Born into a Hindu home, I grew up in India where religion was everywhere. Like the air we breathed, it permeated everything. Yet, I was never taught what it meant to be a Hindu. I suppose that’s because no one ever paused to ponder over it. Besides, where would one really begin? Hinduism is as vast as it is old.
So, I celebrated all the various festivals that dotted the calendar all year round, occasionally visited a temple with my parents and sometimes prayed to all the gods and goddesses in our own little temple at home. Particularly on the day of my exams.
I had it on good authority, the fabulous Amar Chitra Katha comics, that Ganesha would destroy any obstacles that stood in the way of me cracking my exams, Saraswati was the goddess of learning and hence no academic success was possible without her blessings, while Krishna, well he was the Supreme Being and as such he had to be on board as well if I was to do brilliantly.
Then, as I went to a Convent School , I often stopped at the chapel to put in a quick request to Jesus for an easy paper. Made sense to cover all my bases.
It was only when I grew up that I began to wonder what do Hindus really believe in?. Why the many Gods? Do the festivals and rituals have a deeper meaning ? What makes a Hindu? And so on.
The answers I found were fascinating, fun and surprisingly relevant even in the 21st century. For example, the idea that the entire Universe is part of the same energy no matter what you call it.
I liked the fact that there were no rules. I could pray to all the Gods, choose a favourite one or not pray to anyone at all. I do have a favourite and choose to pray but that was the whole point. I chose. I especially liked the Hindu belief that all faiths are equally valid. As is not having any faith !!!
I hope, here on this blog, I can introduce or re-introduce you to this wonderful ancient religion and way of life, by demystifying it a bit and simplify ing it a lot, so that you can understand it better( whether you are a child or a grown -up ), enjoy it and perhaps find what it means to you.