As I stand in the sanctuary of religion.I start to wonder .
What is the reason I am here.How can I fake beleif when I dont have ? How do I say my god is greater than other gods?When I feel we all have same divine powers...
I tell myself that I should have an open mind..I chant the only two sanskrit slokas I remember (which I have been using for such occasions for past 12 years)There were other idols of buddha and jain cults.I bow down and chant the only few words I know
buddham sharanam gachchami
danam sharanam gachchami...
Past few days I have had lot of inner turmoil ,thinking about the use of our jouney of life.As I stand before the idol of buddha my eyes are filled with tears as I don't understand this complicated belief system.
There is a sharp glance towards me..
I want you to sweep the corridors,all the podiums of all the five gods here,clean the shrine too,and go down and I want you to clean the space near the kitchen and also the rest rooms.First sweep and then mop well and place all the items at the exact position you got them.My other 3 friends were also assigned work equivalent to mine.(Temple volunteer)
Don't stand here and waste time..Get to work.. Preethi!!!(Temple volunteer)
ya I am starting...(me)
I start by sweeping the area near the shrines .After completing that I start by clenaing all the area near the gods ..Ganesh,Shiva,Ram,Krishna,Buddha,Durga......
I start with buddha and complete other shrines and as I proceed to clean near the other shrine of Vishnu the priest yells at me....
You are girl!!!you are not pure ...Dont go near the God!!!(priest)
You have completed sweeping ..Ok now start by mopping the area near the shrines and the corridors.I start mopping ..(temple volunteer)
No ....do it later there is a puja starting!!!(Temple Volunteer)
I sit down and paper is handed to me which has all the sanskrit slokas of Vishnu.
The priest starts chanting in a loud voice.I understand few words of sanskrit.But I am not able to understand the whole philosophy.It looks like greek and latin.I have read vedas in english and it made sense.Even hindi or any regional langauage would have made sense.But sanskrit goes over my head.I decide not to fake ...I close my eyes listen to the ever rising chants and try to meditate..
30 minutes passes by..
I start my mopping the corridors and stairs.Then I proceed to mop near the kitchen area and then proceed to the rest rooms.I now realize the happiness that Gandhi used to derive when he used to do such work.All the items are placed in the exact locations.The prasad consisted of some sweet and my favourite choclates which I had with delight.
By the time I slept in the night,I had a splitting headache ,severe body pains and peace in my heart and mind..
There is no service like selfless service.