Monday, April 04, 2016

A brahmin in a Mosque

Although born Hindu in a Brahmin household we were never exposed to extremism or conservative views which my caste should have entitled me too. I was lucky that way, both my parents are open minded. Though they are religious and firm believers of our rich heritage, they also believe in equality for all, love for fellow beings. But even then while growing up, as we entered our teens, as society around us started changing, we felt a need to maintain a safe distance from the Muslims. The outward change in society imbibed in us a fear.

I am not ashamed to admit that even now, if I am traveling via flight and the name of my pilot is Islamic, I am scared. From the time we take off to the time we land I am gripped with thoughts of hijack. Any small turbulence is enough to send me in to jitters. I am not here to preach if this is a right thinking or wrong, but I am trying to state a frame of mind that most of us are in now a days, given the violence and uncertainty that we see around us. This fear of a particular faith and people of that faith is somehow getting deeply ingrained into our subconscious.

That is why when we got an invite from our neighborhood mosque for a get together, it was a big moment. I was intrigued. I have always wanted to see the inside of a mosque (all places of worship for that matter) and secondly I wanted to listen to what the leaders of this faith have to say. Are they any different? Are they same as those from other faiths? After a lot of thinking I decided that I have to go, to take this opportunity to quench my fears and understand them; to understand how they are affected by the doings of their fellow believers.

Friday came and I got dressed, as it was a place of worship and we were requested to be dressed modestly. I wore a Indian dress and as a symbolism of my faith wore a Bindi. I don’t usually wear one but that day I had decided to, in my mind I was going to see if they will let me in with a Bindi on my forehead or I will be asked to leave from the door. Well that's how my mind was working! Can't say anything else here; in my analytical mind this was my test. (Negative test case if I may add)

On the hindsight I am glad I wore a Bindi. As I reached the door I saw smiling faces of gentlemen, they welcomed me with open hands; my first inhibitions were left at the door itself. The inside of a mosque are so quiet, so peaceful, just like any other place of worship. I instantly felt at peace and serene, same as we do in any place of worship, though there was no visible deity there but God was.

Surprisingly during their evening prayers they knelt before God the same way we do, they ask for same peace and happiness as we do. Trust in God is what they also call for.Do your duty and have faith in God is what they too preach, isn't this exactly what Lord Krishna told Arjun in Holy Gita ?

Killing anyone is a sin in their faith too like it is in every religion I know. Love everyone is what Holy Quran says, Love thy Neighbor is something I have seen my Christian friends follow.
What I inferred from this was that we are all the same. We need to have faith in fellow beings, irrespective of the faith they believe in. Love amongst us will conquer all.

Don't we all believe that because of a rotten apple it is never wise to throw away the whole basket? We do try to salvage the good ones. Can't we apply the same principles here? Why because of some section of society, are we targeting the whole community?
This trip, the discussions we had just made me sure of one thing, we all believe in higher power, just call it by different names and we all just want peace. Rest everything is politics, which is better left alone.

A Brahmin went to a mosque and came back peaceful!
And as for my fear of flying with a Muslim pilot... let me get on a flight will update you guys!

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