What does my faith mean to me ?
Having been brought up in a Hindu household, I've always been accustomed to agreeing to be within certain boundaries, whether in my social or personal life. I still remember when I was three years old, my mom took me to Saraswati Mandir in Dabali, which is just 5 minutes away from my home. It was Saraswatipuja that day & it also was the very first day when I was taught how to write the Devanagari script, my mom held my hands, and we together wrote "क,ख, ग" on the walls of the temple. After doing so, we took blessings from the Pandit who was there & went home. For the three-year-old me, it practically meant nothing, and I couldn't comprehend why my mum would take me to a place as sacred as the temple to teach me Devanagari script, and what even was the point of scribbling into the walls?
I often stayed in my Mamaghar in my childhood cause both of my parents worked a 9-5 job. On the days when my Aama was free from her household chores, she took me to Gujeshwari, where we listened to a Pandit speak about god, sang prayers together, and hymned to the beats of tabla. And that used to be very fun to me back then. Maybe that also was because she would buy me my favorite toffees on the way back home, but the child in me genuinely enjoyed being a part of that.
When I grew up, I found my perspective gradually changing, and I found myself distancing from what I grew up in...I questioned a lot, and with it came unanswered questions, Which brought hindrances to my faith. Maybe it was because I couldn't find a place where both my religion & my relationships came together.
It was tough to accept all the good, bad and ugly things that came with becoming religious, so even now, if someone asks me about it, I tell them I'm doing nothing more than tipping my toe in it cause I'm not sure if I have it in me, to go all the way in.
As far as Hindu teachings go, I find them very important because we often carry that in our daily lives. Our books give us the idea of the most truthful and knowledgeable teachings that one must follow to have an incredible yet peaceful life. Geeta, Mahabharata, Ramayana, everything is just a variation of how good wins over evil & how life sometimes isn't fair even if you are a "good" person, but what we can learn from it is so much more than that; I find all of them incredibly meaningful in respect to human lives, I believe it captures the conflict, emotions and irrational decisions that goes into being one perfectly imperfect human and I'm sure everyone can acquire a lot of knowledge a lot from them.
Nevertheless, my faith certainly has shaped me to be the person I'm today, and even though the journey of accepting my religion for what it has had a lot of hindrances, I now finally understand it for what it is. And I certainly don't blame my faith or religion for the absolute chaos it has brought to the world, but I do blame "People" who actively try to spread hate in its name.