Love, affection and devotion are qualities that cannot be created or destroyed by external forces. These qualities generally come from within a person. No environment, on its own entirety, can imbibe these qualities into any person. However, they can be a strong catalyst in the sustenance and growth of such qualities in a person. The family, the society and the company the person keeps leaves a strong influence on a person’s behavior. Life events also has strong influence over one’s behavior. However, that is a diverse and complex topic, altogether, that deserves a separate discussion.
India, from ancient times, has been a culturally rich nation. The Indian social system which is an embodiment of the ancient culture and most elevated human values is perhaps the only one among all ancient civilizations, that has survived multiple invasions that could have potentially alienated this world with this most unique, welcoming, accommodating and vibrant culture.
Yesterday morning when I visited a nearby temple, I was surprised to see a child (perhaps 8 y.o.) exiting the temple with an open packet of potato wafers in his hands. 10 AM is too early for anyone to have wafers, especially inside a temple.
When I entered the temple, I found some of the wafers were offered to the idol of Nandi, the carrier of Bhagwan Shiv. I could understand the child’s bonding with the cute looking calf idol and was really happy to see that he offered the food that perhaps he loved, to his God before he had it himself.
Usually, any food item that has Sea salt in it, is not offered to Hindu Gods as it is believed to contain the decayed mortal remains of marine life. Instead, if at all, savory food has to be served, Rock salt is generally used in the preparation. Apparently, since sea salt is used to prepare Potato wafers, it is generally not offered to Hindu Gods. However, the kid’s gesture was remarkable, at his age. I appreciate the kind of love he has in his heart which is reflected in his devotion towards his beloved God. He would have similar love towards all humans and other creatures. His family and society must have had great influence on his thoughts and behavior.