Everytime I enter the Siddhivinayak temple, thoughts that rarely come to me, gush into me. Deep thoughts. Frivolous thoughts. Spiritual thoughts. Worldly thoughts. All at once. And then I get a sudden urge to write it all down. So here I am.
I was in the main sanctum, where the idol is kept, being pushed around by atleast 20 odd different people. There were the young ones, who, because of their height, were struggling to catch a glimpse of the wonderful gold idol. Then there were the youths, the ones who were being pushed by their mothers ‘Jaa beta darshan toh leke aa, yahan kyon khada hai?’ and were reluctantly pushed forward into the chaos of flowers, coconuts and grass.
Then there were also the middle aged folk, the uncles and aunties praying for their sons’ and daughters’ impending board exams (Panditji, aapne theek se nahi chadhaye phool, gir gaye woh’). They take a looooong look at the idol once they manage to reach the front of the line(?) and then stay there, until the watchman says ‘tsala tsala pudhe’. (Marathi for ‘come on, come on, move ahead’)
And finally there were the really old folk, the folk praying for forgiveness for all the things they did in their lives or thankful for the wonderful grandson they got recently, and they can’t seem to stand in one place as people young and old start pushing them this way and that, because after all, everyone wants some time right there, in front of the idol, where the idol can really see you clearly.
And that’s when I thought. About thoughts itself. Each one is like a devotee. Struggling for just a minute of your time. Each one thought is a different one, so different in its nature, so different in its intentions, so different in its own way. It takes up your time for a second, or a minute, or more, depending on how long you entertain it. And then it goes away. And another thought comes in its place, again hoping you would entertain it for a while. And all day long, every week of every month of every year throughout your life, these thoughts flow like a river into, through and out of you.
Your intellect is the watchman. It must see which thought comes in, how long it has stayed, and whether it is now time to say ‘pudhe tsala’ to it, so a better, nobler thought with more integrity can come in place of it.