1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

“Your Religion? Money!” – The Lamentations of An Accountant!

Discussion in 'Wednesdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Editor's Note: Thank you for sharing this with us. It has been chosen as the Best of Forums. Congratulations! for viewership by a larger audience we have it as an article here.

    ----------------------
    Several years ago when a group of friends were discussing religion, one of them hurled a charge at me, “Hi, Accountant, Isn’t your religion money? Isn’t your philosophy, materialism?”

    Like so many other unjust remarks thrown at me, I could not take this in my stride. I was deeply hurt and did not even have the mind to talk back to that gentleman.

    As I dozed off to sleep that night, with the cruel remark still hurting my insides, I drew an account (see, I am an accountant always) of my experiences with religion. I love money. I love good cars. I love ogling beautiful women.

    I love good food, good movies, good books, good friends – the list is long and has never stopped growing. But not more than any other healthy man would do. None of these loves have assumed the proportions of an obsession, let alone a religion. I make money, spend money, have lost it, found it again.

    This statement would apply to other loves of my life with suitable changes. But my affair with religion belongs to a different category and is much more fascinating than my affairs with money or even with the written word.

    To start with God took the form of the genie of the famed Alladin’s lamp. Constant petitions to him for this and that was my form of prayer and worship. At one stage I discovered that God as the genie, is not so perfect for he did not answer all my prayers. For instance when I was in my 5<sup>th</sup> grade I badly wanted to marry my classmate, who was our class leader. I prayed fervently to God that I should marry that girl, by hook or crook.

    While doing my PUC (the equivalent of today’s Plus Two) I feel in love again with another girl. I prayed feverishly that she should become my wife. My prayers were dismissed by God with an indulgent smile.

    Then when I met these women much later in life, another dimension of God was revealed to me. I just shivered (of course in fear) how my life would have been had I married any of these women! For the first time I started viewing God with some respect.

    But you know, habits die hard. I still considered God the Alladin’s genie, but with some restraining powers, which he put to use prudently. Then I started praying to him whenever I was in trouble. It is here that I should record a statement of deep love and gratitude to my Maker. I have failed God many, many times in my life. But God has not failed me even once.

    Once I was travelling to Trichirapalli by bus. The year was 1984. Just four months after my marriage and two months after I set up professional practice in Madurai. I got the ticket and boarded the bus. The bus was cruising along the highway.Not having anything better to do, I was playing with the ticket in the running bus. The ticket flew out of the window.

    Normally that should not be a problem as the conductor knew that I had bought the ticket. But as my luck would have it, the flying squad got into the bus that day. They were asking for tickets from everyone, and those who did not have were caught and chargesheeted. More than the money and the time lost, the humiliation would have been unbearable.

    I invoked my dear genie, the Almighty God. “Dear God, you know I bought the ticket. I was of course careless in handling it and lost it. I promise you that in future I will be very careful with the tickets. But please.. please save me now.”

    Even now my eyes become full as I describe what happened next. The Checking Inspector had come to the back row of seats in which I was sitting. In another few seconds I would have spat my heart out of my mouth. So fast was my heartbeat.

    The Inspector asked the ticket from the man sitting to my left and then as if in a dream state he then asked the man sitting to my right. Perhaps God saw to it that I was clothed with an Invisible Cloak for a few seconds.

    The Inspector went on with his mundane job unaware that a great miracle had happened there. I was crying for the rest of my journey. I have been extremely careful with tickets since then. See, He not only saved me but also taught me something valuable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2014
    1 person likes this.
    Loading...

  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    To such a benevolent Being, My Dear God, I should have been more reverent. But I was not. I played with him. I teased him. My faith in Him was not always unshaken. But His faith in me never wavered a bit, as can be seen from this incident.

    In the earlier days of practice I could not afford a car. I used to travel to nearby towns in my motorcycle. I had a Rajdoot motorcycle at that time. I was riding to Singampunari, a small town 55 kms north of Madurai. I had to go in the Madurai Chennai highway. I was carrying my bag which had a scientific calculator, which at that time was my only professional tool. Computers came in the nineties. This happened in 1986. Preethi was a few days old at that time.

    Unknown to me the side box in my bike was damaged. My bag fell on the open, State Highway, where a few thousand vehicles pass by every day. The only valuable thing I lost was the calculator. I could not afford to buy another piece and I was very sad.

    Many friends and relatives, thinking that they were consoling me or taking part in my grief, told me that it would have been better if I had at least gifted the calculator to somebody. To lose it in the way I did, was cruel, they all mused.
    I was staying with my in-laws that evening. I was vexed with God. I went straight to his temple – the famous <st1:place><st1:placeName>Vinayagar</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType>Temple</st1:placeType></st1:place> in Thirunagar. I could not help being rude to Him. I told him:

    “Well, you had your way right? Now here’s a teaser for you. If I get back my calculator I promise I’ll gift it to some one. And I will have something to tell the people who want to console me. I’ll accept your omnipotence.”

    What does my acceptance or rejection of His Omnipotence mean to HIM, HIM who can create a billion universes in a nanosecond and destroy them all in less than that time? My God stooped down to my level. You see, more than his Omnipotence, Omnipresence and Omniscience (all-powerful, universal presence and all-knowing nature) His love is powerful.

    A taxi driver who went in the same road soon after I went found the bag and deposited in a police station in <st1:City><st1:place>Madurai</st1:place></st1:City>. The bag had a bill to be delivered to my client. And the bill had our office address and phone number. The next morning the bag was handed over to a stupefied, astounded me. I asked the taxi driver what he wanted for a reward. I was ready to give him anything. But he wanted to have my used comb that was in the bag. I gave it to him.

    And then I went to His temple crying all the way. If I had uttered those words of irreverence even to a petty ruler, I would have been punished. But I had told them to the Ruler of All the Worlds, All the Time. He only showed his unfailing love for me.
    I kept my side of the bargain. I handed over the calculator to a school teacher who was living near our office. I told him that it was my gift to his school’s science lab.

    Now tell me ILites, who received the greatest gift of all?
     
  3. Malathijagan

    Malathijagan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sridhar,
    "The only valuable thing I lost was the calculator. I could not afford to buy another piece and I was very sad." This really touched my heart because I have gone through such times and in those times every penny counted.
    But when it comes to God's benevolence, I have some 'hair raising' experiences and would you believe? God has played jokes with me!
    Once about 7 to 10 years back, The children's summer vacation was coming to a close and it was the last weekend before school re-opening.One of my husband's friend suggested that why not we took a trip to Thirumala where Darshan could be had easily since the company in which my hubby worked was handling some projects there. I was an ardent devotee of Srinivasa and loved that idea. I started nagging my hubby to arrange for a darshan to which he turned a deaf ear. That was a sunday. I had a calender picture of Lord Venkatesha hung in my kitchen and I literally communicated with him daily! That day I stood in front of His picture and shed tears of sorrow for not having been able to visit His Holy Shrine. And would you believe what happened that evening!
    My hubby wanted to take us out to his favourite club which is our usual outing to have some time together before the reopening of school. I was upset but I reluctantly went to the club along with the kids. That was where that Great Lord played a joke on me!
    We wanted a quiet dinner and to our dismay saw a big white screen on the lawns! A movie was just being screened as we entered to take our seats!
    And I couldn't believe my eyes!There on the screen, as the movie unwinded, I saw the seven doors opening one by one and then the image of the Lord Venkatesha and the movie name was "Thirupathi Ezhumalai Venkatesa"! I could not but cry and laugh at the same time thinking of the Lord! Was He being merciful or playing a joke on me?
    That night, I came home, stood in front of my favourite calender where the Lord dwelled (That was my belief) and this time shed tears of joy! He with His usual naughty smile seemed to reply-"you communicate with me everyday and yet you don't seem to be satisfied with that. You want to visit my dwelling place while I am right here available 24*x. This really opened my inner eyes!Now neither is the calender hanging there in my kitchen nor is there the yearning to visit Thirumala anymore.He dwells in the innermost core of my heart and is there at my beck and call.Yet whenever I get an opportunity to visit the Sacred Hill, I take it as a call from Him and feel blessed.
    There have been quite a lot of such miraculous incidents in my life that has taken me closer to my ownself (that is the athma becoming one with the paramathma.)
    Thanks Sridhar sir for having started this thread and letting me share my experience.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Malathi,
    That was really a hair-rising experience. We are always told to love God. But unfortunately we are not in a position to know even a billionth of his Love for us.

    I read about a similar incident. A devotee wanted to go to Thirumala before he accepted some new assignment. He had only a day to spare. He did not have any influence. He stood in the general queue. He was told that the wait will be for 60 hours. There was no way he could have His Dharshan.

    But actually Malathy, it is our ego which makes us think that we can strive to get His Dharshan. The truth is that He has show Himself to us. If that does not happen we cannot see him at all.

    This devotee did not know whether he should abandon his mission and go out or continue to stand in the queue thereby losing some important work to be done the next day at Chennai. He wept and the Lord did see it. You know what happened?

    A group of Devaswom official came into the queue and picked up this man. They wanted him to be witness for counting the Hundial collection. It lasted for some 5, 6 hours after which he was given a free dharshan and was also given a Laddu.

    The only sensible prayer we can have is, to understand a billionth of his true love.

    love and regards,
     
  5. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sridhar,

    It was really interesting to read your experiences with God. I too share a love hate relationship with god. i accuse him for deserting me in the time of need etc etc.... but he is always there by my side. come what may. My interesting incident happened 8 years ago.
    We had just bought our house in the US . It was our anniversary and we were leaving to go to the temple. As is customary, i always go to the pooja room and ask the lord to protect our house and us when we are away. We were just about to leave when Ani( who was 3 at that time) , need to go to the bath room. Try as we might, we could not get him to use the downstairs bath room, he just had to go upstairs. All of us were getting irritated with him, and my hubby took him up angrily to the upstairs bathroom. On going up, he found smoke coming from one of the bedrooms and we all had a real shock. It just so happened that my FIL had put his towel on a halogen lamp in the room , and I ithink Ani had turned on the lamp. Needless to say, the heat from the halogen bulb, set fire to the towel which in turn fell on the carpet and the carpet had started to burn. Luckily we managed to put the fire out and the damage was minimal. We would have lost our house to a fire that day if not for Ani. It just made us realise that God comes in different forms to help us at all times. And this time he came in the form of a very adamant toddler .

    God is benevolent to all of us. But may be not all the time. I truly think that we are all the ones that are gifted who have experienced our almighty's compassion in one form or the other.
    Thanks for a wonderful write up again. And also giving us the opportunity to share our experiences.

    Vandhana
     
  6. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Varalotti,

    It is quite touching to read your episode of losing the calculator and getting it back. Those who believe in God are never let down. About five years back, I faced a big crisis in my professional and personal life which I cannot describe here. I had even contemplated to end my life. But, as the saying goes,'God if he closes one door opens the other', I got an e-mail asking me 'Would you like to work at NPL?'. NPL is the National Physical Laboratory in London. I applied and prayed to two of my most favorite deities, Alala Sundara Vinayakar at the junction of mela maasi Veethi and Vadakku Maasi Veethi and Anjaneyar at lakshminarayanapura agraharam in Madurai. I was interviewed telephonically and then called for a personal inter view at London for which NPL paid me the airfare. My journey around the world started and to people who ask me how do you manage to get jobs abroad I give the reply ' It is God who lifted me from India and put in London, Melbourne and now in Washington and in the process my problems have been solved. So, I make it a point to visit Madurai and worship these deities whenever possible. On the way from Melbourne to Washington I took a break and came to India and went to Madurai which of course you know. I wake up praying to God, keep chanting slokas all through the day. Next to God comes my Guru and I have a thread in the Religion & Spiritual section of this forum titled 'Guruji and Me' where I have given episodes how Gyananda Swamikal helped me and others in solving some mundane problems. In the end, I would like to recall the British Philosopher Bertrand Russel who has narrated how belief in a cause gives happiness.

    Regards,

    TDU
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Vandhana,

    I am really happy that my post has inspired you to narrate similar incidents. All of us have a date with God. While we forget that most of the time, He (Or She) never forgets. And incidents like the one you narrated (or the ones I told about or Malathi's or TDU's incidents) are only reminders sent our way that we have forgotten our date with him.
    What you have stated cannot be brushed against as coincidence or just a happy chance. It speaks strongly about the presence of the All-loving one in our lives. Thank you, Vandhana.

    regards,
     
  8. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear TDU,

    Thanks for sharing the incidents in your life which only serves to reinforce our faith in His eternal love.

    I am sure every one would have undergone such trials one time or other in life. To be very frank I had these traumatic attacks several times. Once or twice I was so down financially that I did not have money to pay auto-fare in Chennai. I travelled half the distance in bus and the other half by sharing an auto with the other passenger.
    The words BhaktaVatsalyan, MargaBandhu all so elegantly befit his nature.

    I am a life subscriber of Gnanavoli (the magazine from Thirukovilur Mutt) I scanned a few pages of the last issue wher His Holiness Sri Sringeri Swamigal had talked about Advaita and Asthikathvam.

    Every month I used to read about Swamiji's blessings and Grace which had made a difference in many lives.

    I will be happy if you can narrate any incident here in this thread.
    regards,
     
  9. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    569
    Trophy Points:
    188
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Varalotti

    Your earnest, introspective "Lamentations" of what God is to you - and what you could be to God- precipitated by your friend's callous remarks, set off a train of thoughts in my mind about the concepts named God and Religion.

    As the famous witticism goes, "god does not need us, we need God ; If a God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent one" . Going about our plebian lives we are periodically tossed between blind faith and agnostic ambivalence ; some of us opting to go the whole hog into the Atheist Camp. Such bewilderment is obviously the consequence of our ever changing perception about the God Principle and its percieved machinations in the twists and turns of our lives.However that may be, none of us can escape thinking about God.

    Many ILites have narrated here , episodes of Grace experienced by them. I have had my share of Miracle Moments too, when I have felt protected and amply blessed. At this point of time in my life life, I have come to think of God as my closest friend. This, in a way, is returning to childhood faith. After wandering through a maze of philosophies and credos - which in the ultimate analysis are only other people's opinions -I have gone back to being the child who had accepted the wayside Ganesa as her playmate and co-conspirator. All children start off with such uncritical faith. Your Arabian Night Genie was my Extraterrestrial Choo-Mantar-Kali -Wand-waving Magician. But my Magician died young when chinks in his mighty armour became apparent to my growing and probing mind. The chief catalysts for such questing were unfulfilled prayers and instances of Injustice apparent all around.
    I grew up in a very liberal family with parents honest enough to admit it when they had no answers for their children's dilemmas and skepticisms. We were encouraged to first learn the handed-down precepts and then to seek our own answers. My education is continuing.
    I have my own Religion, my own God whose hand is always on my shoulder. I have resigned as the manager of my life . It feels good to lean back, relax and let my Shiva take care of everything. Whatever He plans and executes - ellam nallathukke , as exemplified by your huge relief when you realised what would have been , but thankfully never was , had God heeded your juvenile prayers and granted you the object(s) of your puppy love !
    " ithuvo emai aalummaru
    eevathonru emakku illaiyel
    ithuvum unnarul Avaduthurai Araney !" (Gnanasambanthar)
    ( If this is the way you'd govern us, nothing given us, we'd consider that your Grace too ,Hara.)
    The touching scene of your "being rude" to the Thirunagar vinayakar made me think of Karaikkal Ammaiyar's jesting with the Lord. She ribs him thus: " If we beg you for something are you one to give readily ? You could not even find a spare vehicle for Uma , but crowded her onto your own bull !" ( Umaikkenru thedi peraathu, undan konda utthamarey...) In our culture we do have this quaint tradition called Nindha Sthuthi . A devotee is licensed to give God a piece of his mind for any percieved shortcoming. And the democratic Lord does not arrest anyone for sedition.
    I no longer view God as a Supermarket to which I run with shopping lists and little bribes. Right or wrong, I am also quite careless about formulated rituals and try to live by the mantra:
    "Atma Tvam, Girija Matihi, Sahacharaa Pranaah, Sariram griham.
    Pooja they vishyopabhoga rachana , nidraa samadhi sthitihi
    Sancharah padayo pradakshina vidhihi, Stothraani sarva giro
    Yad yad karma karomi tat tadakilam
    Shambho tava aradhanam"
    ( The soul is You, the intellect is your consort, the vital airs are companions, the body the house. All pleasures enjoyed are your pooja, samadhi is sleep. the steps i walk is your Pradakshinam, every word i utter, your hymns, what ever i do in this world is your Worship")
    This is my Religion.
    I too love good food, ice-cream, movies, i too ogle at good looking hunks, i laugh, i joke , i sulk. And my God is ever with me and shares my food, my ice-cream, my jokes. " Thannai Kanda envannam evvannam avvannam agiya Isanukke..."(Seraman Peruman)
    Oops! I dint realise I have rambled so long ! Beg pardon. But thanx for flagging off the train. Loved your post and the FBs.

    Regards
    manjula
    ( PS: Quote: "To such a Benevolent Being, I shd've been more reverent....played with him...my faith in him was not always unshaken" You have expertly caught in simple words the soul searching and feelings of unworthiness sung by many Bhakthas of yore. In this context, I recommend you see the English play "Flowers" by Girish Karnad, enacted(Solo) by Rajat Kapoor.)
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    70
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sridhar,

    I liked the way you have brought out your " growing up with GOD" , and accepting him......well at some point all of us go through these stages, and ifwe have HIS GRACE , we learn from our experiences and bow down to this external power which is inside us!
    i too have always let this flow happen in my life withour EVER lamenting once also......i always took it for granted that whatever happens in my life in the looooong run it will be for my benefit....and i have witnessed it many times, noted it down, and always discuss with Roshini and hubby! It does emphasise our faith and belief and helps us alleviate our fears and worries , enable us to accept our troubles and await patiently for things to turn in our favour. Such belief helps one to face life calmly and peacefully!isn't it?

    Great write up, made us all renew our belief in God and oneself!:2thumbsup:
     

Share This Page