Oh My God! So far from you, yet feel so near

Oh My God! So far from you, yet feel so near
The three days, day before
yesterday to today, three different festivals, three different religions, three
different faiths.
As I gaze through the
celebrations and the veneration, I have the same feelings. Quite ironical, it
may sound, but it is true. True, from my personal experience. True from what I
witnessed and being sad about, it is.
Three almost identical
situations, I did have the misfortune of being a witness, is what I base my
feelings on, which I pen down here.
Day before yesterday, Thursday,
the 2nd day of April 2015, Mahavir Jayanti, celebrated by the Jains
to mark the birth of Mahavira. Mahavira is considered the twenty fourth and the
last Thirthankara of the present time cycle. Mahavira, considered the epitome
of equipoise and unmoved, who did not utter a word in pain, or even bat an
eyelid or twitch an eyebrow.
Yesterday, Friday, the 3rd
day of April 2015, Good Friday, observed by the Christians, to commemorate the
crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at the Calvary.  Jesus Christ, the son of God, considered the
epitome of love, wisdom, justice, power, goodness and more importantly sincere,
selfless and sacrificial love.
Today, Saturday, the 4th
day of April 2015, Hanuman Jayanti, celebrated by the Hindus as the birthday of
Hanuman, the monkey God, considered the symbol of strength and energy. Hanuman,
a God, who is said to be able to assume any form at will, wield rocks, move
mountains, dart through the air, seize the clouds and rival enemies in the
swiftness of fights.
Three great personalities of
unassuming stature, celebrations and veneration to honour them, why should it
bring me to despair? It’s nothing about these towering personalities, but about
the way, we go about our rituals in their veneration.
Each of these days, as I left
home for my regular errands, I had to pass through the procession of the so
called faithful. Intending not to cut through, though the procession was
serpentine, I stopped my car to let the people pass by, and as I was waiting, I
was observing.
As I observed the crowd, what I
saw and realized made me sad. The procession generally had a few enthusiastic
children carrying the load and the luggage. Be it the Cross or the idols or
Mahavira or Hanuman, followed by a couple of rows of elderly men and women,
singing out the hymns and the prayers or loudly reading out from the holy books
and scriptures. As the procession lengthened, I could notice the rows narrowing
down and by the time it is almost one third down, I could notice people just
following their predecessors talking to each other, discussing personal and
family matters, or even perhaps what plans they have for the evening. A few
unassuming ones even had their earphones plugged in relishing and enjoying the
music being played into their ears. Whatever they were doing or talking, one
thing was quite obvious. The later two third of the procession were
absolutely oblivious of the real sense of why they were walking with the crowd
and for them it was just another of those ritualistic exercise to falsely
justify their hypocrisy and to give a false feeling and proof of being
religious and spiritual themselves.

As I let go of the procession to
pass by and slowly embarked on my onward journey, my mind was wandering. I was
wondering what these people walking in unison were out to prove and to whom.
Are they trying to prove to God that they are there? Would God really be amused
by these ritualistically inclined but spiritually afar show of religious
Each of these days, I closed my
eyes for a few moments and asked God, does these ritualistic exercises really
appease you or amuse you? I could hear Him say to me, Son, as long as I can’t
see any spirituality in whatever you do, it neither appeases me nor amuses me, I
rather feel that it abuses me.
Oh, God! I exclaimed in despair,
I can’t see you as Jesus, I can’t see you as Mahavira, I can’t see you as
Hanuman. I can see you only as and in the people in the streets. Why am I so far from
As I sit down to pen these
thoughts, I can still hear the words ringing in my head, “Son, it is because, I
am none of them, and all of them too. I just wish one day people will realize
that I am one of them that you see in the streets, I am one of you”. I feel I heard He said too, “Son, you are very near to
Epilogue: “If anyone says, “I
love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love
his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen”
(1 John 4:20)

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6 thoughts on “Oh My God! So far from you, yet feel so near

  • You said it.To me too God is one and it is is proprietary to look at him through the way I like. I have my right to look it as cross or rock or a shape made of cement or hard rock or gold or even shapeless as emptiness. And what is wrong if I carry it and walk around without disturbing others. 😃😃

  • I generally don't entertain myself in commenting on religious articles. But I felt you are too much into writing on religious matters. I see such processions or actions as better than sitting in some sharab ka theka n having alcohol or sitting somewhere and gambling etc. If you look at these as just any other action, rather than a religious profession, which you see in your day to day life, you wont feel much troubled Sanjay.
    I totally agree that the real meaning of religion or God has almost vanished but not completely. Today preachers of most of the religions have totally deviated from the real meaning of God/worship. These days they are more into fulfilling their human ego, fame etc. The real meaning of worship/meditation has vanished. Sad but true.

    And instead of saying God is inside each 'living' being, I would like to put it as…we are a very tiny part of The Creator & thus we should be kind, humble and merciful towards all humans, they being His part. And not to forget that God is one !

  • Today's new religion is "hypocrisy"
    Where one just wants to show others how religious they are by attending all sorts of religious acts. But once they reach back to their homes and normal routine life, the true meaning of what is preached to them in the form of the real understanding of what actually God wants from us is forgotten.
    Worldy attachments these days are much more affectionate then spending some time in the presence of God and understanding the purpose of your life on earth for the greater good of mankind as God wanted from you.
    All God asks us is maybe few minutes or seconds to be in his embrace and love.
    As you mentioned in the end its what we do onto our brothers ans sisters is what we ultimately do to God himself because he came in a human form to be with us as we human are.


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