Thursday, June 29, 2006

Seen God?

An often asked question. Seen God?

What is God? Who is God? Is it a He or She? How does He/She look?

There are no definitive answers to any of the above questions.

Today I saw God. Not a statue, not a book written about him, but God, in flesh and blood!

Today morning, I went to the kapaleeshwarar temple in Mylapore built for Lord Shiva. I went at my usual time, 8:30 a.m. I made my usual rounds in the temple and came to the praharam (sanctum sanctorum) of Lord Shiva. The Archana was going on and hence the curtains were drawn. I could not see the Shiva Lingam. I was waiting for about 10 minutes for the curtains to be drawn but it didn’t seem like it was going to be.

I was just preparing to turn back and head home, when a hand tapped me on the shoulder. I turned back and saw an old man, a man whom I had met a year back before I left for Dubai.

Now I have mixed feelings about this man. The first time I met him I was under a lot of stress mentally. I was going through a tough period in my job. In order to take my mind away from it all, I used to visit the temple and empty all my burden on God. I prayed for long hours asking for many things and praying things would all turn out OK.

During one such visit, when I was stepping out of the Karpagambal’s praharam, I met this old man for the first time. He steps in front of me and very gently enquired “Did you have a good darshan?” I replied in the affirmative. He looked at me and said just one more sentence. “Don’t ask her for anything, she knows what is right and what is wrong for you. You just go in and let your mind free. She will take care of the rest”. He then went in to the Shiva temple and got me a special flower used during the prayers called “Vilva Poo”. He said, “Today is a good day to come to the temple, I am sure you will be a happy person soon”. This chance meeting and that one sentence of his when I was stepping out of the Goddess’s shrine, stunned me.

But I also considered him a little bit of a con man, for the simple reason that after all this talk about God and one’s well being, at the end of it all he would ask for whatever monetary contribution possible to feed hungry Brahmins. I never bought that story because instinctively I felt he wasn’t entirely truthful. But I used to give him what I could for his ‘noble cause’. Moreover the couple of times that I met him, it has always been only at moments like these when I was about to miss seeing the God and never any time else.

Again this time around just when I was about to turn around and leave without seeing God, he said “you waited for 10 minutes, wait for another 10 seconds and the curtains will open”.

Sure enough the curtains were drawn in 10 seconds! I had a good Darshan and what’s more the old man got me that special flower again, the ‘Vilva Poo’ used during Lord Shiva’s archana.

He did not ask me for the customary monetary contribution for his anna danam to Brahmins. Probably he had forgotten me. He was an old man after all and I was meeting him after 1 year! I don’t know what made me ask him how he was and how his family was. I also don’t know what made me ask him how his anna danam (food distribution) for hungry Brahmins was going on. I don’t know what made me give him Rs. 50/- towards his noble cause, whether he did it or not I care less. But I felt happiness in my heart. I felt light.

Now atheists would call this chance meeting, coincidence. I like to call it the touch of God. It was God’s way of reaching out to me. The old man was the channel.

Who was it for you?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Please do us all a favour and stop writing Blogs!!!!

Ramanu said...

Keep on Vinay, u are doing a good job!

Hot Chocolate said...

Hey dude..definitely not one of your best :)))

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the most unexpected things happen when you least expect it. If it leaves a good feeling it is because of our way of looking at things positively. As long as you do not tie-up such incidences to blind faith, you are ok. But if you get carried away then you will find yourself permanently needing a prop called God.
While I don't deny that we need to have an attitude of gratitude, even God needs a break!

Anonymous said...

Man lives on hope. Call it God or by any other name. If somthing give us that little bit to get on by, then why not? This is good news for tired, hopeful hearts. I wouldnt dismiss it in a hurry! Minu