I find that presently increased numbers of younger people are having belief and faith in god. You can no longer brush aside the statement branding it false and vague. As a staunch believer in god and a beneficiary of his blessings, this change gives me immense pleasure. General public who knew me in person will also know that I will not make such a sweeping statement without a valid proof.
Before elaborating my statement I want to share my mind and make a request. This request is not directed towards those known hardcore atheists. It is only for those who have lost belief in god due to their own individual reasons. I may even call it a temporary loss of faith. Such agonized people starts sharing and spreading their disbelief in god and create sizable damage in the beliefs of the society. Fortunately after some time most of them gain back their belief on self realization. The sad fact is that the substantial damage or mind pollution caused by them during the short period to the established ethics of the society becomes irreversible. I would request them to be conscious about the repercussions of their act on the society. Let them be aware that it will take generations to develop such good ethics and beliefs and their depraved acts will only cause irreparable damage to the society
In India to whatever be the state, city or village I go, I always make it a point to go to the local temple for praying and to meet the people coming over there. When I am at Chennai, I will go to Kapaleeswarar Temple at Mylapore at least once a week. This I am doing for the past several years. While, my primary interest of going to the temples is to offer my prayers, after completing it I always make it a point move around to study the people coming to the temple and even venture to talk with them.
Few years before, whenever I went to the temples, I have seen only the middle-aged (40 above) and the elderly at the temples and a least number of youngsters. I have seen most of the youngsters were not very keen in praying and playful. Currently, the trend has changed drastically. I am observing that more youngsters are going to the temples and offering their prayers sincerely than before. Lately, I also find that more youngsters offer voluntary services and taking important roles during the festivities at the local temple. The trend is not confined only to Hindu temples and I have found the change in other places of worship too.
Most of you are aware that Kalyanamalai regularly conducts ‘Vivaha Prarthana Homams and Poojas’ to help the people to conduct the marriages of their son or daughter happily without any obstacles. Kalyanamalai has started this Vivaha Prarthana program three years back. In the beginning, I have seen more elderly people over the age of 60 attending the program, praying and sitting through the poojas until the end.
However, of late, I am seeing a change in the trend. I could see more youngsters happily participating in the poojas, praying and sitting through all the rituals till the end. They also show reverence to the rituals and some of them even chant the slokas and manthras along with the priests. A number of them yet go a little further and ask questions to understand the finer details and meanings of the rituals observed.
Similarly, during my visits to some of the well-known shops that sell pooja articles, books and CDs, in Chennai, I could see more youngsters are buying pooja articles and bakthi and sloka CDS. The best part is that the change is not restricted to a particular caste or religion, and it has become universal.
I would like to conclude this blog post with a write up of Mahathma Gandhi in young India (24 April 1931), p. 274 (credit: http://en.wikiquote.org/).
It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me, it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life, you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligence and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.