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Idol Worship in Hinduism

Have you ever realized how many times while visiting any old Indian city when we ask the guide where to go or what to see, the answer comes up as “Temple”. It can be a Shiv/Vishnu/Hanuman or any one of ‘36 crore’ God Goddesses temple but the fact is that our country is filled with temples and not just small temple but huge gigantic ones too are no less in number. Existence of such large number of temple becomes even more astonishing when you realize that this country has been ruled by Muslims for 800 years and then 200 years by Christians. Ever since Arab and later Europeans set foot on this great land (आर्यावर्त) we Hindu’s have been called Idolaters/ बुतपरस्त and what not. This religion was hit on what they thought to be the weakest link, idol worship. Millions of temple were demolished and desecrated during that period.

Now the question arises, why so many temples? Bigger question being why do we need temple at all? This is what we have been criticized for, and not just by foreigners who don’t understand Hinduism but also from those who are one of us, fellow Hindus. Past 200 yrs or so, many sects in Hinduism have come up, formed by some seriously good thinkers and intellectuals, which denounce idol worship. Many of them quote Veda’s and great Hindu luminaries like Shankaracharya in their defense, mind you they are not wrong in quoting them, but they quote Shankar and Veda’s out of context to prove their point, that is what many people fail to understand and hence give in to their arguments, thinking idol worship is actually not required and it is one of the impurities acquired by this religion over the time.

As I realized how big and important question these are, I started to dig into our scriptures, to my surprise i had to dig a lot.

Rigved, our oldest and supreme scripture, talks a lot about numerous god and goddesses (not just Agni, as many scholars say) but strangely you don’t find a single reference to any temple, however when you read purans  there are quiet a few temples mentioned.  This might be due to the fact that veda’s were here from the very beginning, even before our civilization started (probably I need to write a different blog post to explain this point hence I’ll leave it at that) where as purans and others were written much later when our dharma has already flourished.

This though is not the only argument given in opposition of idol worship, bigger one is that veda’s themselves don’t approve of idol worship and this is what gyaankand of rigved states. Here I have to admit that to some extent I do agree with this argument but my contention is that again it’s taken out of context.

Let’s go into a little bit of detail. Our scholars and thinkers who commented on Veda’s and Upanishads later divided them into two sections, Karmakaand (the former part of Veda’s) and Gyaankaand (Upanishads, which are the latter/concluding part of Vedas). Gyaankaand comes after Karmakaand and does say that idol worship is not required as god is nirgun, nirakaar. This is the point from which the concept of saguna puja and nirgun puja arose.  Therefore all our great sages and ascetics went and still go to Himalaya’s or dense forest for Samadhi to find Brahma, not to any temple. Even Shankaracharya’s advait theory is based on this point. However, both Gyaankaand and Shankar never criticize Karmakaand, they never tell us to stop with karma, instead they tell us to go beyond karma. (Explanation of that is beyond the scope of this post).

Just as there is a Karmakaand for Gyaankaand, there is Madhavachrya’s dvait theory for Shankar’s advait theory.

Both of them, Karmakaand and dvait theory, are for the worldly people, in other words for the minds like us, you and me. Now when you read these two, you will realize that Idols are not just idols; they are the reflection of god, having said that let me also accept that these scriptures also say that idol should not be mistaken to be considered as god himself. Take for instance, we wear glasses to see the world clearly but that doesn’t mean glasses are the real world. They just correct your eyesight, what you see actually depends on your perception. Similarly idols are just the manifestation of god, they are there to show you a path and then if you have the guts and knowledge to go on that path, you don’t need them anymore because gyaan cuts that string by which you are attached to this world and then joins you to Brahma himself.

Consider this, when we teach our kids about new things, what do we do so that they can understand it better? Let’s say you are teaching a kid about a car or a ship, what is it that you do to explain it to him? You show him the picture of it, but when he’s in senior school or colleges (when he’s more mature) then do you need to show him the picture? No you don’t, because he already knows about it, it’s in his mind. Similarly idols and temples are for the worldly men, men of lesser intellect as I say, we need those idols and temples to focus, to remind ourselves that the world we live in is not the only truth; there is someone who controls us all, we go there so that we can connect to god in a better way. People criticizing idol worship quote Chhandogya Upanishad and say “ सर्वं खल्विदं भ्रह्मः ” “god is everywhere then why look for him in idols and not in people around us”?

 Now if you believe in this interpretation of the quote then tell me one thing; god is in you as well, do you see him when you look in the mirror? Or do you see him when you look at other people? No you don’t. But what exactly is the first thought that comes to your mind or whom do you think about when you see a temple or an idol?  Do I need to state the obvious here..

Another aspect of this reply to the argument given is that I believe idols and their worship is in human nature, it’s in our DNA. Let me elaborate on that; tell me why do we keep pictures of those who are dear to us? Pictures of those who are not with us anymore?  It is because we want them to be with us all the time, closer to us, to focus our thoughts on them or to channelize our memories, hence the pictures and similarly the idols of god. We are not that knowledgeable to feel god around us all the time, only enlightened mind can do that, so we keep idols or go to temples, were we feel god’s presence much clearly.

Then there is this question which often accompanies the previous ones. Why so many of them, God and Goddess that is? To understand this, let’s talk about Hinduism a little and then the reply will follow.

Hinduism in these lakhs of years (if not more) has faced a lot. From highs of popularity to the lows of Atrocities from invaders, it has seen it all. Hinduism has not only successfully resisted all efforts made to demolish it but also it still remains to be the most evolved religion. This happened because of its strong base (laid down by our great rishi’s) and the flexible structure erected on that base. This flexibility is the key when we talk about idols and the huge number of gods we pray to.

Sri Krishna says in the Gita:

In whatever way or form a man worships me, I increase his faith and make him firm and steady in that worship.

This is the root ofसर्वधर्मं  समभाव”. Jainism came, rose to new heights, but now they are not that different from us in fact they are like one of us, same thing happened with Buddhism (once Hindus and Buddhists were at daggers end but now we consider Buddha to be Vishnu’s avatar) and trust me it will happen to others as well, when they’ll realize the greatness of our religion, Hinduism.

Coming back to the original point, in all these years many have seen god in many different forms, depending on their faith and devotion.

एकम् सत् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति 

The truth is one, but there are hundreds and thousands of ways to look at it, or keeping in mind the matter of our discussion let’s say there are ‘36crores’ way to look at it. It doesn’t matter which form or image you see your god in, only thing that matters is that whether you follow and understand his teachings or not. That is the sutra of so many gods and goddess yet one religion.

Finally the only argument left is that why does only Hindus need idols and why not other religions like Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, etc.?

Well I have two things to say, firstly Hinduism is far more evolved than any other religion, therefore it has a better understanding of human mind and hence gives each and everyone what he/she needs, it doesn’t forces itself on you or puts any fear in you to follow, instead it gives you the freedom to find your own god. Let’s put it in this way, Hinduism gives you the liberty to choose your own means to find the ultimate end, which is GOD.

 Secondly the argument in itself is wrong, why?

It’s a myth that only Hindu’s worship idols, every single religion has built temples (place of worship) and has an idol/symbol to worship. Buddhist have made biggest of the idols we have ever seen, Jain are not far behind. Christians have an idol of Jesus or a cross in all their churches. Islam has a black stone in the middle of Mecca, without touching and bowing in front of it hajj is not considered complete, also they require a loudspeaker to remind them of their god. Sikhs too have their guru’s images and Jews have mezuzah (to remind them of god’s presence). They all started with criticizing idol worship and temples but eventually realizing its importance they all accepted it. Some incorporated idol worship as it is, others did it under the pretext of different rituals.

Lastly I would like to say that our religion has always given us the space to question it but then no one else is going to answer them, it’s up to us to find the answer of those questions which were and are being raised by us and others.

धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः” ~ Religion when protected, protects.

Only knowledge of our religion through our holy scriptures can answer the questions raised and to attain that knowledge, all you need to have is DEVOTION, and lots of it.

                                   “Bhaktyamam abhijanati yavan yascasmi

                           By devotion he comes to know who in truth I am.

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This Valmiki Ramayan was printed in yr 1925 in allahabad. Sanskrit to hindi translation.

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 01-Baal Kaand

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 02-Ayodhya Kaand Purvardh

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 03-Ayodhya Kaand Uttarardh

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 04-Aranya Kaand

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 05-Kishkindha Kaand

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 06-Sundar Kaand

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 07-Yuddh Kaand Purvardh

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 08-Yuddh Kaand Uttarardh

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 09-Uttar Kaand Purvardh

Valmiki Ramayan-Sanskrit Hindi-Vol 10-Uttar Kaand Uttarardh

Why did Ram Leave Sita…

Ramayan has always been a very integral part of a Hindu life. It is a never ending most intriguing story of Ram & Sita, story of their love, their separation, their devotion to each other and story of THE GREATEST SACRIFICE.

Let me make myself clear at this point, just because I am using the word ‘story’ that doesn’t make it a folklore. It is as true as you and i am, as true as our emotions, as true as Death.

We have been reading and listening to ramayan since we were kids. However when we read ramayan there is one thing which at the moment we don’t realize but afterword’s it draws some negative emotions like sadness, anger, some even find it detestable.

It is the major cause of criticism of Ram, The Maryada purushottam. What is that thing which makes us question him?

It is the transition of a man from being called कृतवैवाहिककौतुक राम् (who became happy after marrying sita) to सीतवेदितकाकावन राम् (who became upset because sita cried) and finally विपिनत्याजितजनकज राम् (who had to abandon sita into forest).

There are many interpretations of Ram & Sita’s life, but important thing to notice here is that in every single one of them, Ram leaves sita. Not only that, in lanka after winning the war, he asks her to prove that she is pure, Sita does that successfully but despite of the fact that she has proven herself once in lanka, Ram leaves her when similar suspicion is raised in ayodhya. This time though he doesn’t even give her a chance to defend herself. Doesn’t sounds like Ram Rajya, does it? But wait before you form an opinion..

It is kind of hard to understand why Ram (who is ready to fight anyone just to marry Sita, who can go to any length just to find her trace, who is ready to fight a mighty king who not only has world’s largest army but also has Shiva’s blessing) will leave sita just because some unknown uneducated guy raised a suspicion about her character.

To find the answer we have to go deeper into the matter, require more reading, a better understanding and to say the least, we have to widen our gauge.

Here I have to tell you that there are many forms of ramayan, ranging from valmiki ramayan, vasistha ramayan, agastya ramayan, anand ramayan, ramcharitmanas, etc., there actually is a different version of ramayan in every region of India. Most version of ramayan which I named and which I didn’t are traditionally attributed to valmiki, in fact all of them except one and that is adhyatma ramayan, which is extracted from brahmaand puran ascribed to ved vyas, it is this adhyatma ramayan (not valmiki ramayan as many think) which is the inspiration of tulsidas’s ramcharitmanas.

Now let me take the liberty to draw your attention to the end of the war.  Ram offcourse emerges victorious and then asks vibhishan and hanuman to bring sita. They comply and sita is brought there on a chariot guarded by vibhishans guards. At this very moment something happens which although looks innocuous but is very significant for us in context of this topic.

Ram asks, nearly reprimands, vibhishan to withdraw his guard’s and demands that sita should walk to him. Sita as always complies with her husband’s wish. This gives everyone a chance to look at Sita closely which results in some low character people making some shallow comments on Sita’s character. Ram witnessing all this, immediately (and I emphasize on that word) asks Sita to prove herself. Sita in return without wasting a single second asks laxman to prepare a pyre and when he does, she jumps into it without any hesitation. Maybe she realizes what we don’t, why Ram asked her to walk to her? In the meantime everyone is dumbstruck, not a single sound, every eye wet, every heart pounding, tears flowing down the cheeks, now even those who questioned her integrity are repenting and crying. Then comes out Agni devta himself carrying Sita along and presents her to Ram. Everyone’s emotions are running high; they know what they have witnessed. By this time they know Sita is pure, even purer than fire itself. Ram has achieved his motive.

If you think that the motive of Ram was to prove to himself that Sita was pure then you are absolutely wrong. His motive was to prove to everyone what he already knew, it was to make people realize that a woman who stayed in other man’s custody for around a year is still as pure as ganga, it showed everyone that Sita’s  devotion to her husband is something which even  a powerful king like Ravan could not challenge. Ram on the risk of being brought down from his high podium, makes sure that no one ever raises a suspicion on his wife. This is the sacrifice I talked about when I started. Risking his own respect in society to restore his wife’s honour.

Following this event, they went back to ayodhya and lived happily. What followed was the famous Ram Rajya. Then a dhobi raised some suspicion on Sita and Ram sends her to valmiki’s ashram. He didn’t leave her alone in any forest as contrary to common belief, he asked laxman to take her to valmiki’s ashram and laxman does exactly the same, except however laxman drops her on the gates of ashram rather than taking her inside, may be because he was too terrified to face his guru while indulging in such an act (which according to him was unjustified).

This sudden change of heart on Ram’s part can be understood if you read another source of ramayan, other than valmiki’s. Valmiki somehow misses this point, maybe he was too naive and thought “who will ever dare to question someone like Ram”, by this time we all know how wrong he was. Anyway, so the only ramayan you get which is not derived from valmiki’s ramayan is adhyatma ramayan (I have written few lines about it when I mention it earlier in the post). When you read adhyatma ramayan things start to make more sense.

Here is what actually happens which leads up to sita’s Samadhi in earth.

After few years of ruling ayodhya, one by one Ram’s elders start to leave this world; kaushalya was first to go then kaikeyi, followed by sumitra. Now Ram realises that probably someday he has to go as well but how can that happen, Sita will never let that happen. Sita’s devotion for Ram is something which can neither be explained nor be understood. There are no words good enough to describe that. So  Ram thinks of something.

One day other gods went to Sita and said to her;

“Our lord is still on this earth just because of you, Mother”

 

“Mother, if you will be gracious enough to come to heaven then our lord will also follow you and will be seated at his most deserved place”

Sita tells this to her Lord (who already knew about it). He tells her that he will leave her to valmiki’s ashram where she will give birth to two boys and then he will visit her after which she will leave this world. At that  very moment Ram told Sita “I will follow you soon”.

Please don’t be fooled by my incompetence in translating the ramayan or by my over simplification of things, this all was very difficult for Ram, more difficult for him than Sita. I say so because despite of the fact that it was all pre planned, Ram’s love for Sita was above all other things. How difficult all this would have been for a man who loved his wife so much that he lived like a sadhu after her demise, we can’t even imagine.

When you consider all these things and look at them objectively then maybe you can connect the dots and see the clear picture.

God who came on earth in form of Ram, who is supposed to be the source of inspiration for every human being doesn’t even think twice before putting himself under the the sword of criticism, just for the love of his wife, for her Honour. In the end by putting a blemish on his persona of MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM, Ram raises Sita above all suspicions…

The greatest love

The greatest sacrifice

.

Gandhi Vadh Kyun ~Gopal Godse

An insight into a nationalist mind  http://www.scribd.com/doc/56213168/%E0%A4%97%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%81%E0%A4%A7%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%A7-%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%8B%E0%A4%82

 

Hindutva ~ V D Savarkar 

Read it if you wanna know who is a hindu

http://www.scribd.com/doc/59584778/Hindutva

 

Parshuram ki pratiksha ~ Ramdhari singh Dinkar

From the greatest veer ras kavi..Hindi poetry at its best..  

http://www.scribd.com/doc/60153163/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AE-%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B7%E0%A4%BE

 

Jhansi wali rani ~ Subhadra kumari Chauhan

We all read it when we were kids but here is the full uncut version..

http://www.scribd.com/doc/59585726/%E0%A4%96%E0%A5%82%E0%A4%AC-%E0%A4%B2%E0%A5%9C%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A6%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%B9-%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8B%E0%A4%B9-%E0%A4%9D%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%81%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B2%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%A5%E0%A5%80

 

Shivaji the Great ~Bal Krishna

Not only the Greatest hindu general but also one of the greatest general in the world..read to know more..

http://www.scribd.com/doc/60793587/Shivaji-the-Great

 

Why be a Hindu ~ Stephen Knapp 

Injects confidence amongst those hindu who’s faith has been dented by marxist historians..

http://www.scribd.com/doc/62015418/Why-Be-A-Hindu

Some time back when P.Chidambaram introduced us to this word ‘saffron terrorism’, my reaction was, what the heck man, himself being a hindu how can he say something like that but honestly speaking he was not the first one, earlier to him also there have  been some talks  suggesting  how hindu’s (youth specially) are becoming more and more aggressive, when it comes to religion specially.  Everytime i heard these comments i used to think that may be another propaganda or another pseudo secularist trying to please a particular sect.

And i was not wrong in having such opinion. Whatever little i have read, heard and understood about hinduism tells me that a hindu can never be a terrorist, fanatic or anything of that sort. Hindu’s have always been a very peace loving sect. Thousand’s of years of history and you cannot find a single king who was very aggressive or obsessed with agenda of spreading hinduism. We have known many rulers  who have traveled thousand miles just to conquer the world but  how many of hindu kings have done that? none. Bharat (after whom this great nation is named) did not conquer, he ‘UNITED’ india, there is a difference. Alexander came, won some, lost one, went back, died on his way but chandragupt never tried to grab what alexander left. He very well could have but he didnt. Raja Bhoj defeated mallechs (so they were called) but left them alone and gave them their land back (which is modern day arab). Ashoka had his moments of madness but finally what he became we all know. I am compelled to mention Prithvi raj chauhan as well, he defeated mohd. ghazni 17 times before getting defeated but every single time he pardoned ghazni and never bothered to go after him. Some may call it a political blunder which it was but  it was neither the first nor the last error made by a hindu, we’ll leave it at that.

There is an instance in mahabharat, yudhisthir goes to bhism pitamah and ask him how hindu’s used to live when kings and kindoms were not formed. Pitamah replied

नैव राज्यं न राजाऽऽसीत् न दण्डो न च दाण्डिकः।
धर्मेणैव प्रजाः सर्वा रक्षन्ति च परस्परम्॥

There was no kingdom no king, no punishment no punisher. Every one used to protect eachother with dharma and character.

Buddhism born out of hinduism, many converted at those times when people were ardent hindu, no riots or massacre mentioned in any text of those times. Buddha is even considered incarnation of vishnu inspite of breaking away from hinduism starting his own religion which is slightly atheistic in approach. Bhagwan mahavir’s follower formed jainism, hindu’s call him bhagwan. Khalsa panth born out of hinduism, no problems there either, on the contrary sikh were called sword of hindus.

So you see we have been a very content and peace loving society. A society thriving on knowledge and spirituality. Now may be you share my dissentment toward chidambaram’s comments.

But then something happened which made me ponder and i ended up writing this blog. Chidambaram’s comments might not be exact in present times but may find some accuracy in future.

Off  late i met and chatted with many guys most of them in their 20’s or 30’s, who preached and believed in a very different kind of hinduism. I was totally unaware about this side of  religion. I actually never knew it existed, this saying aptly describes my situation

“Eye’s don’t see what mind does’nt know”

May be that is why i was unaware, i never looked at hinduism with this new ‘in fashion’ perspective. Hindu youth who proudly calls himself a nationalist,  believe’s this nation is a sole property of hindu’s, talks about hindu nation and how only hindu’s deserve all the fruits of it. Well personally i don’t have any problem with that and i also support this call to some extent but the mean to that end is very apalling. And when you converse more and go deeper into their mind trying to understand their psyche, some how you loose that feeling of fellow hindu, we are brother’s kind off thing is lost. You feel totally different, outcasted to some extent. As if you were strolling with a friend but suddenly in a dark corner of the road he turns your foe.

Youth today talks about mandir and is not ready to listen about anything else. Anything concerning peace is a cowardly act, you talk about peace and you are labelled as either a coward (responsible for everything bad that has happened to hinduism) or a pseudo secularist. They dont understand a word of tulsi ramayan let alone valmiki’s but claim to ‘own’ ram. They are not even aware of the state of our religion in parts of country, some of them even think caste system is totally abolished (believe me one of them said that to me, but added ” atleast in my district”,don’t know which part of india he was from). They claim to be staunch hindu and nationalist but all they mean by that is how to defeat muslims,i am unable to understand this fixation with muslim’s. I wonder are these guys hindu or is it more appropriate to call them ‘anti muslims’. Although i am very much aware of the friction and its cause, but i don’t agree with this general consensus that muslims are biggest threat to this religion. Dont we have internal problems which are bigger and more threatening to us than so to say muslim’s.  My fellow hindu’s today are not interested in how to improve our religion, not at all bothered  how lower class (including brahmin’s) and lower caste hindu is living or trying to live,  they are more interested in how muslims are living, their nationalistic ear cant hear the cries of hindu females mistreated by their husbands or in-laws  but they do pick up the voice of muslim cleric issuing a fatwa.

Yes i agree muslims have had a very aggressive agenda when it comes to conversion but how many of us really know that more hindu convert to christianity than to islam. Hundreds of christian missionaries come to india every year with prime objective of converting as many hindus as they can, a  large number of tribals are converted to christianity and missionaries claim, because tribals are not  hindu’s (west believe’s tribals dont have any religion) so this cannot be called a conversion. Lower caste hindu’s convert to other religion because of castist mindset of upper caste hindu’s. Financially poor hindu’s convert mainly because they see financial gains. Muslims  target hindu’s no doubt about that but so do christian’s  then why are we so obsessed and focused on muslims. Infact why focus at any of them, why not focus at the root cause of our problems and address them.

Education being one of biggest problem if not THE Biggest. By education i don’t mean academic but education about our religion-why it is great to be a hindu?, education about caste-why it is absurd to allocate caste by birth?, education about society-why it is preposterous to mistreat females?. Education should be our primary weapon against any threat, it plays a very important role in ones life. Education is  not just a mean to earn bread and butter, its a mean to achieve a higher goal and that is eternal happiness.

Uneducated people follow religion more blindly and hence are sitting ducks for frauds in attire of sadhu’s. When these innocent hindu’s realize that they have been duped, their faith in religion is dented and are easily convinced into conversion by people of other religion. Those uneducated hindu’s who do have various degrees to boast about their qualification but who looks at a person’s caste first and then at his deeds or those hindu’s who think dominating the females in their households is the most courageous  thing, they need education. Educate them, they should know that hinduism teaches equality, caste system is just to define a persons mode of earning livelihood. Caste is not by birth, its by actions. An uneducated brahmin does not have any right to call himself a brahmin, because he is not. A lower caste who teaches children is a real brahmin.

Respecting women is the very basis of hinduism, Rigved says

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः।
यत्र तास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः॥

Where a female is worshipped, god himself reside there. Where females are not respected, nothing is successful there.

Hindu should know about hinduism, its basis, its history, its motive. People should understand what is hindu dharma and its importance in life. I am not asking you to become a sadhu and leave for himalaya’s, understanding religion doesnt mean that you should become a sanyasi, arjun after getting gita gyan from bhagwan krishna went for a war. Hindu dharma  makes you think clearly, it allows you to understand things better. It changes your perspective, your approach towards life in specific and towards people in general.

Learn hinduism, preach hinduism, let others know how great this religion is. Don’t get bogged down by what others are doing. If someone is bad to you that doesn’t mean you will be the same, what will be the difference then?

Gist is we do not need to become like muslim’s in effort to counter them. Its good to be passionate about your religion and culture but there is a thin line between being passionate and being a fanatic. Yes we do need a shield for our religion but instead of taking up aggression as a shield why not make knowledge and self awareness our shield. Aggression doesn’t last very long and even if it does it will do more harm to us rather than to those whom it’s against. Lets think of hinduism as one single body and we all as different part of it. All as one, no caste, no regional differences, no language issue’s. Lets be one big hindu society. UNITY my friends is the key for survival in this world-

सङ्घे शक्तिः कलौ युगे॥

Unity is the need of hour, lets work together to build that. Make hindu dharma a single body,  body so healthy that no bacteria/virus of any kind can attack it. So strong that anyone thinks million times before confronting it. But this health should not be for hunting others, it should be for our good. Remember peace can only be restored by a strong man, weak never get’s any peace. I know many will counter this with many instances of past, will remind me of atrocities made against hinduism. People will say how can you even think of peace when you know what have been and is been done to hindu’s.

My only reply to them is what Bhagwan krishna told us-

शान्तितुल्यं तपो नास्ति तोषान्न परमं सुखम्।
नास्ति तृष्णापरो व्याधिर्न च धर्मो दयापरः।

There is no greater penance like peace, there is no greater happiness than satisfaction, no greater disease than desire and there is

NO GREATER DHARMA THAN MERCY.

Jai Hind

RAM AND RAM MANDIR

This is my first blog,i hope first of many to come ,i don’t think that everyone shares the same excitement as i do but still, just like our beloved ‘prime minister’ i will carry on without taking into consideration what others think.

Its kind off strange, when i decided to write a blog, first thing that came to my mind was RAM. May be because of all the recent occurring as you might think, but more appropriate reason will be because being a hindu, Ram (or god in any form) comes to me first. But there was a tussle as well whether should i write about ram or ram mandir, should i write about ram’s persona or his ‘janambhoomi’ ? People seem to be more obsessed with later but i prefer former, so may be i’ll give you a mix.

Ram born to dasharath and kaushalya in ayodhya, their eldest son, is considered 7th avatar of vishnu. Besides Ram, he’s also referred to as kosaladheesh, kaushlesh, Maryada-purushottam  meaning ‘Man of highest Virtue’ or ‘God of Virtue’, etc. His Biography has been written down by many great people like Valimiki (in sanskrit) ,tulsidas (in hindi dialect), guru gobind singh (named ramavtara),etc. They are all very much different from each other,understandably having different  views but one thing  remains common in all form of ramayans written all over,  that is Ram is considered  Maryada Purushottam by all.

What is it that makes him the most written about god in recent history of this religion? Is it this name of his ‘RAM’ or is it his life or just because he was an incarnation of vishnu?

Tulsidas writes pages full of how his name is so precise and appropriate. He says

” एकु छत्रु एकु मुकुटमनि सब बरननि पर जोऊ ।
तुलसी रघुबर नाम के बरन बिराजत दोउ ॥”

when ‘ra’ of ram is added to your name (in hindi offcourse) it stands like an umbrella saving you from all the miseries and when ‘ma’ of ram is added it looks like a jewel on your forehead making your soul even more beautiful. What a beautiful interpretation. And along with it, tulsidas emphasizes the importance of name (on the contrary to shakespeare who says whats in the name) by saying

” देखिअहिं रूप नाम आधीना ।  रूप ज्ञान नहीं नाम बिहीना ॥”

when we look at someone his name comes to our mind, when we think of him( his name) his image comes to our mind.

Ramcharitmanas is full of  praises for Ram, Valmiki ramayan not so, Valmiki even criticizes Ram at many instances but that’s a different issue. No where in any ramayan written by anyone is any emphasis of any kind on temple. Its understood for valmiki ramayan as at that time temples where not of that much importance but why nothing in ramcharitmanas or ramavtara, etc. SOME will say how can Ram himself ask to build his temples,but many gods of other religions do ask their followers to build places of worship than why not ram?  Maryada purushottam perhaps but tulsidas (Born 1532AD) also says nothing about it. He on the contrary says

“जाकी रही भावना जैसी प्रभु मूरत देखि तिन तैसी ॥”

God appeared to everyone in different forms, depending on their faith.

Then why today we are so obsessed with a temple? Ayodhya has 11000, yes eleven thousand temples but  zero at the place it matters, Ram janambhoomi. Ram in itself would neither feel happy or ‘dejected’ if temple there is build or not, but his followers will be.

So in quest of that ‘one’ temple, we unintentionally made ram a small word preceding bigger words like MANDIR and JANAMBHOOMI.

Yes, what happens at that 67 acres land in ayodhya will have a long lasting and bigger impact on this nations future (little on this religion), but is that THE MOST important thing, is it worth being so fanatic and in the process becoming just like those whom we are fighting against. A temple at what cost? Cost of even a single life is too much to afford but we in the process have given many. We might get our temple in the end but will we get those lives back?

No doubt that huge and majestic temple will boost our ego but will that temple solve the basic problems of hinduism due to which hundreds of lower caste hindu’s change their religion, will it make hindu’s understand that caste is not by birth but is from action’s as maharishi Manu said originally or will that temple make hindu’s understand their religion? which at present they don’t, even the flag bearers of temple movement are not that aware of what hinduism actually is.

Having said all that, please don’t think that i don’t want that temple, i want it as much as you do, even more than politician’s do. Ram himself when offered lanka by vibhishan after killing ravan says

“जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी॥”

Mother and motherland are better than heaven. He emphasizes on the importance of motherland (Janambhoomi) and i being his humble follower cannot reject the importance of janambhoomi or janamsthan. All i am trying to convey is that temple is good but who is inside is more important. Ram mandir at his birth place is great but RAM in our heart and in our action’s is superb.

The only good thing about that mandir movement of early 90’s was that it united hindu’s like never before. Hindu’s for once thaught, worked, moved and lived as one, the otherwise unbreakable boundaries of caste were broken, we were all brothers  up for one cause. Lets work towards recreating that unity and brotherhood, i am sure thats the only way to connect with our beloved Ram.

Atlast, phew finally, i will end this by quoting sumitra, when lakshman was to leave with Ram and Sita on vanvaas he came to see sumitra to take her blessings. Sumitra says

“रामं दशरथं विद्धि मां विद्धि जनकात्मजाम्।
अयोध्यामटवीं विद्धि गच्छ तात यथासुखम्॥”

Regard Ram as your father, Sita as your mother, this world as ayodhya and you will always be happy .

Jai shri ram