This I Believe

Rohini - Stafford, Texas
Entered on May 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Being born in a traditional Hindu house in South India, I was brought up to be a good Hindu and follow my religion. I believe in my religion all the way and I actually do believe the stories told in the Ramayana and other holy texts of Hindus. Since it was basically embedded in my head, I always followed everything without really thinking about it much. Until the year I turned five, I did not question anything about my religion because my grandmother always told me stories at night and I always went along with it. When I questioned my grandmother, she told me to go our own temple in our yard with me that evening. I was very eager for that evening and finally it was time for us to go. We walked that short distance to our yard, and when we got in front of the temple all I could do was stare at my grandmother’s face. I did not know what I was to do there and why I was taken here because I questioned her. She told me to stand there and really pray and to really believe in everything I was told. I was very confused but I listened to what she said and prayed. In this temple of ours, it is said that there is a family snake, a cobra. It is a symbol for one of our Gods, and when I opened my eyes, I saw it in the center looking out at us. I was not even scared and I stood there in complete shock and amazement. Since that day I had a greater respect for my religion as well as my grandmother because she helped me believe in my own faith. That day encouraged me to pray even more everyday than before this experience. That following year, when I was 6, we had this ceremony at our house in India that lasts a whole week. During this time, it is said that the members of the family would typically experience some sort of spiritual connection to God. I was too young at the time to experience anything. However, I did witness quite a few incidences. For one thing, I saw two cobras come in the center of the ceremony which shows that they are pleased with everything that is going on. Then my eldest sister felt as if she was dizzy and had to sit down. She said it seemed as if a snake were going up her leg or something but there really was nothing there. My grandmother explained that this meant that the snake God is trying to tell my sister something is going to happen to her. Surely enough a few weeks something did happen to her that changed her life drastically. All of these experiences made me come to realize how truly I believe in my religion and its ways. I am very grateful for my grandmother for teaching me everything I know about Hinduism and passing down the hidden things in the religion. She helped me believe in Hinduism strongly.