The Christmas Tree

Posted by Lakshmi

After weeks of cajolling, days of coaxing and hours of threatening, I've finally managed to put up my Christmas tree, lit it... and decorated it..  in that order.  It looks beautiful, with tinsels and baubles, tinkling bells , of angels and fairies, snowflakes, shiny red and gold  ribbons and bows cascading down,  berries and crystals,...  hundreds of lights shimmering through, ... oops!  I'm getting carried away.... it's always been like that with me.  Somehow, the sight of the Christmas tree brings out a sense of warmth and cosiness, of family and crackers, of a warm fireplace with Brer Rabbit ( read too many Beatrix Potter) of angels and fairies dancing in the garden ( too many Enid Blytons and Grimms Fairy Tales )  aiyo....there I go again....I can't seem to stop...Blimey, I used to and still do tell my son to keep a glass of milk and cookies under the Christmas tree before we leave for Church , honest.  Last year, I actually heard the sound of tinkling bells after the midnight church service, only to find out in the morning that the it was the neighbour's new door bell ringing tone.   Haaiyoooo, I was soooooo angry !!! Still, I haven't given up, still waiting one day......for Santa Claus and his Red Nosed Reindeer.  Life is about hope,isn't it ? and I have truckloads of it.........

And I am not even a Christian!

To those readers who are wondering why I celebrate Deepavali and Christmas, let me explain...

I am a Hindu and my husband is a Catholic.  The way I reckon,  the God Almighty must have had a very good reason why I was born a Hindu and  not Catholic and since I know for sure that  He knows everything and I know that He knows best , who am I to change my faith that He has chosen for me ?I have implicit faith in the One God so I am not about to change or convert to another for the sake of marriage, or  parental or community pressure.  Now, t h a t  would be a real sin, wouldn't it ?  I think what happens between me and God is my own business and no one,absolutely no one, has the right to ask or force me to  pray  against my wishes.  That would be morally and spirtitually wrong.   My husband, also a devout Catholic himself, has never requested nor asked me to do likewise.  He knew how devout a Hindu I was when I first met him.  And yes, I still thank the One God Almighty, whichever faith He is, for His Grace and Love shown through my husband's understanding . I think that is the highest blessing  itself., don't you?

 For those readers wondering what is Hinduism all about, let me give you the gist of it without boring you to death, hopefully.

Hindus believe in one GOD  although on the contrary ,   you might see and think that we pray to many deities.  We believe that they are all the various manifestations of  The One True  God.. God shows Himself  in different ways to different people, the same way, a nugget of gold can be turned into various ornaments with a variety of names.  Gold earrings, gold bangles, gold rings, gold chains, gold  necklaces, etc. etc., but still it is the same gold.  One God but various names...get it ?

  We believe in the Holy Trinity (, the same as the Catholics - The Holy Father, Son and Holy Spirit -  only problem is most of us don't realise it - different names perhaps ?) In Hinduism, it is  Lord Brahma, the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the Preserver and Lord Siva, the Destroyer.  It's actually a very pragmatic and practical approach to the cycle of life(  primary science class )- beginning with birth ( Creator) living the life given ( Preserver) and death ( Destroyer)  "Elementary Science really, my dear Watson" as Sherlock Holmes would say. .

As humans we are attached to the physical, emotional and material aspects of the world and thus are not ready  to realise the One  God Almighty nor have we attained the purity and spirituality of mind    needed to see Him. That would take many evolutions of birth and death for as  mere mortals, we are tied to the daily grind of the physical, emotional and material world. We have to go through our karma of past and existing  deeds,- in short , payback time for whatever good and bad deeds we have done . " You reap what you sow" is the best maxim I can think of.  Have you ever wondered why our grannies to parents to the elders keep telling us to do good-  it's because we will be  rewarded accordingly, the good with the good and the bad with the bad. Until such a time that we have no more  physical,  emotional and material attachments of any kind., and we have negated all our karma, will be able to see the  One  True God.  Till then, we will see Him differently from our coloured lens.  Some see through green coloured lens, some in red, some in yellow, according to our communal  beliefs, yet,  GOD is still the same from time immemorial.  Anyone heard of an official change? No. I rest my case. We cannot see him in our impure state  because that would be like exposing our  naked human eye to a zillion volt bulb. It would be too much too soon, and would  blind us,  for we are not ready . Unless we become sprititualy pure with no baggage of any kind   only then can we attain the kingdom of God and see Him as One.

Thus,in Hinduism, to be born as a human is already a blessing for we are the highest in the hierachy of all GOD's creation.   Animals have 5 senses - sense of  sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing.  Only humans have 6 senses -the extra sense being the  the power to reason between right and wrong, so that we may correct our mistakes and atone for whatever misdeeds done. ( To the Dumb and Dumbers, animals can think but can't differenciate between good and bad!)

 We humans are such a bunch of convoluted marbles that even the Alliens would have difficulty understanding us.  We  share the same red blood the world over  and yet some think they have blue,   we breath the same air  and yet we have kosher and unclean edibles, we believe in God the All Merciful and yet we kill each other in HIS name, We do the mistakes and yet we blame HIM for our actions...

Enough said..  It's way pass by bedtime and Santa might come in my dreams today.....

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