My God- Devanoora Mahadeva

[ದೇವನೂರ ಮಹಾದೇವ ಅವರ “ನನ್ನ ದೇವರು” ಬರಹದ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ಅನುವಾದ ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತೆ ಬಾಗೇಶ್ರೀ ಅವರಿಂದ]

Translated by Bhageshree

A well-known weekly magazine was publishing a series of articles by writers and intellectuals under the title “My idea of god”. I had made some mental notes on what I would write just in case they asked me to. But they never did, perhaps assuming that I had no god anyway! The god I had imagined thus stayed right there within my mind.

And this was how my god came to stay in me:

My god took shape from the story of a village goddess called Mane Manchamma, a story which poet Siddalingiahah once narrated to me.

All the people of a certain village started building a temple for their goddess. Just as they approached the roofing stage, Goddess Manchamma suddenly possessed one of the villagers. “Stop it, you idiots!” she yelled. As the terrified villagers stopped work and looked around in bewilderment, a conversation unfolded between them and the goddess:

“What is it? What are you people up to?”

“We are building a temple-home for you, mother.”

“Oho, so you are building a temple-home for me?! Do you all have houses of your own?”

“I don’t, mother,” said one among those gathered.

“I don’t want a house either till everyone else has a house.”

Manchamma,the Goddess who said this, became Mane Manchamma, the goddess of shelter.

Today Mane Manchamma, the goddess of shelter, is worshipped in a temple without a roof. If the Buddha, the very image of compassion and egalitarianism, is placed in such a temple without a roof, he then becomes my god.