We are only humans, not God and understanding what we are not requires intent thinking and deep study. But one distinguishing quality that seems quite obvious is the enormous patience that God seems to possess.
I stepped out of our apartment this morning and started walking towards the gate. The entire pathway till the gate was filled with bits and pieces of paper; the remnants of the crackers from the Diwali festival. They were clearly pieces from the newspaper now laying half burnt and scattered all around. Here and there were card board boxes which were earlier packed with crackers. As I walked towards the gate I could see torn and discredited images of Gods and Goddess among the paper bits. These images once were a part of the outer coverings of the crackers. The pictures of the God are no more needed as Diwali and the poojas associated with the festival are now over. Maybe the Gods don’t deserve respect anymore, at least until next year.
I stepped out of the gate and started walking towards the bus stop. On the way is a small temple, a shanty, on the footpath. In the midst of rapid urbanization, we could find a place nowhere and have pushed God out of our dwelling places. We no more need God in our houses or in our hearts and God has been pushed to footpaths (maybe to beg for a promotion or a salary hike on the way to office) and playgrounds (as they are hardly occupied these days, thanks to the TV).
We seem to be using the pictures of God as an object of convenience and not as a pictorial manifestation of our spiritual thoughts. Religious symbols and pictures of God are pasted on glass and other delicate objects to prevent them from being stoned during strikes and bandhs. People beg in the name of God displaying pictures and religious symbols. Children are named after Gods and Goddesses and the names are cut short into 2 or 3 letters so that they are easy to call. Children no longer know the mythological stories as should be told by their parents and grandparents. They get the stories from cartoons on TV which most often distorts the content adding imaginary characters and building on unheard story lines. So God’s name is used here to increase the shows and the channels TRP. Whether its pictures of God’s and Goddesses on t-shirts or reading horoscopes and predicting future using God’s name, the list is endless.
I reached the bus stop. On the compound of a house near the bus stop there are pictures of Gods of all major religions. This reminded me of a report I had read in a newspaper recently. It seems close to 30% of the Indians defecate on roads and on footpath. No doubt for a population of 1300+ million it definitely calls for nobody other than God himself to intervene and stop us from defecating in public.
~Narendra V Joshi