Friday, April 20, 2007

Of Serenity, Prayers and Acceptance :)

"God, Grant me the Serenity,
To accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage, to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom, to know the DIFFERENCE."

The Serenity prayer. The only one I believe in, completely,
unquestioningly. It's everything you need, you'll ever need. And it's
the hardest thing in the world.

I found these words somewhere long, long ago, and I have believed in
their power ever since. It has helped me hold on when everything else
was hazy, even dark. And it always comes back to me.

I've never been such a sucker for custom made prayers. I remember when
me and my bro were kids, in Calicut, it was our job to light the vellaku
(lamp or diya that you light before a deity) in the evening. I was not
allowed to handle fire so chettan (my bro) would light the vellakku, and
I would light the agarbatties from the wick in the vellakku. And then we
would recite our prayers (we had this prayer in Malayalam, which is
usually recieted by kids, "Daiyame Kaithoram,kelkkumaragannam , paavaam
aam enne nnee kathumaraganam..." I hope I got the words right, but I
have a sneaking suspicion that I didn't. Loosely translated it means
God, I'm folding my hands in front of you, please hear my prayers,
always watch over me...). Somehow this little daily ritual got lost in
the daily busy business of growing up. And then I developed a whole
different perception about praying and my relationship with God.

I have not believed in mouthing pre-ordained words to pray for a long
time now. It always seemed so distant. For me God was always a personal
friend- someone I raved and ranted to, someone I loved and fought with.
But this one little prayer stayed. And it the only one that I actually
believe in. I don't know its origin, neither have I ever made an attempt
to find out. Perhaps because I have found my meaning for these words,
and now I don't want that coloured by any history, or anyone else's opinion.

Why all this now? Well, I've been deliriously happy these days. Confused
at times, more sure of myself than ever at times. And worried and unsure
at times. The mother of a good friend of mine told me once, "Everyone
has an allocated quota of everything in life-of falling down, of
learning to walk, of happiness, tears, joy, stupidity, everything. If
you don't finish your quota when you are supposed to, then you'll have
to make up for it sometime later." I kinda believed in that. And then
someone I have come to love and trust so much insisted recently, that
there really is no need for sorrow in life. You can find happiness in
everything, everywhere, all the time. Honestly, I'm torn between the two
beliefs. But are the two really different? Aren't both just really ways
of acceptance? For me, it is just saying that life comes in many
flavours. Yeah sometimes you end up with a crappy taste in your mouth,
but even that can mean that you have taste (notice the pun??). Life does
not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

It is perfect because it is wonderful.


Id it is said...

Those are, indeed, very meaningful words strung together. However, I'm always a little suspicious of poems and words termed 'prayers' as they usually go into territories that I stay clear of, hehe. The last line is a clincher that forces one to wonder whether in fact one has any wisdom of note to account for the number of years lived.

I couldn't agree with you more that 'meaning' does get 'coloured by history' so it's best we look for meaning in context of the written word and definitely steer clear of opinions (the reason I refrain from answering comments on my blog, hehe) since they often slide into controversy.
Thanks for sharing the serenity pledge, if I may call it so.

pRicky said...

So tell me does it matter even one bit what you do? I mean doesnt Karam decide the amount of one or the other?
Not that I agree that a person who is bad gets only bad or a good person gets good but I would still like to know...

Tsu said...

i believe in the ying yang. sometimes u need to feel sorrow to appreciate the goodness that prevails in every small detail of life!

crumbs said...

@ id
about calling it a pledge...feel free to call it wat u want mate, its yours to make sense i said i never bothered to find out whose words these are or why its called so, and by the same principle, u re free to make wat u want of it :)
bout steering clear of opinions...i agree, but then wat's life without some controversy huh?;)

i do believe it does.and dont u think ur question has its answer in it?karam decides ur life, so wat is karam, karma, whatever u call it?its choice, action, something u there!

@ tsu
as i said, one way of looking at it :)

mathew said...

seriously..i have ocassional feel good days..but not really for any particular reason..just like that..

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

I think I am God.
Do you think that could be a condition?

Anonymous said...

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crumbs said...

@ mathew,
yep, those are the days that keep you going, don't u think?

@ toothless
i think u re delusional :P

i think u re delusional too :P :P

Me Thinks.. said...

your perception of god and mine is the same..
unless we get to experience loneliness for example, we wouldn know what it is to be with friends!
but the point is its easier said than done..

angelofdusk said...

not that i have seen god unlike any of the others but i think god's a charmer... a magician, a puppeteer and an artist!! great thoughts there