Super Identity: Anchored To The Ultimate Aadhar
I’ve been loyally linking everything—from my mobile number to my IT returns and bank account—to that all-encompassing Aadhar card that has got me photographed, fingerprinted, numbered and indexed. I guard my Aadhar under lock and key only to be produced when i travel or seek governmental goodies that i hope are forthcoming. But, there’s an Aadhar that i’ve been anchored to since my birth and beyond, who keeps me safe amidst stormy seas of life, and that is: God.
Aadhar is rich in meaning. It refers to foundation, root, stronghold, refuge, shelter, rock, fortress, security, ultimate, substratum and so on. The Bible uses these words as metaphors and similes to describe God. In other religions, too, nuances of Aadhar appear as appellations and attributes of the Absolute Being called by different names.
In the Bible, saved from his foes, King David calls God: “My rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my refuge, my stronghold, my shield and my saviour—worthy to be praised” (2 Samuel 22:1-4). Psalm 91 describes God as: “My shelter, my shadow, refuge and my fortress.” As response, God promises: “I will deliver you, protect you, be with you in trouble, rescue you and show you my salvation.”
The biblical believer is exhorted to trust God totally since one is primarily a pilgrim on a lifelong yatra. Psalm 121 reminds the pilgrim: “God who neither slumbers nor sleeps is your keeper, your shade at your right hand. God will keep you safe from evil … will keep your going out and your coming in secure now and forevermore.”
In the Mahabharata, Arjuna sees Krishna as his Aadhar and chooses him as his charioteer, security and strength. As recompense, Arjuna is blessed with a Vishwarupa Ddarshana. Inspired by this cosmic, divine darshan, Arjuna pursues the path of nishkama karma, desireless action.
Among the 99 names that Islam attributes to Allah, many suggest divine protection and security. Allah is Al-Muhaymin, our guardian; Ar-Razzaq, sustainer and provider; Al-Hafiz, preserver; Al-Wali, protecting friend; Al-Muhyi, giver of life; Al-Mani, preventer of harm and so on. Hence, the believer can be fearless, by surrendering to Allah.
Today, while it’s perfectly legal — indeed, professedly profitable — to bank upon one’s Aadhar card, one must guard against flimsy foundations that anaesthetize us with illusory identity and false security. Name, fame, pleasures and riches take us away from God.
Aadhar cards equip us with an identity and a unique number, differentiating one citizen from another. God, the Almighty Aadhar, also assures each of us: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. You are precious in my eyes and honoured, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:1,4). Echoing God’s unique love for us all, Jesus says: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or about your body, what you will wear … For, your heavenly Father knows what you need.” Instead, Jesus asks us to trust in God and to build our hope and happiness upon God, the rock.