Home away from home. . .

happiness-300x274 It’s twilight, a time when I remember to say my prayers. As I watch the sun set over the horizon, it reminds me that another day in my life is coming to a close. I can hear the bells of a temple in the distance toiling away to rouse the Gods, while the sounds of the ‘azaan’ (call of prayer) ring through from a nearby mosque simultaneously. I watch people rush into church so they don’t miss the evening mass, I recall fondly as my dear friends’ mother would drag us all to the ‘gurudwara’ as kids to “matha teko”(bow down). Looking over at the neighbouring buildings; I see zoroashtrian neighbours light the ‘lobaan’  and smoke their houses; an act to drive away evil spirits and usher in the angels.   The taxi and rickshaw drivers stop their daily runs, to offer a small prayer, as do the retail shop owners and street vendors. They light an incense stick and pray to the miniature idols, for sustenance and safety, and bow down offering gratitude. It’s so interesting as it seems almost simultaneously everyone in the world is bowing their heads down together. The rituals followed by all seem to have a common thread running through. The burning of incense, the ringing of bells, the singing of hymns, water, chana, and sheera distributed as Prasad. The teachings of love, tolerance and brotherhood being the common essence. The eventual close of day reminds us all of our own mortality; the fact that we are here for a temporary time. We don’t own anything and nothing really belongs to us, not even our own bodies. Where do we come from and where do we go? Even relationships are believed to be an ‘earthly thing’. Recently, I had invited my friends for a get together for high tea, as day turned to dusk, all of us took a few moments for silent prayer, ushering in a sense of peace and quiet after the continuous chatter of the afternoon. As it happened, the discussion got philosophical. Each of us adding in bits and pieces of our understanding of our faiths, traditions and beliefs. Some cultures teach of an afterlife, some speak of rebirth; Evoking Questions like ; In either scenario do we end up with the same families, as part of the same culture we once were a part of. Could it be that our souls go through a shuffle and are sent back to earth in completely different roles from our previous lives?  If not, do our souls go on to an afterlife different from anything on earth. So,  is what faith our ancestors were or did in their lifetimes relevant to us today? Some of us who’ve had a brush with aura readers, have been told  of many past lives we’ve lived, in different times, different cultures, in different parts of the world. Some who’ve tried regression have experienced being maids, jailors, warriors, kings. I doubt we’ll ever really know the answers to any of these mysteries. Most beliefs say we are part of one soul, which we reunite with on attaining moksha, “our final resting home”. Practice, religion and faith, these are schools, they aim to teach us how we can attain moksha, the method of teaching being different, the curriculum much the same. The best teachers and guides reside in all of us and that is our conscience and common sense. They guide us clearly and directly. When we chant and meditate we feel the connection. This connection is our contact home. I recently attended a passing away ceremony, and it began with the hymn, ‘ I surrender’ and aptly ended at burial with ‘lord I’m coming home’. The final ‘ghar vapsi’. We carry within us our souls. We are where we should be, and will go where we’re meant to. But, “home is, where we will always be “. eternal peace

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