Indian traditions- Gratefulness to god
People in India attribute their success to god. It is a tradition common to most families in India. Since my family was very religious, it could be felt even stronger in many aspects of our life. I will give You an example
Whenever i talk with my mother over the telephone Skype, she asks me about many things. One of the very frequent topic of our discussion is my temporary residence permit in Poland. During all of these years, I have been to the Immigration office (Urząd Wojewódzki) for elongating my polish temporary residence permit at least 100 times(ok maybe 50). Most of the time my parents will ask me how is Your PR card, when You will get it etc… Then i will let them know that i have given all the documents and I am waiting for their feedback.
Next week when we talk again its the same question- how is every thing at the immigration office? I would say today i went there again, to give my Tax documents(PIT), and if they need anything then i will receive an official letter from them. For the next two months i would go around 5 or 6 times to the the immigration office to give some documents, or to sort our any issues.. Finally after many months of effort, i would receive the residence card. My mother would then go on to say ‘ You see, that is definitely the work of god, You know how many times i prayed to god about Your card’’.
And then I am like- ‘excuse me?’ God? No, no! that was definitely not god. It was me who went there for the 10th time in the last two months. I don’t think it was god. It was me who woke u at 06 am and stood at the queue with 100 other people waiting to give the documents to the immigration office. I think even god cannot help me when it comes to immigration.
Then she would go ‘Oh Chandu, how can You say that?? Don’t disavow god’s power’. Then I would go on to think, why cant i explain that no body else but me, can go and give those documents to the immigration office? I have to do it myself. I am pretty sure that god has definitely something better to do than help me at the immigration office.
I would give You another example, relating to work. Indian parents would often ask You 'So how is everything at work, is everything going fine?” We would say, 'ah My job is great, i finally got a raise at my job. I am doing really good now. I have my own house. It’s really great to live by Yourself You know.’’
’So how is Your boss? Does he like you’ ? I would say 'Yeah yeah, my boss really likes me. He says that he is satisfied with my work”. Then i could hear, ”ah it is definitely because of god. You know how many times we have gone to the temple to pray for You? So that You get a good job, and You wont have any problems at work?” At this point usually i think, is it really god? Maybe i am not giving enough credit to god?
I remember exactly how in the beginning, I had to work from one small company to the next and slowly build my experience and my CV from scratch. Was it god? I have a huge dilemma here. On one side i want to credit myself for having worked hard to achieve something. On the other hand my parents are saying that its all thanks to god. I cant say that it’s definitely just me. There were also circumstances, good timing, grateful friends etc.. But if I dont say that I recognise the fact that god helped me, suddenly I am the bad person. I would feel bad thinking that i am taking all the credit for myself. Then i would think sarcastically ‘’Ah so now You have started disavowing the power of god? Great man. Keep it up”
So i would ask my mother, ”Why are You always mentioning god when it comes to good things happening in our life. Why cant I take credit for some of these things for once?
She would reply-”Chandu, its 90 percent god and the rest 10 % is Your effort.”
”Great Mom. Thanks for giving the credit to god and not me. Now i feel wonderful.”
Then she would just be shocked and in disbelief.
It is not that I am an atheist. Even though i dont pray or practice Hinduism, i still recite mantras when i am in the tram or bus. It helps me calms down and build confidence in myself.
But after living many years abroad, i have come to notice that I have to do many things on my own, and have realised to trust on Your self and not just rely on super powers to help me.