“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” said Walt Disney, who created wonders with his imagination and the world witnessed the magic!

What I am writing about today is a different, a more subtle and the most profound form of magic that can ever be witnessed by the mankind – the MAGIC of ONENESS with Universe ❤

This is neither to please the believers nor to manipulate the atheists, this is just a nascent feeling  & experience I would like to share with whoever stumbles upon this article! This is about my brief encounters with three majorly known religions existent on Earth, and what imprints they left on my soul.

June’ 2014, I visited Mahabalipuram, a beautiful weekend getaway in Tamilnadu near Chennai. The beach resort I had booked looked like nothing less than a dream come true! After I reached, the receptionists made me wait since they had to check their records for online reservations. In the lobby were some beautiful artefacts which pulled me towards them. Lost in the beauty of the art, I stumbled upon a tiny bookshelf. Out of curiosity I checked all the books on the shelf but to my disappointment, the books were either in French or Russian. However, there lay one Bible, patiently waiting for my attention. I immediately took the Bible in my hands and began to read it. Now, not many people may agree with this, but when you read a sacred text, something around you changes and becomes all serene!The joy was short-lived as the receptionist called me to check-in. I kept the bible back & went ahead to do the formalities post which, I proceeded to my room.After a while, having explored the room and the balcony, I started to unpack my luggage. To my surprise, I found a Bible in one of the cupboards in the room! Not sure why, but I was delighted to have found the Bible there and I decided to read it!

September’2015, I was travelling to Delhi from Bangalore. When you go home, a minute seems like an hour! So I left from work early, boarded the bus early and as a result, reached the airport 2.5 hours earlier than the scheduled flight time! I had no idea about what I would do in those 2 hours after check-in and started to wander about the Bangalore Airport. Sadly, window-shopping couldn’t help & I decided to go & rest near my boarding gate. Following the signboards, I somehow lost my way and found myself at a wrong gate underground and I felt stuck. But the next moment I saw a Crossword stall nearby and was drawn towards it like a magnet to iron! I love books but I was not going to buy any (read miser). But then I saw a huge copy of the Geeta placed elegantly on a wooden stand near the Crossword entrance. The book contained pictorial depictions of Mahabharata along with Geeta Slokas. I was GLUED to the book like a bee to a pot of honey! I put my bag down near my feet and began to read the Geeta. I read, I read, I read and suddenly I realised 1.5 hours had passed already! Half-heartedly, I hurried towards gate 14 and I do not know why my eyes were filled with tears of joy and I was smiling like a lunatic! (I had read 5 chapters of Geeta that day, in 1.5 hours, standing all the while!)

May’2016, Bangalore was about to lose its glory due to the scorching heat when finally monsoon arrived in May instead of April! Now when it rains in Bangalore, it rains like cats & dogs! One fine evening, while returning from work, I found myself stuck in one such rainy episode. I was drenched in a matter of 2 minutes while I crossed the road. So I decided to stop by a coffee house nearby till the rain abated. When you seek shelter in a coffee house, you can’t resist the ever-tempting drink! So I decided to treat myself while I waited for the rain to subside. To my surprise, the coffee house had some books for the visitors to read. I found my moment of bliss: Rain-Coffee-Books! While I was screening their collection, I saw an English translation of the Quran resting on the top shelf. It didn’t take me a second to choose the Quran & I came back to my table. While sipping the hot Café Mocha, I went through the Quran till long after the rain had signed off for the night & had given way to a cool breeze.

My 3 encounters have been purely coincidental and truly enlightening. Though I can’t even begin to put my experience & the learning in words, there’s just 1 thought I would like to mention today.

All the 3 sacred books teach values and ways-of-life which are truly pure and divine. The teachings are profound and the messages are enlightening.Then why do I see so many religious people not living even a tiny bit on the lines of those teachings and messages?

I am a Hindu Brahmin by birth, but it holds no relevance to what I am and what values I have chosen to practice over this lifetime. Since my childhood, I had refused to believe in things without understanding or feeling them. I was criticised for my rebelliousness and I was accused of paranoia. But I was adamant on discovering the truth for myself and hence was always on a lookout for texts, manuscripts etc. to find out the true meaning of religion.

On the other side, there are many people who claim to be highly religious, who ‘fear’ God, but do not even understand what their religion is really all about!

The Quran talks about ‘Aayats’ (signs) the way the Bible talks about Gospels & Omens and the way the Geeta talks about ‘Krisna Consciousness’.  I am a novice, but I have realised that if you can feel, recognize and believe in those Aayats, they can prove to be your ultimate tool of ‘Furquaan’ (criteria to judge right from wrong).

I believe that would make many of us much more religious than we claim to be today. I believe we need to break free from the shackles of what we are ‘told’ about our religion or our identity, I believe we owe it to ourselves to discover it on our own, by our own experiences & awareness.