We don’t meet very often, as in face-to-face, but we keep thinking of each other all the time. We talk daily, and both of us are on the same wavelength, so conflicts are few. We share tremendous trust and camaraderie. He’s always there for me, and I make it a point that he’s always on my mind, intentionally or subconsciously. As Krishna says in the Mahabharata - "I never fail those who give me their trust"
The reward for my undying faith is that I get what I want (or something better!) without trying too hard or fretting too much. And if anyone hurts me, he/she suffers in one way or another... Well, I don’t ask Him to do it, He just loves me too much... He’s a generous buddy, and I demand rationally and responsibly, so we are even.
As far as our interaction goes, I’m not the heavy-duty pooja-paath and hardcore bhakt types. (That title is held by my mum, but more about her later.) My tryst with Him is limited to the Ramraksha and Hanuman Chalisa that I recite daily, loyally and conscientiously, as I ride to work and back. Apart from that, occasionally lighting the evening diya-batti, saying a few mantras and bhajans, and He’s happy! Can’t help the partiality buddies; I AM his favorite child after all!
(Oh and ya, another of my pet rituals is that I say the entire Ramraksha.on New Year eve, at the height of intoxication and entertainment. To remind God that I haven’t forgotten Him! Now ain’t THAT cute?!!! Thanks... I know...)
My Mum, now she’s the pakka pandit-types... A glimpse at the scope of her piousness - spending the entire morning chanting strotras and bathing the deities, doing a zillion rituals conscientiously, carrying out a multitude of religious rites and ceremonies on a daily-weekly-monthly-yearly basis, fasting 8 days a week, reading pothis and volumes of the Ramayan (like the Sundarkaand), traveling to remote locations to visit temples and holy spots (she admits her intentions are not purely religious; she takes this as an opportunity to satisfy the travel bug inside her. Smart woman, considering Hindu sacred locales are strategically located across the 4 corners of India!) So she’s been to all the 12 Jyotirlingas (Lord Shankar’s list), 8 Ashtavinayaks (Lord Ganesha’s must-visit sites), 4 Dham, Vaishnodevi, Amarnath, Manasarovar and several more. Quite an adventurous woman, gifted in mind and body!! Love ya, Mom! (But I STILL don’t like it when you just decide to take off and leave me alone here... You know you’re my only family...)
The men in my family are both equally irritating in their own right. Dad saunters around the house driving us all crazy as he murmurs his shlokas at length and leisure. He keeps getting in everybody’s way as he bows and prays to every single idol and photo hung in every nook and cranny of our quarters. His son, though not an atheist, is as good as one. He rarely accompanies us to temples and very grudgingly does the necessary religious proceedings that have to be done by him and him alone.
So, you see, I lie somewhere in between these extremes. I dislike too many rituals and deity worship; I rely more on the mental connect.
Which God I worship? All of 'em actually. The departments are clear cut :
For wealth, Goddess Lakshmi
For intelligence, Saraswati and Ganapati
For marital issues, Shankarji
When I am involved in naughty stuff, Krishna
When I am praying for right and good, Lord Rama
When I'm scared and need strength, Hanumanji
... And well... everybody generally...
Keep the faith! Will be back with the sequel tomorrow!