I don’t know a lot about my inherited religion or the associated menagerie of gods. At this point, my grandmothers would frown and nudge me and say “your gods, not ‘the’ gods”. Well, I don’t know them well enough and any degree of possessiveness would be farcical. I know of them and something of their attributes but I have never sought to familiarize myself beyond the initial introduction. I am the worst kind of Indian born into a Hindu family – an agnostic (at best) and mostly irreverent. I am all for tolerance – practically because I don’t care. Over the years I have restrained myself not to make snide comments to people who preach to me on my error of ways. Mostly because it’s churlish and unnecessary and I am still unsure of what’s what, faithwise.
There has been certain conditioning which I cannot wholly shake off. But I don’t find in me any of the go-to faith most people around me access with aplomb. I do know the generic gods and goddesses. I like reading about them as I would any other fantasy/mythological story and “God” knows I loved watching the different epic series on Doordarshan growing up which showcased all the incredible tales in vivid detail, but fervent devotion, nope, nothing yet. I do know that the awesome trio is supposedly the mother-load of Hindu god-ism. Of whom, one is a creator, one is a sustainer of life and one, my personal favourite, just because his modus operandi is dance baby dance, is the destroyer. Of these, Brahma, the creator has always the most elusive since my childhood. I don’t recollect any stories being related on his (I am guessing general God related stylistic rules apply and it should be “His” not “his” but for the sake of my current faithlessness, let’s not pretend, shall we?) awesomeness, other than him ripping away all of your mugged-up schoolwork you painstakingly committed to memory, if you leave open books lying around as it would be an affront to his lady-love/consort & resident goddess of knowledge – Saraswati. He is an entity within a mythical labyrinth laced with multiple overlaying versions and interpretations (like any other Hindu god) and that’s the kind of packaging I cannot be bothered to unravel, but I hear he knows and sees all and lives eons in the single blink of an eye. He is eternal and omnipresent in the true sense and a goody-two-shoes to boot. I don’t know how I feel about someone so flawless. Well, at the rate the world is regressing, it must be quite a drag to watch something you created self-destruct. Kalyug and all that. But then again, it happens in a blink, so it shouldn’t be all that bad.
When I first read about this “blink” concept, I wondered about the philosophical connotations behind this. The fleeting nature of our mean transitory little lives etc. Then I moved on to speculate on which stage of the blink he is at now, (yes, like I said, I am irreverent), and decided he’s at the part where you start to see your lashes come together forming a hairy frame of the world. We don’t got much time left, y’all.
I see the devotion, deep-rooted and sincere in my family and wonder how an anomaly like me came to be. Nurture clearly did not have the desired effect. Not that religion was ever foisted upon me. Participation was and is and that’s something I cannot evade or would want to – to keep peace and for the fact that I think I am yet to figure it out. I envy people with conviction – pro and against. It could be an inherited non-confrontational streak that holds me back from rejecting the idea of conforming altogether. I am somewhere in-between, floating between my memories of drowsy summer afternoons when my grandma would regale me with astonishing feats of Krishna and a growing realization that faith is so elusive and inconclusive, it has to be a figment of collective imagination, a “figment” so strong it’s transcended generations and bound people together to commit righteous homicide. Everything in moderation, they say. Like it ever works in any aspect of life (read: everything) where subjectivity and bias rule.
As always, I never end up writing about what I set out to. The whole Brahma subject came about from a running joke – on me. But that’s for another time.
God be with you, folks! I burn with the faithless.