“There are no atheists on a battlefield.”

As part of my #50BooksChallenge, I happened to read Suheldev by Amish Tripathi. The title is a line from this book, which inspired me to start blogging in an onymous manner.

I have grown up in a traditional household, where my grandmother was a Swadhyay member, and hence I was exposed to the line of thought that how intermingled the divine is with every thing, animate or inanimate. We have been taught यत्र तत्र सर्वत्र - that bhagwan is here, there, everywhere - be it a human, a mandir, a tree, a book, or a simple wooden stool.

When I grew up and started meeting new people, I realized there are some folks who proudly call themselves atheists. This was a cultural shock for me as I had always known people to look up to a higher power, a higher consciousness, even though they may not be religious or spiritual in any sense. Then, I heard Sadhguru, and it all made sense, he says:

“an atheist and a theist are not very different. One believes there is God, another believes there is no God. Both of them believe in something that they do not know. You are not sincere enough to admit that you do not know, that’s your problem. So theists and atheists are not different, they are the same people putting up an act of being different.”

Personally, I feel that one can only be an atheist when they have not wondered about life around. How can one deny the hand of a creator when one can find creation in such magnanimity! Why is water the most essential for survival and not any other liquid? What makes your heart pain for another? Why do mountains make you feel the way they do? Why is one flower red, and the other purple? Right from a wiggly tardigrade to a blue whale - if one really looks closely, one cannot help but wonder…

Why the quote struck me is this - when faced with the most adverse situations in life, when there is no other option left, or, when one is simply filled with gratitude for all that is, one cannot help but look to the divine. I am not implying “atheists” have not faced adverse situations, but I am implying that they have failed to wonder, and reached a conclusion.

Moving on to the actual book that led me to write the blog -

The official Suheldev book cover
The official Suheldev book cover

Suheldev undoubtedly invokes a lot of fervour and passion - it reminded me of the movie Tanhaji with the way it endorses swarajya and ties it to the self-respect of being united against an invader. Amish ji has been tactful in the way he has portrayed the emotions - proudly Hindu, passionately devout, undisguised disgust for the invaders and a wholesome co-existence with the Indian Muslims brethren.

As for the style of story telling, Amish ji takes the onus of generating imagery upon himself - his descriptions and the flow of events are so vivid that the book reminded me of Game of Thrones, not kidding! Be it the fighting scenes or the very subtle fragrance of romance - it’s like watching a TV show but with your chosen hues and tints. Admittedly, I usually prefer when the imagery is not handed to me on a platter, but I’m not complaining much.

Every now and then, the author drops in power packed statements that make you ponder, like:

“Everyone prayed. There are no atheists on a battlefield.”

Har har Mahadev! Jai Maa Bharati!

“What you do should not define who you are. Who you are should define what you do.” But if you must know => Yoga | Techie | Reading (#50Books Challenge)