Being present is far different from being absorbed

A few days back, I went to a community puja organized by someone for Rudraksh puja. It is one of the very comprehensive and ritualistic puja ceremony where lot of mantra recitation happens by experts. While I went a bit late, I quietly sat down towards the end of the last row so as nobody should get disturbed. I noticed a few women with very young children who were not able to manage their hyperactive kids left them loose and these kids were roaming around playing and popping balloons like in a birthday party. It was 7:30 in the evening and it was my time for sadhna, so pleased with my seating position, I closed my eyes and taking opportunity of the pious environment, soon turned inwards. After sometime when I opened my eyes, I took notice of all kind of people sitting there. There are three kinds of people who come for such occasions. One, who are religious and ardent believers in rituals, they are usually the perfect ones for such occasions, they know exactly what to bring, what to do and even the way to do these rituals. They are seriously interested in the puja therefore sit in the first row and pay close attention to the guruji and his mantras and teachings. These are also the ones who can’t tolerate any kind of noise or disturbance so they are often seen keeping a check on people who are chatting incessantly as if it’s their last day on the planet. The second are the ones, usually ladies decked up in latest trend saris with bright lipstick, big red bindi which is probably reserved for such occasions and dove tailed eyes. In my strict opinion, these women are the most social amongst the group, have a friend circle and they don’t want to lose this opportunity to show off their new clothes and jewellery. These are obviously least interested in puja or may be they do but unfortunately they definitely don’t understand the meaning of worship or rituals. They are just wannabes and pretend to have an image of being religious.  What a façade! The third category is of those who are least interested in attending puja ceremonies but due to some reason they attend and then they try to take advantage of the occasion to genuinely pray. The external environment doesn’t matter to them, they are so absorbed deep within themselves, they are connected to the divine due to their deep faith in the Supreme. They are not here to prove to anyone about their devotion, they are not even keen to attend ritualistic ceremonies but they still do due to social acceptance and family pressures. They don’t crib, instead they utilize the scenario for their benefit. This kind of approach is the best and I would say these are also the kind of people who are absorbed with the cosmic consciousness.  They are not just present but are also absorbed.  First time I observed that even though there was so much noise due to children and chatterboxes but it hardly mattered as I didn’t find it difficult to switch off from here. I pay my gratitude to the universe for bestowing me the awareness of being present as well as being absorbed.

Pooja Chopra

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