Arun Tejasvi Chaganty about articles blog thoughts research

The Temple

There is a temple down the road from where I live, 1 left and 2 rights.
  Every Friday I make my tiny pilgrimage
To it’s equally tiny containment of solace.
  My mother sends me to feed the cows,
But I stay through the evening
  I do not know why.

An island in the violent waters of the urban suburb.
  A protector of our “Samskrutum”; a social herb.
I am pulled by this vortex in my life’s turbulence;
  By the familiar faces of friendly foreign figures
Actors without transcripts in the life that is mine.

In this serenity, my mind wanders seeking serendipity,
  Wishing for answers to open questions
Unanswered as always in some metaphysical FAQ.
  Still I search, waiting for a reply I am due,
“Why do I love this temple so much
  What gives it it’s special touch?"

It begins.

Simple questions always raise complex ones,
  This is not Tirupati,
Devotee fanfare is not it’s birthright,
  Yet, something in it’s infancy is a pleasing sight
The calm, peaceful casualness comes fresh
  Nothing like the spirituality I had come to know

Like many my age, brought up in the ways of science
  I hold little value to words of meta-science.
The rituals, preaching teachings, seem irrelevant in this day and age.
  Ramblings of some long lost sage.
Words eroded away by the ruthless agents of change.
  That they should hold eternally true seems strange.

I have never understood the darshan,
  The pushing struggle to glimpse but an unnecessary manifestation,
To which they attach spiritual value, and many fold adoration,
  More, much more than the gold by which it is adorned.
It is not my deity, not that which I hold in my mind,
  Unseen, shapeless, abstract.

While in the religious godhead I do not believe,
  In our religion I do. Our art.
Our language and our literature. Our values and our virtues.
  Our. The word stings me. What right have I, so ignorant,
Not even knowing my mother tongue,
  nor the rituals and shlokas of an Ancestry I was born into.

I may not have a say in the matter,
  But that does not mean I can not choose it.
Not for the first time, an ethereal realization dawns,
  I love this temple because it gives me a chance.
A casual environment too subtle to rub against my insecurities
  A window into my inheritance. A hope of understanding.

I wrote this on the train on the way back to college, though many of the ideas that brought it out happened in-situ. My initial plan was to sit there (it’s a really nice place to sit and ponder), but due to lack of time, I did it instead in a horribly cramped position in the train, through the wee hours of the night where conformational problems would inhibit any possibility of sleep anyways, making me look quite the travelling bard. Since then, I have merely added some corrections to the language, and made it more consumable. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic (Ok, honestly I’d just like someone to confirm that I’m not alone in these thoughts, and secondly I’d like to see some damn comment in my inbox that isn’t spam).