I had never thought about how to introduce Diya to religion. I hadn’t thought it was important enough and that she would come to know and appreciate religions and adopt the one on her own, the one she finds most comforting.
I was wrong.
I have a habit of chanting Gayatri Mantra before I go to sleep. I also follow Sikhism. I am blessed to have a mother who taught me basics of both religions (I am sure she says the same thing about her own mother!). Thanks to years spent at St. Joseph’s, my morning prayers are borrowed from childhood memories. I might not be very ritualistic when it comes to praying, but these basic and simple acts of reciting the prayers aloud are very therapeutic. They have helped me through tough times in life. I still remember praying feverishly to God just before the results were out (yeah, this happened for almost ALL such events…. I usually relied on God to get me through the exams). I am not sure how much it contributed to the marks scored, but it did help soothe my anxiety and tension!
Religion for me is not a compulsion.
It is not a heritage or mark of culture.
It is comforting.
A Big Moral support.
I have taken my anger and frustration out at God when things went horribly wrong. And then gone back to HIM, apologizing for my bad behavior. I cherish my relationship with God. It hasn’t been of Creator and His subject. It has been of a parent and a child.
And so one evening while I was chanting the mantra with Diya by my side, this thought came to me. What would Diya have to hold on to when me and A won’t be around anymore? Who can give her unconditional love and support and be her guiding angel? Wouldn’t she need the strength of faith to go on? And as if to give me a sign, Diya said ‘Om’. That was a signal from her to make me chant the mantra (She does it when she likes a particular song and wants me to sing it- so it is ‘Momma, tip tip’ for ‘tip tip tip tip baarish’ song, ‘Momma, Bum Bum Mei Mei’ for ‘Bum Bum bole’ and so on…. ) And I went on singing (chanting)… Now this has become our daily bedtime routine.
Or may be her first lesson in religion.