Every disaster is followed by a cacophony of protests. Some of these sounds are those of legitimate, rightful anger, like the ones we have after the terrible Sabarimala tragedy. Nevertheless, I stubbornly insist on including them in the cacophony. Anger, though legitimate, blinds and blind anger usually causes discord rather than harmony.
The stampede at Sabarimala left us horrified. In my case, I just left me speechless. Disasters killing pilgrims has been a common thing. It defied all traditional logic from which we inherit the faith that those who seek the almighty will always come under the cover of His protection. In deep distress and silence I tried to find harmony in this cacophony – but failed. I read angry blogs cursing the State for its carelessness, for perpetuating the myth of Makara Vilakku. Numb with distress, I read furious blogs, letters to the editors challenging the very God concept.
Harmony, I guess, lies in the ears of the listener, and this listener, accustomed to another harmony failed in the effort to tune my ears to the medley of sounds. The notes that jarred most were in those angry tunes which thematised on the dismissal of the existence of God.
I only know one thing. God cannot exist within the rational jurisdiction of human thinking. One must exist outside this field to see God. To say what cannot be grasped by the faculty of human reason does not exist is both arrogant and foolish. To dismiss every phenomenon that does not lend itself to a rational explanation, as superstition and bullshit amounts to circumscribing life within boring boundaries. Life with all its complexities and gray areas and inexplicable phenomena cannot be demystified so rationally, so simplistically, for goodness sake! Only the instinctual man can have nirvanic glimpses into those areas.
Regarding the raging controversy about Makara Vilakku and Makarajyothi – it is ridiculous to claim that only the brilliant malayalees know that it is a man-made fire and that the non-malayalee pilgrims are idiots who foolishly believe that it is divine. What arrogance! The typical disgusting mallu conceit. We should make a survey of the pilgrims from outside the state before branding them as imbeciles with no common sense in their heads. During my commuting days, I used to have Sabarimala pilgrims from outside our enlightened state as travel companions, and I haven’t heard even one of them claim that Makaravilakku is the outcome of divine intervention. In fact, it is from a group of pilgrims from Andhra that I first heard about the “complicity” (as rationalists would have it) of the KSEB in creating the facilities for the burning of the camphor by tribals.
“Why do you still want to witness the Makaravilakku?” asked my friend.
‘What happens at all religious services – be it in Temples or Churches? Aren’t they executed by human agency in the form of priests? Aren’t priests human? Yet we believe in a divine presence and intervention, don’t we?’
That made sense.
Yes. That’s the truth of the matter. The divine presence and intervention happen in the human heart and mind, and not in the external event. It takes a gigantic leap of faith over and outside the Lakshman Rekha marked by the rationalists to experience God. Thus it is that man goes to Sabarimala and Tirupathi and Velankanni and Jerusalem and Mecca. It’s part of that search for God which man has indulged in from time immemorial, and continues and will continue to eternity despite Bertrand Russels and Tsunamis.
Blame the negligence of the state for the disaster. Or the commercialization agenda of vested interests. But not that quest for divine with which man was born.
If anyone thinks that all this hullabaloo about Makara Vilakku and Makara Jyothi will snuff out that lamp of faith in the heart of those who believe, they are mistaken. It takes more than a mere cacophony to terminate that quest for the Holy Grail.