Thursday, October 20, 2005

Non Hindus Not Allowed!

I have seen this in the temple boards of Kancheepuram and Madurai. I have no clue why they have this in the first place!Because God is common to all irrespective of any religion and why shouldnt a non Hindu enter the inner sanctum? Infact if you try to get hold of a copy of Kumudam dated February 23, 2004 - there is a very good article on page 17. The article informs you about the person or sthabathi who built the thangarathams or golden chariots for temples like Tirupathy, Marudamalai, Mangadu and various other famous temples. The stabathi who built these golden chariots is a Muslim called Alaudin! He was also instrumental for building the golden kodi maram (I dont know the english name) of Tiruvanamalai and Tiruthani. He has also built 5 Vimanas for the ISKCON temple in Bangalore! The article also describes that Alaudin keeps in mind the Agamas while preparing these things and also undergoes a rigorous fasting while doing it!

I have already written about my driver Yusuf in this blog:
http://naan-yaar.blogspot.com/2005/08/my-best-friend-in-past-3-days-i-have.html

As you all know he is a muslim and if you read my blog on him - u would see how he respected my religion. He used to partake in all the religious homams I had in my home, he used to circumbulate the sacred Holy Arunachala so many times with me, he used to partake in the abhishekams in temples etc.. So whenever he accompanied us into the inner sanctum of the temples, my mother used to call him by the name "Venkataraman"! Just incase someone stops him knowing him to be a non-hindu!

I assume its just the cleanliness issue that is being considered here. But how many of us Hindus are clean in the first place when going to temples? If I eat non-veg, I make sure that I dont go to the temple on that day and I go on the next day after having a head bath.

At this point of time, where there should be religious harmony, I guess these type of boards should be removed. Non hindus should be encouraged to come to temples. Then only they will have the opportunity to understand our great religion that preaches Universal Love.

Your views are welcome.

[Update: I just remembered an incident that happened a few days ago. My father's friend who is of pakistani origin (muslim) gave my father some money and asked him to buy some coconuts and flowers and told him to do pooja in a Shiva temple! He was telling my father the way to do the pooja! It seems he has almost 48 pillayar statues and last year my father brought one for him from Chennai!]

58 Comments:

At October 20, 2005 10:50 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

What do i say - u have said it - I completely agree with you - and please hopefully we don't get comments from people who will say that muslims do the same.

Whatever the reasons before - i think we need to constantly update our thought process and change the rules accordingly. Though i don't even at that time whether the rule made any sense.

 
At October 21, 2005 2:50 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

@arjuna:
1. Please- This is your blog; you should freely be yourself. And what is this "readers like Parvati who expect quality stuff from me"?
God knows what sort of an image of me all you kids have!

I have read all your posts; the funny ones, the lighthearted ones, the serious stuff. All of them have one thing in common. Your simple heart and happy soul. They have made me laugh as I have never done before, and they have made me think (yen mandai kaanju pochu).

SO KEEP THE FUNNY, IRREVERENT POSTS TOO ROLLING! THERE IS HARDLY ANY HUMOUR SEEN NOWADAYS. It will be a boring blog without it. OK?

2. A smart move. Your new post at the right time. It was becoming obsessive.The family got a complex, and felt neglected. My laptop's very existence was in jeopardy..

3. I will die. It is like showing two red rags to the bull. I had really thought of winding up my blog affairs and going back to my sedate, sedantary, peaceful life before blogs.

This latest post - maybe I shall make it an exercise in cryptic, economical, short comments, which are to the point?

High hopes! Anyway the topic is good. Let me think about it.

I repeat - Write whatever you like, Arjuna; your friends are people who know you well, but seldom judge you. And it would be a pity to lose any of your less-serious posts because of your imaginary concept about a total stranger ME.

 
At October 21, 2005 3:29 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Atma - well said :) - the rule does not make sense at all :)

 
At October 21, 2005 3:35 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Parvti - What ur leaving us and going? No way - ur not leaving OK! :) Infact even I was thinking about the decision of quitting just some time back, then realized that blogging is the best way to free all the thoughts that arises in my mind!

Yeah sure - I wuld post funny stuff too (if I have any) :)..

Now dont tell that ur a stranger OK - ur like my sister/mother with respect to whatever age u are :) - so ur not a stranger :)

I am still waiting with the red rag :))

 
At October 21, 2005 3:37 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Parvati - my heart broke when I saw such a small comment from u - :))

What wuld happen to my blog if u and anand write small comments!I cant even imagine the dire consequences - so please do put ur thoughts in full :)

 
At October 21, 2005 3:55 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

@arjuna: I am thinking thinking - believe me, it is a tricky topic.

And with you and all your blog visitors being highly religious people, I have to tread carefully.

Gently does it, Arjuna

 
At October 21, 2005 4:14 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Parvati - he he :) - no problem - take ur time :) - I am thinking about my next topic at 5:14 am UK time :)) - so committed to blogging :))

 
At October 21, 2005 5:22 AM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

All crap Arjuna..this is even more serious topic than Marriage IMHO. I wonder what's happening to you.!! Good god..thank you.! This is what the blogworld should be.

First, Have you ever been to Sringeri. I've been there a couple of times. I've seen Muslim women with their veil worshipping Saradambal.! I was thrilled. That is how it should be.!

Its nonsense to write that nonhindus can't enter temple etc.! Remember the story of Yesudas..Neither the church nor the temples accepted him.!

People have forgotten the very definition of Hindus/Brahmins etc.!! and created a stupid circle around them.!!

I hope these idiotic things end..so that we can live in a world of harmony.

 
At October 21, 2005 5:37 AM, Blogger Anand Ramamoorthy said...

Dear Arjuna,
I don't know why such boards exist cos the likelihood of anyone who is not a "Hindu" (please desist from referring to Sanathana Dharma by that gloriously distorted name) coming to a temple, even if such a person wanted to come to worship the deities in the inner sanctum, it is not wrong as Narayanan Sir pointed out...
maybe it's some fear left behind from the mughal invasions of the medieveal ages when temples were desecrated, this could have trickled down to the collective "Hindu" psyche and created a kind of wall.
I have no issues here - I only hope that no one enters a temple or any place of worship with the intention of causing destruction or disturbance -
otherwise there is no room for a discussion here (actually discussions come about because one imperfect being (such as myself) takes an issue o another imperfect human being instead of trying to resolve it by observing and arriving at solutions through clear observation...
your referring to me as Ramamnuja is totally unjustified - I have neither the Himalayan devotion he had nor the divine erudition he posessed.
you may of course kindly refer to me as RamanujaDasan Anand. this is the way it should be...
SARVAM SRIKRISHNAARPANAMASTHU!

 
At October 21, 2005 5:39 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Narayanan sir - I got a scare when I read ur first para :)) - then I had to read it again properly - I thought u were pissed off with me :))

I didnt know abt sringeri - since I have never been there..Its nice to know that there are many temples that allow non hindus to enter the inner sanctum.

As u said - there are still some temples with these types of boards and they have to be removed. If a non hindu wants to enter the inner sanctum just because of his love for the divine - he shuld be allowed to.

That reminds me - I should add one more thing in this blog..will do it now..

 
At October 21, 2005 7:19 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

Well what can I say? Any institution be it religion or marriage or the family should reinvent itself and become wider, deeper, higher constantly. Since more often than not, the underlying shastras of every religion are universal and speak of exalted eternal truths, the faults usually lie only in the outermost rules of practice. So these are the ones that have to be constantly scrutinised and changed and be malleable enough to be able to incorporate the Supreme Truths of the religion.

There never ever was such a tradition in our Temples forbidding people of different religions from entering it.

It has no logic. And reasons such as security dont hold water. A muslim who comes to bomb a temple will not come blatantly looking like one. He will most probably be disguised as a 'Hindu' (hey anand : I dont know which words are allowed and which aren't in the grand-anand-scheme of things!)

2. The board in temples again expects this person from another religion to be his own censor. A keen devottee will simply dress up in an unobtrusive way which doesnt expose his otherness-of-religion, and go into a temple freely and pray and come out.

So, this board is very foolish from any point of view - ineffective too.

And on the negative side it is highly discriminatory, and only builds up resentment and anger in the other religions' people's minds and hearts

 
At October 21, 2005 8:32 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Anand - thanks for ur comments :) - sure I will call u by that name :)

 
At October 21, 2005 8:33 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Parvati - I am echoing ur views :)

 
At October 21, 2005 8:52 AM, Blogger chez said...

good thoughts.

 
At October 21, 2005 9:28 AM, Blogger Jeevan said...

Hindu's only doing like this. I went to Church some years back and put a candle under the Asu's feet. Yella mathamum onru.

 
At October 21, 2005 9:29 AM, Blogger visithra said...

I had a family friend who was more hindu then most hindus - just a small detail he came from a muslim family - adopted hinduism but rfused to change his official religion. It doesnt make sense

i traveled to India with him and our friends - n we did what you did - gave him a hindu name while visiting the temples.

Its kind a sad tradition thats being held own - dont even know of its an old tradition or a new psuedo one - take guruvayur - KJ Jesudass is not allowed in - how sad.

In our temples here everyone visits everywhere. I've been to chinese temple with my friends and they gone to ours. God is god whicever name he is called.

 
At October 21, 2005 9:32 AM, Blogger mysorean said...

Arjuna,

Temples and I seldom come together in a happy sentence!;)

I didn't know there were temples that didn't allow non-hindus to enter! That's hillarious actually!

Good post! :)

I am outta here. Because I cannot follow 102 comments and all that! :))

 
At October 21, 2005 11:14 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

Not the slightest chance for 105 comments for this post. Everyone agrees on agreeing. That makes for a lot of peace and no comments.

 
At October 21, 2005 12:30 PM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

i think anyone who respects the practises should be allowed inside, irrespective of their religion.
assuming that a evangalist enters a temple, stands near the shrine and makes comments regarding idol worship, or mocks the religious practises, (ive spoken to ppl whove said that i worship monkeys and elephants, and stuff like hindusim is a barbaric form of worship etc frm evangalists) can the temple authorities throw the person out?? it would definatly spill over into a minority abuse issue with the number of political parties in india who r calmouring for public attention. then what can the temple authorities do with such a person?? nothing except allowing only hindus to enter. i think the rule has been enforced to avoid such issues.

but at the same time i think that any1 who doesnt mock the practises shud be allowed to enter, at the end of the day the person who translated the indian sacred books wasnt a hindu. in the end an undecisive utterly confused comment from me, hopefully enough fodder for ur goal of 100 comments.

 
At October 21, 2005 4:08 PM, Blogger priya said...

well.. religion is jus an outlet for preaching some kind of similarity between ppl of the same kind...
many exploit it..
dont even get me started on it.. i'll rant thru the night!

..p..

 
At October 21, 2005 4:49 PM, Blogger Ganesh said...

Vatsan well said buddy.
only thing those jokers you mentioned do it right outside or opposite the temple ;)

I can write a special book about me and my evengie friends, they finally left me alone after umpteen failed attempts:)
that being said, I love Jesus,dont need someone to tell me that.
Anway try getting something like that about our God from the evengies, you will have more rains in Madras ;)

 
At October 21, 2005 7:08 PM, Blogger Prem Abraham said...

I think the restriction is reasonable, because it is a matter of faith.

Yesudas' incident has been quoted several times. He wanted to worship at Guruvayoor because he is a devotee of Krishna, but he is not ready to become a Hindu; why ?.

 
At October 21, 2005 7:48 PM, Blogger Parvati said...

There should be provision for people who see the Truth in many religions, and who want to follow many religions.

Such people instead of being seen as dilettantes and as not being sincere to one religion which usually considers itself The Only Truth, should be understood, and encouraged for they have the capacity to look beyond the stark differences and look to the heart and root of the matter. They can be given a card, saying "The Eclectic", and allowed free permission to go to any religious place of worship they like.

As to Yesudas, if he is interested to be a follower of both christianity and hinduism and this is possible only if he becomes a hindu (he is not allowed in temples otherwise; whereas as a Hindu he is allowed in Churches).

But as prem says, religion is a matter of faith and such arrangements for convenience will be very difficult for someone to actually put into execution.

To Yesudas the question of giving up his religion of Christianity might be unthinkable, howmuchsoever faithful a devotee he might be of Krishna.

I think my idea of an ID card is a good practical one?

 
At October 21, 2005 11:24 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Prem
I don't understand this conversion business. What is the meaning of Yesudas doesn't want to become a Hindu.?

That to me is nonsense. Who started all these conversion business. IMHO Hinduism is a way of living..That's all. A person doesn't become a Hindu if he wears the sacred thread.!

How can one get converted. If one worships Allah he is a Muslim, Jesus a christian and Hindu Gods...a Hindu. Is that the criterion???

I have gone to churches myself and to Mosques as well. So Am I not a Hindu?? Or...Am I a Hindu really..what does that mean..I don't know.!

 
At October 21, 2005 11:51 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

I see it this way, God is too big to be confined to a religion. Being open to people who want to explore another culture or relgion should be welcomed. I am not aware of other religion, the eseense of hinduism is the advaitha philosophy, the philosophy of oneness...Though people tend to worship many different forms all are one ! So if worshiping Rama or krishna is not different so is the case in worshipping ALlah or Jesus. Also i see temples as a place for spirtual belonging than a religious belonging.

Having said that it should be the responsibility of the person who enters the temple to respect the rules followed inside.

It was nice to read about ypur family being open to people from other religion. I too have a similar experience back home which was a nice feeling that folks back home have understanding and tolerance than being a religious fundamentalists.

 
At October 22, 2005 2:19 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

every1, in hindusim there doesnt exist the concept of conversion like in other religions as such,one is either born a hindu or isnt one. simple as tat.

once when a christian who was working on the indian texts wanted to convert to hindusim and took his request to paramaacharya, who replied that its not possible to convert to hindusim as conversion is alien to hindusim, and asked him continue his work regarding the indian texts.

therefore the question of yesudas converting doesnt exist

 
At October 22, 2005 3:02 AM, Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Arjuna, I think the reason might be "Will these non-hindus know how to pray, in the traditional manner". There are a number of temples where I have seen non-hindus entering the temple worship the LORD. I guess it depends on who the trustees are.

 
At October 22, 2005 3:56 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

The constant declaration that there is no such a religion as Hinduism and there is only Sanaathan Dharma, a way of living is irrelevant to this discussion.

Because the board in the temple is screaming away that there INDEED IS A CONCRETE NARROW-MINDED RELIGION WHEREIN CERTAIN PEOPLE ARE DEMARCATED AS HINDUS, AND CERTAIN OTHERS AS NON-HINDUS.

If way of living is the criterion, then why doesnt Yesudas be allowed in the temple? His love for Krishna is not enough obviously.

So it is a dead end for a non-hindu who wants to practise sanathan Dharma too. There is no way of doing it completely (visiting temples etc), but only in the privacy and secrecy of his room. Or obviously he can always pretend, lie and use subterfuge to do the simple act of going to the temple and praying.

The fact that Hinduism is not a religion should be known to THE TEMPLE AUTHORITIES, because if that were indeed the case, the phrase NON_HINDU wouldnt exist.

Swami Vivekananda says that each individuality demands a single religion for itself! And that he would be glad when there are billions of religions for each and every human being. I think what he means is that each person has his unique way of approaching God, and it is special to him and to Him too."As you approach Me, so will I appear to you", says Lord Krishna in the Gita.

That being the case no body can chalk out the rights and wrongs of how a second person calls God/the Supreme/ the Lord/ Purushottama.

After all, isnt He of the thousand names, isnt She of the thousand names? A few more hundreds of names for Him, albeit from other religions, will these be objectionable to Him?

The bottomline is "madiyaadar thalai vaasal midikaade".

Howsoever sincere a practitioner of the Sanathana Dharma I am, if there is no way I am going to prove that to the temple authorities, and if I belong to another religion, I am totally stumped, jinxed, flummoxed. I cannot do anything about it all. In that case my advice to the Muslim or the Christian is that he should just say "good riddance". If you dont want me I dont want you. I committed no crime except that I was born in a different religion. And even if I love sanathana dharma there are no provisions in that dharma which will enable me to enter temples.

Obviously, this major component of sanathana Dharma "THE TEMPLES" dont have the slightest inkling that it is a way of life, because these temples, distinctly believe that SANATHANA DHARMA IS A RELIGION WITH STRINGENT UNFAIR RULES telling even a sincere devotee to keep away.

SO I WILL KEEP AWAY. THEY CAN BE HAPPY WITH THEIR RULES, THEIR WAY OF LIVING WHICH IS DEFINITELY AN AIRTIGHT COMPARTMENT, NOT JUST A WAY OF LIVING, which doesnt allow me to enter.

"Unko, unka dharm mubarak ho!" He should just get on with his life.

A great pity.

But this non-hindu devotee doesn't have a choice.

 
At October 22, 2005 5:02 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

parvati, like i said earlier yesudas love for krishna wud mean he can enter, yes, he should be allowed to enter,
but the essential question still unanswered is if a evanglist enters a temple (assuming ever1 can enter) and mocks religious practises, how do the temple authorities deal with it? how do they differenciate between the two types, one who comes becasue he wants to pray and the other to mock.

this decision is based more on politics thatn religion (sadly in india politics and religioin are interrelated)

 
At October 22, 2005 6:26 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

@vatsan: Exactly - it is not possible to differentiate between a sincere devotee, and a mischievous one. We dont have this security device that beeps, that indicates accurately that someone is this or that.

That being the case, we should always strive to include, widen every aspect of our religion, - the inner and the outer most rules or facts of the religion - let other religions be what they will : limited ("our God is the best"), restrictive ("you have no right to even say that any religion has any validity other than Islam") - but we needn't.

Sanathana Dharma, the phrase used to describe Hinduism is highly justified - it is,indeed, as far as I have seen, all inclusive, very broad structured, no fixed rules,- it is indeed a way of life.

But there is a major intrinsic, inherent fault in this dharma - the caste system. I can never repeat it too often - it is a big big contradiction to the all-inclusive feature of SD (sanathana Dharma, since hinduism is a banned word in these blogs!, I will use the abbreviation SD).

It has to go. Everyone knows how harijans were/are totally banned from entering temples. And when Gandhi propounded that they should be allowed to do so, and they stood in front of the Srirangam temple, and the Meenakshi temple, chilli powder was thrown on them to stop them from doing so.

Sanathana dharma has this major major discriminatory system completely institutionalised within itself.

This attitude is not towards members of another religion, but against its own children, for no reason at all. That being the case, the board in the temple is nothing at all.

Among the Alwaars, there have been harijans or outcastes or untouchables, like Baanaazhwaar, and Thirumangaiaazhwaar, who have been OUTCAST FROM THE SD/HINDU SOCIETY, but were VERY VERY DEAR TO MAHA VISHNU - Anand should know more about them - Baanazhwaar, used to make musical instruments' strings from the guts of cows and other animals and therefore he belonged to the lowest of the low caste; Thirmangaiaazhwaar was a plain low-life highway thief, who tried to rob Mahavishnu and MahaLakshmi when they went by the road where he operated, disguised as a newly married bride and bridegroom. He wanted to steal the toe ring of MahaVishnu, who couldnt take it out from His own toe, but told the robber to do it himself; Thirumangaiaazhwaar couldn't do it too, and in his efforts to do so, he held on tight to the lotus-feet of Lord Vishnu with one hand, with the other held tightly to the toe, and tried to pull out the tight toe-ring out of the Lord's toe with his teeth. And when he was intent on this ridiculously positioned robbery, it was then that revelation struck him apocalyptically, and he knew that he was holding tight without letting go at any cost, to not a mere human being's feet but to the feet of the Purushottama Himself. And that is how he became Thirumangai aazhwaar, from a highway Robin Hood.

I hope the story is correct - I was told this in the old fashioned way by my Maragadha Paatti, handed over sincerely to my mother! Subha, Sriram, and of course HRH Anand, would be able to tell us whether this story I have narrated is accurate...

And all of us know the Nandanaar story, Kannappar story well enough.

Anyway, I am quoting all these stories to just bring attention to the fact that LORD VISHNU HAS HIS OWN SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A DEVOTEE, HE DOESNT DISCARD HIM EVEN IF WHOLE OF SD SOCIETY DOES.
On the contrary He accepts and embraces them whole heartedly and gives them a place in His heart and hearth.

The sooner religion or the rules of religion remember that the underlying Truth of their very existence is God, the thirty three crore Gods, and the institution realises this and keeps on incorporating the experience of God, the freedom from living God, the illumination from living God, the equality you automatically start expressing by living in God, the sooner the institution goes back to its origins and roots(-The
Supreme Divine Ishwara/Mahavishnu -)the better it is for the religion.

SD is a way of living that has an infinite amplitude, a freedom unseen in any other religion. But it should fast eliminate these small instances of discrimination as in the temple boards, and a massive more serious disease of the caste system completely from its own structure.

People with mischievous intent usually vent their hatred and mockery for the religion in websites and hate blogs, they can do it better and freely over there.

Let the temples allow everyone. Let the censor system be inside the temple; whosoever mocks the sanctity of the temple, let them be thrown out when they actually create a nuisance. Let us not automatically assume and reject without reason 2 muslims or two christians, speaking to each other or smiling and laughing with each other; assume that they are actually mocking at our religion and its practices.

Let us not be paranoid. Let everyone who wants to come to our temples come.
In doing so, we will be like our beloved Lord Vishnu who accepts everyone in His loving arms.

Is there anything criminal about being like Him or like the Lord Shiva who accepted Kannappar and Nandanaar?

Let us say -"ALL ARE WELCOME". And take it from there.

 
At October 22, 2005 7:29 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Guys, I will be responding to each of ur individual comments. Vatsan has come up with a great question - and this also came into my mind.

Vatsan - your point is higly valid! A very good question! But if you see - within Hinduism itself there are different sects! Take the example of ISKCON! (sorry guys I dont intend to hurt the ISKCON followers). If you read their Bhagwad Gita or any other books written by Srila Prabhupada you would find that he constantly calls Lord Shiva - a Demi God - which is outrageous from my point of view!

One of the worst things I read in the Bhagwad Gita - As it is - is that he says only the the devotees of Lord Krishna can escape anger caused by lust! So he gives an example saying that Goddess Parvati agitated Lord Shiva for "SENSE PLEASURE" - Lord Shiva who was meditating agrees to the proposal and Lord Subhramanya was born! But he says Haridasa who was a devotee of Krishna when allured by Maya devi - he passed the test!

[Bhagwat Gita - As it was: Chapter 2, Verse 62]

Can anything be worse than this? How can such a religious person talk like this! My heart burnt when I read this! Doesnt he know how Lord Subramanya was born from Lord Shiva's third eye? My friend Sriram V Iyer was so hurt with this - he wanted to burn all the books of ISKCON!

So if you see - within our religion itself you have people who talk things that hurt the fellow beings!

 
At October 22, 2005 7:33 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At October 22, 2005 7:35 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Again Guys since I know there are guys like Anand,Krishna and others who are followers of ISKCON - I dont intend to hurt your sentiments - I am just echoing my thoughts and my friend's thoughts! Whenever I read things like this - it causes so much of negative thoughts within me! I get angered by these things!

I am not advocating for Saiva Siddantha where they say Lord Siva is the supreme! I condemn that as well! I wanted to say that GOD is one - and I hate listening to crap saying this GOD is the supreme - that GOD is the supreme and inorder to prove that - they shouldnt talk crap and write stories hurting the others!

 
At October 22, 2005 7:49 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

I once again apologize to Krishna, Anand and fellow ISKCON brothers if I have hurt their sentiments. I dont intend to as u all know. I just wanted to point out how within our religion there are so many differences!

 
At October 22, 2005 8:22 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

@Arjuna: Relax. The moment there were two human beings, it is axiomatic that there would be two different minds, two different bodies, two different hearts - difference is the key word.

6-7 billion people means that many opinions.

When you express your opinion be ready to battle with, put up with (7 billion - 1) opposing ideas.

Such a big number will boost your courage, or maybe make you more nervous!

Obviously there will be differences of opinion. Take it in your stride; speak your mind; learn from others if there is anything worthwhile to learn from them, otherwise let go, let be.

I have started sounding like an agony aunty ! Sorry.

 
At October 22, 2005 8:39 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Parvati - thanks for understanding :)..

I am not nervous - my only worry is that I shouldnt hurt the sentiments of anyone!

"I have started sounding like an agony aunty ! Sorry."

No ur not sounding like an agony aunt :))...

 
At October 22, 2005 8:54 PM, Blogger krishna said...

Dear Arjuna,

I can understand ur plight after reading some ISKCON books like AS-it-is. I do agree that any kind of crusade by going aggresive on other sof thot doesn't show the greatness of ones school of thought. Any school of thought should preach and propagate love, be it Vaishnava, Saiva, Shaktha and not hatred. Hence, please refrain from thoughts like "Burning books". Those kinds of thougts are Tamasic. They would'nt take anyone close to his /her God. Human being's nature is to think and act and not to gust out angst (tamasic). Even if u get that angst, show it on ur favorite deity, ask him to take off all kinds of tamasic behaviour in you. You are only going to lose ur human-ness by pouring out angst on other people. Propagate this thought to all your friends. Then only you will get to realize that God is nothing but love. Adore your God. Then you will get to adore every other God for God is love and nothing but Love. Ask ur favorite God to keep u saatvic by removing ur likings for tamasic food.

Also, I dont know if u know about this. Sri prabupada himself says that "praying Siva or any other god is not bad only if he asks him to take him closer to KRishna , who is nothing but Love" . Don't worship them for material benefits. He only calls those who worship them for material benefites as RASCALS coz they lie in the ignorant mode.

In tulasi ramayan, Lord rama himseld says that "without adoring Sankara (Lord Shiva) man cannot attain devotion to Me". Why does he say so?
Coz Shiva is the greatest vaishnavaites.

If you are peaceful, free of material attachement, compassionate to all living beings and purely devout and devoid of any hatred , then only u wont find any difference in anything. U might like to say "Siva is Love" or "Vishnu is love". Since all Gods are messengers os Love , there is actually no difference in them intrinsically.

Take as example the lives of saints like Tualsi das, tyagayya et al . Tyagayya was named after the temple deity of tiruvarur "tyagaraja". It is as if like Shiva himself comming down to earth with nadabrahmam to please his hero, sita rama.

In the krithi "Evarunnaru", tyagayya , the great rama bhaktha,sings in praise
of Shiva

"Who is there to protect me ?
To meditate whole heartedly , to stabilize the mind and worship , you give me determination.

Such should be the kind of worship towards Shiva or any other god.

In the krithi, Sambho Shiva shankara,
he sings in praise of siva as

"Shatterer of the ego of the
insane people who quarrel in the name of religion"

Why don't we keep them as role models and live our lives , instead of wasting time in debating about trivial issues , my dear friend ,arjuna. Let us all try our best to develop that kind of love.

 
At October 22, 2005 9:00 PM, Blogger Parvati said...

@Krishna: Thank you for such a loving and lovely comment.

I think the following lines are most relevant for all of us commenting on this post.

Forgetting division which is all powerful, and forgetting discussions about division and difference, which will be never-ending, let us live the Oneness, because,

"There was no more division's endless scroll;
One grew the Spirit's secret unity,
All Nature felt again the single bliss.
There was no cleavage between soul and soul,
There was no barrier between world and God...
The one Consciousness that made the world was seen."

 
At October 23, 2005 10:21 AM, Blogger Prem Abraham said...

Narayanan -

Isn't "way of life" same as religion ?.
As I mentioned before, it is a matter of faith. You might have visited a church or a darga, but that doesn't make you a christain or a muslim. Your religion is where your faith is.

There are people who do not have any religious affiliations, but still believe in God, and there are people who do not believe in God.

Yesudas' contention is same as yours, why cannot I worship Krishna at Guruvayoor and still be a christian. For him Krishna and Jesus are the same, so isn't it fair that he respects the reason behind restriction - which I think he now does.

Regards
PA

 
At October 23, 2005 4:39 PM, Blogger Parvati said...

@prem:

"Way of life" is not the same as religion. Way of life is considered to be a better term to use, instead of Hinduism because it is all embracing, all inclusive.

It is very difficult for a 'Hindu' not to see the truth in Islam or Christianity. That is why the aggression of the BJP or other 'Hindu' groups trying to imitate that of Islam (which clearly stipulates that Jihad is totally justified in the eyes of Allah), will never capture the imagination of Indians for too long.

Because for a 'Hindu', it is very difficult not to see the Truth even in the attitude of the Atheist or the human being who opposes, fights God tooth and nail - the puranas are full of stories of fighters of God being dearer to Him and reaching Him sooner than all the goody-two-shoes devotees.

And it is not just the scholars that are like that - the most illiterate poor farmer automatically feels this fact - "His way is everywhere".

You will be surprised to know that there is not a single scripture among the Vedas, the Upanishads, or the Gita or other millions of guiding lights in Sanathana Dharma that even speaks of a Hindu or hinduism.

And that is why the caste system with its cruel and cutting constrictions which have hardened, become institutionalised and made almost eternally permanent, is a great blow to the very basis, tenor, tone and texture of Sanathana Dharma.

You ask, "isn't it fair that Yesudas respect the reason behind the restriction".

All the mess in the whole world, between religions, has been freely initiated only because the members of every religion respected all the restrictions placed by their own religion.

The scale of havoc, created by these restrictions, by the divisions of organised religion is what is prompting everyone to stop respecting these restrictions, and LOOK FOR A UNIFYING FACTOR.

The need of the hour is not organised, systematised religions, but no-religions, yes-to-spirituality, or anything else that will UNIFY. Because, even if everyone lives and lets live, the very compulsion within the world-consciousness impelling us towards oneness will force the violence of different sects, religions, clans what have you.

You know like in a marriage, when the wife has little or no individuality to speak of, and is totally dominated by the husband, at that point in time the need of the hour is for her to develop her own individuality, but the fine balance has to be maintained once her individuality has been formed, in the way it is expressed etc., and the marriage itself. To continue the marriage a constant toggling between individuality now, oneness now, indiv. now, oneness now, has to be adopted.

A marriage can break. But not the whole species of Human Beings.

But extrapolating the example of a marriage to human beings living together on earth, in the beginning there was an amorphous unformed mentality, consciousness in mankind as a whole. All perceived a higher Power and called that God or Ishwara. But eventually, the development of distint-featured separate religions was helpful in solidifying and giving concrete forms to basic structural elements of society. Religion was born then, was needed then.

Now the need for religions has fled. We need them as much as we need cancer. You cannot equate a person following some religion or the other, or just a believer in one God, or a believer in humanity in one platform, saying that all have their faith, and let us respect that. That is just not working now.

We have to look very desperately for solutions that religions are just not giving us. And that could be in Spirituality, in Humanity concept - I frankly dont know what.

But religion's time is over, finished. The sooner we realise it the better.

It is like a student's not wishing to leave his BSc class room, even though he is now qualified to work for a PhD. It will be an atrophy of his being, it will kill us if we dont grow beyond religion.

IT would be like a baby in the womb of the mother refusing to come out of the mother's womb, saying that it will hurt my mother, or I am fine here as I am - very noble, but that attitude will kill both the baby and the mother. Whatever has to be given up should be given up at the right time and place. IMO, the time for giving up religions has long since arrived. Religions are like our mother, and we are the babies formed by her, nurtured by her - but now we have to acknowledge all that we got from her, and go on to a bigger, wider, better unifying elements.

 
At October 23, 2005 7:23 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At October 23, 2005 7:42 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Dear Krishna - thanks for ur comments. I agree with you. I dont see any difference between Hari and Shiva. Being an advaitist - I dont see any difference between Jesus,Allah, Narayana, Shiva etc..

What I am criticising is the people who spread negative vibrations/thoughts! They shouldnt do it! Because for a lesser mortal like me - it irritates and pains! It causes me anger!

But when starts saying some X is GOD whereas Lord Shiva is some demigod - I cant tolerate it!How can you tolerate when someone says ur mother is inferior than theirs? We cant isnt it? That's what I am trying to say! For a hardcore Shaivite like me - for whom Lord Arunachala is everything - I cant tolerate to see others criticizing my Divine Mother, Father and Guru!

History says even the Shaivaite saints never tolerated anything against Lord Shiva! They always advocated for Him! They had several arguments with Jains/Buddhists!

So inorder to prove that some God is supreme - u shuld never distort facts,create stories and hurt the lesser mortals like me. I have'nt reached ur stage of devotion - and it takes time for me to cultivate the sattvic qualities.

 
At October 23, 2005 7:46 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Krishna -

"Why don't we keep them as role models and live our lives , instead of wasting time in debating about trivial issues , my dear friend ,arjuna. Let us all try our best to develop that kind of love. "

Then I wouldnt have anything to write in my blog mate :))

 
At October 23, 2005 7:49 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Krishna

"Allah Thum Ho Ishwar Thum Ho
Thumhi Ho Ram Rahim Thumhi Ho Ram Rahim
Yeshu Thum Ho Nanak Thum Ho
Zorastra Bhi Ho Mahavir Thum Ho
Gauthama Buddha Karim Gauthama Buddha Karim
Mere Ram Mere Ram Ram Rahim (3)

O Lord! You are known by many names: Allah, Ishwara, Ram,
Rahim, Jesus, Guru Nanak, Zoroaster, Mahavir,
Karim and Krishna"

- One of my favourite SAI bhajan!

 
At October 23, 2005 8:11 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Krishna - Moreover I was wondering what is the use of the dvaitist fighting with an advaitist or a vishista-advaitist like Anand arguing with an Advaitist like me or kasthuri! I dont see anything other than a clash of egos trying to prove their supremacy!

Our knowledge should be used to fight ignorant aethists who deny the basic existence of GOD!

 
At October 24, 2005 12:06 AM, Blogger krishna said...

Dear Arjuna

Whenever you get thoughts like

"- it irritates and pains! It causes me anger! "..

direct your anger towards HIM, your father , mother, your everything. A father won't get angry even when his child gets angry with him. He is the best person to take care of your anger.

Directing towards anyone will simply breed contempt and arguments.

If you are a true advaitin, you should consider everything (including what u hate now ) as HIM. of course , that is the final objective of an advaitin. IF you keep developing negative thougts like this , how are you going to get any closer to that state?

--"Our knowledge should be used to fight ignorant aethists" --

Let us not fight for any reason. arguments are good, but let there be no fight. Even whilst arguing, ethics should be defined and maintained.

You don't really have to bring these kind of issues in your blogpost that seem to bring only futile arguments. Instead there are lot many things that u might want to right about. I am sure that you WILL find them by just a little bit of thinking.:)

--"Then I wouldnt have anything to write in my blog mate :))--"

get to that state mate and get to there quickly. For how long do you think you will be a part of this blogosphere. U know right? :)

--"But when starts saying some X is GOD whereas Lord Shiva is some demigod"--

It doesnt really matter if X is some demigod , or if some Y is some God . All gods are Sujana Priyas and they will be symbols of Love , knowledge and Satva for all those . Only the ignorant fight over religion sub-religions. Do yo find Tyagayya wasting his time over these arguments?

Whenever you pray them , ask ONLY devotion and love towards him. If you develop that kind of love for him , you wont get angried even with the greatest of the sinners because even the they are childrend of HIM.

Shambo Mahadeva
sri krishnaapanam

 
At October 24, 2005 4:08 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

O Madhusudhana,
I really dont think this topic is futile - dont u think its a responsibility for us to remove social stigmas?

 
At October 24, 2005 6:39 AM, Blogger Parvati said...

@Krishna: You are a dear!
@ Arjuna: There is no point in getting angry with a small or large group of people who are insulting your God, your Mother or your chosen way.

Unless you actually go to them personally, confront them with rational points, factual, from the scriptures or from the various sacred writings since years before, AND YOU MANAGE TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS, MAKE THEM ACCEPT THE FOLLY IN THEIR WRITINGS, that have hurt and angered you so much, speaking about all this in your blog is futile.

Because the only people who will be talking to you about this are Krishna and I and we will say whosoever propounds a divisive philosophy, based on ignorance of the greatness of each and every God from among the 33 crore Gods in the hierarchy, is wrong.

We will agree with you. But thats because we are wise people! And your target of anger, will still remain unwise and ignorant.

If you want to do anything effective, confront all those people one by one and change their minds.

Everything else is just tilting at windmills.

All this talk will not help you (you are disturbed, agitated, angry, hurt, distressed), nor will they help the writers from ISKCON whom you are quoting (they will continue to remain igorant, demeaning towards Lord Shiva).

This blog will not help you in changing THEM.

That's what Krishna has been telling you here.

You are wasting your time using your blog as a means to handle this particular issue.

LOOK FOR A BETTER METHOD, WHICH WILL REACH THE PARTY AGAINST WHOM YOU HAVE A STRONG GROUSE.

 
At October 24, 2005 11:13 AM, Blogger Sriram C S said...

Non-hindus not allowed Perhaps this should be correct if we define who is a Hindu more clearly...

 
At October 24, 2005 12:05 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

I would like thank each and everyone of u who have commented in this blog :)

Parvati and Krishna - r u guys happy now ? :))

 
At October 24, 2005 9:54 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Prem
Good point on Faith. I agree 100%

 
At October 25, 2005 5:45 AM, Blogger Ram.C said...

Fantastic post and so many positive responses.. I agree with you that these restrictions thru notice boards should not be imposed anymore... I remember seeing them in Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple...

 
At October 25, 2005 6:24 AM, Blogger Jo said...

Very well said! Relationships like this need to exist to keep harmony among us. My Hindu and Muslim friends would come home for Christmas and I've been invited to attend the temple festivals and Ramzan at their place.

And I wanted to go for a darshan in Guruvayur temple but I will have to pick a Hindu name to get an entry.

 
At October 25, 2005 10:38 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Ram - thanks a lot :)

 
At October 25, 2005 10:39 AM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

jo - thanks a lot - ur guruvayur episode is interesting :)

 
At October 25, 2005 2:35 PM, Blogger Sriram V Iyer said...

Hi
I rarely get angry (Arjuna can vouch for it).

Saying "if you are an advaitin, you see no difference between gods" etc is all crap.

Why dont ISKCON people simple acknowledge that there are other paths? I bet they would not. Since for them, there is no other way for redemption other than Krishna.

Instead they talk of Rama telling Shiva is the way of reaching me, Tyagaraja is Shiva singing about Rama etc. Will you ever change?

Stop teaching others and try to look inwards.

To insult any other God is like hurting the feeling of all His/ Her followers. What can be more Tamasic than this?

I love Sri Krishna by my heart that I am moved to tears when I think of Him.

I am still human. I will not tolerate anyone trying to insult Shiva or Sri Subrahmanya. Let me rot in Hell if I feel like burning books that demean them. I care a hoot.

For people who support and still believe in advising the rest - "Cut the crap!"

Regards
Sriram

 
At October 25, 2005 2:39 PM, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Sriram

Shanthi , Shanthi , Shanthi :)

 
At November 24, 2005 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naanyaar,

to say d least, UR A LOCO...u dunno wot ur talkin abt in dis blog of urs...

if ppl had to go by ur blog, then temples wud be blown up by fanatics n terrorists LOOOOOOOOONG BACK!!!

n u never know d intentions of non Hindus, some enter d temple w gud intentions, some bad n some w ugly intentions...i dont tink we need such pigs in temples!!!

btw my blog is on o3-rage against the mad dogs!!!

 

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