Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Idol worship

Idol worship is considered the bane of hinduism, and also of some other religions. The newer religions presented a more philosophical base to their thoughts, which only basically usurped the similar knowledge already available in the older religions. But the followers of these new religions seem to have ignored or overlooked the very strictures and teachings that talk about omnipresence and curse of objects and icons that are meant to symbolize the god. They, the followers, have in fact found new means to represent this faceless god with books, numbers, signs, objects, icons and even pictures.

Even scriptures in hinduism, have attempted to wean followers from their stupor, but have failed miserably in their appeal to the masses. Philosophers who have preached and touched people about these, are in turn, made into new icons of worship. It is common in hinduism, as in other forms of religion, that preachers and philosophers are consecrated and made into new demi-gods, only to give rise to new variations of the same religion.
The Hindu scriptures state that God is beyond comprehension by mind and intellect. Powerful as they are, their scope is insufficient to contain him. So the human mind is incapable of a true conception of God. The question, "Who made God?", arises only because mind cannot comprehend that which has neither beginning or end. 
- Paramahansa Yogananda.
Why is that people tend to overlook these, or are not able to fathom the depth of this philosophy? We are all children, or rather naive. Age of a person has never been representative of their wisdom or knowledge. It takes wisdom and courage to understand the difference between something that is 'beyond comprehension' and a block of stone that can be touched and bathed. Awareness of this difference, is probably easier to attain, because there are plenty who have been talking about this for a long time. But the courage to let go of the idol, that you so beheld all these years is more difficult to acquire.

And so till that moment, we, all of us, irrespective of our religion will continue to worship or look upon icons that symbolize god. Till then we are just a mere mortal, floating on log of wood, lost in the vast open sea, praying to a figment of our imagination.