SELLING MIRRORS IN THE CITY OF THE BLIND
“I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty.
I laugh when I hear that people go on pilgrimage to find God.”
There is a universal human weakness – and it dates back to the days of fallen civilizations – and it is: to place people on pedestal and trying to be smothered by them, feel loved and protected in their company… worship them as mentors, heroes, gurus, Mahagurus and Satgurus… Make these mortals larger-than-life cut-outs, worship them as flawless, pure and give one’s all…
And, then, ‘take’ everything from them blindly as divine… Give everything to them blindly…
Eventually, what happens is: one more dangerous bondage… What was supposed to free you now becomes a new prison…
It’s sad to see this happen!
This room, where I am writing this Post, has no image of any deity. I have no image of any Guru or Master around me… My question is: “Am I not able to feel close to Almighty God? How does it matter if I say ‘Thank you Lord’ or “Lord have mercy on me’ from here or from a famous Cathedral or shrine? What difference does it make if a galaxy of fifty priests celebrate a mass on the altar or I just kneel and bow down and pray my heart out, here in my room?
Something has seriously gone wrong somewhere… Our prayers have been commercialized, glamorized… and, for that, you and I alone are responsible…
Mammoth statues and gigantic shrines, huge events, processions and shows – does God need them? Why do highly educated people – well-fed and well-bred – don’t understand, that God lives right in the heart of the devotees… here, right here in our hearts?
Kabir, Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Jesus, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and almost all the Great Masters were simple souls, who lived and taught in simple ways to simple people. They all spoke against the hypocrisy and show-business that was rampant in the name of God and religion in their times. They wanted masses to live and pray in wakefulness and not to be blind gullible. None of these teachers wanted religious empires in their name… those colossal shrines and those heavy ceremonies and shows…
Everything is glamorized – bottled and sold in the name of God and religion. And, that’s because of our own mortal weakness of putting people on pedestal and allow ourselves to be gullible!
To me, prayer shall always remain a simple and honest communication with God. No matter how hard the authorities try to tell me, that I need the Gurus, Priests, shrines and ceremonies to appease God, I, choose to believe in simple ways of reaching ‘there’…
Bend my knees, bow my head and say, “Thank you Lord”…”Have mercy on me O Lord”.
If this is not prayer, what else is? If my heart is not His temple, what else is?
I had started with Kabir’s famous quote. Let me conclude, too, with one more:
“The river that flows in you also flows in me.”
Well, who will understand this? Perhaps, that’s why he, also, said: “I sell mirrors in the city of the blind”!
Pic.: Uttam Ghosh