As a primary schoolboy, I attended our Pilleyar (Ganesha) temple frequently with my family. Even short distance travel involved a certain effort; one walked, or took a rickshaw. The bus was infrequent; and certainly not available at prayer time, which was at dusk. At examination times, I was sent to pray at the temple; I cycled.
Each member of the family prayed within a curtained alcove before dinner. Before that, we each bathed. Cleanliness was next to godliness. Godliness was part of our lifestyle. Indeed, our faith involved us living the life predicated by our religion, Hinduism, with a focus on Shiva. Of course, we knew that the deities we prayed to were only manifestations of the one and only God of Mankind (no matter what the Encyclopaedia Britannica said about Hinduism).
Since I obtained desired results in my exams, my parents gave credit to Ganesha, the god of wisdom, (or should it be of learning?). To ensure Ganesha’s contribution, I (with the personality of the proverbial owl) was woken up well before dawn to study. Study, study, study – that was the goad which drove me.
In the light of my tragic failure in my youth, thereby destroying my life-chances for ever, I blamed God, while everyone else blamed me. So, with success, I received some credit; with failure, Ganesha received no blame.
Was God involved at all in my scholastic efforts? Didn’t he have anything else worthwhile to do?