I was watching this movie yesterday wherein a Hindu girl falls in love with a Christian guy. The girl is not in well to do position. The guy's family welcomes her with open hands, gives her all the comfort without asking for any dowry but the only condition being she has to convert into a Christian. The girl needs to decide between love and her beliefs and eventually renounces love in order to stick to her beliefs. It was a film from 80's and people might say this is not a forward thinking thought. What we see often now is people giving up their religion to love. When people give up their parents to love it might not be really surprising to give up a feeling.
Now that there are more girls in the college and in the work place the chances of a guy and girl interacting and remaining just as friends seems to be diminishing. But when you do chose a partner for yourself in this process why do we get so very lost in love that we forget everything else. Love might be blind after you fall into it but before that? You are consciously making a decision of falling in love with this person who is not from your religion. I do not believe in love at first sight and I do not believe in that you fall in love with someone without thinking about the consequences of it. Seriously, would you just like that fall in love with some passerby? You spend time with the other person, you like them for their character and mannerism, you look at them as your best friend and the like turns into love. In this whole process a guy would have definitely given a thought about how does she look, will she make a good homemaker, will she cook. how does she treat others and so on, and a girl would have thought about how is his character, how well is he earning, how is his family, how responsible is the guy, how are his manners and so on. Please don't argue that love does not expect anything and it blossoms out of nowhere. Probably after falling in love you turn blind. Blind enough to forgo things. Or rather I would say girls would do anything to stay in a committed relationship that they will eventually convert to the other religion. Inter caste marriage is a relief for the society but religion?
I am a Hindu and I grew up reading Amar Chitra Katha. The puranas in the form of comics had always kept me fascinated. Krishna lifted up the mountain in his little finger that a whole village could be accommodated under it. Ganesha uses a small mouse to sit on! Vishnu takes different avatar to protect the world from evil. Shiva lifted up the earring that fell from his ear during the rudrathandavam with his leg and wore it in his ear using the leg. Kaali has a demon's head in her hand. Ravana had ten heads. Hanuman opened up His chest to show His love for Lord Rama.Krishna helped Draupathi when she called Him. Did the fantasy just stop with the Gods? Have you heard the story of Purandaradasar? He was a miser and refused to donate to a Brahmin while his wife sneaked a nose ring to the Brahmin. When Purandaradasar questioned his wife about the missing nose ring, it miraculously comes in her hand. It is then Purandaradasar renounces his wealth and goes behind Vishnu in search of mukthi. I have read many such stories which are not just stories but real life incidents. I believed in all the stories and the fear I initially had on God that He is a mighty force destroying demons turned into a friendly power protecting me and the world.
It is not just the God you believed and worshiped that you leave behind. You leave behind a culture and tradition that you enjoyed all the years growing up with. I look forward to Krishna Jayanthi to draw the small small feet from the door to the pooja room. I look forward to Ganesh Chathurthi to bring the idol home, decorate it and pray. I look forward to Deepavali for the sweets and crackers. I look forward to the Ayudha pooja to pile up all the books in front of God. I look forward to VaraLakshmi nonbu just to wear glass bangles and the sacred thread in the hand. And of course, I look forward to all the special savories that is prepared on these occasions. Do we just look forward for the holiday and new dresses or do we actually believe in the importance of the day? I believe in the importance of each festival. I believe in keeping kumkum, vibuthi and most importantly bindi in the forehead. I believe in keeping flowers and wearing proper jewelry. Have you ever read the verses from Ramayanam on how Sita looks at Ashoka vanam? She will be with loose hair, dull blank face, with no jewelry surrounded by demons. And that is how we prefer to dress up these days.
I wake up chanting Hari Hari Hari and I go to bed chanting the same. If I see Garuda in the sky I feel protected. I pray to Him every day. I strongly believe that He walks with me and all the decisions I make are made by Him. Is it not a great driving force to live? There has to be some faith in life to live. Is it not easy to let your life be in His hands and believe that things will be fine and live without fear! Is it not simple to believe that God is the supreme power and He was the creator of the universe rather than believing in big bang theory? Does it not awe you to see His creations? The plummeted birds, fishes, insects and millions and millions of organisms forming the ecosystem! Does it just not awe you to see how your own body functions? This point of argument might turn to God is one supreme power. Yes it is. But what is the form you would want to give to the supreme power? If I go to church, I see Vishnu in Jesus and I recite a sloka and pray! That is how I see God.
Will I ever forgo religion for love? Is it not like letting down someone who loves you so much? He brought me to the world. He gave me a family. He passed me in exams when I asked Him to. He gave me a good life. He taught me life lessons. He brought people into my life. He believes in me more than I do on Him. Will I ever leave that hand and walk with another? Even if I convert, how am I going to believe in another form and adapt to a culture which I don't even know? And when I am a learner in this religion what am I going to teach my kid? Is it not my identity that is getting changed here?
When I eagerly walk into the temple to catch a glimpse of Him, when my face glows up on seeing His pretty face, when I want to just stand in the shrine looking at Him that is when I realize how much I love Him. I would never forgo the love of God for the love of a man.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to hurt anybody's sentiments.