So I’m not exactly the religious type but, I do believe there is some greater force out there which is divine in every way and I have no problem calling that force God. I’ve had my issues, but I can very well say now that I believe.
So recently I had been to Somnath temple, the first of the twelve jyotirlings in India. Naturally, a large number of devotees visit this place everyday. It was my second time here, although I don’t quite remember the first visit very well, it being some 13 years ago.
So this time, I had done my research, got myself acquainted with its history and was eagerly waiting for paying a visit. And I wasn’t disappointed at all. Situated at the shore of the Arabian sea, the great temple, inspite of repetitive demolitions, stands magnificent in its glory. The Shivling, the Aarti, everything was just a wonderful sight to behold and the atmosphere had a certain vibe to it! I could hear the waves gushing on the shore on one side and the Pooja on the other.
And then, I saw the temple volunteers mistreating some of the devotees. Shouting at them, pushing them, cause they were taking too much time in the queue. I get that they have to be a little stern to maintain the decorum and order inside the temple. So I let it go.
Then it happened to me. We couldn’t even take the Darshan properly, and she was already speaking rudely with my mom and I couldn’t take it! I was outraged that how could someone talk like that right in God’s own home! And in that state of anger, my Darshan was ruined. It was only when the aarti started that I finally gathered my peace of mind!
Then again, once the aarti was over, the pandit placed the holy diya at a corner for everyone to seek its blessing. And I was so amused to see all the pilgrims just rushing to toward it, again pushing fellow devotees, as if they wouldn’t get it if they would just wait and go one by one. It somehow was so funny to me that I almost laughed to God, why were all his devotees so stupid! Why do they not learn to be patient?
As I sat outside the temple, taking in the beautiful weather and the sound of waves, that is just pure joy to listen to, I just couldn’t let go of this question. Why can you not be religious and still be nice to people? After all isn’t humanity the supreme dharma? Do the Pooja paath and practice penance if that’s what the scriptures say but why does that have to mean that we can take the humans for granted!
Maybe I’m putting in too much thought over that incident. But this is something I’ve always kept wondering about. We forget that if humanity ceases to exist, we might as well go back to being apes. I wish we all could actually behave like human beings for once and let the Creator swell in pride that we are capable of being good and sensible.