Monday, January 16, 2023

An Open Confession

“Oh my God! This beggar recites abuses like if he is chanting a mantra.” I thought when I saw a shabby beggar hurling abuses without taking a pause in between. He was so clumsy that it seemed that last time he must have bathed in his past life. When I was in my mid-twenties, daily I used to visit Hanuman Temple in Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Hisar. Whenever his time and my time to visit the temple clashed, it only disturbed me as his mind was as dirty as his clothes. I tried my best to distance myself from him. Whenever I saw him in the temple, I stayed away from him and sometimes I waited for him to finish his special prayers. Although I wanted to put my hands on my ears to shut those filthy words, but I could not do out of care that I might be hurting him even more as I did not know from which brutal situations he was passing through or had passed through which resulted in his severe bitterness for every human being and even for God.

Almost 400 years back, this temple was constructed. Hanumanji was engraved on a stone. From then, every day the priest did the shringar (decoration) of Hanumanji with sindoor, chameli ka tel, silver foil, eye-catching dresses, vibrant angvastram, adorable garlands of artificial flowers of various sizes and stunning silver mukut  and other jewelry. It was the only deity towards which I felt a strong attraction. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to admire it. I just wanted to appreciate Him without blinking my eyes. Forgetting about the outside world, I used to continuously watch Him, to get fully absorbed in the nectar of His Divine Love. He was irresistible. I loved to see Him, I loved to pray to Him, I loved to sing the glories of Him, and I loved to bring gifts for Him. For a couple of years, almost daily I used to visit that temple. Later, when my life became busy, I visited it as soon as I found the time. Even now, whenever I visit Hisar I never miss the chance to have a glance of my loving deity. My profession changed, my lifestyle changed, my spiritual experiences changed, my city changed, my color of hair changed but my prayers remain the same to Hanumanji. What I prayed to Him in my twenties I still pray the same.

Recently contemplating on my life, I realized that I never tried to help that beggar in any way neither with my soothing words nor by helping him materialistically. Instead, I distanced myself from him. I never tried to understand the reasons or the situations behind his utmost frustrations, that lead to him from saying those dirty words instead of God’s name even in a peaceful and serene place like a temple. What I did with him, Hanumanji did the same to me. Hanumanji distanced Himself from me. How much I worshipped Him, how much I cried for Him to come, how much I asked Him to help me, how many times I chanted Hanuman Chalisa but all my prayers went unheard.

I made a mistake, which I could never correct. Paul Bear Bryant said, “When you make a mistake, there are three things you should ever do about it; admit it, learn from it and don’t repeat it.”

Pic : Hanuman Temple, Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Hisar 

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