Editor's Picks(1-4 of 4)
Hindus and their gods
This is time when festival of Ganapati, the savior God of Hindus we all faithful Hindus celebrate. There is a common belief that worshiping this God with true devotion helps the faithful surmount all worldly problems. Idols of this God are made in mud clay and painted to make them as beautiful as possible, before the faithful takes it for the worship. Many different designs of idols are made by idol makers and they are sold in numbers to the believers for their worship. Some idols I saw were not in good taste or vulgar and so I began to investigate why such ludicrously designed idols are made; above all, how dare they do it with the idols of a God? As a rule we expect that the faithful have great sense of respect for the deity they worship with great reverence. In that case to make idols of such absurd designs so much so that instead of feeling of respect and reverence one may develop feeling of disgust for it. It amount to making a laughing stock of our Gods.
I have seen in all other religions the devotees show such a high sense of respect for their gods that if any disrespect expressed by any body they would react with great anger. This is expected but here I see the devotees themselves are asking the idol makers to make idols so that they shall look very funny. I wanted to find out why this is happening only with Hindus. I say this because Hinduism has many other factional religions such as Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and many more cults; but in none of them I see they allowing the idol makers to make the idols of their chosen deity in this ridiculous or vulgar way.
When I discussed the matter with the idol makers they told that they make them as the devotee tells. However, here I should make it clear that some idol makers of Hindu Gods refused to make idols in this bad taste and on that the devotees accepted the objection and actually appreciated that they were wrong in asking him to make idol of the God in that fashion. This shows that worshipers are not having that sense of maturity to understand what is in good taste and what is not.
When I referred to scriptures I found that in that, how to make the idol is specified clearly and to make idols in that way is compulsory for the idol makers and also for the worshipers. The question that pestered me was that in spite of such a clear specification why idol makers make idols in that vulgar design? Who advises for that? To find reply to that I went to some worshipers and there they told me that their priest, who are Brahman, suggested to them that this is allowed. That investigation clearly showed to me that the priests are the main mischief makers. But then why they play such a vulgar mischief with the believers and misguide them? I got varied answers but one point was common in all those answers that the Brahman priests have no respect for the deities they perform puja.
Brahman priests of Hindu Gods consider themselves as gods! In no other religion the priest considers themselves as gods. Brahman call themselves Bhudev, meaning gods of the earth! Due to this wrong notion all Hindu Gods are ridiculed by this priest community from time to time. Should I blame this stupid and callous community of priests? Or blame the devotees who accept whatever nonsense they advice. Both deserve the blame for one thing, Brahman for overrating themselves and devotees for their foolishness. It is a matter of simple common sense that the deity you worship for favor you have to present with profound respect but our Hindus do not have that simple commonsense. We practice protocol while dealing with dignitaries to show respect to them similarly, we should practice a special protocol while worshiping our deities. This is a matter of simple commonsense, unfortunately Hindus lack in that.
Here the discussion on this subject will not be complete; if I do not mention my very special experience on this subject. It was an instance when I visited a place of Idol maker of Ganapati who is not Hindu. This gentleman even though a Christian by faith, carries on the avocation of making Ganapati idols for the occasion. I saw in his workshop all idols of the deity made exactly as specified in the scriptures. Devotees were purchasing those idols with great appreciation. With curiosity, I asked him how is it that he has not made vulgar idols? He told me that he does not take advice from Brahman but from his Christian priest. They have told him that he will not insult the Hindu God the way Hindu priest ask to do.
His mother told me how he went into the business of making Ganapati idols. When he was a small boy he was fond of making clay figures and other images just as a play, eventually, he went to the village idol maker and began to help him. As the old idol maker passed away devotees of that place requested him to make idols for them. When he told them that he is Christian they told him he is also Ganapati's child and there is no harm in that. His mother told him to do it even though the Church objected but eventually due to pressure from the devotees he had to begin making Ganapati idols. On that, Cardinal called him and warned him that he will not make idols of this Hindu God by any specification other than the one given in the Hindu scriptures. The Cardinal had shown enough resentment on the way Idols are made by Hindu artists. He said “if you have decided to help the neighbors who are devotees of this God do it properly, no vulgar design shall he make at any request”. The artist is following those instructions. He read the scripture in Marathi and makes images accordingly. This shows the difference in the two priesthoods. The upbringing of Brahmans is so low that they keep on playing with gods they are supposed to pray. When I went to meet the Cardinal and as I told him the purpose of my visit he welcomed me with a smile, he told me that the Christian priests are trained in the style and manners one must follow while dealing with divinities. Brahman are not probably taught that and that is why they behave uncouth and this happens. I requested him that he should teach them that; on that he laughed heartily. I earnestly hope, Brahman priest community will learn something from their Christian counterpart if not from Sikhs, Jain and Buddhist.
One other treatment I observed Hindus give to their deities; in that they perform marriages of deities. This always perplexed me since a marriage is performed for humans because they have sexual apatite. That must be satisfied in the proper way and not by indulging in any immoral activity. However, Gods being gods have no such sexual need then, why perform marriages amongst gods? I searched for any acceptable explanation but did not find any; ultimately only one explanation that I found is very shameful. This is happening because the Brahman priests do it. One priest told me, they marry and since they are bhudev other gods must also have marriages! What a ridiculous explanation. This shows that our priests do not have simple commonsense to understand that Gods do not need such marriage rites and it only shows how vulgar our priests are. In no other religion in the group of Hindu religions, such as Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism such vulgar treatment given to their divinities. When are our priests going to learn to behave properly with divinities they worship and when are Hindus going to learn to control these vulgar priests? These questions now bother me.
You may contact me on my Email ID given below,
You are, invited to visit my other blogs if interested.
Ashok Kothare for stories
Ideas and tips on any subject for intelligent discussions.