Reverence - what I hit upon on Ugadi

Being reverent is like one of those things that the age old adages say, it is the nectar that appears like poison. Difficult to consume at first, unfathomable about why you must be reverent around others irrespective of how they are, and amazingly sweet at the end. Read on to see what the writer figures on Ugadi, which is recognised as the new year in India
Sandhya Nagaraj
Published on: 9th April 2016
Ugadi, the new year for those following the lunar calendar, falls on April 8th this year. As we finished the celebration at home by performing a worship to the Gods followed by a feast for lunch, I sat down with a book that is supposed to convey the essense of what God is and spirituality is through stories. As I began reading the prose, I noticed the various salutations that this story teller offers before beginning his story. And I was blown by the number of things and beings he offers his salutations to.
It is a well known fact that in India, every day you have some or the other ocassion to get together with family and friends - trust me, we have festivals and ocassions 365 days of the year- either to celebrate the cosmic alignments of the day in the year, or to celebrate the mark of the beginning and ending of seasons, or to provide offerings to their ancestors, or to celebrate the birthdays of some great beings who walked our planet, or to achieve prosperity for the town they live in by performing group rituals on certain days where the natural energies of the season are conducive for achieving the necessary results. The list is endless.. and the "sadhana" (necessary preparation) that one can do to attain moksha (liberation) is also never ending. So it goes on, every day there is something you must do. Not a day is left free!

While I knew that 365 days in a year I would be expected to be somewhere unless I clearly declared that I needed to be elsewhere with substantial reasoning for the same, I just didn't realise the immensity of having 33 crore Gods in our country. Today, when I sat with this book, where the story teller offers his salutations to an endless list of beings and things by acknowledging the wonderful qualities associated with each one of those beings and things, it struck me.

It struck me that this whole idea of having 33 crore Gods was just a method of teaching. Can you imagine, if you need to come up with 33 crore things that can be put into the category of "worshippable", could you possibly leave out ANY being or thing that has ATLEAST one quality that is commendable? Of course not. Which is why in India, people worship cows, people worship the Sun, the moon, the planets and what not. But the immensity is not in the number of things that we worship. The immensity is in the fact that if every moment of the day, if every being/thing that you encounter is worshippable, do you know what a tremendous possibility it leaves you with, to realise something beyond the physical dimension? If every moment of the day is spent in reverence and gratitude, your quality changes. There is absolutely NO question about this. Twenty four hours a day, day after day, if anybody does this, do you know what will happen? Transformation, yes. There's no other word for it.
But twenty four hours? That's a big joke.

Ask yourself this, how many hours in a day do you revere something or someone? Do you look up at the stars and wonder where this intelligence came from? Do you marvel at the colour combinations of the mountains and the seas, and wonder what intelligence is functioning at the level of nature? Do you look up at the sun in reverence, for without the sun, life on earth wouldn't be? Do you wake up every morning, and realise the immensity of just being alive, given that thousands of people who slept last night didn't come awake this morning? This might sound like absolute rubbish to you, unless you truly can see it. The other day I was heading home after a family dinner, and an ambulance passed by our car. So there I was, happily returning from a grand dinner with 10 people whom I absolutely love, and there was someone else in that ambulance, who was fighting for life while his/her family grieved or worried or did everything they could to save them without thinking about food. It is not that you must look at anyone else's misery and feel that you're better off, absolutely not. It is just that you shouldn't take your absolutely wonderful, blessed life for granted, that's it. Forget about being reverent and in gratitude for twenty four hours in a day, if you just do that for two minutes every single day without fail, life will transform itself in ways you cannot begin to imagine, and that is essentially what a prayer is in India. A prayer is spending a few moments in reverence to the intelligence that created this universe- and even by such simple practices, people have made possible for themselves the seemingly impossible. If you can look at everything around you and be reverent around it, nothing around you will change, but something in you will. And once that change happens within you, your quality of life itself will hit a new high, this is something I wish every one of you will try! Wishing all the beloved readers a happy Ugadi! May this day literally be the mark of a new and fabulous year for you all. Cheers.
On a scale of 1-10, how inspiring did you find this article?