Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ignorance is bliss

The idea of writing this blog post came to my mind after I observed my daughter have fun in the rain. In the past also I have written about how kids can teach us things.

Rains in Mumbai can cause lot of frustration. Last Friday was one such rainy day. The cooling effect that rains bring got neutralized by the annoyance caused due to train services being cancelled and long traffic jams. People heading for work got stuck mid-way and some were not even in a position to abort journey and go back home. Those who somehow managed to reach office were left wondering how they will reach home in the evening. 

My story was not too different from the average Mumbaite. I decided to take a bus instead of opting for the usual train journey as I was cautioned by one of my friend that trains were not plying due to water logging in the tracks. It was a good idea after all. I managed to reach office even though I was late. News channels and social media were abuzz with news about the rains and how the administration had failed to ensure that rains do not play spoil sport. Facebook and Whatsapp users were posting hilarious messages about the whole episode and some were posting images about the areas where they were stuck due to traffic snarls caused due to heavy rains.

Reaching office was just half the battle won. Managing to go back home in the evening was what everyone was thinking about. In the evening I left early along with one of my office colleagues who had brought his car to work. Luckily the return journey wasn’t that rough for me. 

It was still raining when I picked up my daughter from the day care, helped her get into the rain coat and was heading towards my bike that was parked at some distance.  Even before wearing the rain coat she was excited to go out in the rain and I had somehow managed to stop her. After wearing the rain coat though she just cut lose from my grip and was laughing and dancing in the rain. Looking at her enjoy the rains I was wondering whether we grown-ups can ever savor such moments. It did not matter to my little doll whether rains have caused frustration or inconvenience to anyone. For her rain just meant fun and nothing else. A small puddle of water that we would try to dodge is what she ensured that she didn’t miss jumping into. If she did miss one she would go back, jump into it and then move forward again.

Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Yoga – Is it religious?

There is lot of debate going on regarding Surya Namaskar and how celebrating Yoga day is being insensitive of religious freedom of other religions. This blog post of mine is to express my opinion about the whole issue.

I am a Hindu and I do Surya Namaskar. May not be regularly but atleast 3-4 times in a week. After doing Surya Namaskar I feel energetic and lively and it helps start my day on a positive note. When I do Surya Namaskar, I am mentally reciting the 12 names of the Sun God at different positions involved in it. So for me it is a combination of physical exercise and worship of Sun God.

Now, suppose a non-believer or someone practicing some other religion does Surya Namaskar, he or she need not recite the names of the Sun God and need not perceive it as worship of Sun God. They can always consider it like any other cardio vascular exercise that gets your heart pumping. If that doesn’t work out well, then one may remember their own God when doing the Surya Namaskar. A Christian may visualize Jesus Christ, a Muslim may consider it as bowing in respect of Allah similar to when offering Namaz. Do note here that I am not in favor of imposing Yoga or Surya Namaskar on anyone. I do not think the government of this country will ever be able to do it because of our democratic setup. In fact, I am of the opinion that no person on this planet should be forced to do Yoga or Surya Namaskar. Not even Hindus. 

I take pride in the fact that Hinduism is one of the few religions if not the only religion which does not force you to read the religious books. Even going to temples is not mandatory. It gives freedom of choice. You are even allowed to debate about what is written in the religious books because what was right 5000 years ago may not be true in this age. Hinduism also encourages you to explore and find your own meaning for God. This is why we have so many Gods and Goddesses. It is how different people have perceived the supreme power in his or her own way. As per Hinduism, just doing your prescribed duty with utmost sincerity is considered as worship of God. 

I would like to conclude my blog by stating that religion and religious thoughts should help unite people and not divide them. The good in all religions should be welcomed and the bad in any religion should be condemned by one and all. Ultimately, worshiping of God is a matter of devotion which comes from the heart. If there is no heart involved, how can it be termed as worship?