When faith gave its own reason to live on…

Write Comment     |     E-Mail To a Friend     |     Facebook     |     Twitter     |     Print

By Philip Mudartha-Doha-Qatar

Bellevision Media Network


Doha, 26 Feb 2012: At 60, I divide my years into three neat stages.  The early twenty years consisted of care-free childhood, rebellious teens and coming of age. The luxury of suckling at mother’s breasts for milk even as I joined primary school is a God-given gift,seldom received by elder siblings. The young adolescent years saw foraging for edibles, while returning from school, picking seasonal fruits such as wild berries, cashews, mangoes and even big Jacks, belonging to anybody, as long as they could be brought down with sharp sling-shots and expertly aimed cobblestones.


The adventurous forays,during teens, deep into forests in search of delicacies such as assorted mushrooms and wild tubers as well as the fishing expeditions in lakes, rivulet streams and rivers fuelled the fire for romantic idealism and the rebellious social liberalismwhich burned within. Coming of age brought the shame of local unemployment and the penury of exodus following the ancestral footsteps. Neither the romanticism nor the liberalism survived the harsh realities of streets and slums of Bombay, which had its own idiom: Do or die; Fight or flight.


Looking back wistfully, the dominant emotion of the early stage of my life is blind faith. Rationalists say faith is always blind. It lacks reason. Therefore, in describing as blindly faithful, everything I thought, said, did and experienced defied reason and logic. I did not doubt that my thirst and hunger will not be quenched in the act of suckling. I truly believed in the largesse of nature, that in its belly it held all berries and fruits that I wanted for my tastes and fulfillment.  I trusted my own skills as sling-shot sharp-shooter, and failure was not a prospect.  Even the fish seemed to want to take the baits and be eaten.


In this world of no unfulfilled wants, with no thoughts of scarcities, faith in God, in the religion I was raised into and its rituals and dogmas was easy and unquestioned. Only sickness, personal and familial, had to be brought to God for Him to redress, if He so willed. “Thy will be done, Lord my God”.  Unwavering faith, I sought, and He would give. If He does not give, His Wisdom is unfathomable.  Even if I wept secretly and silently, when faced with grief and sorrow, asking Him and cajoling Him to work miracles for me, as I know He did in His days on Earth. Without ever doubting, in total faith, even when He did not deliver. Faith, where is thy reason?


Faith did not pull wool over my eyes. I did see glaring disparities in possessions: of health, wealth, talent, agility, beauty and endowment. When I saw, faith told me God loved those who are meek and poor. It is God’s grand vision to reward the poor with heavenly after-life rewards in exchange for privations in this life. He will reserve sufferings and privations of hell to the rich and powerful. This revelation did not seem right, though re-assuring.


Thus, within the ambit of faithful romanticism, shades of social liberalism were blended, again making Jesus the Redeemer as the Great Socialist. ‘All that is mine is yours” and “Go, sell what you have and give it to the poor, for verily I say, you cannot truly follow me otherwise”.  My faith reinforced the convictions arising out of budding socialist liberal reason and blunted any likely anger at worldly deprivations, comforted by the knowledge that the rich and powerful will grovel at my feet in the after-life! Reason, did you realize that faith has its compelling arguments and reasoning?


Those were the days. All I had was faith, and nothing more. They tried to educate me to reason things out, to conduct experiments in the labs, observe, make notes and draw conclusions. It was an act within the play of life, to enact as written, scripted, promoted and expected by my parents, siblings, elders, priests, teachers, mentors, peers, well-wishers and society at large: Conform to beaten path. Your education is for equipping you with a degree certificate on a piece of paper that tells others what work you can do to earn a living and practice faith. Reason, you serve faith and there is no other reason for your existence.


If only life ended at 20. But, alas, it did not. I survived and arrived at crossroads. I had to choose my way…that is another story, of second stage.,



Comments on this Article
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Mon, February-27-2012, 11:43
What if pop supplementary queries at you? Why and what anger?(kolaveri di). Blunted? Why? Did religious faith proved stronger than the idealism of socialism, the dominant political movement? What happened to the liberation theology and contradictions in practices such as burial rules favoring the rich (they got prime slots and permits to build graves), reserved front pews at a price, availability of indulgences and graces against donations, high masses at right fees.. Education meaning secular studies was supposed to inculcate reasoning in us; train us to ask questions, challenge dogmas (both religious, social and cultural) and promote reform. Did it? How faith reconciled with social traditions like dowry, un-touchability, barring from temples, segregation by castes and creeds, and of course rituals like made made snana (of recent controversial fame) and reason failed? What is the practical sense in abstaining from eating meat, fish and fried food during lent, in a congregation that gets to see them only at two three feasts and a wedding in a year? It is like the French queen s let them eat cake if they do not have bread? Life is simple when it is not taken seriously. Your take..
Michael Sequeira, Pamboor/Nairobi Sun, February-26-2012, 1:26
The greatest person ever walked on earth is Jesus and you have quoted a few of His teachings here.Faith in His teachings and try to live life as much as possible through His teachings will make one a Happy Person and have rewards.I would like to read your well articulated and philosophical stages 2 N 3.Life has continuous and evolving stages for everybody.Keep Faith and see the fulfilling rewards of joy and Happiness.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Sun, February-26-2012, 3:09
The first stage appears to be the curtain raiser. Scond stage is certainly the true life drama in which the hero is proving success amidst severe odds. Education is not what youearn (as measured by certificates/ degrees, but what you become thereafter-vivekananda) .So though you do not have so many paper degrees, your personality and life style depicts the degree of your studies. it has nothing to do with the faith you have0 e, but the efforts put in. that is the beacon light to those who want to follow, and in faith they can also be successful as you think you are ........Keep it up. May the faith strengthen you.Good Luck
Peter P. Saldanha, Pamboor Sat, February-25-2012, 6:06
"Faith is not something to grasp. It is a state to grow into." - Gandhi. Stage 1 is very well articulated. I am keen to read the next 2 stages..
Write your Comments on this Article
Your Name
Native Place / Place of Residence
Your E-mail
Your Comment   You have characters left.
Security Validation
Enter the characters in the image above
Disclaimer: Kindly do not post any abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful material or SPAM. BelleVision.com reserves the right to block/ remove without notice any content received from users.
GTI MarigoldGTI Marigold
Anil Studio
Milarchim LharamMilarchim Lharam
Badminton Sports AcademyBadminton Sports Academy

Now open at Al Qusais

Veez Konkani IllustratedVEEZ Konkani

Weekly e-Magazine

New State Bank of India, Customer Service Point
Cool House ConstructionCool House Construction
Uzvaad FortnightlyUzvaad Fortnightly

Call : 91 9482810148

Your ad Here
Power Care
Ryan Intl Mangaluru
pearl printing

Konkani Literature World