Saturday, November 22, 2008

Idol Worship? Nothing better to fight against??

I don't know why time after time, centuries after centuries and even right now, people have problem with idol worship. Many of us are appalled by the death and destruction that the word God has caused and might even consider ourselves agnostics/atheists, but there are many still (including yours truly) that hold Him in higher esteem than any other human. For our sake, we say this:

Chapter 12:

श्री-भगवान उवाचा
मयी अवेस्य मनो ये मम
नित्य-युक्ता उपासते
श्रद्धया परयोपेतास
ते में युक्ततमा मतः।

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be most perfect."


ये टीवी अक्षरम अनिर्देस्यम
अव्यक्तं पर्युपासते
सर्वत्र-गम असिन्त्यम का
कुता-स्थं अकालम ध्रुवं।

सर्वत्र समां-बुद्धयः
ते प्राप्नुवन्ति मम एव
सर्व-भूत-हिते रतः।

"But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable—the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth—by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me."

If not at a human form of God, what is the common layman assumed to imagine, when he worships of God? An idol is precisely that, a medium that a common man can use to imagine God. I have never undergone this experience, but those who do, may drop a few lines. I would like to explore the philosophy of the 'others' who hate idolaters.

But at the same time, the beauty of Ancient Hindu philosophy is that it allows another side of the spectrum that supports worship of the unmanifested as well. OTOH, consider what St. Francis Xavier, in whose school I might have ended up studying if I were richer has to say about us idolaters:

"When I have finished baptising the people, I order them to destroy the huts in which they keep their idols; and I have them break the statues of their idols into tiny pieces, since they are now Christians. I could never come to an end describing to you the great consolation which fills my soul when I see idols being destroyed by the hands of those who had been idolaters."(from The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier, 1993, pp 117).

(reference link)

People have continued denigrating humanity in the 21st century by getting itchy over all art forms and having problems with any form of humans in art.

It would be interesting to understand the working of the human mind, when two sections of the society can have such different schools of thought. What can be the reason for exclusivist thinking of more than half of humanity? Why has human philosophy reached such a nadir after levitating to such heights under Indian philosophy?

We need to get our act together and get over our petty feuds and be ready for greater challenges in this world, such as greenhouse effect, avoiding a nuclear fallout, combating diseases and so on. The lessons of Gita are for all humans, irrespective of size, color, nationality, etc.


Gandaragolaka said...

Well... this Idolatory crap is one of the biggest hoaxes pulled off by this crowd... if this were so, why do we find so many statues, posters, and even computer wallpapers of the Christ and Mary?

Also, interestingly, there is a cult called "Infant Jesus" which worships a statue of Mary holding a baby Jesus. Cute, but isnt it a take on Yashoda and baby Krishna? Just the names and places are changed, keeping the core constant.

Karmasura said...

Hmm.. that is what the community has done! Even in Europe, they adapted the prayer day of the Pagan Gods. And Christmas is not Jesus's b'day! (From the same blog linked above), but signifies something else..

Perhaps this is a way of endearing themselves to the local minds by striking at what they have heard from their childhood, and hence making the faith more appealing to them.

Gandaragolaka said...

Yes. And they copied the symbolism of resurrection from the Middle-Eastern deity named "Baal" who died every winter and got resurrected some days later.

Celtic cross, a cross with a cicle, is a symbol in Norse Mythology which was adapted to convert the Norse pagans into Christianity.

Karmasura said...

They used to fear these Norse Vikings a lot! It boggles the mind to think that the vikings let it go so easily (it is often portrayed as if they let go of their Paganism peacefully). I bet I'm missing some pieces over here.