FAITH

Why faith is so deep
That it is never complete
Yet it is so reassuring
That it never gets obsolete
But then what it should be
And what it would be
If it wouldn’t be so
If we believe in a God
It should be beyond
The questions of logic
Yet it is never illogical
Your God never says
That don’t question His ways
Doing so is human
And if we all are His creation
It is His wish for us to do so
There is a God
Who lives in all of us
Only if we care to listen to him
When you question Him, His ways
You are being logical
And your faith is evolving
God comes to you
Naturally, subtly
That you don’t realize it
But it happens
That you find your answers
Or questions become irrelevant
God is then being logical with you
By letting your faith evolve
Whenever it happens
Your faith goes even deeper
There comes times
When we feel disoriented
But the connect is always there
That keeps us rooted
And shows us the way ahead finally
It becomes stronger every time
Our faith is so deep
That it is always a part of us
Only if we care enough to listen to it
And when we question, we do that
Doing so helps us to see beyond
The questions of logic
That is faith, His faith, ours faith

©SantoshChaubey

II HAR HAR MAHADEV II

II The absolute essence of everything II
II The sole conscious of every being II
II The wisdom of every scripture II
II The freedom of every future II
II The creator of all humankinds II
II The destroyer of all that binds II
II I am blessed I come from there II
II O Shiva, a city that you nurture II
II O God of spiritual dance II
II O Father of yoga’s romance II
II O Guide of every existence here II
II O Friend who has always been there II
II Mahadev, forgive me, bless me with virtue II
II Shiva, You are the world and the world is You II

Mahadev

II HAR HAR MAHADEV II

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

JANMASHTAMI IS STILL A COMMUNITY CELEBRATION BUT..

Today, as we know, and as we all must know, is Teachers’ Day – that is on birth anniversary of former President Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan (and former Vice-chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, my alma mater), and is also the death anniversary of great human-saint Mother Teresa.

Therefore, September 5 is always a special day.

But this year, the day has become even more special because the country is celebrating Janmashtami 2015 on this Saturday.

Time changes things and the way we carry out many activities – even if the perspectives and the concepts behind those perspectives remain the same.

The same holds true about how we celebrate our festivals.

In our childhood, and even in teens, Janmashtami happened to be a community celebration where almost each household participated. Jhankis (tableaus) were created in almost every house in our locality. We would start preparing the day well in advance. Everyone in the family would be given or would take some responsibility.

Krishna is a mystical God but then it takes precedence of spiritual elements over ritual practices of religion to feel so, which the ordinary, worldly people seldom realize. Anyway, Krishna Janmashtami, that is celebrated as Krishna’s birthday is never heavy on ritual and is quite flexible.

Krishna is born in every household at midnight – as our scriptures say. And the rituals that we perform during birth of a child in our house are performed then. This part was for family’s elders, especially my mother and father.

But every step leading to celebration of the day was my favourite, topped by creation of different jhankis – depicting Krishna’s birth, Vasudev taking him to Yashoda’s house, various stages in life of Krishna with Kansa and his demons and various other tableaus to depict what my childhood would think about then.

I loved making mountain from black stones that I collected from factories in Varanasi’s industrial area. Krishna’s idol is placed inside a large-sized cucumber and after his birth at midnight and the ritual bath; he is placed in a cradle, adorned with new jewellery and clothes. Then, when we used to spend at least a week preparing to celebrate the birth, we would place branches of Carissa (Karonda), with plenty of leaves and fruits all around then mountain (created from stones) and around the cradle.

We would also run from this saw mill to that saw mill to collect sawdust and wood filings. We would then colour the same in different shades and use them in different tableaus – as the base (or the ground). Normally, one tableau would be separated from the next with small wooden blocks and colour of the sawdust. Sometimes, in some homes, coloured sand was also used, though I never used it.

Many small tableaus of different colours and with different themes together formed the grand ‘jhanki’ of every family. Sometimes, it took two days to start and complete the final decoration with all tableaus conceived and created.

On the day of Janmashtami, in the evening, we would go to every house to see how the other fellow has done – that how his jhanki was better or dull than ours – that what he had done that we also could have done – that what was his scale relative to ours – a childhood mind primarily thinks in these terms after all.

But we would always come back in time for Krishna’s birth – that was the main attraction – with all the rituals in place and with all the ‘prasads’ that would follow. Krishna’s birth, like any child’s birth, has celebrations with lavish food preparations.

The ‘ritual part’ and ‘prasads’ that follow are still there but the part (or the parts) and took many days of preparation, in creating many tableaus for a grand ‘jhanki’, slowly and gradually went out of individual families. I don’t remember when we stopped doing it, but I know that probably no house in my locality does it so. I have heard similar echoes while conversing with people on similar lines.

Janmashtami is still a community celebration and is still worshipped individually in almost every Hindu house, but the community nature of its celebration through individual houses, through jhankis, slowly and gradually, stopped being there.

Janmashtami 2015-6

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DICHOTOMY OF THOUGHTS (ON FAITH)

Without God’s will, nothing moves. Without God’s sanction, nothing happens. Whatever happens – happens because it is God’s wish.

Therefore – whatever happens – happens for good.

But what good can we see in others’ suffering? But what good can we find in a world that is forced to suffer by the bad deeds of human – corruption, crime, terrorism, religious wars, civil wars, imperialism and so on? But what good can we feel on demise of someone close? But what good can be if we fail to find reasons within us for hostile happenings inflicted on us?

Nowhere is it more visible than at a temple, especially famous at temple attracting large number of devotees.

Faith brings us there – to a temple – to a place of worship. We go there for majority of reasons – with hope in mind that there is Someone to listen to us.

But when we see the system in the temple and around it (or at the place of worship), something that happened again with me, when I visited the Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place in Delhi, these questions spontaneously come to us.

There are people waiting for alms – for many, it forms an important, inseparable part of daily chores.

But then, there are other people as well – suffering – living sub-human lives.

The scenes at such God’s abodes can distract any conscious soul – forcing the rational mind to raise questions.

And the one answer that comes to mind is – atonement. Probably, that’s the God’s way to seek repentance.

PHT-CP-1

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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

O KRISHNA, YOUR NIGHT AGAIN

Krishna 1

Krishna 2

O dear Krishna,

Krishna 3

Well, its one year,

When I had made,
A plea so clear..

Now, You are going,
To born again
Now, that You have,
Arrived again..

I am asking for,
That mutual talk
I am speaking of
That silent walk..

You are the Source
You are the Soul
You are the world
You are the Goal..

O dear Krishna
It’s Your night again
The day of Krishna’s
Transcendental rain..

Giving me the moments,
To dance, to sing, to pray,
When You come,
To my home again this way..

Krishna 4

O KRISHNA, YOUR NIGHT AGAIN

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DIVISIVE RHETORIC ON SAI BABA AND HINDU DEITIES: UNFORTUNATE, DEPLORABLE

Well, it’s sad, it’s unfortunate, and it’s deplorable.
We all haven’t heard or seen Gods.

And we have more than enough and valid reasons to believe that no one, including those who claim, has heard or seen any God – ‘any’ God because we are routinely told there are many Gods – because we are also told that all Gods lead to the One – everyone, in fact, most, cannot and never reach to that spiritual high to realize the ‘oneness’ of this ‘many identities’.

Anyway, that is not the concern here. The concern is – we all haven’t seen or heard Gods and yet, we, so shamelessly, keep on claiming Him (or Her) or claim in His name (or Her name).

It is saddening and maddening to hear the divisive rhetoric on ‘Sai Baba with Hindu Deities in temples’ these days that has gone well beyond the words to mobilize the religious factions, followers and fanatics on the ground – and the line between a follower and a fanatic is in imminent danger of losing its relevance.

On one side is a godman, claiming to represent the religious tradition of Shankaracharya, central to the Hinduism of the day in many aspects – who, in spite of his advancing age, has not been able to collect the spiritual essence of Hinduism (or of Vedas or of Shankaracharya’s teachings, who was just 12, when he did it all) and is targeting a saint, who has come to be treated as a God by his followers – a saint who never claimed he was a God – an ascetic who spent his life for others – a Messenger who never wanted to be worshipped as a God, as the literature says – and all the big temples and the growing religious infrastructure in his name are not serving his cause, are not spreading the message of his life – his Godliness was in his simplicity and access to all.

It is sad that Swaroopanand Saraswati’s rants on ‘unGodliness’ and religion of Sai Baba have found takers from both the spectrums – the believers of the Sai Baba tradition speaking against and mounting their protests – and the people ready to take Swaroopanand Saraswati’s agenda ahead.

Being religious and following a God is a private affair but the fear psychosis on God’s ways to control or run the lives of His followers, as proposed and spread by the men (the cults of godmen, the tradition of religious opinion leaders) has distorted and is distorting the real purpose of religion and God – making man a better man – making society a social amalgamation – making humanity more humane – making civilization more civilized.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

IN THE NAME OF FOLLOWING A GOD..

The god had never asked us to be around. He never desired us to be calling for him day in and day out. He never decreed that his temples be made. He never got written down the elaborate rituals as the ways to reach him.

Yes, we can say so, because none of us, at least in the contemporary times, have heard the god saying so. And we cannot go into the past to verify what has been said.

What we follow in the name of the god is mostly inherited, never or seldom realized.

What we follow in the name of the god is mostly what is told to us by the saints, godmen or other types of messengers considered carrying the god’s messages. But we need to be highly selective in believing on them, on what they taught.

Where is the god?

If we are part of him, if he is inside each of us, why such elaborate rituals then, why this complex chain of illogical, unspiritual and outrageously materialist processes and sub-processes?

There are countless claims of seeing god, meeting him or talking to him. But almost of them belie their accounts when scaled on ‘who the god should be’.

And a look around, in the world we are part of, in the times we have been living in, is more than enough to raise valid questions on the concept of the god we have been living with.

So, why should we do all that we do, in the name of following a god, or in the hope of meeting him in the afterlife?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

FOLLOWING A RELIGION

These are my personal views based on my life experiences on how I perceive Religion and my religious obligations. This is not to hurt anyone. It is just a logical attempt to present my viewpoint.

  1. Your Religion has to be the evolved one and so it has to be logical. One must not accept because one was asked or advised to accept.
  2. There should be a harmony between your conscious and your Religion. When it comes to choosing one of the two, and when you believe in the universal tenets of Humanity, you should go for your consciousness.
  3. One should practice a Religion accordingly, and not just observe it as a body of norms inherited to be followed.
  4. For your Religion to be evolved and so to be logical you must seriously question its tenets and you must vehemently seek answers. Faith has to be logical. It must not be blind.
  5. It is true no one can claim to see God, the basis of any Religion, and so Faith is about your preferences, it is about your believing in God without seeing him, it is, basically, about feeling Him. So it can be argued how to correlate Faith with Logic then? Okay, no one is saying to question God, and so the religious tenets, for the sake of questioning only. But do question the tenets when your conscious says a God cannot allow certain events to happen, events that are ungodly in nature.
  6. If you don’t find answers it means you don’t understand your Religion or probably the questions where your Religion is silent are the questions to be explored in the next phase of its journey to evolve.
  7. Doing so leads one to the Spiritual quotient of God, the essence of Religion. You must understand that Spirituality and Religion are not different but are mutually interdependent concepts on the path leading to the manifestation of God, or to say His feeling in our conscious.
  8. Spirituality is not about some big concepts and sacrifices. It has to be, basically, feeling your God inside you while following the universal norms of Humanity that tell you need to take care of the other human beings the way you take care of your family. It has to be the quest within. Be honest to your God within you and you are well on the way to gain the Spiritual wisdom.
  9. Your Religion should tell you to respect other Religions the way you respect yours. If it pushes you to treat other Religions as inferior, you are fundamentally flawed then. It says either your Religion has problems or you have indoctrinated it without understanding its essence. Fundamentally, all Religions promote equality and peace – you need to ‘come’ to believe this.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

GOD, SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION: AN INTERDEPENDENCE WE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND

What Religion should be for us?
Why should we follow a Religion?
What Religion should we follow?

These are the different questions that, many of us, ask, from time to time, without caring for what we know of and how we know the Religion we practice.

The reason that pushes us for this sort of questioning, a process of reasoning in tougher circumstances of life, comes to our thinking whenever we face hopeless situations in life, where we are not able to reconcile with God for the events happening around us, whether with us or with anyone else where we see the events in motion, events that directly affect our way of thinking.

It is true we ask these questions regularly but we seldom realise what this regular frequency says to us for, we seldom think that our faith and so the Religion we follow should be the evolved one.

We ask questions but we don’t seek answers.

God, Spirituality and Religion – the mess that we have created around the meanings and the symbolisms of these three fundamental words of any human life and so any civilization is responsible for it.

These three words, their meanings and their symbolisms are mutual, interdependent and related. They cannot be practiced in isolation.

Those of us who ask questions but don’t seek answers don’t understand or don’t want to understand the dynamics of these basic principles of organizing a life.

Basic principles, because even if one doesn’t follow a God, a Religion or doesn’t believe in Spirituality, the person needs to know why he is not following when the majority is doing the contrary.

His alternative thinking should also be the evolved one.

When we see or start to see these three fundamental entities, God, Spirituality and Religion, in isolated blocks or when we compromise one at the cost of the other, or when we begin to make combinations without knowing the dynamics of the interdependence, we fail to understand any of these three fundamental principles of life.

And that is what most of us do.

That takes us away from the logical path where we don’t know, we don’t understand, so we never realise, but we follow. So we question but don’t seek answers because even those questions are not the evolved ones, because we become opportunist in seeking God.

But to know God, one must understand the Religion.

But to know life, one must understand the interdependence between God, Spirituality and Religion.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

KRISHNA

The beauty of the Black that remembering You recalls
The light in the darkness that thinking of You brings

The simplicity of Shyam and the mysticism of Krishna
God, You are we know, and yet, so human You look
Telling us the essence of existence, of human conscience
The Perfect One You are, the voice of universal conscious
Telling us it’s Your creation and we are Your manifestation

O Krishna, You are the epitome of love, of its purest expression
O Krishna, Your ways are mysterious, its divinity transcendental
O Krishna, feeling You is like looking at life joyous with emotion

O Krishna, You show us the way to live, to love, and to be
O Krishna, show me the light to see the life as it has to be
O Krishna, give me the courage to become who I have to be

The revelation of life that the faith in You illuminates
O Krishna, let me have an evolved faith that reverberates

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/