My family is Jain but I personally never really believed in it till this year. We Jains, have an Eight day festival- Paryushan, wherein the Jain inside each and every one of us comes alive. And every year, over the course of these 8 days I really lose myself into this religion and every year, I resolve to be a better Jain. And every year, I fail to live up to it.
But this year, it was different for me. I have grown more cynical since last year and I could've easily not let it affect me. But I was tired and every time I went to visit the temple, I saw the faith and the belief in the eyes of devotees and I wanted to feel it too.
I want to experience how it feels to put all your faith and devotion into something blindly, no questions asked. Some rituals are slightly absurd and yet they are performed with such intensity and feeling and I watched from the sidelines, aching to be a part of it; to perform those rituals without questioning their integrity.
On the 5th day of the festival, a reenactment of the birth of ‘Mahavir’ takes place and nearly every year, I skip it. But this year I sat there, among a whole bunch of ladies and gents, the no. too big, in a cramped place. And everyone was sweating and it was hot and yet there was something in the atmosphere. When ‘Mahavir’ Bhagwan’s birth finally took place, the eerie silence was broken by a loud noise of celebration. There were tears in the eyes of several people. My own mother was smiling a smile so wide, her face was glowing. I too was giddy inside and even then I wasn't completely faithful.
So just imagine how were I to feel if I were to put all my faith and trust into something without doubting it, or
without thinking it through. Blind Belief.
I think as humans, we need something to believe in. For some it may be religion and for others it may be the absence of religion. We have principals and morals and we believe we should or should not do something. We need to keep complete, blind faith in something or the other. We need something as an explanation for everything. We need faith and belief; that’s how we survive, that’s how we go on. That is how we move forward in life.
Even today, I don’t completely believe in that form of god but I’m hopefully getting there. I may never reach it but I have to believe I will. One of these days, I will walk back home from the temple and I will feel vulnerable and helpless and satisfied and peaceful and I will have put my complete faith on line, back at the temple. That’s how I imagine I will feel and till then, I will believe.