Few months back I got a packet of carrot seeds and sown them in my garden. Days turned into weeks but no result. Instead unwanted weeds cropped up all around. I pacified myself thinking may be the soil isn’t of good quality or the seeds aren’t supreme. Yet kept checking. Meanwhile in a small pot I scattered few tomato seeds and surprisingly saplings did crop up in no time. What made the difference? In the first case I buried (literally) the seeds quite deep making it hard for the feeble saplings to make it to the surface. On the contrary I sowed the tomato seeds quite close to the surface and covered them with a thin layer of soil. Keeping the soil loose let the seeds breathe easy and develop well.
What struck me actually? Not the principles of Horticulture but a valuable lesson that those tiny particles have taught me. When the seeds are sown really deep and the upper layer of soil is decked up too tightly the saplings never find it easy to develop – not just tender leaves but strong roots; roots strong enough to brave the weather and stand upright. And this has a close allegory to the way we perceive devotion or seek wisdom in our lives.
We have strongly and successfully confused ourselves with devotion towards God and atttaining wisdom with a set of ritualistic practices. And that resulted in FEAR. Fear of facing the God’s wrath if we fail to perform or practice rituals as per the rule book which is amended and moulded as per personal conveniences!! And unfortunately forgot that God can’t be a synonym for fear and which is conveniently cashed by few “caretakers” of God 😡. And that forces the rigidity. Rigidity to do things as mentioned and deemed to be the God’s will. Just as the seeds need the soil to be loose to let them breathe, rigidity of practices must be done away with. The fear mongering must be stopped, enabling the emotion “God Loving” dwell in. Fear never let’s the love thrive and when love ceases to exist the desire to know more extinguishes and that blocks the route to wisdom, period! On a lighter note we must remember that God is not our thrice removed maternal uncle to sulk and swear at every trivial matter. He has created us to achieve higher purposes in life rather than navigating directionless with fear of choosing five minute folded hand prayer over 50 minutes of rosary beads chant.
Shall rituals (traditions) be completely abandoned when it comes to devotion? Seeds need water too, isn’t it? It is an undeniable fact that various rituals in different sects of beliefs are means to the final destination. Be it chanting the holy name, offerings, fasting, praying, veneration etc. – they all aim at awakening the inner mechanisms of higher consciousness. They are like sprinkles of water scattered with utmost love to let the life sprout. The constant and right amount of irrigation (performance of rituals / traditions ) is very important to prepare the parched soul ready to absorb the crux of the supreme lord’s message.
Coming to another crucial element – Air, is also pivotal for good offsprings. So the soil of traditions must be loosened with air of compassion and righteousness. A petty example : A person who can’t fast due to health issues shouldn’t be mocked or subjected to insults on the pretext of not sticking to the “traditions”. Its better to eat and thank & think about the almighty rather than to fast and think about the malicious things and food 😁 (then the very spirit of fasting as a part of our ritual has failed).
With air of compassion & righteousness, irrigation of practice; seeds of belief develop strong roots of humility that enables a soul to stay grounded with strength and brave the adversities of life, standing upright with its branches of knowledge yielding fruits of wisdom hanging low for a greater betterment.