Understanding the concept of God – Part 5
So the Conscious travels evolving into the panchaboothas , goes through the process of transforming into the 1st sense plants to the 5th sense , animals. I had already stated that, in between there were so many species in the ocean & in the earth.
(Refer the previous parts of this series – Understanding the concept of God)
The question now arises if man evolved straight away from the monkeys or whether there was any missing link between the monkey & the man.
There are a lot of similarities between a man & a monkey. So far, the animals walked with 4 legs & they were horizontal. Only in the monkey do we see it walking with 4 legs, but it uses its front legs as hands. It uses it to climb the trees & holds fruits in it hands & eat the food. Slowly its backbone which was horizontal evolves to become vertical & it develops into chimpanzees & orangutan which are very similar to a man.
A sculpture of Yazhi in a temple
My guru’s in sight says that the monkeys had a cross breed with another animal which had the face of a lion & the body of a man. This breed was called as Yazhi & since this became sterile, there was no chance of it to exist in many numbers & it extincted. If you see in the temples there are sculptures of this yazhi. Moreover, monkey is herbivorous & man coming from it also should be a vegetarian. Since man eats birds & animals there is a chance of monkey & yazhi, which is carnivorous, joining together to become a perfect human, who is a vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian.
So now if we have a comparison between Dasavathar & the evolution, we will come to know that the 1st Machavathara is a living being in the water.
An artistic interpretation of Matsya (macha)avatar
The 2nd, Koormavathar, tortoise with all it’s 5 senses lives in the sea & the land.
An artistic interpretation of Koorm Avatar
The 3rd, Varahagavathar is again an animal which borrows the earth to get its food.
A temple sculpture of Varaha Avatar
The 4th Narasimhavathara is the missing link before the man.
Ancient narasimha avatar sculpture in a temple
The 5th Vamana is a perfect human with manas (mind) who is described as a dwarf. So probably the humans were short statured.
A sculpture of Vamana avatar in a temple
The 6th is the Parasuramavathar who always goes around with an axe to show that man works with it to cut trees for his living.
An artistic impression of Parasurama Avatar
The 7th, Ramavathar, to show that a leader comes to take care of the people.
An artistic impression of Rama Avatar
The 8th, Balaramaavathar, with his plough tells that agriculture played an important role then.
An artistic impression of Balarama Avatar
The 9th, Krishnaavathar is an enlightened man who is considered as a God.
An artistic impression of Krishna Avatar
About Kalkiavathar my guru hasn’t said anything. What next? It is about you & me & how mind begins to function within us.
Understanding the concept of God – Part 4
Once when my Guru Vethathiri attended a scientist’s meet, one of the scientists asked listening to his Theory of Unified Force,” In which University did you study?” He said,” I studied in the City of the Universe.” So the answer for everything lies in the Universal magnetic field. If one could tune up with it, all the secrets of this existence will be revealed.
Now coming back to the evolution, Mother Earth is all set for the living beings to evolve. The earth which was thrown from the sun would have been a molten mass & it would have taken years to cool down to become the solid earth, the atmosphere – gas & the sea on its surface.
The see weeds started evolving from the water, getting its energy from the earth & the sun. Due to the rain even in the land plants & trees started growing with its 1st sense, touch. One should also keep in mind that the plants too have all the panchaboothas & the energy particle is there moving within it, getting the energy from every where with the help of its magnetism. Though the energy particles rotate within the plants it hasn’t got any boundary as it is rooted in the earth. So when any part of the plant is plucked, it grows off easily as it gets energy from the earth.
Once the plants came into exist, naturally there were flowers & fruits. Within the fruit there were the seeds which started growing when they fall in some place & the same process continues. Some seeds fall in places unfit to grow & the seeds lie not useless, but the process of the energy particles continue within the seed & the worms starts growing eating the outer cover of the seed. That is how developed the sense organ mouth to feel the taste.
Now just for it to survive it starts moving to get food & feelers start growing to feel the smell & this leads to the formation of the nose in animals & man. Thus 3rd sense nose is formed. Then due to the heat within & the magnetic waves which has to get out of it as light waves to see it’s food, the eyes were formed in the front. So the 4th sense eyes are formed. In the insects the energy particles keep rotating within, forming a centre, as its body has a boundary. Its lifetime is short as it has small amount of energy particles & if it does not get enough food to get more energy, it dies off soon. While the worms are formed it has tiny legs to move which slowly develops into so many varieties. Not only the legs but all the parts of the body develop to form a wide range of species. Again for it to escape from its enemies by hearing the sound, the body evolves to form ears. Thus the 5th sense ears are formed for the birds & animals.
The magnetic waves within the species transforms as touch sense in the body, light waves in the eyes, sound waves in the ears, smell in the nose, taste in the tongue. Thus the species in the evolution process develops to feel what is around it. Whatever it eats has to be got out of the body after it’s digestion & due to it’s movement in the front the food that it eats comes to it’s back & makes it to form the excretal organ at the rear end. All the while don’t forget that the intelligence & the force within, together is the cause for the evolution process.
In the next chapter we will deal with how man evolved from animals. Did he directly evolve from a monkey?
Understanding the concept of God – Part 3
Whenever I say Space, don’t forget it is Conscious & Intelligence. It separates itself in high speed. Once the speed starts, then follows the time, it takes for its whirling & the distance, between two energy particles, & the place it occupies is the volume. So now we have the four expressions of the particle– time, distance, Speed & volume. To make the people understand they gave a form to this concept as four faced Brahma, who does the creation.
Soon as the particle was formed, because of the high speed, it couldn’t dissolve itself into the space & the endless journey of the conscious starts transforming as the panchaboothas which I’ve explained in the previous chapter. Another quality of this particle is it records everything within. So in an energy particle everything is stored like in the computer chip. It’s again the work of the magnetism. My guru used to say Magnet as mega – net, a huge networking prevailing through out the Universe.
While this kind of classes was conducted by the masters, we do so many meditations like Thuriya, Thuriatheeth, Panchabootha Navagraha Meditation, and Pranava Meditation. All these meditations bring down our mental frequencies & sometimes while meditating some get visions of the above said. That’s how the experiences in meditation & the analysis of all bring clarity in the mind. It’s not just a theory to be understood, but can be experienced also.
One might wonder why one should do so many meditations.Panchabootha Navagraha meditation is specifically to make a harmonious link with the person.Thuriatheeth meditation to expand the mind. (I will explain about various meditations in detail in another topic)
So now coming back, according to the difference in the speed & the magnetism, the process continues & the stars were formed. When the speed slows down, conscious, Space or intelligence will dominate & so the process goes perfectly well with a pattern, regularity & in a precise way. So millions of stars were formed & they together join to form galaxies. Even the galaxies are like a huge energy particle. Again don’t forget that everything is recorded in all the particles.
Most of you might know how planets are formed from the stars. From the sun all the 9 planets were formed. They too have all the 5 elements but different in proportion. Only in earth, the 5 elements are in the right proportion for the living beings to come into existence.
In the next chapter I’ll continue how the evolution happened from the 1st sense to the 6th sense in our home, the Earth.
Previous topics in this series :
A conversation with my aunt
Understanding the concept of God – Part 1
Understanding the concept of God – Part 2
Why do we need a Guru ?
There are so many who want to be spiritual but doesn’t want to have a guru. If one is religious, he can simply pray God with belief in Him. Our parents & great grand parents have been doing this for years & making their heir to follow them.
When some one changes his path & takes into spirituality, he needs a Guru. A Guru is a guide who shows you the direction of God. He comes from outside & then enters within you.
There is always a question if one should have only one guru. As for me I had come across so many gurus & they made me progress in the right path. My first Guru was Sathya Sai Baba, who kindled me to do meditation. I read many of his books which slowly inspired me into spirituality.
The first meditation I started with was Transcendental meditation somewhere in 1980.Some lady masters came to our town & initiated with a mantra & I started doing it regularly. There was a break for some years as I didn’t attend any classes for a follow up. Due to the longingness for meditation, I started again with the T.M.The only change I found within me was that I was not unnecessarily tensed & when something comes as a shock the heart beats just once & will be back to the normal.
Next came the Guru Venugopala swamy, who was introduced by my husbands elder brother. He came to our house & initiated with a kalasa in my pooja room. Then I stated doing that meditation. His book cleared the doubt about what is thought. Still I had so many things I want to make it clear.
This quest for self realization took me to Vethathiri Maharishi, founder of Simplified Kundalini Yoga. A disciple of him who had finished his masters course was taking classes in my aunt’s house….My cousin sister who attended the class called me to join. I first refused telling that I was doing a meditation & as for attending the class I told her that one cannot initiate taking the Kundalini Sakthi to Agna chakra as I had read so many books on it. She persuaded me telling that the teachings they teach are quite different from others.
Finally I made up my mind & went with her. It was in 1990.On the 1st day itself I was very much impressed & inspired to get initiated. Then I regularly attended the classes which were conducted once a week. Slowly I started progressing in my meditation due to the introspection class. This class helped me to analyze my unwanted thoughts. I did my Masters course & started taking class. I gained a lot of confidence which I lacked before. My doubts were all cleared & I had a very clear picture of who is God & how is he omnipotent, omnipresent & omniscient. This is just an understanding, not realizing. I had also certain unforgettable experience in meditation which helped me to progress.
In the mean time I had so many problems in life which I faced it rather boldly & came out of it smoothly. I had the courage as I knew God is within me guiding me & protecting me all the time. Then came the Isha Yoga classes in our town. I wanted to do Pranayama as I thought that too would push me to a higher level & I attended the pranayama class in 2001. Then in 2004 I attended the Bhava Spandana Program at Velliangiri. I experienced another dimension of myself & I finally took Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev as my Guru.
This is my history of my spiritual path with so many gurus. Though there were many they led me in the right direction. It’s like I travelled with them in a car, bus , train & some times in a jet. Without a Guru one will be like a lost child in the midst of a forest not knowing which direction to follow. So there is a need for a right Guru. All my gurus took me for a short while dropped me in a different direction for me to travel more speedily. My travel hasn’t come to an end, but I know I’m nearing my destination.
Ganpati Bappa Morya!!
Its the festival time of Ganesh Chaturti also knowns as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ . Lord Ganesh one of the most popular Hindu God is considered God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles. Lord Ganesha also called Vinayak ( knowledgeable ) or Vighneshwer (god to remove obstacles) is worshipped and his blessings sought in the beginning of any auspicious performance and ventures.
Ganesh is also artist’s delight as he is inarguably the most creatively adaptable God. He is sketched , sculpted in innumerable forms and makes a collectible for many. I love the way he is given creative touch by artists and none objects to the creative liberty when it comes to Lord Ganesh.
From simple lines ..
to whacky creative strokes ..
to divine traditional paintings..
to creative collages..
to various creative forms ..
to being creatively adapted to pendant ..
Lord Ganesh is interpreted in various creative forms and shapes !
Symbolism of Lord Ganesh :
Since Childhood Ganesh Chaturthi is one of my favourite festival. On the day of the festival we used to keep an idol of Ganeshji adorn it with flowers , aruham pul (a particular type of grass , the juice of which is good for health) and offer fruits ,special dishes as offerings and do puja.
The special dishes made for this festivals are : Modak , Kozhukottai , Sundal , kheer.
Modak is a steam cooked rice dumplings filled with jaggery and moong dal.
Kozhukattai again a dish made of rice flour , could be either sweet dish or salted dish.
Sundal sautéed cooked channa dal , slightly spicy .
Kheer a sweet dish.
A Community festival :
Ganesh Chaturthi which was earlier a festival within homes and temples have become a huge community event now with people from all walks of life participating. Bal Gangadhar Lokmanya Tilak transformed the festival into a large , well organized festival during 1890’s . His whole intention was to break the caste based barriers and bring together people of all communities and castes under one platform and bring unity among them. This was also aimed to bring them together and rouse a nationalistic fervor among people to revolt against British rule of that time.
The festival has got bigger and bigger since Lokmanya tilak days . Now it has become an event displaying huge Ganesh idols ( The size of these statues may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet ) Every streets, colonies have their own decorated pandals (mostly temporary structures) where the Ganesh idols are kept with much fanfare. Prayers , bhajans , aartis , pujas are done for the idol. The 10 day celebration culminates with the immersion of the idols in ponds , lakes or ocean. Due to convenience and time factor , some idols are immersed within 3rd , 5th or 7th day also. The pandals at some place are so popular that they have even sponsorships !
Ganapati bappa morya
Mangal murthy morya !
Let the slogan fill the air ! Let Lord Ganesh destroy all the obstacles in our way ! Let Him bless our life , our nation and universe ! Let peace , health , wealth shine !
God bless everyone !
Understanding the concept of God- Part 1
I read "A conversation with my aunt" . It brought tears in my eyes out of Joy.The author have understood very clearly and had written it rightly.When such things are well understood it makes the person happy.
One thing I want to make it clear further about God is not the Universal energy alone. ( Read the article “A conversation with my aunt” , for additional aspects of God and life discussed” )
If the energy is God, then a question arises, how the energy came into existence.The answer simply is from Space.Will anybody accept it?It could be simply understood without any preconceptuous idea.
So far what we have understood is that space is something which has nothing.It is not so , it is something which has everything inherent.Space has 3 qualities and they are “Totality – Poornam”, “Vivekam – Consciousness” and “Force – speed”. It is the force that made Consciousness to emerge as an energy particle.I’ll give a clear definition for space given by Vethathiri Maharishi .It is otherwise called as Gravity by Vethathiri.
“Gravity is absolute space which is everlasting, singular, almighty,all penetrative, highly transparent,imperceptible, dark, fluid matter which has a self compressive surrounding pressure force which makes it to emerge as an energy particle”.
Thus the energy particle, the fundamental building block of the Universe emerges. So the force within, separates itself from the Space.Now where is the space in the energy particle?With space in the centre of the particle it keeps rotating.Energy means it should have some functioning & the functioning is its rotation.It is a whirling wave.when anything rotates in the centre a vacuum is created.This is a scientific fact.
So if the universe is filled with the energy then there is also the space within it.Which means there is Vekam – speed, & vivekam-Conscious through out the universe..This together forms the universe.The energy which is otherwise called Akash is the first one formed,then the same akash takes it’s transformation into air,fire,water & finally earth.
This is how the evolution starts.So there is the + ve (positive) force, Siva and energy is the – ve (negative) force Sakthi .Together is the Arthanareeswar.
( In Hinduism , Ardhanari or Ardhanarishvara is an androgynous deity composed of Shiva and his consort Shakti, representing the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies. The Ardhanari form also illustrates how the female principle of God, Shakti, is inseparable from the male principle of God, Shiva. Ardhanari in iconography is depicted as half-male and half-female, split down the middle.)
So space is through out the Universe & outside endlessly without any boundary.So the universe is floating in space, that’s why it is Almighty as it bears the vast Universe.
So far I’ve explained in my simple words, what is God? Again so many things has to be explained about the bio-magnetism & universal magnetism which also will helps us to know the secrets of this Universe. We will discuss those aspects in further articles.
This article is written by Radha Chandran. She is a disciple of Vethathri Maharishi and Jaggi Vasudev.
A letter to Krishna
People call the eighth day (ashtami) of the second (dark) fortnight of the month of Shravana as Krishna Jayanthi , Janmashtami, Janmashtam, Gokulashtami, Shri Krishna Jayanthi, Krishnashtami, Kalashtami, Gopalkala. Different words that denotes your this day – The day you incarnated in this earth , five thousand years ago, at the end of the third cosmic era , ‘Dwapar Yuga’ and the beginning of the present era, ‘Kali Yuga’. So in simpler terms, Happy Birthday!
All my life You have been my good friend and You know I have looked upon You more as a friend than seeing You as the Supreme Power. I know You are what I and many see as God. I know You are God but then I love You more as a friend and I am sure, You love me for the way I love this way. At times, I have been angry with You also for not being with me at my toughest times, I may have even chided with You as not my friend at all. At times , I would have even tried to make me believe You don’t exist. Still in spite of all that like a wave coming towards the shore again and again, I come back thinking about You as a good friend. I believe I cannot see the bigger picture behind all the tough times I handle all alone at times without You. May be, You will tell me the reasons later. I trust You as a friend so in spite of my occasional anger, disbelief, nothing could shatter our friendship…
You remember how much I would be excited when celebrating Your birthday when I was kid ? Remember, how mom makes the small footprints? She used to mix rice flour and little turmeric with water and make impressions with her folded fist like foot and make tiny toes marks with her fingers . She says, It would remind me that tonight i.e. on Krishna Jayanthi , You will make your baby steps from outside the doors of our home to inside.. I would be very thrilled seeing those baby foot prints ! My mom used to say , when I was a baby myself , she used to make those footprints by making me dip my feet in the rice flour , turmeric water mixture and make me walk so that the impression gets on the floor ! Even now , we make these footprints every year on this day!
I used to love your birthday for the wonderful delicious food mom makes for you ! Of course , I get to eat them to gleefully too ! The murukus , Cheedais , Adhirasam ( a sweet dish made out of rice flour and jaggery ) yum yum ! Love those traditional delicacies mom makes for you !
Midnight , we used to keep an Idol of You and decorate You with bright color clothes , adorn you with fresh fragrant flowers , light lamps with ghee , keep those delicacies before You.. and do puja for You . I love those little little things we do for You. It gives a satisfaction , contentment and a calm feeling to our soul..
My wife says in her native in North India ,they do fast the whole day and have food only after doing puja for you at midnight. My friend from Gujarat says that is how they celebrate too in their native.People from different region have their own way of loving you and expressing the love for you but then at the end of the day love is love , whatever way it is expressed. I know You will agree with me.
Its 12’o clock midnight now. They say you were born exactly on midnight . I just finished the puja and continuing the letter to You. There is a quietness in my heart now. A feeling that only You and Me can understand…
I would wind up the letter now , will write more about You later.
Happy Krishna Jayanti to all those who reads this letter. I know this letter to You is an open letter and all your friends , my friends , our friends would read it. On this day , I wish all of them good health , good mind , good thoughts , good will and goodness and wellness forever.
My dear Krishna can be find within me , within you , within all those who reads this letter and even within all those who don’t believe in Him. Open your heart and mind and see within yourself , within oneself and He will smile at You.
Love You All.
Rakhsha Bandhan – the way we celebrate
August 5 , 2009 Wednesday.
update: In 2010, Rakhi is celebrated on August 24.
Rakhsha Bandhan (also known as Rakhi) is an unique festival celebrating the love and affection shared between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana. On this day, sisters pray for their brothers and ask God to bless them with His blessings. Brothers, in turn, give them rakhi gifts and promise to care life long. One does not have to be necessarily a blood relation to be a brother and sister , a girl can tie a rakhi thread to any person and make him her rakhi brother !
Again the same time of the year when I miss my brother toooooo much but then fate has its own way. I am in Bangalore and he is in Ghaziabad studying for exams. Due to the reason beyond control we will not be together on Raksha Bandhan shortened to Rakhi!! But then I have already sent the rakhi & tika to him so that any of the cousins will tie it on my behalf.
Rakhi threads for sale in a shop
Traditions apart, Rakhi is one festival where it is all fun and being the elder sister I can throw my weight around. Adi is 7 years younger to me, yeah it’s quite a difference but then we are very close.
Rakhi band / decorated thread for my brothers
The earliest memories of the festival are of the time when he was I guess 3 years old and I would have been 10 years, as a kid the excitement was that papa will keep a 50 Rs. currency in his pocket and after tilak and tying Rakhi he will give me that note, slowly the amount increased to 100/- It used to be a huge gathering at my mother’s place after all they are 6 sisters and one brother! My Bua would come a day before so it will be all fun at both the places. The day would start by doing pooja of Sona Bhaiya (a special chart we make for this occasion representing the brotherhood).
Sona Bhaiya Chart
The tradition goes that who do not have brothers would make a drawing with geru (it is an orange color mud, not sure exactly what else it is called). These drawings will be put on the entrance of the doors and we would perform puja with haldi (turmeric), rice, and kheer (a sweet dish)! There is a separate thread for doing puja.We will do tilak and stick the thread with the help of kheer.The kheer is specifically made from vermicelli. We call it jave ke kheer. It is made from maida. The kheer is offered as Bhog (prasad / offerings) This is one dish which will always form the part of Rakhsha Bandhan. The festival is not complete without it.
We will then make Chowkpurana (kind of rangoli design made especially on such auspicious days) with wheat flour on which a wooden plank would be kept and brothers will sit on that. At our home, it was papa’s turn first followed with Adi. Then I will go to my aunt’s place and tie rakhi to two of my cousins, since childhood I have tied rakhi to them as they don’t have sister. Finally we will all gather at my nani’s place. We used to hang out till late evening there, a huge gathering of kids, uncles and aunts. Meals would be gala with pooris, and some great side dishes, rice and raita followed with kheer. After all said & done, we kids with lots of excitement will count the earnings of the day in terms of cash & kind, some of the aunts would be kind enough to buy us a suit piece
Rakhi Card for my brother
A typical day used to be like this, now that I am married and settled in Bangalore, it is little difficult to travel often with hectic job but then the traditions continue and we still relish those moments. I still do the same puja the way it was done back at home, only the positions are changed, there my father would perform and here I do each year I have started sending my brother a gift on rakhi and he can’t stop pulling my leg saying that he should be the one who should gift and not vice versa. Whatsoever, time goes by but the spirit goes on……
Wishing you all a very Happy Raksha Bandhan
Festive Season Arrives
India is a land of celebration . Being a melting pot of various cultures , communities , religion, languages , regional variations we have festivals throughout the year.
The next season of festival is just around .I will post an exclusive post on each festivals as and when they arrive .
So what all queued up for the rest of the year ?
Raksha Bandhan – August 5 , 2009 Wednesday.
The celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami – August 14 , 2009 Friday.
One of my favorite festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna.
Independence day – August 15 , 2009 Saturday.
Its equally important day for me as other religious celebration. The celebration of our freedom.
Ganesh Chaturthi – August 23 , 2009 Sunday.
The festival seeking the blessing of Lord Ganesh , the most creatively expressive God in my viewpoint. Will post an article soon on this artist’s favorite God.
Onam – September 2 , 2009 Wednesday.
The major festival of Malayali Hindus.
My native being on the border of Kerala state , we too celebrate the festival.
Navaratri – September 19 , 2009 Saturday.
The nine day festival begins.
Read >> Dussera celebrations
Dussera – September 28 , Monday
The end of the nine day grand celebration.
Karva Chauth – October 8 , 2009 Thursday.
My better half being a north India , I have a new addition to the festival list in our home !
Diwali – October 17 , 2009 Saturday.
The celebration of light and good vs bad .
Read >> Diwali Dhamaka memories
Bhai Duj – October 19 , Monday.
Again thanks to my better half , this south Indian is introduced to the north Indian celebration !
Guru Nanak Jayanthi – November 2 , 2009 Monday.
The birthday of Guru Nanak , the founder of Sikhism.
Well the list ends here for me. Of course , there are Ramzan , Christmas and also some festivals unique to certain parts of the country.
Let the festive season brings smile , joy , wellness and goodness in mind , thoughts and well being of everyone !
Idol worship in Hinduism – Playing with GOD
In spite of my bad memory , some events of my childhood are still very vivid to me and here am going to share one of those flash back .
One of my favourite pass time of my childhood is “ Playing with GOD” . I will spend hours absorbed playing with Him. Thinking back , God has been my biggest pal ! I had shared a most friendly relation with Him , had fought with Him , smiled with Him , talked to Him , got angry with Him but never feared Him .
In our puja room , we had a small idol of Lord Vishnu in Ananda sayanam posture. ( Lord Vishnu reclining on Snake Ananta ) . During holidays , I would be playing with God , I see in this small idol. I would spend hours doing abhishek .. bath the idol , do abhishek with water , milk , honey , panchamirtham , sandal , vibuthi etc .. Then decorate with flowers and do aarthi and finally distribute the prasad to people at home. I would be at peace with myself doing this. Did I thought that Idol is God ? No. Later during course of life , my playing with God stopped . Life took its owns turns and twists and after a long period , I again have this inner feeling to play with God. I no more have the idol I used to play with when I was child. So am looking forward to the Idol that I could play with . I can visualize the idol and one day , hope to find Him and keep Him part of my life again .
Talking about playing with God , the concept of Idol worship is largely misunderstood. Non Hindus Condemn Idol worship as superstitious belief and a pagan belief . I have come across many forums and articles where they decry Idol worship and rubbishes the practice as silly and unworthy and to be condemned.
I feel sorry for all those who condemn Idol worship. One has to be a Hindu to understand what a Hindu feels about Idol worship. I am quiet at ease with the concept of Idol worship and I would like to convey my thoughts on Idol worship.
To begin with , I would like to quote a line from a Tamil song
கல்லை மட்டும் கண்டால் கடவுள் தெரியாது
When translated it means :
“ When you see a stone alone , you will not find God ”
Let me put it also in another perspective
“ When you see God , you will not find stone ”
This two lines sums up the Idol worship for me.
As a Hindu , when I pray before an Idol , I very well know God is not the Idol . I don’t expect the Idol to arise , awake and do miracles for me. Bottom of my heart , I know it is a stone . Interestingly , I worship .. so does millions of other Hindus .. Why ?
The answer lies in a simple fact and practice that can be confusing for non-Hindus to comprehend.
My core belief can be summed as follows :
Hindus do not believe that there is only one God. Hindus believe that God is One, i.e. a unity inclusive of all things, manifest and unmanifest. This is quite different from saying there is only one God. To say that there is only one God is to reduce God to a single unit, to the lowest common denominator. This is what monotheists do. For them God is a unit, not a Unity.
Hindus are not monotheists, and Hindus are not polytheists. Hindus are panentheists, i.e. they believe that God is in all things and that all things are in God: God is everything, God is in everything, and everything is in God only. They believe the whole of creation is the body (actually, the manifestation) of God Who is the One Infinite-Eternal-Existence, and cannot be separated from God
The foundation of my spiritual belief is moulded on the above mentioned definition. My faith in Idol worship also evolves from the same. When I pray an Idol , I feel God in the stone. I don’t think the Idol is God rather I see God in the idol. There is a difference in both. God is everywhere , I am at ease to see God in everything around me and seeing the God in the Idol makes the spiritual life easy. Its like teaching a Kid “ A for Apple ”
Easy to feed faith :
Depending on how deep one dwelves into The Concept of God it can be both simple as well as difficult to comprehend. For ordinary men , Identifying God in an Idol helps in building a bridge between God and oneself easily. Vedas does not mention Idol worship. Vedic scriptures identified the power of Supreme God with nature. It advocates feeling , seeing , identifying the power of God with everything in nature. The invocations we find in the Vedic slokas are basically to find the power of Supreme God with and within nature and oneself. Later as the various yugas (ages of mankind) progressed , the human mind failed to grasp the concept of omnipresent God and the later rishis advocated the concept of Idols to help common man identify with God easily . The Idols are mere tools to identify with God. idols are symbolic representation of various manifestations of God. Though the concept got corrupted down the ages along with various superstitious beliefs.
Easy to concentrate :
For Hindus God, as is, is beyond any attributes of form, color, shapes … That is, God does not have any specific form or name. In this state God is referred to as nirguNa brahman (attributeless god). However God takes forms as perceived by humans and this perceived form is called saguNa brahman (god with (good) attributes). These forms could range from calm to fierce to yogic (1). Each form has its significance. For example when one is depressed and sees the form of God Strong and Powerful, the seeker feels the moral boost that God would definitely be the support for the right thing. Similarly when in an auspicious ceremony would like the God to be the calm provider of boons. In a spiritually elevated state, the choice would be the yogic form of God. The forms provide a basis for the Hindu worshipper to easily pursue the otherwise incomprehensible Supreme. So Hinduism supports both form as well as formless worship of the God. Whether one worships in saguNa or nirguNa way, it is ultimately the same God
The Idol worship or worshiping saguNa brahman way aids in concentration of mind. It helps a human mind to focus one’s mind with the Brahmam ( Supreme God) Human mind is easily prone to be distracted and diverted and so perceiving a God through Idols helps in the concentration of mind to God. It is the first and easy step in the spiritual walk.
Silent communication :
In the beginning of this post when I narrated my childhood pastime of “Playing with God” , In true essence it was actually a silent communication with God. I was on my own , undistracted for hours , silently in communication with God. The immense satisfaction , pleasure , solace , positivity it gave can only be felt and not explained in words. Though outwardly , it seems a one way communication with God , down my heat I could feel the two way communication , otherwise I would have not played with God like that for countless times and still have the urge now to restart the communication. In H
indu temples and puja rooms of faithful Hindu household , one could witness the silent communication of the Human and God before Idols. The communication is not between the mere idol and Human but the Soul and Super Soul perceived through the Idol.
As one elevates in his spiritual quest , One may see the God within Himself. The body becomes the Idol – Aham Brahmasmi – I am Brahman . Its the highest elevation of the spiritual plane where one sees God within himself and no longer requires an Idol to feel the God. The concentration goes within Oneness and realization of God goes deep into one’s own Soul .
Will talk about my understanding of Jeevatma ( soul) and Paramatma ( Super soul) in another post soon.
Aham Brahmasmi !