>Divinity is something humans love to behold, and not without reason. The very fact that there are things that make us realize their greatness in form and effect, and our own magnitude when juxtaposed with them, is reason enough to strike awe in us in general. While the majestic Himalayas leaves us humbled, the Sahara with its expanse has us breathless, and the Diamond makes us pale into insignificance. Here’s assuming the reader agrees that the earth forms mentioned above are inherently divine indeed.
In most of the old civilizations, including India’s, everything godly is considered divine. Rather, divinity is but synonymous with sacred things. This concept has defied ages and generations. And this is where one can experience the surge of all humanity to behold icons of religious legends. So much so that, faith gradually morphs into fervor, and people do whatever it takes to add in to the numbers. The author got more than a feeler of this phenomenon the past weekend, when he visited Tirumala and Tirupathi shrines, to get a glimpse of Lord Srinivasa who is the residing deity there. The Tirumala temple is situated on the top of the Seshachala Mountain, which is a culmination of Seven great hills. That this is the place where the Lord descended and set up his abode is stuff that beats every legend around. It’s no wonder then that the place is referred to as BhooVaikuntha or roughly, Heaven on Earth. Multitudes of people undertake an arduous climb up the hills; wait in serpentine queues for days together, chant Govinda! with gusto, all to get a glimpse of the bedecked Lord in peaceful poise. Not to forget the wads of currencies they drop in the Hundi as a token of gratitude and respect. He is said to be the boon-giver and a champion of peace & prosperity. There are people all over, in wait, in devotion, in hunger, in thirst, in tonsured heads, and in hope! Now this is what anyone would call the God rush*.
Oddly enough, though people did witness divine structures, ate divine food, read divine literature, there is a growing feeling that somewhere, men and women are making trips or paying visits quid pro quo. It is not essentially give and take, but more of promissory resolutions to keep in the instance of wishes coming true. While the statement by an anonymous author that ‘we have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties’ is not wholly justifiable here, a visit to a holy place could be worth all the while if there was more of marveling the nature, and the dazzling brilliance of the deity. And that’s where we feel that the thin line between religion and divinity is getting blurred. A bath in the Alakananda is sure to leave you numb and freezing, and you know you have met your match with nature. That’d make you say, “I bathed in the Holy waters”, and most probably warn others of extreme climatic conditions. But then, you’ve encountered divinity. The world probably hasn’t seen anything more perilous than a trip to the Moon. The folks who went up there saw it all. From a distance they could see Earth, in all its green and blue glory. But on the Moon, they saw death. Not a stone moved, not a whisper came! The silence was morbid. And that, as a creation of God, was divine. For it is a fact that human ascent always reaches new heights, but never really conquers nature! Divinity is something we only end up marveling at.
At the risk of sounding didactic, Nature is God’s creation. Stop. It’s not up for grabs, which is what blood-thirsty corporate are assuming. But it sure is lying there all to be discovered. And that doesn’t really need a divine intervention!
*New coinage. Not hitherto published