There are times in life when things do not make sense. For a person of faith, it feels as if it’s a test of one’s faith. The horror of it might set in when one realizes that one just might not have enough faith in one’s Ishvara.
I used to have those ‘horror moments’ a lot. I used to get really anxious and pray for Ishvara to understand ‘my situation.’ The form of Ishvara that I continue to turn to most is that of Shivji. My prayers range from being thankful to being angry. Most of the time, my prayers are conversations with Shivji. Lately, I have been telling Him about my spiritual journey so far and the doubts that rise in my mind (as if He doesn’t know!).
Those who know me personally are well aware of my innate need to prove that my faith as a Hindu necessitates that I stand for social justice. This is just how this works (for me). I am unsure why I am like that. Even if He doesn’t respond as quickly as I would like, today I received signs from the Universe that Shivji is indeed listening.
For a variety of reasons, empowering women is very important to me. I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding this topic and ended up getting really frustrated towards society, including religious leaders, that treat women as second class citizens. I ended up venting this frustration out on my dad and said to him, “I am sure Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi would not discriminate.” Today, I reached the chapter titled ‘Liberation from Patriarchy’ in the book Hindu Theology of Liberation by Anantanand Rambachan. Then as Shivji would have it – there is a quote from Bhagavan Maharshi in which He says:
“Since jnana (Knowledge) and mukti (Deliverance) do not differ with the difference of sex…[…] Her body is also the abode of God.”
I was in tears. And to top it off, the local news radio station does a special section titled ‘Star Date’ which talks briefly about a particular topic in Astronomy. Now, again for those who know me, this is a big deal. Today’s section was on John Dobson – the amateur astronomer who developed his own patent telescope that came to be known as the Dobsonian telescope. The best part, for me,about this brief special (and something I didn’t know about Dobson) was that he was an ordained monk in the Vedanta Society!!! Vedanta!!!! Saying I was elated is an understatement.
Getting confirmation to follow the path of faith-based social justice from the one whom I consider my Guru – Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi – and a confirmation to follow the path of scientifically-enriched Vedanta from the most popular amateur astronomer – John Dobson.
I got you, Shivji. I know You are listening.
Until next time,
Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside. – Sri Ramana Maharshi