Saturday, May 22, 2010

‘God does everything for my good’


By Shevlin Sebastian

Every day, at 8.30 a.m., C.P. Jain, a former president of the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry enters the puja room in his home at Kochi. There are idols of Lord Mahavira, Padmavathi, a goddess of the Jains, and Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati. Apart from that, there are numerous photographs of different gods.

Jain begins by chanting the Navkar Mantra, the most important one in Jainism. Here are a few lines:

Namo Arihantanam: I bow down to Arihanta (Lords),
Namo Siddhanam: I bow down to Siddha (Liberated souls),
Namo Ayariyanam: I bow down to Acharya (Gurus),
Namo Uvajjhayanam: I bow down to Upadhyaya (A different category of gurus)

The Navkar Mantra has a total of nine lines and Jain repeats it 108 times. “I feel a mental peace and happiness, and a heightened concentration after I finish saying the mantra,” says Jain. Thereafter, he does some aratis and pujas, and says some personal prayers.

“I pray for joy, equanimity, love, world peace, and for my own prosperity,” he says. “I pray that my family should be happy, and my children should do well in their education.”

Jain’s elder daughter, Kanupriya, 23, is doing her MBA in Lancaster, UK, while Kriti, 21, is attending a course in Industrial Biotechnology at Anna University, Chennai.

Asked to prove that God exists, Jain gives an example. Kriti was about to sit for an exam in ‘Statistics and Probability’. In the previous test, she has done poorly.

Jain pleaded with his daughter to go and pray at a nearby Jain temple. Kriti did not go, but thanks to work -- Jain is a trader in newsprint -- he went to Chennai along with his wife.

One evening all three of them went to the temple and prayed for Kriti to do well. Later, after Kriti did her exams, she called her father and told him that she had secured the highest marks in the class: 90 per cent. “This proves to me that God exists,” says Jain.

When Jain closes his eyes to pray, he sees a statue of Lord Mahavira. “The Lord is sitting cross-legged, and his eyes are closed in a deep meditation,” says Jain. The idol, made of white marble, was located in a temple at Jaipur.

Jain’s father had taken him there when he was a child, and that image of Lord Mahavira became embedded in his mind. “It is a beautiful statue,” he says. “When you sit before it, you can feel the vibrations emanating from it.”

And yet, despite his devotion, Jain gets angry with God when bad events occur. “I ask God what is the mistake I have made?” says Jain. “I tell Him that I am praying every day to you. We are doing everything according to your dictates.”

Eventually, Jain puts the blame of bad events on karma – paying for negative actions done in a previous life – and develops a deeper understanding of God.

“I realise that whatever God does, it is for my good,” says Jain.

(The New Indian Express, Kerala)

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