The Hunger Games

As we grow up, we realize the horizons of our mind are smaller than we imagined. The things we can know, understand and believe are much less in number than the ones which we are supposed to blindly trust. We never grow up and become a know-it-all as we thought as a child. The heap of cognition keeps getting smaller while the dubiety stacks up like a mountain.One of such riddle is the ever-intensifying confusion between Mythology and Religion. The famous lines makes the perfect sense here

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep

Faith and wit have been fighting an eternal war inside human minds for a long time now. The mind numbing conviction of faith bestowed upon us by our ancestors and the nerve-wracking realization that it all may turn out to be a myth, the battle seems to be never ending. As the wheel of time turns, the latter seems to be getting momentum and it’s clinching grasp forces to the conclusion that the world might be running randomly without any meaning or purpose. A series of Random accidents making continuum called life as we know it!

“Destiny is something we’ve invented because we can’t stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental.” – Annie Reed (Sleepless in Seattle)

But who can contradict the God himself?

“There is no coincidence, and nothing happens ‘by accident.’  Each event and adventure is called to your Self by your Self in order that you might create and experience Who You Really Are.  All that is required is to know this. For you are the creator of your own reality, and life can show up in no other way for you than the way in which you think it will.” – Conversations with God, An Uncommon Dialogue by Neal Walsch

Maybe, Mythology and my faith do not necessarily come under the same umbrella. While there is a lot to deliberate on the superhuman aspects of Gods(be it any God! Did Krishna actually kill all those asuras as a kid? Did Jesus actually walk on water?), the spiritual prowess of any deity is undeniable. The material existence of any God is questionable and can be critically examined from an agnostic point of view. But spiritually speaking, all these Gods exist and they are the basic energy that scruples our very own thought process which in turn webs the society ‘s conscience and it is all very powerful and personal. to an individual, yet it affects all. That collective conscience, that faith,  is what runs the world. Still, Myth and faith have been woven in us so intricately that separating them would be spoiling our own very soul.  Faith is stronger when they have a solid Mythology foundation and Mythologies are more trustable when we associate our faith with it.

Recently I heard a very interesting concept about Hunger Games at Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva from Indian Hindu Mythology. Lord Shiva is a deity of immense power who should not be meddled with.His ‘Ardhanarishvara’ concept is an esteemed one from Indian mythology, just like the Ying-Yang from Chinese philosophy. Here goes the abstract.

Ardhanarishvara

In the picture, the mount of Devi Parvathy is a Lion and that of Lord Shiva is Nandhi, depicted as a bull. Both are connected directly in the food chain, yet they stay together and calm without any hungriness. The devotion of Shiva means the end of that hunger, the hunger for power, the hunger for money and the hunger for all the other material things in the world. Shiva means denouncing the material world and desiring the ethereal planes of spirit. Same is the case of mounts of Subramanya and Ganesha, sons of Shiva. One has a peacock and the other one has a rodent as their respective mounts. To link and complete this food chain, Shiva carries a Snake around his neck. The family union at Mount Kailash would have been a bit chaotic, if not for the abstinence of the mounts. Yet they remain, free from all Hunger Games.

Even a small thing from Indian Mythology has so much to ponder. I wouldn’t dare discredit it as a mere coincidence. When you think about it, each and every deity of Hindu mythology has many such intriguing and interlinked stories that you really wonder if it can really be the creation of a human at all. The reality, myth, and imagination linked with unadulterated beliefs of many make our mythology, a thing to be admired. Indian mythology is of magnificent and unparalleled complexity. But once you associate it with our faith, it takes another level of existence and veneration.

An agnostic and a believer is present in every human’s personality. The believer always looks for the way out of any kind of confrontation.Normally it goes like this ‘It does not matter if God exists or not. His teachings, the parables of his life and the overall goodness he spreads, aren’t these things we should be focusing and assimilating on rather than reasoning out the existence or the nonexistence of God’. Though quite a tangent to the existential question, the agnostic part of the brain murmurs rebelliously, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to know the source of the food we are eating?’ As if we really know the origin of all the food I eat, the other parts retorts. The bickering continues perennially. Eventually, as a person evolves and depending on his situations, one side gets stronger dominating the other one, still, the other part exists.

The conflict is of the innate inquisitiveness of the brain to know the Hows, Whens, Wheres and Whys of the things and the inherent fear of our mind finding himself haphazard in the world, which never reaches anywhere near a conclusion. Maybe in some, It eventually leads to the slow eroding of faith. The loss of faith is nothing less than an internal inferno. You never survive those catastrophic seismic shifts without any damage. It is essential to have your own angels and demons than burn in an eternal hell of forlornness so balancing the conflict is important. Personally, the superficial currents keep drifting me away from casting anchor, and so far I never found the gratification of knowing the truth from anywhere nor have the bliss of complete belief. Hope I get better with age and win my own hunger game.

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5 thoughts on “The Hunger Games

  1. An interesting piece. I know it can be rather difficult to dismiss the wonderfully intricate myths laid out in front of us. But as an atheist the only thing I would say is that we humans tend to find meaning and pattern in things that do not contain any. That’s because we as a species are inherently scared of randomness, and find solace in meaning.
    The only problem being that sometimes to attain that level of comfort, we eschew the truth and hold on to our faiths (all the while knowing deep down that we may be wrong).

    • Thanks :). What you said holds true in reverse as well. While we accept the randomness, there may be a tiny part of us which clings to the possibility of a higher power. Otherwise we would end up as a forlorn society.

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