Hallways that lead to nowhere

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. 
Black and white be killing it. 


Questioning Spirituality

I think anything that describes India would be ‘spiritual’. And when it comes to India, they feature the Taj Mahal on brochures, peacocks and tigers and snake charmers, sword swallowers, heavy traffic jams and poor road conditions. Foreigners come here, seeking their truth. They go to places of great symbolism and try reaching out to some entity there, so that it would help them guide themselves on their ongoing life experiments. But being in India, I’d like to agree to this for at least once. I read that there are nearly 3.3 million gods inhabiting the country. They live in our customs, our beliefs, our principles and in almost everything we do. We are so religious that we often fall victim to our superstitions. We are staunch believers in the unknown. We call them with names like, – Shiva,Vishnu,Brahma and so on. We pray for each daybreak and dusk. We are what our systems speaks. We are equally tough-hearted and unbreakable, yet so full of life and love.

After all these wayfaring years of endless searching and hunting for temples and other religious worship places, I have learnt that, no matter how much we try to connect to the deity, the questions are always answered by us. Prayers are to be felt from within. We pray because we feel like the presiding supreme will listen to our worries and make us feel peaceful and less burdensome.

God’ is something we anchor our lives to. We are taught to believe in something that’s above us. All these religious wars and racial slurs really bother me at times. Every religion professes and preaches goodness. It asks its people to live in peace and harmony. It wants us to accept ourselves and live with values. But do we empathize with this? No. We are taught to interpret it differently. Almost all of us come to this realisation at some point in our lives,  that our judgments are correct and we need to firmly carry on with our views.  We live based on this understanding for the rest of our whole goddamn existence. Plus, these ideas are also moulded by modern stereotypes and by a domineering mythos of the society. I don’t want to defend anything here, but I feel religion shouldn’t be about imposing values or ethics. It’s about cultivating love for oneself and helping the world come together. What we read in books or hear from stories are someone else’s opinion and understandings. We needn’t have to abide by to it! Same applies to religion. This is a sensitive subject and almost angers anyone who comes into the debate of it. I have angered my mom terrible times and she literally lost interest in talking to me about this. See, she tries to convince me the existence of God when she should probably be telling me why I should believe in this?!

What I am trying to tell is, we cannot truly define religion. Each of us have a different view when it comes to our religion. We are sentimentally evoked when we can relate to it. We see it as a platform for reaching a higher enlightenment. In Buddhist principle, the soul keeps moving from one body to another, taking shapes, changing forms, acquiring knowledge, adjusting to different habitats, and it actually grows restless in its search. And only when it comes to the point where it understands the meaning of life, it achieves enlightenment or moksha and is set free. I want to experience this for at least once in my life. The purpose of my journey is still yet to be defined.

All this philosophical revelation must have made you wonder, ‘Why on earth is this silly girl talking about these things when she should be out there partying like crazy”. Well, I don’t party much, I have never been to one either. But what I do is most…… THINK. I question and explore wonders. And Yes, I am going on a spiritual odyssey. I have always been a firm non-believer of things. It would practically be impossible to convince me that something is legit and it is permanently real. Yet, I am bound to explore the deep crevasses of our cultural inheritance and spiritual superiority in a few days. This time, I am not going to complain about late trains, worst hotel rooms, perverse and lecherous locals and spicy/bland food. I am going to take the journey as it comes, and endure these stupid, dumb absurdities and progress with happiness through time.

 I am not an atheist, but I am a person who respects others for their morals and for their conscience. I am fully geared for this trip. I am looking for my answers. I am not sure of the questions though. I am trying to reach out to thin air looking for a hand to grab onto. I am taking that leap of faith into this vast terra incognita out there. Who knows what awaits me. Such dreams are to be fulfilled really. It makes you feel alive and worthy. I need this to be a grand pilgrimage.