Questions & Issues
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The first questions I faced were deeply puzzling. I wanted to brush them aside and go on to more exciting themes, but try as I might, I just could not bypass them. They were the simple, broad ones regarding life, religion, and God that have been around for millennia and yet seem fresh to every generation. "What was life all about? Was there an ultimate purpose to it? How could anyone talk about a God they had never even seen? Did this God have an identity—maybe a name?"
Through the next twenty years I unobtrusively questioned as many people as I could and was amazed at the variety of answers I got. From the elite to the coarse; from the humble and hopeful to the proud and pretentious; from the blindly believing to the scornfully skeptical; the spectrum was wide indeed. Where and how was I to start the sifting process? Standing before such a myriad of voices, unable to decide whether to listen to just one voice or the whole array, was a distressing dilemma.
More than that, my burning issue and what I really craved was solace. I longed for a safe, sturdy foundation on which to stand when the going got tough and I desperately needed explanations. For when those haunting questions began their relentless pounding, my meager knowledge was no match to withstand them. The answers did not become satisfactory just because they came from those I held in high esteem. Conviction, it seemed, could not be passed on passively, either through the genes or as a contagion. I would have to struggle with each question myself. That foundation, to be stable and meaningful, would have to be personally and painstakingly laid.
© 2014 by Subodh K. Pandit, MD