I am a new member here, though I am not new to the writings and talks of Swamiji. I have read a couple of his books and also heard the Bhagwat Geeta discourse on Audible. I am so glad to find this community here. 

Today I am here to share a very personal experience. I am hoping for some enlightenment from fellow readers. 

I share a beautiful, frank relationship with my parents. We are a very closely bonded family. We were financially not so well while growing up, my parents struggle to provide us with good facilities and education was very real. My brother and I recognise this and understand that they have done more than their best. 

Coming to the point, a couple of days back, we had this discussion that we need to visit our Kuldevta. On a personal level, I am very premature on my Bhakti marg, I don’t really have that innocence in my heart where I can travel 100s of km to visit the place for darshan. It does not make sense to me. I would rather read Bhagwat Geeta and go deeper into it. My relationship with God is like the relationship between Arjuna and Sri Krishna. 

My parents obviously don’t share this view. Due to the struggles in their times, they couldn’t visit the Kuldevta on regular basis. They do not exactly have some philosophical/spiritual base for visiting. Now that we can visit, they want to start that yearly ritual. They are of the typical mindset that something bad will happen if we don’t do certain things for Kuldevta.

I do not see why God would be so narrow-minded to get angry with us. No offence, but in my opinion, God is sometimes literally treated as hafta-vasuli agent! Similar to the Satya Narayan Katha where God will sink the ship for not doing something. And I don’t mean to make fool of these things, I believe that we have a lot of symbolism everywhere, so many rituals may have some indirect meanings. For ex, fasting that we have been doing in the name of God is actually beneficial for our body. It was told in the name of God so people have some strong reason to follow it. 

In my opinion, we have forgotten the real meaning of these things. We hardly know what we are doing when it comes to some rituals. My point was that we need to rediscover the meaning behind our Kuldevta, modify something if required, and then follow it. I believe that time has changed, people (read: next generations) are going to ask questions. We got to have the answers. 

These critical thoughts of mine really offended my parents. On my part, I did a grave mistake of putting this forward in a not so good way! This has made me sad. I felt very lonely and sad when they did not want to entertain the thought of change and of finding the meaning behind the things. 

I have decided that I will visit our Kuldevta, I anyway don’t have anything against it in my mind. I would have loved to have some Bhakti in my heart, have some understanding of why. As of now, it is like a tourist spot for me. 

Has anyone of you faced such a situation? What are your experiences? 

Pratik

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Pratik Kulkarni

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