Dumb stuck in a sofa, mercury climbing to 40, on a hot Melbourne day,the crazy Melbourne weather sure had an effect on my mental stability. That could be one reason I started thinking about God. In my view, God should be kept under the frames .I mean the wooden photo frames; I can have my hands on for $2 from the reject shop. When uncertainty surrounds my life, I think of only two things. One is God and the other is cyanide. As usual God remained elusive, hidden and invisible, and cyanide became the only option, which could take me to the elusive one.
A Google search on Cyanide took me nowhere. It is really hard to get except for the Tamil Tigers. Is it worth the effort to get a little bit? After taking all the trouble to reach there, will he reject me on some funny grounds? He had the history of getting our own great great grandparents Mr Adam and Miss Eve out of there. Out of the Garden of Eden and the legend says Adam landed in Sri Lanka and Eve in Yemen.
The scriptures say,
“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” (Gen. 2:7,8)
Wiseman interpret it in a different way and claim that Garden of Eden was located in earth itself, and the forbidden fruit was a test for the guy he created ( the gal too ). Let me quote those holy words.
“Scriptures say: “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for [in the day that] you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:16, 17)”
This is what I hate about God. When we try to be close with him, he will start testing us. How pitiable is our life. We have to undergo so many tests and processes even to get an admission in LKG. Then comes prep admission, 10th, 12th, Engineering entrance, medical entrance, job interviews etc. etc. After going through all those hurdles, we reach a stage that we can’t take it anymore. That is when we remember about God, whom we have placed in $2 photo frames we bought from our nearest reject shop. There begins the process of being tested by God.
I enjoyed a close relationship with God from a very early age. My grandmother was a great devotee. She was the one who introduced me to the phenomenon called God. There was a big photo of Lord Shiva in her prayer room. She used to sit in front of that with her prayer beads for hours and as a kid I used to wait for her to come out of her trance. It was my grandmother who told me, Lord Shiva has a snake around his neck and if you pray Shiva for anything, the snake will come and deliver it. All my childhood, I build my hopes on that, waiting for the snake to come with gifts. On those days, there were no iPad, iPod and iPhone . A peeppi (whistle) made out of coconut leaves would have made me so happy. But despite my persistent prayers, the snake never turned up. So I started having a good look at the phenomenon called God once again. No one I knew claimed that, they have seen him in person. There are no recorded event of snake coming up with gifts. My curiosity grew – “why my grandmother is spending so much time on something that is so useless?”. Soon I got an answer for that. One of her sons (I mean one of my uncles) made a sudden dash to God, with the help of handful of sleeping pills. That is what made her a great devotee.
So I learned my first lesson.
God is escapism. In silence, with your hands over the beads, you can talk to God. You can tell him your problems. If you open your mind even to your closest friend, within hours, whatever you said will become public . But there are no recorded event of God doing that. You can cry in silence, you can ask for forgiveness and come out of your Trans with a holy, happy and peaceful mind. My grandmother lived up to 103 with a holy, happy and peaceful mind and died peacefully after offering her final prayers, which made my mother feel that she attained moksha.
I was nine years old when I realised that God is escapism and nothing more. After years of praying and waiting for Shiva’s snake with gifts, I had already become a devotee of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva lived in Himalaya more specifically in Kailas. Generally speaking this guy showed a distaste for worldly comforts and covered himself in ashes. He has a beautiful wife named Parvathi . As a nine year old, to the best of my analysis something fishy was going on about his sex life. Birth control regulations never existed in Kailas and condoms were unheard of. But still he managed to have just one son. He had another adopted son named Ganapathy . But his wife had to create Ganapathy out of dirt. For me something was not really adding up. So I decided to make a change over to a more colourful God ‘Sri Krishna ‘ . SriKrishna had a reputation. He was a first degree womaniser, loved good food and good life and always looked well dressed. It was his motto to win at any cost, hook or crook. But he turned out to be a first degree hypocrite. He was more than happy to lecture others about ethics, morality and good behaviour. Thousands of years before Michael Jackson, he changed his skin colour to blue and was well admired for that. As a nine year old, who lived under the tyranny of his school master father, SriKrishna was everything that I missed.
SriKrishna satisfied all my needs until I turned 15. I cried in silence and asked for forgiveness. At times I even made requests that I can’t justify today. A few of them included, ensuring my rivals in my class fail in every subject. But as usual nothing happened. The only difference was that I was wiser. I did not expect anything to happen. A discovery I made, when I was 15 made me regret my decision to make a change over to Krishna from Lord Shiva.
My grandmother had a large collection of religious books. She lived in Tellicherry around 21km from our home. Once in a couple of months we used to visit her. Our main hobby on those days were to go through her belongings. On every single of those visits we discovered something interesting, which turned our hobby to a habit. That time, it was a book named Halasya Purna, we discovered from her belongings. A book on Lord Shiva’s exploits. Imagine, on those days, when internet porn was unheard of, how much a book like that will be worth for a budding teenager. The best advantage was that I can read it in front of everyone and complimented for being religious. For the next three years this book was more than enough for me to build muscle on both my hands. I cursed the moment I decided to leave Lord Shiva for SriKrishna.
Later that that year, I moved to a hostel for my studies and Halasya Purna has passed its expiry date. After covering Hinduism, I moved to Christianity. I had a friend on those days, who sincerely believed that God created earth and its creatures in six days and took the seventh day off. He was a friend in need, whom I could talk to but with one disadvantage. I should listen to his bible stories quietly like an LKG student. That was exactly what I did all my life, quietly listening to others. So I did not have much of a problem.
From him, I learned my second lesson ‘God is make believe’. You can create your own God. An easily solvable case of missing dead body changed the much loved revolutionary, Jesus to Son of God. But Christianity changed the world for good more than any other religion, ever did. If Christianity never entered India, many generations of Indians would have been lost in the clutches of the Hinduism’s caste system. Christianity was a great idea, even though I don’t consider Jesus anything more than a revolutionary. When we talk about Bible and Jesus, one subject that should not be left out is ‘SIN’.
What is sin?
The Scriptures say: “Sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) “All wrongdoing is sin.” (1 John 5:17) “Anyone…who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (Jam. 4:17) Sin is going your “own way.” (Isa. 53:6) Sin is anything that does not agree with God. What will happen to those who sin against God? The Word of God says, “The soul that sins must die!” (Ezek. 18:20). And in another verse, it says, “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23)
What is death? Some think that to die is to cease existing; everything is finished and you no longer know anything. But if we rely on the Writings of the Prophets, we will see that this is not what death is. In the Holy Scriptures, in the Hebrew language in which it was written, death signifies separation. Death is separation from life.
The concept of Christianity has blossomed from the minds of Jesus’s less educated disciples, who has mistaken the scriptures. For them sex was a sin. This misunderstanding about sex and sin was behind the worst injustice in Christianity. To avoid Jesus being a product of sin, Jesus’s mother had to remain a virgin. This has changed father Joseph’s status from the main player in the birth of Jesus to a mere spectator. The story that was created to satisfy the needs of ignorant minds, falsely covered a great truth . Let us hope that one day some great Christian will make necessary changes to re-establish Joseph’s reputation.