God Loving or God Fearing?
I am a religious minded person and a strong believer of God. Since childhood, I have visited many pilgrimage places in India. Long ago, when I was very young, whenever we visited any famous pilgrimage on a usual day, I mean when there was no special festival, we used to find very less crowd. There was no need to stand in queue and you could peacefully stand before the idol of God and say your prayers with no pushing around.
Nowadays the picture has changed. Famous pilgrimage places are always crowded. You have to wait for at least an hour or two standing in a queue, and if it is some special festival then it could be more than 12 hours in queue. Finally after a long wait and paining legs you only get few seconds to stand before the idol of the God that too with crowd behind trying to continuously push you away. No peace of mind or time to have a conversation with god. Ever thought what could be the reason behind this?
Are people becoming more and more devoted to God? Is this a positive sign? Or is it uncertainty and stress of modern life which is making people look for some kind of support? Are they looking for someone who will fulfill there wishes? Or are they afraid of the fact that something bad might happen to them if they don’t do this? Are these really god loving people or are they God fearing people?
In this regard I read an article in a newspaper. A religious minded elderly man in his seventies who had retired from his job few years ago, had a sound health and financial status, who had everything to live a contented and peaceful life once visited an astrologer. As he started the conversation he said that I have visited all the holy places of Saints in India, I have read their books multiple times, I spend about two hours reading holy books every day and about 1.5 hours doing Pooja (prayer ritual performed by Hindus of devotional worship to one or more deities).
However, nowadays I am feeling bored of doing all these things but feel scared to stop also. If I stop reading a holy book of any particular saint, will he/she get angry with me? Will something bad happen to me?
To this the astrologer replied, “No need to fear. Both, God or Saint are compassionate and they never get angry. All saints preach the same thing that God is one and irrespective of which form you worship him in, it reaches the same almighty. If somebody tells you to dig hundred feet well in a land to get water, but instead of digging a single well hundred feet deep, if you dig hundred wells of one foot deep will each you get water? No, right? Just do whatever you can do with complete devotion and how much ever small that is, it will reach God.”
In this life, we all have to face ups and downs as per our karma of this life and past life. Even Gods, when they took human form, could not escape laws of Karma. Only reason behind praying is to reduce the intensity of bad events and to get the strength to face them. Similarly, removal of obstacles, if any, is a good thing in life.
Lastly, I would like to say, that it’s not you should not visit temples or read holy books or follow any other way to reach God, I just want to say that if it makes you happy, by all means, do it. But do not let it become a burden and do it painfully.
If I have knowingly or unknowingly hurt anybody’s religious sentiments in above article, I sincerely apologize for that.