Unedited text of the column in the New Indian Express on Jan 2, 2013
1. What is your understanding of God?
The mythological Prahalathan believed God is Omnipresent whether it was a pillar or a fiber, my beliefs are not very different. Hence, I don't believe in Idol worship, if God were indeed so powerful enough to create this universe, god ought to be everywhere.
PS: It's very hard for a true student of science... biological evolution to not believe in that.
2. What are your spiritual beliefs?
I personally do not have any spiritual beliefs. I don't believe that we should not do wrong or do good things to others only because I will get something in 'the end'. I live my life the way I do because it's the right way to do it.
That said, Spiritual beliefs are good for the world, while some fear the law, some fear god to do the right things and they balance out those who fear neither to do the not so right things.
3. What are your spiritual practices?
I visit the temple once a year on my birthday because my Mother expects me to. When I pray I pray for everyone and I don't feel the need to stand in front of an idol.
4. What is your take on miracles?
If you want something strongly enough you are bound to get it or make it happen because there's nothing stronger than human will. If humans haven't made it happen, the 'miracles' can probably be explained by chance.
5. Have you been to any pilgrimage sites? Are you planning to? What are your experiences with them?
During school holidays, I've visited every major temple in Tamil Nadu because the other members of my family, especially my Mother, are extremely religious.
I don't have any intention of visiting any pilgrim sites unless someone I care about makes a reasonable request.
I used to visit old temples around Madurai during college because I found the experience very peaceful and calming.
On the contrary, I avoid going to crowded temples like Tirupathi... Apart from the claustrophobia because of the crowd, I was also afraid of the hairpin bends the last time I visited Tirupathi as a 10-12-year-old 🙂