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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Religion or way of life?


I've been to Guruvayur.
A couple of times.
Been on the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
A couple of times.
A hundred other "holy" places that need to be visited.
So they say.

Numerous other roadside shrines have been visited.
Time spent in contemplation.
About life.
About self.
About meaning.
About reason.
Time spent nonetheless.

A life spent with folded hands.
And bowed head.
In penance.
Asking for forgiveness.
Asking for a blessing.
Asking for an answer.
Looking for a sign.
There are always signs.

Receiving an offering of fruit and flowers.
And holy ash and vermilion.
From appointed holy men.
With their incantations and holy smoke.
Outstretched hands.
To give and receive.
Nothing in life is for free.
So they say.

I don't know.
I don't understand.
Do I pray because I believe?
Do I believe because I know?
Do I see when I close my eyes?
Do I touch when I reach out?

No.
It's unknowing that entices me.
It's what isn't that calms the mind.
It's nothingness that I seek in the darkness.
When I close my eyes. To drown out the noise.
To drown out the ritual.
To go towards the unknown of the end.
This is what it is.
So they say.
So they say.

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