Just yesterday ,
I met a small 7th grade kid who had his little finger malformed. His parents were concerned and doctor had suggested surgery to correct his finger position. Upon inquiry, I learnt form the child that, few students in his class told him that keeping his little finger crossed over middle finger brings LUCK !!!
Few classmates of his did follow and this guy followed very stringently, malformed his growing little finger which was pretty cute otherwise.
How devastating can such beliefs leave us behind.. My mind pondered over and over . What are beliefs ? Is there a major difference between BELIEF and BLIND BELIEF ? and many questions followed my thoughts !!!!
Mind started a Time travel to a few years ago,
In NEWS, We had a monk who made females believe that if they sexually co-operate with him, they will have XXX and YYY. Not sure what, but a case was filed and the story is not relevant to us. But, the belief that made the females lose their self, marks it prominent. I wondered, how could someone just lose there thinking sense and go with such beliefs ?
Further, my mind time travelled a 100 years ago…..
People had faced a severe epidemic which saw their kids , family die in front of them. They started following orthodoxy to the core extent. They felt that fearing GOD, the rituals, following orthodoxy helped them overcome or at least keep the epidemic away from their lives. Few of my ancestors had also adopted such rituals and it had been passed onto my family as well. As a kid, i had heard these stories, and how they can actually solve certain problems. As kids, although it made no sense, it had started instilling certain beliefs in us as well.
Having found no good answer, my mind further time travelled 300 to 400 years back…
Being an avid reader, history is one hot topic all of us would have read. Either in school curriculum or out of personal interests.. Our history says it all..
We had Mughals overpowering Hindu dynasties even before 1000 A D , forcibly converting Hindus to islam, ill-treating Hindu women, and the history goes on in a controversial manner. But, we can see a trend ; then it started a belief, in both religions. We can see that, in the plea to grow their religion population, both people had more children. In earlier period, only kings had several children, but the belief of expanding population of religion, even common people started following the trend.. It was detrimental, and country population exploded..
This thought made me started realising Beliefs as just can be detrimental. Whether their exists a logic or reasoning or nothing!!!!
Now mind travelled a few thousand years ago …
Sometime back, I had read a folk tale from an ancient text or may be some book, not relevant though.. Once, a village man was unhappy and worried. The reason being, his only son was suffering from high fever, and it was not going any better even after 7 days or so. By accident, 1 buffalo in his cattle stepped on a fire stick and was branded hot. Soon after that incident, his son’s fever started going down. A couple of days later he was cured. Over period of time, he shared his experience with other fellow villagers.
Similar fever struck another family kid. When the fever didn’t subside, they wanted to try branding on of their cattle with hot rod and give it a try. Eventually, when they tried, the boy recovered. This formed a belief in that village, and it slowly started spreading to adjacent villages. Over few years, it became a ritual of the region.
Hurting an innocent animal, even though was making no logical sense , became a ritual. Similar rituals we still see with animal sacrifice even today.
We see human sacrifice, The Sati System and others as well in some parts of India when we read our history right. This made me think that blind beliefs are far detrimental. Mind wandered further back into time!!!
If we further go some 5000 years back ..
Assuming Mahabharata occurred some 5000 years back, then lived a King name Jarasandha. His story is actually a miracle story. The story goes this way –
His father Bruhadratha had 2 wives. Both were expecting their child, but they both, each gave birth to half body of a dead child. The King feared the people would take it in incorrect sense and threw the half formed infant bodies into forest. A female demon named Jara, who was in search of flesh to fulfil her hunger found the infant bodies in jungle. Out of curiosity or whatever, she joined the bodies to form one. Once the body was joined, Some say that she gave life to the baby and the baby came to life. She handed over the baby to the King, who was very much pleased.
How a Demon became a Goddess ?
From that day on, Bruhadratha found goddess in Demon Jara, since she gave life to his son. He was so pleased with Jara that, since he was joined by Jara, he named his son Jarasandha. He had a big painting of Jara in his palace room. As small kid, Jarasandha grew up hearing to this story, and assumed Jara to be his mother as wel.
He worshipped her as Goddess. Over period of time, his belief in her was so intense, once he assumed the throne. He built temples for Jara. He ordered his countrymen to worship her as kingdom’s Goddess. Each village, town , city worshipped her. Offered prayers, animal sacrifices to her. One can’t imagine how a demon can become a goddess !!!!
Further, as Jara seem to have instructed, Jarasandha developed one another belief. he believed that if he offers heads of 100 princes ( human sacrifice) as garland to Lord Shiva, he would become the emperor of the country. He had conquered and arrested 90+ princes and kept them in prison. He had repeatedly attacked Mathura in this ambition, so as to capture Krishna and Balarama for the human sacrifice. But had failed repeatedly.
Eventually he did not succeed with human sacrifice, since Pandava price seem to have spoiled the attempt and killed Jarasandha. But the important factor here is the belief that he formed.
Belief has no time frame and limits.. If we further travel back on time.. To the Ramayana age…
A prominent story we can look at. After many years of Rama Rajya, towards end of the reign, arises lot of disturbances in society. When Rama is wondering how his RamaRajya is moving away from its principles, how people are disobeying the principle he laid down and followed himself as well… He finds the rebellion in Shambuka.
Shambuka is a man who disbelieves Rama’s principles, and builds his beliefs in the people of a region. People slowly start falling to his preachings, they start forming festivals, rituals of Shambuka. Offer prayers, food and slowly the rebellion spreads to adjacent regions. The belief of one person multi-folded grows and becomes ritual. By the time Rama realises and tries to curb the rebellion, the belief had become a ritual.
Belief is no real fact, it is just our inner soul trying to find some reasoning for the happenings around. It has no time frame.. It has been found in all ages, genres. It generally builds without any logic or base, and is generally detrimental. Detrimental if beliefs are limited to individuals or families and destructive when it spreads to society…
This entire thought process lent me a lesson for Life!! Live life with positivity and good beliefs. That helps us have a satisfied , blissful life. Pass such positive thinking to next generation as well and build a happy society around!!!