Here we go.
I would say, this was a spiritual journey above all.
Being in India, particularly Chennai (previously known as Madras) made me thinking a lot on finding truth in life. The journey made me thinking much on how people actually have this kind of strong belief in their faith in God, be it anything. Well, in this case, it is Hinduism.
The fisrt place that we visited there after touched down the Chennai International Airport after dawn on the 28th November 2013 back then was an international well known dancing school, Kalakshetra Foundation.
Hours spent there were to learn and view anything but their traditional dancing, stage by stage. The learning process can be somewhat analogically deducted as sitting for 4-years bachelor degree, as far as I remember. They got to complete their study on the dancing that pretty much long. And they just learned how to dance all the way.
But, on top of everything, that dancing actually symbolizes the relationship between God and His creation, particularly mankind represented by many body postures and gestures, way very careful movements every time. How the God and humans are represented by their fingers and all in the dancing. The dancing explains the Hinduism itself in short.
Until my friend said this to me,
“If IIUM students are asked to tell others of different religions for instance about Islam entirely, we might not be able to explain as good and detailed as what they did.”
How shame I felt at that time for I guess I wouldn’t be able to do so. How I truly realized at that time that I got many more to be well studied and understood about my own belief, my religion.
Apart from this, the moment that I wouldn’t be able to forget where we were about to perform our prayers most of the times since mosques are hardly available there. In fact, some of Indian Muslims do believe that mosques are meant for males only whereby females are not allowed to enter them. There was one time we stopped by at a mosque, and yes, the only ones praying there at that time were the male students and the female students prayed at some other places later. How I felt quite guilty for not being able to properly guide them as I was among the few Muslim adults at that time since the rest of the students were all secondary school students with only almost half Muslims. Since then I learned to be more responsible in the matter of guiding them on how to pray, where and when to pray and all by deciding where to stop by to perform prayers for instance.
And the place that I will always remember where we once prayed was inside a shop which is selling lots of statues (Hinduism’s Gods) after visiting one of the historical places of Gods (deities: ancient temple) there. And that was my first time ever praying in such place filled with many kind of Hinduism deities. But what I liked the most where one of the students which I felt like my own younger brother led the congregational jama’qasar prayer. I love him for he is able to lead a prayer at his age of 16 years old. May he grow up as a righteous Muslim, under Allah’s bless.
Apart from this, the other place that I prayed for the first time which I never done that in my home country was at the airport itself, before our departure back to Malaysia at 6.00 p.m. back then, also with them.
In a nut shell, almost every places that we visited there, the dancing school, the temples and the museum represent stories about Hinduism deities. You will find anything but their Gods there in India which made me even have a stronger faith and belief in my religion.
One thing for sure, we were blessed to have met such a very good Hindu tour guide, Mr. Venkat, whereby he really did respect us every time we requested to stop by to perform prayers.
“That is the best act of praying where it makes your body healthy. We actually have this in Hinduism, but not many do that. It is Yoga. The normal that we do is praying in the temple,” said him when he saw us performing prayer inside the above mentioned shop, conveyed by one of the participants to me later.
“That is why Muslims are first to enter paradise, then followed by us (Hindu),” another words spoken by him to my friend upon something that I already forgot.
And that made me believe that he is such a pious Hindu.
May God bless him, and us all.
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