'Rituals are fine'

  • -As told to Meenakshi Kumar, PTI
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  • Updated: Apr 07, 2003 17:39 IST

When I first performed in a temple in Manipur way back in 1973, I seriously wondered whether I would be struck by lightning. Brought up in the Jewish faith, I was always a believer in one God and so thought that maybe my God wouldn’t approve of what I was doing. But when at the end of the performance, lightning didn’t strike me, I realised that God is universal and doesn’t really care in which form one worships Him.

I have always believed that just as there are different forms of dance, similarly religion too has different forms which are essential to reach the same idea. And for that spirituality is important. What is most important is to positively contribute to the community. There is no point in spreading negativity.

I do believe in God and also in the fact that the different forms of God are meant for coming close to what is beyond humanity. There is a universal divine. Just recently, I was in Manipur to perform. Just before I stepped onto the stage, I was overcome by an overwhelming feeling that there was divine protection and the dance would turn out fine. It was only after the performance that I learnt from the musicians that how they almost made it to the airport and were saved from missing the flight. It reconfirms my belief in God. I am comfortable with different forms of spirituality.

I am not a believer in ritual for the sake of ritual. Let me say that I am comfortable with rituals. They are structures that enable one to come closer to the truth.

Next week is an important Jewish festival – Passover. It is basically meant for family and friends. I like to follow it every year.


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