Why defend Devas and Devatas? – Achintyachintaka

Academic Icon“If India is to see its progress (abhyudaya) in the comity of nations, the land of Devas and Devatas must be protected from being grabbed by the monotheistic ‘idiots’. Demographic attack by converting the local population of India to monotheistic faiths by opposing ‘polytheistic’ or ‘pantheistic’ worship must be faced bravely and stopped immediately with strategies to prevent their further growth and land-grabbing. Such dangerous process is metastasizing at exponential rates in many parts of India: Kerala, Andhra, Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, not to mention Kashmir.” – Achintyachintaka

Hindu GoddessesOne billion Hindus worship a multitude of Devas, Devis (Devatas) in their temples and in the worship rooms or corners in their homes. Some who do not openly do so have no disrespect for those who do, or vice versa, because of the very tolerant nature of Hinduness. Growing up in such tolerant society makes a Hindu child intuitively understand that Hindus worship the internal representation when they close their eyes; they worship the conscious perception of Devas and Devatas and not the stones that they face, whether artistically sculpted or not, or various artistic depictions of the images of Devas and Devatas.

For monotheists and other non-comprehending onlookers with their concrete thinking and brainwashing by their own ‘faiths’ against ‘idol’ worship, such worship of Devas and Devis by Hindus is difficult to understand and arouses both conscious and unconscious hostility. The reason is that their God is ‘jealous’ or so they are indoctrinated to believe, and they cannot tolerate anyone who worships any other God but ‘HIM’.

In contrast, a Hindu child can intuitively understand a Christian worshipping his God or a Muslim worshipping Allah because they too are indeed worshipping the representations of their divinities as internalized during their upbringing in their respective religious cultures.

Swami VivekanandaWhen the 80 per cent plus population of India is made up of such intuitively tolerant Hindus who have this generous understanding of worshipping different gods and goddesses, and have a conviction that such paths all lead to the same ‘god’ or Brahman, the Vedic cultural memories that Hindus carry in their Unconscious lead to instant empathy for the existential state of mind in other human beings engaged in the process of worship. This is summarized by Bhagvad Gita and later by Swami Vivekananda in his short speech at the Congress of World Religions in Chicago in 1893. The difference is that This One final ‘place’ where all worshipping minds flow to concentrate as per Hindu Vedic ethos is not acceptable to the Abrahamic religions.

Monotheistic idiots, the word ‘idiot’ is used deliberately to emphasize not the lack of mental ability or to describe a monotheist as an imbecile, but to point out that the intolerant excessive attachment to an ‘idea’ and unshakeable adherence to a culturally ingrained ‘idea’ makes him/her an ‘idiot’ in the sense of the true meaning of the word ‘idiot’. (The word idiot is thus derived from the word ‘idea’).

It is this idiocy that leads to the fanaticism of Abrahamic faiths and their historical aggressiveness and drive to proselytize the world populations. Conversion on larger and larger scale globally by what started off as small cults in the Middle East have today led to two major ‘religions’ of the world dominating the globe demographically and politically. ‘One Godism’ has been a political tool to dominate ‘non-believers’, enslave them, exploit them and use world resources for dominant groups belonging to these faiths. Colonization may have come to an end but neo-colonization continues.

Gun CrossConversion by sword or at gun point with threats of or actual torture, as well as all forms of coercion, was the order of the day in the past and continues to be the modus operandi of these two dominating religions historically and even now in some regions of the world. Both expend astronomical amounts of wealth for converting world populations to their faith and to invest in ‘inculturation’. The sad fact is the conflict between the Cross and the Crescent was overt at one time and now it is covert yet active in many areas of the world. The expansionist nature of the two extant imperialistic dominating religions of today has attained morbid explosiveness and therefore both are becoming a blight on humanity no matter how compassionate and empathic they were originally expected to be by their innocent practitioners.

The Hindus of India, worshippers of Devas and Devatas, are the true dharmis who weld together the myriad population of India and are the real buffer to reduce overt conflicts between people of different religious persuasions. Any reduction of this population of Hindus to less than 50 per cent will inevitably see an increasing rift among the One Goddists for political dominion; the annihilation of Hindus from their own land will follow. That will also be the end of ‘secular’ India (the India that does not want to cede ascendancy to its native Hindu ethos). Without the buffer of secular (read believing / practising) Hindus, the Christists and Islamists will be prone to instigate a civil war in India like they have done in some African countries.

Every Hindu then has a duty to defend all devas and devatas worshipped by Hindus and stop the onslaught on their society by the ‘One Goddists’. The very survival of India as a nation depends on the freedom to worship Devas and Devatas. Both the freedom to worship and the freedom to think are the very essence of Hinduness. There is no room for freedom to convert and propagate a monotheistic religion in Bharat as a constitutional guarantee, although some misinterpret the constitution of India and its ‘secularism’ mantra as a license for demographic attack on Hindus.

BalajiDevas and devatas reside all over Bharat. Bha stands for brilliance and rata stands for engrossment. Devas are the brilliant ones literally when the mind is illuminated, and hence the Devas are intimately related to Bharat. Bharat is the punya bhumi, meaning the sacred land, because of the presence of sacred Devas and Devatas all over the land of Bharat. That is what makes it sacred and it is, therefore, the punya bhumi where Hindus are indigenous.

If India is to see its progress (abhyudaya) in the comity of nations, the land of Devas and Devatas must be protected from being grabbed by the monotheistic ‘idiots’. Demographic attack by converting the local population of India to monotheistic faiths by opposing ‘polytheistic’ or ‘pantheistic’ worship must be faced bravely and stopped immediately with strategies to prevent their further growth and land-grabbing. Such dangerous process is metastasizing at exponential rates in many parts of India: Kerala, Andhra, Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, not to mention Kashmir.

Whoever is committed to the punya bhumi and the Dharma will be remiss if he / she does not simultaneously defend the Devas and Devatas. – Vijayvaani, 27 Sept. 2012

 

19 Responses

  1. This site has visitors from China and Saudia Arabia, Indonesia and Argentina. There is even one visitor from New Zealand. But most are from India and the US. So we write with the hope of being understood by everybody at least a little bit.

    If Merriam-Webster isn’t your dictionary, then why quote it here?

    How are we supposed to know what you mean except by what you say to us here?

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  2. IS, merriam-webster is not remotely my dictionary (it’s not even in my ancestral and native language). But it’s an official and recognised English dictionary that’s on-line and which conveys the meanings of English words as local authorities in that language have gauged their usage to be. In contrast, Wikipedia is a site whose content can change from one moment to the next depending on the lobby editing the page.

    (And if tomorrow the lobby editing that page is christian, the meaning of idol may change back to what is seen in merriam-webster.) The fact is, idol has more than merely a negative, christian connotation. It literally has a negative *meaning*. I don’t care whether the inculturator ‘jesus was a dharma master’ Morales also happens to think so or not. It’s pure coincidence.

    The word idol and hence idolatry is used by Greek Hellenes at the FAQ at ysee.gr in its correct and non-connotative original Greek sense: the worship of (sacred) images. They are able to use it in the correct manner — and thereby override English — because Greek is *their* language. But we have no such power. Still, among themselves, the Hellenes appear to use the Hellenistic word “Amalgata” (?) for their vigrahas and moortis, the way Hindus use vigraham/moorti among themselves.

    But the conversation at this blog didn’t appear to be about those circumstances where Hindus get to converse with Hellenes or other heathens. Nor even about Hindus talking to Hindus — where we easily use Hindu terms (and I think Hindus writing in English to a Hindu audience would do just that). It seemed to be about when Hindus are forced to speak on such matters to non-heathens — who only know the Merriam-webster type definitions — and will thus only hear the Hindu admitting to “worshipping images of false gods”. While *I* know what you and Vijaya and others are referring to when you speak of idolatry, they won’t.
    (And I don’t think English would have obtained “idolatry” from Hellenistic Greeks and Romans. I suspect it is more likely to have been introduced into English upon the christianisation of the British Isles, and hence after the christianisation of the Greek-origin word itself.)

    To be clear: I have no issue with declaring Hindus a gang of image-worshippers. Because that is indeed what they do: they worship divine images of their Gods. Indeed, as far as I’m aware, many a Hindu moorti and vigraham is indeed that Hindu God him/herself manifest in that form — this is why our home moortis etc are so sacred. They don’t merely represent those Gods, they *are* those Gods, at least whenever the Hindus are present. I’m long reconciled to the fact that there are no English words that will be an accurate translation of vigrahas/moortis (which are far more than merely images of Hindu Gods for worship).

    So had idolatry merely meant the plain worship of images of real Gods, I’d have happily owned to it. But it doesn’t mean that, and I can’t make it mean that by willing it. However, it’s not like there are no established alternatives: for example, what’s wrong with referring to Hindus as image-worshippers — which is also the English-translation that was used for Julian’s reference to Plato, I think (from memory, Julian said that Plato was an image-worshipper).

    I think Hindus should indeed admit that we do worship images, but that these are images of the very real Hindu Gods: not images of any false Gods. Worshipping (images of) a false gawd is what christians do.

    While I might call Hindus “polytheistic idolators” (in quotes usually), it’s because I’m not a writer and am hardly a serious person, and also because I know that what the christians/muslims are really objecting to — the worship of other Gods, whose very existence competes with the religion of the false, non-existent christian/islamic god — is indeed what Hindus are. However, as Hindus know, in reality Hindus and other such heathens are worshipping the real Gods and by true legitimate means (that work!), and it is the christians/muslims who are in a false religion and worshipping false gods by imitative but empty means.

    That heathenism is true and christianism (and islam) is false was also observed by that great authority on (Hellenistic) truth and (christian) falsehood: Emperor Julian. It’s just a fact.

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  3. Concerning these two statements:
    – Vijaya Rajiva said: “Practically/politically speaking India is committed to tolerating one goddists. We simply cannot drive them out.”
    – IS responded with: “Of course Muslims and Christians cannot be sent away.”

    Equally “of course” is that this is expected only of the Hindus. In the meantime, christians and muslims keep driving Hindus out of Hindus’ *own* lands — when they’re not too busy genociding the native Hindus and Buddhists.

    1. Mizoram is but the latest to openly declare itself a christian state. (After the usual massive ethnic cleansing of the native heathens by christian terror outfits there secured christianism this convenient “majority”).

    In the following, the church matter-of-factly reveals its stand that Mizoram is a christian state — as casually as the christian Times of India reports it — before continuing that “all” in Mizoram should therefore respectfully observe Sunday as the [western christian] sabbath.

    articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-21/india/34001444_1_mizo-youth-mizoram-presbyterian-church-church-service

    ‘Church diktat bans soccer on Sundays for Mizo youth – Sep 21, 2012

    AIZAWL: Youth of Christian-dominated Mizoram are at a crossroads between passion and religion. The dilemma follows a recent appeal on a ban on playing football on Sundays by the Synod, the highest decision-making body of the powerful Mizoram Presbyterian Church.

    A statement signed by Synod moderator Rev Thangzauva and Synod secretary “Upa” (elder) DP Biakkhuma says, “The Presbyterian Church Synod appeals to all people of Mizoram to refrain from any sporting activities on Sundays as Mizoram is a Christian state and Sunday is a sacred and important day for Christians.” It, however, expressed happiness over the success of Mizo youth in sports. The statement added, “The church appeals to all people to respect our sacred day.”‘

    Note how they appealed to “all people of Mizoram” (and again, “all people”) to observe their “our sacred day”. Contrast with how in Tripura the christian terrorists “appealed” to all the native Hindus — via a christian ban and convert-or-die threats — to give up Durga and Saraswati Puja. Convert-or-kill is how all of the north east has been converted:

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  4. 4. “Nagaland for Christ”

    christianwatchindia.wordpress.com/2008/05/04/nagaland-for-christ-christian-terrorism-at-work-in-nagaland/
    ‘The Nagaland Rebels is a coalition of rebel groups operating in Nagaland, northeastern India. The largest of these is the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), which is fighting for the establishment of a “Nagaland for Christ”. … Baruah writes that “Christianity is an essential part of Naga
    identity”; the NSCN-IM estimate that 95% of Nagas are Christian.[19]”‘

    More entertaining and revealing is the *reason* for the Nagaland church telling its implementation arm — the christian terrorist outfits — why they should not use the “Nagaland for christ” warchant: don’t use it for factional infighting, they argue! (but they’re allowed to ethnically cleanse the native heathens with it)

    news.oneindia.in/2007/01/28/stop-using-nagaland-for-christ-nbcc-1170029934.html
    “Kohima, Jan 28 (UNI) The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has urged the underground factions not to use the slogan ‘Nagaland for Christ’ until they stop the inter-factional clashes. NBCC Peace Affairs Director Rev Kari Longchar said the outfits can not use the name of God for their own vested interests.”

    angelfire.com/mi/Nagalim/nscn.html
    ‘We stand for the faith in God and the salvation of mankind in Jesus, the Christ alone, that is “NAGALAND FOR CHRIST”. However, the individual freedom of religion shall be safeguarded and the imposition of this faith on others is strictly forbidden.’

    That last is a convenient statement for them to make now that they have already usurped heathen land upon ethnically cleansing the native heathens from Nagaland, whenever they could not convert these by force. Consider that there are nowhere as many heathens in Nagaland to impose christianism *on*, and it is most easy for them to declare the doublespeak of “freedom of religion”.

    Co-existence, tolerance, “secularism” — call it what you will — is only expected of Hindus while they’re in the majority. And even while that holds, islam and christianism know they can get away with repeated partitions.

    The insistence on heathens co-existing with the intolerant parasitic ideologies — predicated perhaps on an innately heathen but false conviction that christiansm/islam will “one day” change their incurable intolerance and fundamental inability to co-exist — has been the Achilles Heel of all heathen populations. Heathens — Hindus in this case — will not fight for their own survival, let alone that of their people or for their living land (it is not christian or muslim land is it?) if the cost is as high as realising that neither christianism nor islam intend to co-exist with Hindus, and that therefore Hindus (in their own interests) cannot and should not be expected to reciprocate either. This is a lesson Hindus and other heathens will not learn.

    But I overlooked the great advances being made: how — while Hindus and Buddhists are being convert-or-killed in the northeast — the esteemed intellectuals (Malhotra, Rajaram, and the like) are busy playing at being “intellectual kshatriyas”: i.e. “interfaith dialoguing” with their friend Clooney, determined to convince onlookers that this must *surely* be the real theatre of war and where the victory blow will be dealt. In fact, such great victories are being scored on that front, that even the Hindus in the northeast must surely already feel the progress being made. Or perhaps not.
    Apparently some Indians still imagine a Jesuit is a person worth talking to. (And even after Rajaram himself revealed that Clooney *believes* that “St Thomas” miraculously dropped by in Brazil, besides his equally fictional visit to India. I’m not sure how Indian “intellectuals” find they can hold a discussion with such a man as Clooney. But then, they appear to exclusively reserve their scorn for learned traditional Hindus and lay Hindus, so there’s consistency there.)

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  5. “Idol” only means an sacred object of worship. Your Merriam-Webster dictionary is American and they have added the Abrahamist slur into the definition.

    The Wikipedia dictionary says, “A graven image or representation of anything that is revered, or believed to convey spiritual power.”

    The word derives from the ancient Greek for “image” and “form”. Therefore it had the same meaning as “murthy” until the Christians turned it into a swear word.

    “Graven” means “sculpted or carved”. Christians have turned this term into a swear word too as the Bible always refers to “graven images”.

    Be assured Hindus are idolators even if they pray with their eyes closed – against Agamic rules if I remember correctly: the devotee must look at the image and be dressed appropriately too, as the image deity will be looking at the devotee!

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  6. 1. Hindus use “believe” and “faith” in the sense of trust/reliance: we trust in ourselves, have faith in our fellows, and the like. In that sense, when a Hindu says he (or she) “believes” in his Gods, he means he knows he can rely on them, that they are his ultimate refuge, etc.

    When christians say they have “faith” or “believe” in their invisible fictional gawd and their unhistorical jesus (who’s been forged onto history), they are referring to *blind faith*: they know they have no evidence for him, so they fall back on a desperate pure assumption that he simply “must exist”. Because the bible tells them so. Because the bible is the word of gawd. Because the bible tells them that too. (Note the circular reasoning.)

    In contrast, Hindus never use “belief” in that sense: Hindus *know* their Gods are real (Hindu Gods are visible and have always been seen by numerous Hindus). It’s the difference between real and false religions. Speaking of which:

    2. This is the dictionary definition of “idol”:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idol
    “1: a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly: a false god”

    Hindus do not have idols — images of any false god — and consequently do not do idolatry (worship images of false gods).
    Christians however *do* perform idolatry: the crucifix is an image of the non-existent, unhistorical, hence false, jesus.

    In contrast, Hindus (Daoists, etc) worship the real Gods, and Hindus consequently worship the genuine images of the real Gods. Some of these images are the Hindu Gods self-manifest, other images are identical with the Gods since they were specifically created by shilpis to be an exact likeness based on mantras that they meditated on to create the image. While yet others are images in which the Hindu Gods are invoked for specific durations. (Further, there are sacred paintings and sculptures of the Gods wherein traditional Hindus capture the Gods’ likeness to the best of their abilities based on traditional accounts.) Sacred Hindu imagery of the Gods is specifically not “art”, but religion, as it’s the Gods themselves. And traditional Hindus always take great pains to accurately represent the form and measurements of the Gods, as well as their identifying marks and parapharnelia.

    3. Before christianism took over, “paganus” had two related meanings among the ancient Romans: a peasant (of the countryside), in general. And specifically: a Hellene who was ethnically Roman (again, of the countryside, of the ancestral lands where the Romans were settled) covering both punyabhumi and pitrbhumi notions. As neither Syrian nor even Greek Hellenes were ethnically Roman, they were not technically “pagani” despite being Hellenes, as I understand. This tallies with how christianism was considered an un-Roman: the ideology was at that time adhered to by converts within the Roman empire who were ethnically non-Roman, such as the Syrians.

    It was only when christianism devoured Rome that “pagan” came to connote any and all “polytheistic idolators”. In recent centuries, atheists like McCabe have used paganism to describe atheism, indeed anything that does not submit to the monogawdisms. But both are modern meanings.

    However, Hindus are not uniformly peasants, nor are they Roman Hellenes. They are not polytheistic idolators: polytheism having the connotation of worshipping multiple “false gods” instead of the multiple one “true” (non-existent) gawds of the biblical creeds. And Hindus don’t do idolatry, as stated: they don’t worship images of any false god, as is obvious from how Hindus don’t care for let alone worship the crucifix or cross.

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  7. Just to be clear, when I wrote:
    “I often find that Hindus get hysterical about non-Hindus’ anti-Hindu drawings, instead of getting angry at Hindus who start to repeat nonsense by the likes of the Wendy Donigers”

    it was absolutely not referring to the recent criticism by Vijaya Rajiva of Salman Rushdie’s inane ramblings on Saraswati. I agree it was very necessary of Vijaya to expose that Salman Rushdie (like M.F. Hussain whom he was defending) doesn’t know the first thing about accurate depictions of the Gods, while in contrast, depictions of the devargaL by Raja Ravi Varma and other traditional Hindu *are* accurate. Vijaya seemed to be writing for a Hindu audience, to make sure they recognise the difference between the ignorant/malicious and the well-versed, while also showing Rushdie and Hussain to be the ignorant monotheistic iconoclasts that they are. Clearly the article was to help safeguard Hindus from allowing themselves to become subverted by the absurd but calculated nonsense of the monogawdists.

    Rather, my statement was in particular reference to Indians that I’ve seen get offended by profane imagery made by non-Hindus that purport to be of the Hindu Gods (but which obviously aren’t), while the same Indians had been repeating and internalising Wendy Doniger-type statements about the Hindu Gods, not realising that their objection to the profane imagery just lost its purpose and made them prime examples of inconsistency instead.

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  8. Thank you for this, Dr. Rajiva. I am right with you here. Let us take the swear words the Abrahamists have created and push them right back in their faces.

    We can follow the example of the world’s best propagandists, the Jesuits. The term ‘Jesuit’ is very pejorative in English and was created by the French thinker – forget his name – so as to malign the members of the Society of Jesus. But they and everybody else uses the term Jesuit today and it has lost its negative meaning completely.

    Who would believe that the term ‘Jesuit’ means a crafty, intriguing, or equivocating person, a casuist, a liar, etc.

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  9. I agree with IS about using the word ‘idol.’ In fact I would go a step further and say: let us continue to use the word ‘idol’. This way we can refuse to internalise the negative meanings that Christians and Muslims give to the word, plus do a bit of in their face waving of the flag! I routinely say to my north american colleagues that I am an idol worshipper and a polytheist and then quickly use that opportunity when they look at me hesitantly to explain both words and the mind set behind that. And of course, I also say that polytheism is in the Rig Veda and the word ‘idol’ can be used because in the Agama there is the consecration of the deity. This consecration already occurs in the Rig Veda where Agni the messenger of the gods (as IS correctly points out, himself a god) is present at the homa.

    The consecration therefore happens whenever Agni is present. It is possible that Frank Morales is not in tune with the Agama dimension and therefore focuses on the misunderstandings created by using the word ‘idol.’

    Makes no difference whether idol, deity, murthy, vigraha are used interchangeably. The idea and practice are the same. We should not go on the defensive needlessly.

    The next step would be to carry the battle into the enemy’s camp. I try to do it quietly by pointing out that the Christian / Islamic one god is a limitation on the Infinite.

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  10. I agree fully with the point about ‘idols’ and have spent 30 years trying to get Hindus and the media to stop using the term. But as Morales says, most traditional and religious Hindus use the term when using English. So I gave up and joined the ‘idol’ users because the term ‘idol’ is not derogatory in itself. It simply means ‘an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.’ It is not as comprehensive an term as ‘murthy’ or ‘vigraha’, but it is acceptable for ordinary English usage.

    The problem is that Christians and Muslims have given a pejorative sense to the meaning of the word. Idolatry is an abomination according to the Old Testament prophets.

    The same thing has happened with the term ‘pagan’. There is nothing wrong with the term but Christians use it as a derogatory appellation for non-Christians. In my book on the St. Thomas myth I attempted to raise the status of the word by capitalising it as ‘Pagan’.

    In the strict sense of the meaning of the word, Hindus are Indian Pagans.

    But many Hindus get offended when they are called ‘Pagans’ because they have internalised the pejorative sense of the meaning Christians have given the word.

    In this article Achintyachintaka is referring specifically to ‘idols’ which he regards as symbols, the deity being inside the devotee according to him (this being the case there is no need for an image in the first place).

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  11. “It is probably correct to say that Hindus worship idols and don’t worship idols at the same time. The linear thinking of Muslims and Christians will not be able to comprehend this Hindu way of thinking.”

    The word idol itself is wrong for Hindu Gods and Goddesses. It should be deity. There was an article written by Dr Frank Morales ( who has written an article on Jesus as Dharma Master, which many do not rightly agree) for “Word as a Weapon” In this article one of the better ones, he has identified quite well about the word ” idol” Here is the link and some extracts.

    http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=1783

    “The first of these more specialized polemically charged words is the term “idol”. This word has been repeatedly used by purported scholars of Sanatana Dharma (both Euro-American, as well as Indian scholars) in their study of our religion. Even more disturbing, however, is the fact that the derogatory term “idol” has been continuously and unthinkingly used by even religious Hindus, as well as by supposedly intelligent Hindu leaders, to this very day.”

    “Unfortunately, when a Christian theologian, a Muslim cleric, or a colonialist-tempered scholar is using the term “idol”, they are interpreting the specific religious phenomenon of murti-puja in a radically different manner than is the typical Hindu worshipper. For the Christian and Muslim, murti-puja is nothing more than the demonic worship of abominable graven images. For the atheist academician, it is merely an instance of primitive superstition, worthy of no more consideration than any other intriguing object of anthropological study. Consequently, each and every time we foolishly call our sacred images “idols”, we are actually insulting the divinities we are claiming to worship, and proclaiming to the world that we are worshipping false gods”

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  12. Pls use the initials ARS when commenting. Other visitors can then identify your valued contribution to the discussion.

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  13. Of course Muslims and Christians cannot be sent away. But they have a responsibility to keep the peace along with the Hindu majority. My point is that Hindus alone should not be held responsible to keep the peace, which is what is understood from Achintyachintaka’s article.

    The one-godists worship idols too, as any image or idea fixed in the mind by whatever means may be called an idol–so we have the English word ‘idolised’. It is a different matter that they don’t accept their unreasonable fixation with “the Word” from their holy books as an idol.

    When Muslims began breaking temples and desecrating idols in North India, they cut off the idol’s nose so that the deity couldn’t smell the incense offered, and cut off the ears so that he or she couldn’t hear the devotees praises and prayers, and put out the eyes so that the God couldn’t see the devotee. By their own definition of idolatry, who were the idolaters here?

    The Muslim vandals believed they had killed the God by breaking the image; the Hindu devotee knew the God was not dead but only that his or her place of manifestation had been destroyed and a new place and image had to be made. Again, by their own Abrahamic definition of idolatry, who were the idolaters who believed they had killed the God by breaking the God’s image?

    It is probably correct to say that Hindus worship idols and don’t worship idols at the same time. The linear thinking of Muslims and Christians will not be able to comprehend this Hindu way of thinking.

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  14. Agumbe is the only one ranting. Ranting at the temples and maThas and the Hindus chanting there. Maybe he’ll be consistent and stay away from temples, maThas and those who chant altogether. (Because anything less would make him a hypocrite.)

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  15. Concerning the title, and as I’ve not read the body of the article (and may perhaps not do so now, if it tends towards “universalism”):

    I have always been of the view that Hindus ought to defend their Gods and of their own accord–and would do so if they were unsubverted–but that they must do so with the *correct* arguments (and motivations) or not at all. The reason for defending the Hindu Gods is that we’re defending *our* heathenism–our correct, traditional Hindu understanding of the Gods, which is the first step in enabling us to approach the Gods–and that we’re thus protecting ourselves from subversion. The Gods themselves are beyond requiring any help from us, let alone fearing any threat from the pathetic monotheists and their vile iconoclastic terrorisms whose devastations are exclusively limited to us.

    Protecting our temples and vigrahas from attacks and defilements is to be matched with protecting ourselves from getting subverted by the wrong (subversive) views: we must retain the Gods firmly to ourselves and not let them be taken away from us by physical destructions such as of moorties or persons, or by that more subtle destruction such as the subversion of our correct perceptions (that is, of our heathenism). I often find that Hindus get hysterical about non-Hindus’ anti-Hindu drawings, instead of getting angry at Hindus who start to repeat nonsense by the likes of the Wendy Donigers. The former is not a threat to sacred Hindu imagery: non-Hindus have never made drawings of the Hindu Gods (what they’ve depicted is not the Hindu Gods, even were they to make carbon copies or exact replicas), so if non-Hindus defile their own images of things that don’t concern us and our Gods, why do I care? But the latter is a threat to a traditional Hindu’s correct perception. Then again, if anyone subverts, it is really their own doing (their own weakness of character that allows them to fall for falsehood instead of sticking to tradition, which has been established) and so they deserve to be subverted.

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  16. 1. “Hindu society and culture is pluralist, not universalist. The difference must be recognised.”

    Very well said. (And its precursor: very well observed.)

    2. I think it’s important to add that the flaw of the subversive and dangerous “universalist thesis” isn’t merely that it doesn’t work to Hindus benefit in any way (but only to their detriment), but that it is completely untrue: Hindu (and similar) religions bear no resemblance with christianism=islam. At most one can say christianism/islam is like a hideously distorted/inverted “reflection” in a severely perverted false mirror. The total lack of resemblance starts from the core itself: the very real Hindu Gods have nothing to do with the non-existent fictional character of christianism=islam. Even had the non-existent entity existed, it’s character is that of utter villainy and is an excuse for utter villainy (as Goel accurately observed about jesus: “an artifice for aggression”), and so is the opposite in character to that of the real Gods.

    3. “If this writer has correctly understood Achintyachintaka, he is presenting the Hindu Universalist argument … Neo-Vedanta”
    I have not read the article and skipped straight to IS’ comment, but want to say: I actually thought something similar to what IS stated when I read Achintyachintaka’s first article that appeared here. The one where Achintyachintaka wasn’t sure what the Devas and Devis were (this is the impression I got) other than repeating notions by others who have never seen the Gods either; the article where — to make some point — he had to go out of his way to essentially dismiss the Graeco-Roman Gods (the very Gods so dear to people like Julian!) Naturally, my interest waned after that and I can’t recall if I read that article in its entirety. There was nothing instructive in it for me anyway: like most other Hindus, I’ve always called the Hindu Gods “devargaL” in plural, or else by name or epithet in singular. In English I tend to refer to them as “Gods” or by name or epithet again.

    Also, when I want to know about the Hindu Gods, I don’t read articles by unknown people who–by all indications–don’t appear to know the Gods first-hand: I directly ask Hindus who still see the Hindu Gods. Even for the more straightforward questions like “what does the Hindu God X look like” (which I suppose is handy for those Hindus who like to draw but have no experience in adhering to the shilpa shastras).

    I think it is imperative Hindus realise that there’s only two types of Hindus that they should ever listen to on the subject of Hindu devargaL: the traditional Hindus who still interact directly with the Hindu Gods (or, to put it accurately: the Hindus with whom the Hindu Gods interact directly) and the traditional Hindus who, despite not having seen the Gods first-hand yet, know to repeat the traditional view of the Hindu Gods as is known from our mantras, since the first-hand accounts and the traditional accounts are always consistent in my experience.

    Also from experience: all other persons talking about the Hindu Gods can be safely ignored, as one will be none the wiser about the Gods from them.

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  17. Agree with IS that Hindus need not be apologetic and opt for Hindu universalism. And the author does indeed suggest that idol worship is symbolic, which it is not. The divine presence is there literally in the murti. Hence, the elaborate consecration etc. And similarly in the Vedic homa Agni is literally present (see my critique of Aurobindo in A Critical Examination of Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda).

    In earlier articles Achintyaka presents a somewhat different version of murti worship, which is closer to the one that I am arguing for.

    Apart from that, his focus in this article is the political dimension of defending murti worship against the one goddists.

    Is it possible that the Hindu tolerance is more to do with the Hindu perception that other religions are also engaged in actual murti worship ? In which case it is okay for the Hindus to accept that and allow for it ?

    The problem with that position is that then Hindus are lulled into a false sense of security and the one goddists will seize that opportunity to impose their one goddism on Hindus.

    Very difficult situation. Practically/politically speaking India is committed to tolerating one goddists. We simply cannot drive them out. A delicate balancing act.

    In my own experience I do not go out of my way to demonstrate my belief in the devas and devatas. On the other hand, when I do get an opportunity I try to explain to my listener that I genuinely believe that the god/goddess is present during worship.

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  18. wonderful, mind blowing and thought provoking article. it must be pasted in all temples and mutts notice board who are busy in chanting and ranting in their daily life.

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  19. Hindus are indeed idolaters and worship idols because the deity they have invoked either by devotion or ritual is present in the stone image before them. There is no need to be apologetic about this and try to explain it away. Idol worship cannot be made more acceptable to the Abrahamists by pretending the image is only a symbol and the devotee is really worshipping the God inside.

    If this writer has correctly understood Achintyachintaka, he is presenting the Hindu Universalist argument (as propounded in Vivekananda’s Neo-Vedanta) in order to keep the peace between the different religionists. He is suggesting that Hindus have accepted this Universalist view. Well, if Hindus have accepted it, it is because they have been misled by the Neo-Vedanta gurus of the last century.

    Hindu society and culture is pluralist, not universalist. The difference must be recognised.

    Achintyachintaka must know that Hindu Universalism has utterly failed to convince the other side. Neither Christians nor Muslims accept it. They didn’t accept it in Vivekananda’s time and they don’t accept it today. They know (and this writer agrees) that we all do not arrive at the same place when we walk different paths to our respective destinations (there are no dancing houris or fountains of sweet wine in Brahmaloka according to the Puranas).

    So why continue to propound the Universalist thesis when 1) it doesn’t work, 2) it will not work in the future because all parties do not agree to it, and 3) its lays the onus on Hindus to keep the peace in a multi-religious society (which is an unacceptable burden in that the Abrahamists will not cooperate)?

    This writer knows a spiritual and learned sannyasi who is an authority on Vedanta and has spent much of his life in conversation with Christian theologians like Fr. Henri Le Saux (Abhishiktananda), Fr. Bede Griffiths and Fr. Raimon Panikkar at interfaith conferences in Europe. Today this mahatma admits it was all a waste of time. He has not persuaded any Christian thinker to give up his one-godist “idiocy” or his fixation with an imaginary personality who may not have even lived.

    This writer’s experience with Fr. Bede Griffith’s was similar. Fr. Bede told this writer that a Hindu was obliged to accept Jesus as God but that he, Fr. Bede, was not obliged to reciprocate and accept the Hindu Devas as God as he was a monotheist and committed sectarian.

    When this is the case, why continue to propound the Universalist theory especially when it is only one side, the Hindu side, who are forced to do the accepting and keep the communal peace?

    Hindu Universalism entraps Hindus in their own philosophy. They must accept Jesus and Jehovah, Mohammed and Allah because the Universalist philosophy demands that they do. But Christians and Muslims are not obliged to accept Hindu deities or even the concept of a formless Brahman.

    So why lay this responsibility at the Hindu door? When Hindus are already under attack from the monotheists, why are we obliged to accept their psychotic religious ideas too?

    In this article Achintyachintaka argues for keeping the Hindu population the majority in India so as to keep the peace between Christians and Muslims.

    Hindus must remain the majority in India to defend the Devas and Devatas and because India is their mother land and holy land. There is no other reason needed.

    But is it really fair to continue to make Hindus the buffer zone between themselves and the one-godist barbarians?

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