Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who Decides How Good You Are

Why does anyone need someone to recommend how good another person is? I have seen people uninterestingly ask, "Are you religious? Which place of worship do you go to? Who is the priest there? Can you recite a verse? Can you say a prayer? Can you sing a song? Can you sing a song and dance along?... blah! blah! blah!" Very few are able to digest the fact that one can lead a spiritual life-far above anyone can ever imagine, have a personal relationship with the good one above and still manage to stay off the madenning crowd of religious fanatics and misleading clowns in cloaks and find liberty sans getting shut in conditional boxes and be threatened with guilt if anyone begs to differ. 
Can values be tested and marked? Can we say how honest a Man is? Today, institutions (both religious as well as academic) think they can. Probably an essay competition can be held on 'honesty' and the best essay may be handpicked by the priest/teacher and the bishop or headmaster who heads the institution may give a big trophy for the one who wrote it and the audience may be enthralled and applaud and may consider "that someone" who receives the trophy as the most honest in the crowd indeed... yet I ask, "What if no one knew that the whole essay was actually written with a stolen pen except he who wrote??? Would he who wrote the best still be considered honest by the rest?! Who would know except him how "honest" he really is?" 
Spirituality stands tall then, rising far above religion, by being good not for someone else or for others to see yet for oneself even when no one is watching. This being the difference of being good from within for oneself than to covet and pretend to be good for others on the outside. So how spiritual are we really to ourselves?! 

pic: this was a photograph I clicked in Bangalore of a temple priest getting ready to do something he thinks only he can do-get people married.


Bhavana said...

Perfect. Yes. Whos to say who is good or not? I tend to argue--why this tremendous emphasis on "goodness" which is always already socially inscribed! Even in the scriptures--although there are three gunas and satva guna is venerated--the wise exhort us to move beyond the gunas, including satva guna. And sometimes the most evil are closest to perfection and divinity. Remember Ravana and how he was killed Rama himself? He ascended heaven after having kidnapped sita and doing so much harm--because he was ripe. I have learnt to look beyond these fallacies and actively find friends in places where we would generally shudder. Because there are gems waiting to be emerge there. Neat post as usual!!! Love the way u interpret and bounce off from photos

VST said...

@Bhavana: Thanks for being a regular reader and for sharing your reflections. I have no way but to agree with the surprizes that life has in store for us in the strangest of places. And like you said Ravana-a demon in one country, is also worshiped as a God in another.

Swarnali said...

I must really thank you for this post. As always you have done an amazing post. This is one question that I think a lot about. The first paragraph, I completely agree.. I don't have to chant prayers and visit the temple to justify that I believe in a God. I think the whole spiritual connection is something very personal and the whole collective religion idea has turned it into nothing but mere show.
The idea of honesty too is very vague. Can anybody really evaluate how much good and honest I am??
A very thought provoking post,sensitively written :)