Reach Indians and South East Asians living in Australia

Choose your own path to reach Him.

 Choose your own path to reach Him.

Equanimity –that delicate balance and poise between the mind, body and soul is a difficult state of mind to achieve without faith in a higher power. The vagaries of life can be a difficult thing to cope with. Life across generations has always been a tough deal for mankind. The problems change with every generation. Yes, we become more mature when we overcome these problems but most of the time we do not have the necessary resources to deal with the problems. The sheer interaction that we have with our family members and other people give rise to myriad emotions, fair and unfair expectations and make us question our very existence.
Hunger has the ability of pushing people into a tight corner and in that state of mind -there will never be anything like a right or not so right means of earning a living. What seems like pride to you may be conceived as hard work by somebody else. What looks like jealousy to you may actually be insecurity for the person concerned. What then is the truth and how then does one go about realizing this truth? Is this a solo journey and a solo quest? Is there one single answer to all these questions that so very frequently haunt us human beings? We then seek refuge in a higher force. We yearn for the strength to overcome the confusion that often blinds us to the ultimate truth.
The ringing bells, the beautiful, soothing chants, the flickering flames of the arti ,the fragrance of incense sticks and perfume and the serene tall idol give us some solace. For a brief span of time, we can let go of our worries and anxieties as all our sense organs are focussed on a higher power. God, that endearing and all knowing power, does not reduce a single problem of ours- neither does he guarantee a solution to our problems nor will he resolve any of our conflicts for us. Yet, he blesses us, with courage, with bliss, with serenity and when we close our eyes and kneel down before him to seek his blessings – he gives us a glimpse of himself within ourselves.
We learn to listen to our conscience and recognize the myriad emotions that haunt us – anger, jealousy, insecurity, lust, greed, ignorance, pride etc are the common enemies that camouflage the truth from our biased eyes. We realize that the fault was not with the world at large or with the other people – but in reality – in actuality – the fault was in our misguided vision- in our own perception. We then yearn to reach a higher level of consciousness and it is here that we need a higher power to guide us to this realm.
The learned men of our past had been through similar experiences in their lifetimes and they were wise and intelligent enough to know that they had to leave a legacy of knowledge and faith for the future generations. Perhaps they knew that we would grapple and struggle to overcome our own weaknesses as we faced the challenges of day to day life. Putting their wisdom, knowledge and experience to good use, they created different forms of the same universal precept called God. If it was anger we were struggling with, all we had to do was worship a particular deity, chant a certain verse and perform certain rituals. The path had been created for us; it was a tried and tested one and all we had to do now was walk on it with faith. And with this faith, we could experience our burdens becoming lighter as He blessed us with the strength to come to terms with our weakness. With his blessings, we had become a better and a more peaceful human being. And for every weakness that we wanted to overcome, a different facet, a different form and a different version of God was scripted for us by our ancestors. Praying to the 8 different forms or avatars of Lord Ganesha is one such example and it is said to protect people from 8 kinds of doshas – lust, anger, arrogance, greed, jealousy, pride, ignorance and infatuation.
And what if some of us have not yet reached that level of maturity? Is there a simpler path for such people? Yes, there are several paths in fact. The annual ‘palkhi’ yatra/ pilgrimage that starts at Alandi with the palanquins of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dyaneshwar is a ritual that is 800 years old and is followed even today by lakhs of devotees. These devotees begin their journey of 450 kms from Alandi and walk on foot via Pune, Solapur and other cities of India before finally reaching the holy temple town of Pandarpur where Lord Vithoba/ Vithal resides.  Not a single pilgrim complains of fatigue, no thefts take place and the IT sector employees participate in this pilgrimage alongside the simple villagers of Maharashtra. The collective faith of so many devotees is a soul stirring experience. It transforms us and brings us closer to Him.
The ultimate message that needs to be discerned here is – we need to select the path that we need to walk on to reach him. Each path is as easy or as difficult as your choose to make it. God demands nothing and promises us nothing. All he asks us to do is walk on any one path of our choice with faith and in return blesses us with equanimity. Ultimately, you see, all paths do lead us to him. All we need to do is plod on with trust. And lend a helping hand to others who are walking on the same path….

Brinda Rajkumar Shah

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