|September 05, 2003 |
Kakaji used to say that we are "shraddhaalu naastikas (faithful non-believers)." Dinkar Uncle gave some examples to explain this phrase. Once a town was suffering from drought and the townspeople decided to gather at the local temple to offer prayers for ample rainfall. One man told his son to accompany him to the prayer gathering and the son agreed, but asked the father to wait until he brought his umbrella. The father replied that they did not need the umbrella since it was not forecasted to rain that day. The son was surprised and questioned, "Then what is the purpose of the prayer?" The father was going to pray, but unlike his son, he did not have the proper faith that the prayers would be fulfilled.
In another example, a father once asked his son to do the thaala (daily offering of food to God) while he was away on a trip. On the first day, the son offered food, but God did not eat. The son was surprised and afraid his father would not be happy with him so he called out to God, "Please eat the food otherwise my father will be angry." His heartfelt prayer was heard and God ate the offered food. This continued until his father returned. The father was amazed to hear when his son explained that God had taken food from the thaala. The father had routinely done thaala, but never with the devotional feeling that God would truly accept the food!