In my work as a consultant for India’s richest families, helping them invest their money in real estate, helping them reap profits in these grim times, I have learnt more about human behaviour than anything else. I meet successful people almost every day, something that I love about my job, I get to pick life-hacks from them. Some of them are forth coming and share them with me, others, I have to myself decode.
What I have found common in 80% of these successful people, is the need to accept God’s presence. It is quite something. I mean, you would like to believe people who have everything in their lives, would think less of Gods or wouldn’t be accepting of a higher power. They would think of themselves as being self-made, no?
But a common feature that I find in all their offices, sitting behind their leader padded chairs, that would cost more than a Maruti Alto, is a picture of a God they believe in. Sai Baba, I have found is the most favourite of business families. I think it has to do with Sai Baba’s ideology of do what you want and come to me, I will forgive you! The second most favourite God is Ganesha, followed by Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth.
I am not a strong believer in any one God, I am a strong believer in a holy place that our family has been visiting since almost 100 years now. I am amazed by the power of that place and I believe in it. The older I get, the stronger my belief becomes.
Maybe that is why, rich people, the bigger they get, the more they have to lose, the more accepting they are of a higher power and I think it brings them peace, knowing that a higher power is looking after them, taking care of their family and their business interests.
I have never understood why Indians try to bribe God with a coconut or sweets. That makes no sense. If you want to bribe, I think you should bribe God saying that you will give up X habit, or be nicer to people, or donate certain amount of your wealth or build a school or something. Coconuts, sweets and building a temple shouldn’t count.
That is why I don’t think India is a God fearing country.
India is more like a God loving country. I don’t think Indians can ever be scared of God – Why would they be? We have decent weather and till recently (last 200 years is a small blip in India’s history) had ample to eat. Indians find faith in everything, banyan trees, snakes (Nag Panchami), Elephants, monkeys (as Ganesha and Hanuman) and cows, everything available in nature. It is our love for them and not our fear that makes us worship them as Gods. Really, who would be afraid of the cow?
So, as teenage girls say at the end of the debate “I would like to conclude by saying” – India is a God loving country, not a God fearing one.