Posted by: SPT | December 7, 2010

Varanasi Bombing: Prayers Needed

BANARES, or Varanasi as the world knows it, is my birth place. It’s where my life began, and knowing my appreciation for symbolism, also where it’ll end (read: cremation).  From time to time, however, I question the importance we place upon location.

In light of the recent bombings, I want to share a little about my beloved city:

The Ganga River,, plays a huge role in sacred Hindu texts.  Used in many scriptual references, it serves as a testament to the Supreme creators of our Universe.  Twice daily, a “Ganga Aarti” is performed above the concrete steps which lead to the river’s bank. This highly-decorated, prayer service is a well-known event that tourists, both from India and around the world, frequently visit –for such a chance, to be part of a religious entity, is always a cherished opportunity.

Without any warning, however, an explosive device was set off this evening during the prayer service.  Approximately at 6:30pm local time, at least one child was reported dead, and 20 others critically injured.  These preliminary figures are just a glimpse into the destruction that took place.

A simply query into Google and five minutes later, I learn that the blast was “in retaliation to the verdict in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi title suit case,” according to the terror group I.M. which claims responsibility over this horrific incident.

I have many thoughts invade my mind, but only one worth commenting upon: The importance of the word “retaliation”. Retaliation, defined by Princeton, is an “action taken in return for an injury or offense”. I wonder to myself, reminiscent of Gandhi and his plight, was there not an alternative solution?  Could those involved, who felt offended, not have sought a more peaceful resolution?

This is my prayer for those who were interrupted during their own:

“Forgive them. For they know not what they do.”


I cannot believe that our world is so weak
but I am forced to concede:
Father, forgive our wrongs and our sins,
For we chose to remain bleek.
The vibrant colors you have given us,
Faded and weathered down,
Have lost their colorful abilities
Even though it is our eyes that see.
Why, I plead,
Why must we resort to such violent means?



  1. I share your sentiments…and I like your matured and educated handling of the issue..very well done…sorry for the losses of those lives and the effect it has had on you.


  2. Thank you for your words.

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