The true meaning of the Lenten Season
As the Lent season commences, let
us all understand that it is time to love, to repent and to believe.

When we talk of love, what we need
to understand is that our love should pour out to the needy, the downtrodden.
And what do we repent for? This is the time to introspect and repent for the
hardness of our heart, our indifference to all that is going on around us. And
then believe. Believe in the beauty of nature, believe in our weakness and our
strengths and reach out to people less fortunate than us.
This Lent, let us understand that
it is not just a period of fasting and prayer. Rather let us understand the
real meaning of it. Let us hear the prayer of others, who are calling out to
us. If we close our ears to others’ prayers, we can’t expect to have God’s ears
open to us.

Let us not consider this season as
“Let’s see, I guess if I do without this, then I can have that. But by having
that, I’d have to do without something else. I wonder if I did without that, if
I could have this, but only after a certain time”. If this is our attitude, the
cross that we drew today is just another dust on our forehead.

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Do we need to be obsessed with ritualism?
I have always said and maintained
that our birth is an accident. It is the accident of being born into a
particular family, to particular parents, following a particular faith.

On the basis of our accidental
birth, we are made to adopt a faith and taught rituals to follow to which we
start becoming obsessed.

We get so obsessed with ritualism
that we start imposing it on our children and our family too. Surely, we may be
doing it unknowingly, honestly assuming that we are trying to evoke and teach
the importance of devotion in them, generally our children, but what we don’t
realise is that we are forcing them to adopt the rituals almost blindly.

What we don’t realise while we do
this is that we are making them addicted to the ritualism, rather than making
them understand the real meaning of the faith that we want them to learn. We
are making our children fear the consequences of not performing a ritual,
rather than explaining them the real reason behind it. What we fail to
understand is that by doing so, our children would never be able to fathom the
real purpose of these rituals but would blindly follow them.

I have been confronted by many
hard core fundamentalists that they find reasoning in forcing their children to
compulsorily follow rituals. Though not really convinced by their
fundamentalist reasoning, the only good thing that I can think of by forcing
children to follow rituals is that we at least ensure that these rituals are
safely transmitted over the generations. It would give the parents the false
pride that what has been taught to them to blindly follow by their parents have
been handed over by them to their children to be transferred to their next
generations.

 What I would want to tell these people is that
by doing so, they are just transmitting hollow shells of well dramatized and choreographed
stage performances, one performance after another, without any meaning attached
to them and consequently absolutely no understanding of what it really means.

Why can’t we make our children
real devotees of a faith, a faith of love and brotherhood, rather than forcing
them to follow rituals?

Let us understand that if we are a devotee we would
go to a church, a temple or a mosque depending upon the faith we adopt, but if
we just go to a church, a temple or a mosque, it does not make us a devotee.

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My Interview with God
I dreamed, I had an interview with God.
So, you would like to interview me, God asked.
If you have the time, I said.
If you have the time, God replied.
 
Hello everyone,
 
Today I am honoured to have a dialogue with the most controversial character ever in human history. A person in whose name, has the most number of divisions happened, in whose name the most wars fought, in whose assumed honour has this world witnessed several killings.
 
Let’s welcome, the omnipresent, the omnipotent, the God. And with the permission of his Honour, may I start my question-answer session with Him.
Question to God: Where do we seek you?
God’s Answer: Why do you want to go seeking me? Don’t you see me in the dog wagging its tail in happiness when you enter your house, your little kid who comes running to hug you and clings to you when you reach home after a tiring day, your wife who takes care of your every needs without a sigh, your husband who struggles hard to give a better life to you and the family, your parents who supported and encouraged you in whatever you did, your friends who care for you and stand by you against all odds. Do you still need to go seeking me elsewhere?
Question to God: Are you really the invincible, the strongest?
God’s Answer: How can I be only the strongest? When I am there in each one of you, am I not there in the weaklings too. I am there in the helpless old man on the streets who doesn’t know where his next meal will come from, in the destitute woman who is desperately looking out for a little space to hide her modesty, in the little urchin on the road who wishes someone can adopt him and make his future. When I am there in these helpless creatures, how can I be invincible? The truth is that I need you as much as you need me.
Question to God: Why are so many wars fought in your name? Why do people kill each other in your honour?
God’s Answer: You fight with each other because you have cut me, divided me in many pieces, each one of you trying to take your share of the pie. Have you ever realised, how much it would have pained me when I was being cut into pieces, when you were mercilessly tearing me apart. When you cut me, each one of you got their share that you could lay your hands on. Now you feel that the other perhaps has a better share than you, and so you fight with each other for the better share.
Question to God: Why do you have so many names?
God’s Answer: I have never given you any names to call me. It was you who started naming me as you wished. When a child is born, he/she doesn’t tell you what name he/she should be called. You decide and start calling him/her by that name, then the family, the friends start giving him/her further pet names and before the child realises, all these names get stuck to him/her. As the child grows up to be an adult, wouldn’t he/she feel embarrassed being called by so many names; So do me. I would rather prefer just one name, short and simple, easy to remember, “God”.
Question to God: What is your religion?
God’s Answer: I have no clue what you are talking about. What do you mean by religion? It’s nothing that I have ever propagated. You starting cutting me to pieces; dividing me; it was you who have given names to those pieces, and starting calling them religions. I am a single ONE, how can I have all these different me, these different religions?
Question to God: Do you really reside in the churches, the temples and the mosques?
God’s Answer: I think that you people never have taken me seriously. You haven’t ever understood fully what I have always wanted to tell you. Hadn’t I say in the reply to one of your earlier questions that I am in each one of you. Then how can I reside in these artificial structures. It is you who go seeking me at places that you have created as my abode rather than searching for me inside you.
Question to God: Do you feel happy when we come to meet you at these places of worship we created?
God’s Answer: I feel happy when you meet me anywhere, be it on the streets, in your home, inside you as well. When you wake up every morning without having committed any sin the last day, and look at yourself in the mirror, you are really looking at me. These structures that you created is just one of those places. I feel happy when you meet me, irrespective of where it is.
Question to God: Do you really want us to pray?
God’s Answer: May I ask you, what is the meaning of prayer? Is it not asking for favours? Can you not do it yourself, help yourself and others and make a prayer. When you help others, their prayers are answered and in turn when someone helps you, your prayers are answered. I work through you; you are my hands and legs, my limbs, my body, my soul. Honestly, I would be happier seeing you praying with your hands than with your lips.
Question to God: Do you want us to be God-fearing?
God’s Answer:  What is the benefit if you desist from doing something out of fear? I shall give you an example of you driving a car. You are tempted to jump a traffic signal but you don’t do it because you fear that there would be a traffic cop round the corner. I am not really happy you having done that. Now imagine that you never thought about the cop, but never jumped the signal because you felt that you may hit someone coming from the other direction who is following the traffic rules. I would be happy if you had done that. You don’t have to fear, you have to love. If you really love me,  and understand that I live in another person as much as I live in you, you will never harm that person. I would want you to be God-loving and not God-fearing.
Question to God: Do we need to follow rituals?
God’s Answer: Oh! There are so many of these, even I have lost count of it. All these rituals were created ages ago by someone either to suit his requirement or to suit the circumstances that prevailed at that time, whether for good or for bad. Situations and circumstances have changed drastically since then, but we are still clinging on to the rituals, the traditions. I would ask you to follow the right principles that I  have taught and you believe in and not the rituals.
Question to God: Why are there so many variations of your scriptures?
God’s Answer: My scriptures? I had never written any autobiography. The scriptures that you are talking about are just personal interpretations of my life, assumed by the people who have written them. Each one of them has unfortunately assumed it in their own way and so there are so many variations. Isn’t it a simple logic to understand, that when it that it is one life, one personality, how could there be so many true variations.
Question to God: Why are your scriptures so difficult to understand?
God’s Answer: You are again misinterpreting what I say. I had clarified that these are not my scriptures. So it not being mine, I have no control over its contents. The words, the verses used are the personal words of the authors who probably wanted to keep it complicated so that the common masses do not understand it fully ever and keep flocking to them for their interpretations.
Question to God: Do you really want us to understand you and speak to you through these interpreters?
God’s Answer: Why should I ever make it difficult for you to understand me, to speak to me? I understand your language; I speak the language that you speak. How can I want you to speak to me only through these interpreters when I am one of you? I have not appointed anyone to convey my thoughts and words to you when I know that I can talk to you directly. Those who say that are their own self-appointed agents.
Question to God: Why do you change your attire, your looks for the people?
God’s Answer:  I have never ever changed my attire. It’s your perception of how you look at me. You see me in the attire that you want to see me, because it depends upon the spectacles that you are wearing. You may see me sometimes as crucified on a cross, you see me sometimes holding the weapon to destroy the evil, you see me lying in the tomb, and it’s how you want to see me. I have never changed and I never will.

Hey God! I thought you were here with me all throughout this interview session. I could see you right there but now I can’t see you. Where have you disappeared?

I hear God whispering in my ears, “My Child, look inside you, look at the people next to you, look at nature, the animals, the destitute, the aged, the orphans, the poor and the needy. And if you still don’t see me, stop believing me.

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