I am disturbed about the Manchester violence, who wouldn’t be? It has been bothering me that had I lived in the UK, my daughter would have definitely wanted to attend the concert, and I would have chaperoned a bunch of teenage girls to it. What quirk of destiny is it that I live in India? And what cruel fate for my counterpart out there. My heart goes out.
Man is a weird species. A dangerous and weird species. Why is it that all religions preach love, but none in any religion gives it a damn? And yes, I generalize on purpose. I don’t believe one religion is better than the other. Religion is not the opiate of the masses, it is a dangerous weapon.
I find myself not wanting to associate with any religion these days. I don’t like talking about religion (and politics) in a public domain for obvious reasons. But sometimes it bothers me. Last week, a friend sent me a WhatsApp forward about how my sect is best because we pray to a particular god. Her words were “A true vaishnavan is one who obeys Lord Narayana implicitly”. I was miffed because I don’t think Narayana, or whatever other name She is referred as, is petty enough to require obedience. It is a mortal insult to the immortal grandeur of God, if you are a theist. Besides I believe that a true Vaishnavan (or whatever religion you want to throw in there) is one who, like Abou Ben Adhem, loves his fellowman. I replied to my friend’s WhatsApp message with the following YouTube video. The meaning of the song is given below.
He is true Vaishnava who knows and feels another’s pain
Always willing to serve the unhappy without a shred of vanity
With humility of being and non-judgemental existence,
With pure words and deeds, blessed is his mother
Of tranquil and equal view
Bereft of lust
Seeing the mother in all women
Failing to utter a single untruth
And not a glance at another’s possession
The bonds of earthly attachment bind him not
With mind set to renunciation
And every moment, uttering the name of the Lord
His body is the home of every God that may be
Having conquered greed, anger and lust
Such a Vaishnava, says Narsinh,
saves a family through seventy-one generations