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Family Deity, its Blessings and Limits


A foreigner can collect lakhs of instances of prayers answered in towns and villages here. The same is true in the West. Devotees cut across religions seeking relief. A rich man had a heart attack. His wife, who had a lot of jewels on her, prayed to her family deity to save his life and offered all the jewels. He was saved. It is a very famous temple.

When people are well educated, liberated from ordinary superstition, they awake a little in their souls, but cling to prayers and rituals, forgetting that the deity that grants so many prayers is no longer capable of playing a role in their lives, as their souls are awakened. It is a paradox. It is an unconscious awakening!

One such person paid his annual visit to the same temple. On his return, he met with an accident and was in bed for long. Next year, when he faithfully went again, he got a fever no one in Kolkata could diagnose and suffered for months, until his awakened soul sought its own remedy. To these awakened people, each time they visit their family deity, a very bad news awaits at home. They rationalise, "In spite of God's protection, I suffer this much." If the soul is more awakened, even before the visit life, health and mind bring in minor tragedies. Generally, the deity is given up in the next generation. Students often become attached to their early teachers and cling to them even when the teacher says, "I am not competent." One boy in SSLC told his 8th standard teacher who was reluctant to teach him at home, "I do not care whether I pass. If you are not going to teach me, let me not have tuition at all." This boy did pass, perhaps because of his devotion.

The awakened soul is not inimical to the deity. When the quality of worship in a temple degenerates to superstitious rituals, the ORIGINAL deity installed there leaves, and his place is occupied by vital spirits whose touch is enjoyed by superstition. People evaluate temples by their popularity, not by their spirituality. On entering the premises, spiritual elevation is a sure sign of Spiritual Presence.

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