 5 year olds, Pa had told us that at the end of our life, when we die, we are assigned to either hell or heaven. The person who decided the same was Chitragupt, a man of God who kept track of all the good and bad things that we did in a register, we got awarded positive points for the good and negative points for the bad, the one who got lot of good points went to heaven and the one with the least points went to hell.
That story was motivation enough for us to try and do our bit of good, though initially for selfish reason but that slowly got culminated into a habit.
A long time back I read this line from the Bhagwad Gita and it stayed back with me-
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥
Roughly translated in english it means – ‘You have the right to perform your actions,but you are not entitled to the fruits of the actions.Do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions, and therefore you won’t be attached to not doing your duty’.