Ground Zero Faith

Time to look inward

It is an opportunity to step back, to get closer

This is an extraordinary situation. Indeed unprecedented. Sample this. The processional idols of the presiding deities doing the Pradosham rounds alone at the Mylapore Kapaliswara temple. Except the bearers and the priest, the Couple is in solitude, minus the hundreds of devotees, who mill around them on such a day. With the doors shut, devotees, who pride themselves on never missing a Pradosham, are found going round the temple outside.

Festivals are deferred, daily rituals done in the privacy of the sanctum with only the priest in attendance. Images of a deserted Tirumala haunt social media buffs. “Why, why,” ask forlorn devotees. “There cannot be a more cruel punishment,” laments one. “We deserve this for all the unholy things we have been doing on this earth,” says another. Nature’s Nemesis? Retrospection, introspection...

This lull makes one wonder whether the gods are not actually taking a well-deserved break. Years and years of being made a spectacle, being used as the most lucrative source, incessantly playing host to lakhs of people, butt of ridicule, object of controversies — with little or no respite — seem to have pushed the most tolerant and benevolent Father and Mother into isolation. Divine Distancing?

Time to look inward

“Besieged with worries? Come to me. It has not rained for a whole year, come to me... famine and pestilence, come to me... Enough. You don’t know to lead your life, co-exist, on the most beautiful planet in the universe and don’t seem to learn your lessons. So, we’ll make ourselves scarce, while you pause to think, because pause you must...” the Parents seem to say.

This Virus is indeed a great leveller. The doors are shut for all. Playing politics won’t open doors here. No court can pass a verdict on this either. No amount of money, no special ticket is going to take anyone anywhere near. Now, what is near? Standing two feet from the dazzling figure even as hundred others are struggling to catch a glimpse of the arati? “He is inside you. Don’t go searching for Him elsewhere,” goes the adage. “Irukkum idathai vittu illadha idam thedi engengo alaiginrar...” sang Kannadasan. Perhaps this pause is to enable that Quest... at least to make a beginning. Time to reboot.

Time to look inward

Let the gods rest. They’ll emerge when they are ready. Until then, let the soul look for that divinity inside, find a way to connect... to heal quietly. Draw strength from the spiritual power bank. Even as the Virus fades away and a cleansed mind bounces back, clearer, stronger.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 8:19:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/time-to-look-inward/article31174272.ece

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