Sindhi men and women have more faith than required and that’s why you find some people exploiting them
[Editor’s Note: This is Part 23 (Sindhi Hindus – Part 3) of a series of articles based on a pre-partition book named “મારી સિંધ યાત્રા” (“منهنجي سنڌ جو سفر”) in Gujarati authored by a scholarly Jain sadhu Shri Vidyavijayji, narrating his experiences of Journey and his Stay in Karachi for about 2 and a half years between 1937 and 1939. It would be advisable to click on the Introductory Article and read it to better understand the series. – Nasir Aijaz, Editor Sindh Courier]
Vimal Shah, Mumbai
Exploitation of Faith
You can see that Sindhi men and women have more faith than required and that’s why you find some people exploiting them. Anything within limits is beneficial but in excess would be harmful. Excess of faith encourages astute people.
The poor people busy with worldly matters all the time, wander everywhere in the hope of blessings for jobs, motherhood, wealth, marriage, and the like. The real ascetics would clearly tell them ‘Men and women, you pray to God, reduce sins, and doing good to others will yield good results for you’.
Where there are greedy people…
The faith and devotion of these naive people who are greedy for worldly matters, become an easy hunt for astute, cheat, impassionate for lust, and greedy people who are hunting all the time for money and lust. It’s true – ‘Where there are greedy people, cheaters would not starve.’
Many people are taking disadvantage of the faith and devotion of the Sindhi people
An organization like ‘Om Mandali’ in Sindh is nothing but a mentality of taking disadvantage of the faith of the Sindhi people. ‘Come one, come all, let’s join the Om Mandali of Dada Lekhraj. You will get abundant food, savouries, and enjoyment. Respect for being a Gopi of Krishna Bhagwan, Liberty from the bondage of husband and in-laws, and on top of that Dada Lekhraj will give sermons and transform you’. How can the naive Sindhi women full of faith remain from falling into their trap?
Why talk of only ‘Om Mandali’? You find signboards of omniscient people anywhere and everywhere in Sindh. You find these omniscient people wandering anywhere and everywhere with calendars and literature. And why only in Sindh? In all the regions you find people spreading their traps of one or the other kinds. Don’t you find them earning big money and fulfilling their own wishes by luring crowds with a promise to predict booms and busts; give mantras for mastering husband or motherhood or better wealth, better health? Not only that, aren’t there people who bribe certain people and spread rumours of miraculous results through them?
How can a person predict your destiny who does not know his own?
Today people are generally unhappy. Everyone has some or the other reason for unhappiness. Everyone has desires for certain things and wants to get rid of certain problems. The entire world is struggling with these two things. And for that, they are prepared to pray every stone like an image of God. They are prepared to do anything for the fulfilment of those desires. Hope is eternal. Poor people believe if not today, they would be successful tomorrow. So much faith! So much devotion! But that faith and devotion are not for abusing or taking their disadvantage. If a Sadhu is a true Sadhu, true ascetic, true high-souled, true celibate, and on the other hand the devotee has true faith, it’s a good time for him, his obstacles (bad Karma) are removed, and then he would get benefited. The people with faith will get what they deserve by virtue of their faith and the removal of obstacles. Without the removal of the bad Karma no one, not even God has the power to ripe benefits for anyone. Then how would the hypocrites ripe any benefits? Luring and cheating naive people in the disguise of different miracles is nothing but the worst kind of astuteness. What else can you say other than misuse and disadvantage of the faith of the devotees? The one in need sees a ray of hope in anyone. What else can be more sinful than preying on the need of needy people?
How can a person predict your destiny who does not know his own? Without any doubt, the blessings of a true Sadhu are beneficial to the soul. But people full of sins and not having any specialty different from you is also prepared to predict your future. How can they give you anything who spends money on their false propaganda through others? Except for preying on naive people and fulfilling their own wishes.
The one in need sees a ray of hope in anyone. What else can be more sinful than preying on the need of needy people?
If you get the blessings of a pious Sadhu, your soul would be purified. Your soul would retreat from the path of sin and stabilize on the right path. What kind of a sadhu he would be who pretends to give all those worldly matters to you which he has renounced. Wise people would understand this very well.
Many people are taking disadvantage of the faith and devotion of the Sindhi people. But wise and educated people understand what a true Sadhu is. They know an ascetic is the only one who can sermon on austerity. Likewise, they also know that an ascetic can only sermon on austerity. Only when people know this truth, they would refrain from expecting blessings related to worldly lust and turn towards spiritual growth.
When thousands of Sindhi men and women understood the above from us, they started striving for devotion to God, service of Sadhu, and gaining special virtues of householders.” (Continues)
Click here for Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, Part-IV, Part-V , Part-VI , Part-VII , Part-VIII , Part-IX, Part-X, Part-XI, Part-XII, Part-XIII , Part-XIV, Part-XV, Part-XVI , Part-XVII, Part-XVIII , Part-XIX, Part-XX, Part-XXI, Part-XXII
About the contributor of the series of Articles based on the book
Vimal Shah is a follower of Jainism by birth and is based in Mumbai, India. He is a Computer Engineer and holds a Diploma in Jainology from Mumbai University. He has an immense interest in reading, writing, studying, and teaching Jain Philosophical subjects. He conducts classroom as well as online sessions on Jain Philosophical courses. He continues to study various subjects and remains a student of Jain Philosophy. He has significantly contributed to the Translation Project of the ‘Compendium of Jainism’ from English to Gujarati – an initiative of the JAINA India Foundation. He is also associated with a Project for the translation of Jain Aagams (Scriptures) from Gujarati to English. He has a special interest in the history and preservation of the Jain Heritage in Pakistan. He was part of a Delegation of the Jain Heritage Foundation, New Delhi that visited various Jain Heritage Sites in Pakistan in May-2023.