Thoughts on God and the Universe
I’m not a frequent temple goer, besides being born in a religious Hindu family. I consider myself an agnostic. Neither here, nor there, I thought this a safe stand.
A few months had gone by, when my mother finally decided that this is too much. She decided to make me believe in the power, no matter what.
So as the first step, we visited the Naga(Serpent) temple at Mannarassala in Haripad, last week. I have been to the temple before during the festive season. But this time, it was so quiet and mostly empty without any crowd. Unlike other temples, the Naga temple is open for worship only in mornings. It stays closed for most part of the day. Legend goes that the serpent king himself took avatar as the son of the pious ‘Amma’ of Mannarasala and is still in the temple in eternal Samadhi offering protection to the Illam and devotees.
Whatever be the legend, the temple itself is a work of art. Numerous images of serpents all around and an associated ‘Kavu’- a small forest constitutes the temple, spanning acres. The intricate designs are life like. A symbol of nature worship, even my mother consider it a sin to kill serpents.
Our ancestors had done a right job to inculcate the ‘Aham brahmasmi’ philosophy in the masses. Hinduism is obscure in the sense that all the mythological tales represent ideas in the form of symbols. It’s a tough job peeling layer after layer to unravel the final truth. Unless you are schooled in the Vedic way, there is no hope. Many of the interpretations given by religious teachers of today, capriciously and whimsically have turned members of community against each other and less tolerant against other faiths, which is exactly what sends the younger generation like myself seeking other channels!
Whatever be the case, I cannot but say that I felt a peace of mind after the visit and ingesting the delicious ‘Unniyappams’ and ‘Nilavara payasam’ offered as Prasadam. After all, who am I to preach on the nature of Gods and the Universe! Just as the bacteria in my intestine considering my stomach to be its world, I may never know the truth of my existence.
As they say,
“ Wisdom is located not here, not there
But somewhere in between and beyond, may be!