Some time ago, I was present at a family meeting where a marriage proposal was under discussion. The girl’s family asked why the man did not disclose his marital status. The man unabashedly replied that officially he had got his divorce just a few days earlier, so he could not say anything on a matter pending in court. Ignoring the fact that he was looking for a bride without being officially divorced, he accused his former wife of being fashion-crazy, rich, characterless and ambitious while he was innocent and religious. They separated after the birth of their son and there were no obligations on his part.
Elders accompanying him nodded grimly and his sister piped up, “A man who goes to temples everyday in this modern age is a rarity. You can imagine what a girl is like if she doesn’t go to temples.”
The woman who opted to be a single mother was branded characterless. And a man whose duty as a father was over by paying alimony, called himself religious, because he prayed everyday. Proudly, he proclaimed, ‘I worship every morning for three hours despite earning in six figures. My deity is Hanuman. Who is yours?’ All looked at him in awe and the girl mumbled names like Shiva, Rama and so on.
But where was the humility of Hanuman in the man? He wanted a decision right then, as he was too busy to come again. Whether the girl needed time to decide her future was not his concern. His rituals had made him big-headed.
True, puja, vrat, daanam, yajna and bhajan give rise to satvik energy. But even satvik qualities become binding when performed with ego. God does not want things from us, He wants a pure, loving heart. A truly spiritual person has happy relationships with everyone as he sees all to be creations of the Divine. One who knows God and loves God, automatically loves God’s whole creation. The biggest truth to learn is that the world loves a tender person best and so does God.