Nov 7, 2009

We and our approach to our religion

I recently had two instances which set me thinking... 1) A community gathering in Dubai for Diwali and 2) A note by Jayant, as to why we go to the Temple.

The Community gathering got me thinking on the speeech by a senior member about the accomplishments of the Bhatia's and how we struggled from our Thatta days, and how the older generations made sacrifices and so on.. Very interesting hearing, however information that a lot of us know about. It is necessary I realize that we have to understand our roots, where we came from, where we are today and where we will be in the next generation.

That was not what got me thinking. What go me thinking was a comment that the people of today's generation are not seen in temples. The Youth are not doing the same that their parents and forefathers did? We do not see that many of our community members as we see from other communities.

Are we really not? As I think in retrospect and link this to Jayant's note, I have one question.... What have we done as a community to preach our religion and our belief in Hinduism to our children? What have our elders done to instill the importance of going to the temple on a regular basis? Why are we so scared to talk freely about our religion and why are our elders not willing to listen to a good debate?

 I may be wrong here, but I believe that it is as much the responsibility of our elders to enforce this into the younger generation so as to have this as part of our routine. Coming to the Temple these days is not for a meeting with God, but more as a chore should be done. I have wondered often.. Why do we see the South Indians coming every week? Why do we see the gurudwaras and the masjids being frequented by their respective communities, week after week. Are we ashamed to go to our place of worship? Or is it simply that we have no time? Or simply cannot make it?

There would be innumerable reasons on this, however the fact remains that we have ourselves to blame, be it the elders, be it the youngsters, or the new generations. It has to be a collective effort spanning across all generations and all have to contribute. The elders need to organize events where the youth come together and meet, have open discussion, debates and the key features on events (more on this on the next post). We as a community that is controlled and dominated by a few select group of houses, need to come out of or cliched viewes and have to learn to change. We need to be more aggressive and open minded to accept change as it comes.

If the change comes with the support of the elders, the community benefits.. If through the youngsters, it may start a revolution.. The worry is if it does not.. Like the Parsis, we too are headed for extinction.


  1. I have always argued that we as Hindus have always rung the bells of the temple only when we are having a good occassion like marriage, Diwali celebration, Holi etc, or when we are in deep s&^t. In between we hardly attend our temples. I like the Dargah prayer meets every friday and Church prayers every Sunday. These fixed days not only make the people pray together, it also leads to a comman place gathering and interaction which we lack.
    Regarding imparting religion in our children, it is true, we are not taking proper steps. Our grandparents used to tell us about Ram, Laxman just name one, nowadays I am personally depending upon the Cartoon network to teach my kids about Hanuman!!!!!

    The only efforts I have taken in the past years which is now showing fruit are the Diwali Laxmi pooja, which the kids are gaining interest in and participating actively. This proves if we put in efforts from our side, the children wont back out, thats for sure. But in many houses, I have seen that Diwali is just limited to card games and fire crackers. The pooja is limited to a single person for 5 mins, instead of the the entire household gathering.

    Times are changing....but we need to preserve a few things.....

  2. i personally think what our forefathers & elders have done is in a way a gr8 job to bring in good qualities into us & keep the tradition going, but maybe that was the time for all this to be done in this particular way. This is evolving & we only try to keep it ongoing in our future generations but maybe it is meant to change in a way we will know only years later. These gatherings, celebrations, occassions, religious ceremonies, visits to the places of worship will all evolve in their own way & i really really wont be surprised if people come out with ways we have never ever heard of before to do all this things after a few years. So lets just go with the flow & try to keep the faith going in our children as long as we can go.

  3. Vinod, difficult with the current generation. You and me will always be ready to attend the Kakad Aarti at Shirdi by standing in the line since 4 am, our kids wont even attend regular darshans:(

    Maybe Online Darshans will be the order of the day, cant say.

  4. Guys, I totally agree, and I guess this is where we are making our kids miss out.. I still remember the days when I had to attend Bal Bharti classes in the temple every Friday, and like you mentioned Jayant, today I am depending on cartoons to teach my son.

    The choice at the end of the day is ours, but again, in this world today, unless you have a passion for your beliefs, there is no way we can survive.. Those who will will only be of the other faiths, be it right or wrong, simply due to their fanaticism and their care a damn attitude