Shradhha – Faith

Jesuit priests regularly go into a retreat to replenish their spirit of compassion and reset their spiritual compass. On one such retreat for the Jesuits from Maharashtra and Goa I had been invited to conduct a workshop on stress management. Seeing the priests with their cassocks triggered a new line of thinking.

“I have a three minute version of stress management”. That got their attention. “I need you all to answer two questions. First question is “How many of you believe in god?” This is not what I had prepared; but I could see the sudden interest in the crowd. There was a slight pause and then slowly all of them put up their hand; they were priests. “The second question is “How many of you feel stressed?” This time there was a slight buzz in the hall. A wise old priest was the first to put up his hand, gradually others followed suit, all hands were raised. Honest people; after all they were priests.

Now it was my turn. They were all expectantly looking at me curious to know what I had to say. The first person to get the point of course was the wise old priest. His face beamed with a smile. He knew what was coming. ‘You have given yourself the answer. You know the cause of stress and also the cure”. They were waiting. “your answers tell me that all of you believe in God but not one of you trusts Him” There was stunned silence in the room.

                      “Sabko bhagwan pe vishwas toh hai par bharosa ek ko bhi nahi”

Bringing my little daughter back from school was something that I really looked forward to. She would talk nineteen to a dozen “Neha did this and then Seema said that and then Miss called them both in front of the class ….” We were crossing a busy street with busses and trucks zooming past us but she was not bothered. I could just feel her grip on my finger tighten a bit. She was sure that papa is there to take care. She not only believed in me, she also trusted me. If even by mistake she lost her grip on my finger she would panic.

This is precisely what happens to us when we lose trust in the God that we believe in. If we trust we are sure that he will take care. When we lose trust, he still takes care, but now we are not sure and we panic. That friends, is stress. When we lose trust our message to God is quite clear “You messed up my case last time please be careful this time”. We can keep praying to God, sending him reminders, but of course we will never be sure because we don’t trust Him. Any time you feel stressed just raise your hand and hold the finger of ‘Our father in heaven’. Trust and you will feel safe.

I am not a religious person. I get my faith from a simple observation. Since millions of years nature has been taking care of all life forms. Nature ensures that the food for each is within its reach. Nature protects them right through their normal life span. Why would nature suddenly forget me? I trust nature; I have faith in it. Main thing is that I do not want anything out of turn, before time or more than my share; for the rest I trust nature.

                                                     Implicit trust is Shradhha – faith.