Swapneel Shah

swapsshah in dreams!!!

My interaction with Religion and God…

with 16 comments


Nopes... It isnt a temple of any God... Just a picture from my album at Picasa...

Continuing on last thread and Inspired from a write-up that my friend Prashant Murarka shared with me few days back…


All of us some time or other have had some interactions with these words… God, Religion, caste, etc. Trying to share a few of my major interactions from since childhood…


—Religion for me started when I was told by my Parents that I was a Jain as I was born in a Jain family… Maybe my rational thoughts even as a child did not make me feel that I should follow Jainism as I was Jain by birth… It was not like my parents were forcing me to follow Jainism… They were in fact very liberal and always said, ‘follow if you feel it is right’… But I guess the whole environment, big joint family, close society, etc. were embossing on me that Jainism was a obvious choice when I was to still understand for myself what is a Religion?, what is Jainism?, Why Religion? Why God? before I started accepting things…


—Most of my childhood days I spent at my home town village Vaduj. My Grandma used to offer 24 mangoes to God, before anyone in the house could start relishing the mango season… I still remember those mangoes… Bigger, better quality and TWENTY FOUR of them were offered to God and what we all 4-5 grand children got was one mango in the morning and one in the evening… When God never ate any of those 24 best ‘chosen’ mangoes and I always felt that it is unfair on me and my cousins; when I used to think that I alone could have taken all those 24 at the same time in my small tummy… 🙂


—In my school days; especially during exams I saw people wearing the religious ’tilak’ on their forehead, have photos of their deities in their Pocket, inside the compass boxes, with even copy cheat notes written on them… Baring the use to write copy cheat notes, I always wondered how these deities would help my classmates… I too tried doing that (Photos of deities without the copy cheat notes as I honestly I never had those guts to keep the cheats notes)… But it never happened that God could get some easy Mathematics questions to appear in exam, or make Marathi language or Art n Craft papers tough for me… The papers for which I had studied well, and did a couple of revisions were obviously a piece of cake, rest made me cry!!!

—In the meantime my interaction with Religion and God were increasing as I grew… I started to go to Temple often, attend religious camps, and also did a couple of pilgrimages… Started learning the A, B C of Jainism… I was getting to know and tried to understand, like God is this, God is that. Stopped doing few things; Started following few things… For example- stopped eating Onions, Potatoes, etc. as eating a potato or chicken was same, as both KILLED and hurt someone living… Even if someone pinched me, I feel pain and what would be happening to those chicken are ruthlessly killed or those plants that get uprooted just to serve my taste… I started avoiding lies, tried to behave good to friends and everyone around the way I would like to behave with me…

—Entering college; 11th standard college admission form I found something that was very weird…

……… Continued on Page 2


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16 Responses

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  1. Great photo Swapneel. I didn’t know Jains made offerings of fruits to God.


    October 6, 2008 at 5:26 pm

  2. @Pr3na: Hey Thanks! Offering of fruits like Mangoes is not prescribed as per the actual texts…

    Swapneel Shah

    October 6, 2008 at 8:50 pm

  3. Good writing bro… U have really deep and simple thinking about general issues… hats off to u…

    Mrudula Shah

    October 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm

  4. From mom: Its you who read and understood things for yourself… and we have done nothing… we were just there…

    Mrudula Shah

    October 6, 2008 at 9:43 pm

  5. The bottom line is bold enough – “More than Religion, God, Caste, Community or whatever, I think its sheer common sense and some sensitivity that we all need to show in our behavior…”.

    Religion, God will never tell OR expect destructive things we see/do! We just don’t care even something wrong happening in front of our eyes, atmost it will be one discussion topic for that day. We’ll scream only if we are at receiving end! Don’t know how many of us at least feel bad for this 😦


    October 7, 2008 at 12:24 pm

  6. @Mrudula: Thanks! 🙂

    @Mrudula (Mom): “we were just there…” made the whole difference…

    @Pravin: “We’ll scream only if we are at receiving end!” -Thats the Sad part, gone are the days when one man used to feel the pain of other… 😦

    Swapneel Shah

    October 7, 2008 at 1:19 pm

  7. Good one mate!!!

    Not easy for everyone to pen down things so smoothly specially considering this one has sensitive matters like Religion, God, Caste etc.


    October 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm

  8. I have heard about fruit offerings for the first time. Its like a prasad which we offer to Gods but seems that the quantity is too much. 🙂


    October 9, 2008 at 5:46 pm

  9. @Piyush: Thanks mate… I guess, all these things have happened with us… Sometime or the other, in some form… I just tried to type them out… I hope people don’t take it ‘too smoothly’, that they just read and forget… 😉

    @Amit: Yeah, the quantity signifies 24 tirthankaras… Though Offering of fruits like Mangoes is not prescribed as per the actual texts…

    Swapneel Shah

    October 9, 2008 at 5:57 pm

  10. Hi Swapneel,
    Nice to read your journey of evolution to consciousness. I have very similar stories to share.

    I have immense hatred for ritualistic behavior. Be it drowning shivling in milk or going around the temple for 21 times. The saddest part is that most people go to temples not out of devotion, but out of fear. pffft….

    And as for these self appointed guardians of religion and caste, I better not start saying anything..


    October 9, 2008 at 6:27 pm

  11. @Priyank: Happy that U liked the journey… 🙂 Thanks for the appreciation…

    Swapneel Shah

    October 12, 2008 at 11:40 am

  12. may god bless ur sensibility to be able to share that wisdom with us. its true each one of us experience some or the other stuffs this way.. ‘but very few reach those levels of sensibility to react..’ [read as full sarcasm for those who get so cold blooded by reading something like this beautiful and not commenting] 🙂 nways..i am happy reading.. oppss.. read as not ‘reading’ alone! 😉


    October 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm

  13. As always a very good blog entry. But this time you were really inspired ‘) hehehe

    Even though all of us have a opinion in such matters, as evident from the above comments what action are we taking? I believe all of us have a good human being inside us…its the circumstances…like poverty…lack of education…social exploitation that leads to such hideous acts as we witnessed in Orissa and other parts.

    As Swapneel says be good..be a better human being and u will find your own religion or God.


    October 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm

  14. @Priti: Hey Priti!!! Thanks… Am happy that you liked it… 🙂 Its not that all can write a comment, even of they read and feel there is something to take away from this; thats good enough for me!!!

    @Prashant: Thanks for stopping by and adding your views… Anyways, all the above is Urs!!! I just tried to relate the writings that you shared with me to my life… And yes, very true, its the environment that has the biggest influence on the personality… And we should try to give this envirorment to the others… Per me, thats the doing that we need to do!!!

    Swapneel Shah

    October 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

  15. hey pal,a good food for thought from you. Logic and complexity is the essence and pride of today’s humans. but simplicity is the thing world (WE humans) envy’s about dear. Its the root cause. Hoping to start a discussion in this regards.


    December 20, 2008 at 1:50 am

  16. @Amit @Amit @Amit: Hummm… Not sure what you mean by simplicity being the root cause… You may want to explain more…

    Swapneel Shah

    December 20, 2008 at 8:17 am

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