Saturday, July 14, 2007
Rambling thoughts on cavorting with Hindus and Sieks
I was in a Siek temple, where sitting in solemn contemplation I saw that I was the only one there who was a white Christian. Astonishing. I have learned a bit about the ten gurus and how the tenth guru became enlightened and began the Seik religion out of an older Vedic religion. Seemingly so different than my own. But deeply embedded in this religion, followed by billions, I have found a startling familiarity. Krishna and Christ have a similar story. Both of divine descent, both hunted by an evil king who, fearing a prophecy, commenced the infanticide of an entire village, hoping to nip the child god in the bud. An avatar is a divine being in human form...they come for various reasons. Krishna is loved for his beauty and guileless nature- he escaped being killed by a dark serpent, hiding in a bucket carried on somebody's head...across a parted lake. He is also known as a butter thief. To test if somebody will be forgiving and generous he steals butter to stir up trouble...how will I react when my butter comes up missing?
Hmmm... And like Christians they honor virtue and family and self mastery...and respect for life, which are typical of most religions. Those are good things. It is unfortunate that there are the extreme exceptions who fuel so much anti religious fervor. Certainly, having those beliefs are more likely to help society? Right? Because the opposite doesn't sound pretty- or functional...
My friend, who is a Hindu, has said she will reject nothing that is holy. She asked me who Christ was, and I gave her the cliff note version. She decided he comfortably belonged with the other 40 million, deserving deity and joined me at my church one Sunday. It was simple. Good is good and she politely joined the worship. The Sieks are more like me, she said. They believe in the one creator God and have a code of right and wrong they live by devoutly. They worship in their temple with covered heads.
So, here I sit with a brother... a man I could never speak to, but if I could I may find quite a bit in common with, as unlikely as that may be- a white, American, Christian female and her seeming opposite. I am sure that he has feelings and thoughts about life that I have had. We aren't really prepared for that. We don't expect it and are surprised to find that others are as human as we. But, I look for it eagerly. I find it reassuring.
Somebody who did not bother to know would only see his outside and think ignorantly that they beheld the enemy. Some don't bother to sort out facts...I, too have had people assume wrongly when they go on hearsay or scanty factoids about my religion.This "enemy" welcomed me, fed me and serenely sat beside me in a place of worship. If we would all stop trying to point out how different we all are we might just like being alike.