Saturday, June 13, 2009

Of spiritual Hindus and their benevolent gods.

For last few days media is agog with the news about an offering made at the Tirupati temple of a crown studded with jewels and diamonds by two politicians to propitiate the presiding deity / god of the temple ostensibly to gain some material favours. The cost of the crown is said to be 42 crores of rupees (equivalent of about 8.4 million US dollars). This involves many issues of propriety in public and social life besides raising questions about basis of the Hindu religion, if there is any.

Followers and practitioners of Hinduism claim it to be a way of life based on spiritualism. They say Hinduism is all about the spiritual journey of the soul (whatever that means) on this planet where your actions based on your perceived sense of duty will grant you the fruits of the journey. Philosophically, the followers of Hinduism, also known as the Vedic religion, are required to follow a spiritual path by shunning material greed and excessive comforts in order to attain Moksha or salvation (freedom from the cycle of birth and death). However, what happens in practice is a shameless involvement and exhibition of material (money and wealth including land, precious metals and stones as in the case under reference).

Propitiation of numerous gods and their consorts by way of making offerings and sacrifices is the sacred most duty of a Hindu which starts at the birth of an individual and continuous for many years after his or her death. By offering material to gods and goddesses the practicing Hindus seek benefits of various types and worse, the so called scriptures endorse and fully support this action of give and take.

The exalted status granted in Hinduism to material wealth and power is amply visible in the myths and rituals so vividly vouched by the so called scriptures. Most of the incarnations are said to have taken place in royalty and wealthy as well as mighty kingdoms. No surprises then that the Hindus have always feared the powerful and sung their praises begging for mercy. The countless incantations and hymns are nothing but praises repeatedly recited in order to keep the gods from getting angry.

That much for this sham spiritualism of the Hindu faith.

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