Very often, at social gatherings and among friends, we hear strong political and religious views. Some god-fearing, some atheists, and many, like me, clueless.
Whenever the question of faith rises, I am confused. I come from a Hindu family where we worship Mata Rani and Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. Both my parents have diverse views. Mom has always been very religious and prays daily, loves her God very much and lives to do good everyday. Dad, on the other hand, seems quite neutral to idol worship but believes in shabads (holy text). These are teachings on the right path for humanity by his guru at Radha Soami.
Every time I do a good deed, I am showing my faith in God. Each time I show empathy and kindness towards others, I am respecting my God. Each time I choose the path of honesty, I am worshipping my God.
The focus here is on doing good deeds, I feel. We are not an ostentatious family and do believe in God in different forms but are not deeply involved in customary rituals in religion. I have never been forced to follow any strict path or visit temples, neither have my parents ever imposed their religious views on me. While growing up, I, like everybody else at home, followed the rituals, whether that was puja during Diwali or fasts during Navratri and it was a new and enriching experience. I was given full liberty to make my religious, food, and political choices always. So when I did fast, I enjoyed it completely. Meditating or joining hands in faith, felt truly empowered.
But when the question popped up and someone asked me if I’m religious, my first thought was: I don’t know. Well, I do believe in a higher power and have immense faith in its workings. I do not particularly believe in idol worship but at the lowest point in my life I have received immense courage from the Hanuman Chalisa. I do not fast anymore or visit the temple but I do love the peace and positive vibes of a temple.
I do not believe in religious superstition and the things people do in blind faith but I do believe there is an order to the world and good always does win over evil, right over wrong, deeds over words.
So yes, I do believe there is a higher power bringing balance to this world. I do believe in God, and for me his name is Doing Good. Every time I do a good deed, I am showing my faith in God. Each time I show empathy and kindness towards others, I am respecting my God. Each time I choose the path of honesty, I am worshipping my God.
What is the best way to make another human being feel loved? For me the answer is by respecting them. Respect is the truest form of love. So the best way to show my love for the divine and being grateful for everything I have will be by showing respect to people around. Being just, being kind, being empathetic and doing good. That is, in my opinion, true devotion. This is what I believe my creator would expect of me. To be able to be the best version of myself, in that I would show true respect.
So I do follow a religion, it’s called kindness. I do believe in the Supreme and show my respect by doing good. What makes parents super proud of their children? It’s when they can say they truly raised good people. That’s what I think God would expect of me too. First, to be good and then, to do good. So yes, I believe in God and for me his name is good.