A Short Note on God

 

A-God-of-Miracles

Think of the idea of God as something that humans made so that we can aspire to be Him. Consider the reason you pray, for example. We pray for good fortune, for deliverance from sickness and tribulations, for wealth and status, for success and for the good of others. Are we really foregoing ourselves when we pray, or are we recognizing our own importance by believing that our prayer to the Almighty can actually matter? Is it really an acknowledgment of our insignificance before the Almighty, or is it also grounded on the belief that one can indeed sway God’s will? If we cannot sway God’s will, then why do we pray? If we can sway God’s will, then why is God more powerful than man? We humans then seem to actually have the power to sway God’s will; so then who really has the most power? Also, aren’t we then, indirectly so, trying to be all-powerful by praying?

History is abound with examples of Kings who claimed that they were godlike and literature is abound with examples of those who craved immortality and eternal life. It is not hard to imagine the origin of religion as something not to make up for the imperfections of humans, but as a selfish, proud enterprise of acknowledging power and then attempting to subvert that power using prayers and rituals. Religion has remained as a great force in society, not because of the idea of an all-powerful God, but because of the idea that humans have a connection with this entity. That we, even in our qualms and misfortunes, can somehow influence this entity, because if not, then wouldn’t the idea of God itself, be simply a belief that a tyrant controls everything?

Hence, it is not our helplessness that has given birth to religion, but our self-importance, our sense of belief that we can indeed make a difference in how things fare. God therefore becomes a sort of reflecting surface that our prayers bounce off of, an imaginary mirror that humans can see their best selves in. If so, it is high time that the idea of God, which is utilitarian at best, in order to facilitate this process of moral and spiritual development of humans, be removed. Why have a broker when you have a sense of what you want and the property you need to buy is your own best self?

Krishna at Sattarbuksh

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This is a follow-up to one of my older poems ‘Christ at Starbucks’ (https://chocolateandink.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/christ-at-starbucks/). It is set in “Sattarbuksh” a cafe in Karachi, Pakistan (http://tribune.com.pk/story/606993/everyones-talking-about-sattar-buksh/). It is only meant to be an imaginary scene and not intended to offend any religious group or individual. 

His peacock feather quivers

He steps in from the dusty Karachi lane.

Words rolled like bottle-caps… halted.

Eyes devoured his yellow robes.
Eyes narrow, like serpentine mouths.

flowery Urdu music.
smell of Masala Chai.

He sauntered to a table.

“Ya Allah!” Crash!

His amused smile.

The girl in the abaya eyed his flute. A glimpse… then back at her cheesecake.

“Kya chahiye?”
“Ek glass paani milega?”

If you’re up there somewhere – I

Dear God,

Hi. You might remember me. I’m an abnormal creation of yours; a thinks-too-much-and-ends-up-crying sort of vegetarian teenage girl with the so-called killer attitude. Now I’m not blaming you for your little prank on this world by creating a creature like me. I mean its crazy how people think I’m very strong and all that, isn’t it? YOU know what I’m made of. But yes, I hate it when I’m misunderstood for a wimp or a whiner. I guess I could say I have always been a good friend, a good daughter, a good student..Hmm, I might not be THAT bad, people love me and find my company enjoyable, you see. But there’s this heart renting seemingly stupid things in my life that makes the silliest part of me go berserk. I don’t ask you to rectify your manufacture mistake in my case; in fact my abnormality fascinates me now- so much, that I feel like my life itself would have been a cliché without it! That’s why I thought of writing to you, you know. To say hello, thank you for all the wonderful things and let you know how hard life gets, or how hard I make it…It’s a bit of an irony that I’ve not written to you before; I’m not an atheist unlike a few of my friends, but a tentative believer. I’m about to turn 17 next month and not even one letter to the Creator?! So sorry for that dude, oops God! 😀

By the way, I have no idea what you look like. Or what you are. Or whether you even exist!! Ha-ha! Maybe you’re the long bearded Merlin- type old man who stands near the huge Golden Gateway, as I see in my dreams, interrogating dead people to decide whether they should end up in heaven or hell. Or maybe you’re the ghee loving, little naughty dark-skinned kid. Or maybe the bearded soft-spoken kind hearted shepherd. Or the shapeless Power that resides in every soul, every stone, every little fundamental particle. Oh yes, I’ve heard ‘God is Love’. Doesn’t make a lot of sense I think , if you’re actually writing to the God , so let’s leave THAT notion. The world would have been a bit more peaceful if you had just said how you looked like you know. Because then, religions may never have existed! Don’t misunderstand though-I really don’t mind if you look Greek, Black or Asian or if you’re a star or a shining sword .I wouldn’t mind if you’re revealed to be even a shapeless little blot on an otherwise-blank canvas. It’s none of my business anyway.

To start with, do you know how badly I want a time machine? I want to get out of the current phase of my life. I don’t care if it’s to the past or the future. I wouldn’t mind ending up in Dandi of 1930 or Bengaluru of 2020 but I just don’t want me HERE, NOW. Maybe it’s just the ‘hormones kicking in’ as Murli sir, my Math sir says. Or maybe I’m attaining a new hybrid level of insanity. All I can say is that it’s not making my life pleasant. None of my best friends are in my school… I have a load of notes and textbooks and records competing to gain my attention…I know I’m an internet addict who fails to do anything about it… I feel like I never get what I want, but just what I need which is PRETTY AWFUL if you ask me… I have just APPLIED to three Universities in U.S. and people are acting like I’ve already got admission with a 40,000$ grant or something! It might not qualify as huge problems, I know. But as I’m a masochistic specimen, I tend to slightly over-regard things.

Sigh. I ask for only one thing, presently. To give me enough common sense to know what I want. And the sense to not give up and keep trying if I don’t get it, because you’re not going to directly help me get what I want, right? J Ah.. it feels good telling you all this, you know. It’s the feeling you get when you’re thanking the Chef for the tasty food and then telling him that he could have added a bit more Garam Masala! Hehe. Will write to you frequently again.

With love and awe

A.U.

P.S : Thanks for my smile. It’s the one part of me I truly and sincerely admire. J