Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Articles of Faith

The followers of various religions, cults and faiths sport various articles in the form of :-
head gears,
marks on the forehead,
facial and skull hair,
threads around wrist, biceps or torso,
turbans and scull caps

and many more which have been invented from time to time as symbols of faith. Unfortunately the articles of faith take precedence over the faith itself. The devotees are so attached and feel so touchy about such articles that they forget the true essence of the faith that they are following. They often fight with the establishments, in case these articles are required to be removed due to security or other reasons which sometimes even leads to bloodshed too. There is a very fine example of clash between true faith and the article of faith in the story given below which was doing the rounds on the net some time back.

There was once a climber who attempted to climb a very high mountain all alone. After many days of difficult climb, up the vertical cliff, when he was about to scale the summit, his foot slipped and he fell down deep into the gorge. It was night time. As a trained climber, he had made sure that he was secured with the help of a safety rope. As he was suspended in the air, tied to his safety rope, he tried to look below but could not see anything as it was pitch dark. He, naturally, remembered God and prayed for his life. A voice called out to him from the mountains and asked him to cut his rope. He was further dejected as he felt that, it was perhaps the devil's voice asking him to cut his rope so that he died instantly. He kept hanging there through out the night in the sub zero temperature. Next day when the rescue teams arrived, they found his lifeless frozen body, hanging with help of the safety rope, just a few feet above the ground.

Similarly our articles of faith are like those safety ropes to which we cling more dearly than the faith itself. In trying to maintain our grip over these articles we loose our grip on the true meaning of faith. While there is no harm in having our own safety ropes, which may provide us the psychological comfort, let us not forget that there is someone more powerful than these safety ropes, who is guiding us to safety all the time.

Only we have to Listen to HIM.


Renu said...

so poignant ! rigidity in any thing is not a positive sign.

Balvinder Singh said...

Renu, thanks for responding regularly. In fact the history shows that only those religions, cultures and languages have thrived which have been flexible enough. English is the finest example of that. A rigid tree is always uprooted in the storm or flood. It is only the flexible one which survives because it bends along with current of strong winds or water.

PARRY said...

I dont think its the rigidity which lead to his death. Its more about plunging into unknown. Hope and Fear dont always work in tandom.
Nice blog, Loved your experiences in the army. especially the innovative way of pilferage in that parachute post. :)
will come again.

Mampi said...

Beautiful Fable.
Thanks for sharing.

my space said...

Hmm. Have read this story -got in my mail and I agree that faith is important..we attach too much importance to the symbols and forget the essence..if only the mountaineer had faith in the voice...but again, how does one differ between the voice of God and Devil..if only life was so simple..sigh!

Balvinder Singh said...

Arti, if you read my earlier post "The Head Gear" you will make out why i wrote this. Frankly speaking, we attach too much importance to the articles of faith which really puts me off.

Yes you are right in saying that life is not so simple as to differentiate Devil's voice from that of God's. But i think if we listen to our inner self (that is where God lives), He will always guid us to safety.

Anonymous said...

true, if only everyone thought so, the world would have been a better place to live in.

Indian Home Maker said...

You have said it so well!!! I feel the same way but could put it in words like this!
Thank You for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

personally i believe that all articles resprestative of religious faiths have in them more than anything else, this quality of reassuring the individual that no matter how dire a situation may be God is always looking over you...

I'm not a sikh but i wear the kada and even though i havnt the faintest clue about the religion in general (apart from the concept of getting to god through service to fellow man), i hav to say that these kadas make me feel safe, lik somehow no matter what happens i will hav the strength to persevere!

the bad part however is that we hav grown up in a culture that takes itself wayyy too seriously and that is perhaps the reason why the symbols hav surived even though the faith in religion and in God has weathered considerably!!!