The Second Step



You must have noticed that in times of need, the elderly persons in the family tend to rely on japa. Japa is repeated recitation of any holy word, name of deity or a phrase i.e. mantra. The necessity may be of any variety ranging from fear of performing badly at exams or facing a stressful relationship to imminent death of someone close to us. It may also be a burning desire to possess something or achieve any event. It may also be our desire to keep calm amidst all such situations. Many may remember that recollection of any deity (ishta) or recitation of specific mantra often deliver us from undesirable situation. Don’t you remember reciting Hanuman Chalisa or recalling benevolent countenance of Hanumanji to ward off evil spirits.


It is commonly believed in our religion that such japa of mantra or remembrance (smaran) of deity help us tide over the difficult times. It may be a debatable issue whether this exercise actually strengthens our emotional or physical make up but one thing is certain that the crisis doesn’t appear all that insurmountable. Many of you would like to think that the belief surging in the heart that we are aided by superior forces in our endeavor does the trick.


The question is- is it true that the japa or smaran alters the surrounding situation or enhances our ability to change them to our advantage or to make them less of a disadvantage.


At this point we should look back to what constitute Veda as text. A cursory reading may leave any reader baffled. One may feel amazed to see the ancient  sages chanting hymns to save the crop, destroy the enemies or increase the number of cattle. These prayers to numerous gods and goddesses ( some say that we have 33 crore of them) are there for material wellbeing and physical safety.


Is there a design behind all this inexplicable gibberish? Is it something that can  help us evolve as an ethical or righteous being? Does it make us a better human being?  What was it that has been traveled to us in its present shape? What was the old man’s wisdom and what is the golden replica of dental floss?   Please give it a thought…..

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