Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomeOpinionsMoolshankar and Murty: Dayanand Saraswati the founder of Arya Samaj

Moolshankar and Murty: Dayanand Saraswati the founder of Arya Samaj

Also Read

A long time ago, when I was eight or nine, my history teacher read a chapter from our history book which read something like this:

“One night, while Moolshankar was awake in a Shiva temple, he saw a mouse running over Shiva’s idol and taking away God’s offerings. He thought that if Shiva could not protect himself, how could he protect us? He advocated against idol worship and founded Arya Samaj.”

Yes, that chapter was about Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Several teachers took it as an opportunity to ridicule Hindu customs without giving any consideration to the impressionable minds of 8 and 9-year-olds.

Let’s assume that the idol is God. Now, evaluate this: Siva can meditate with snakes garlanding his neck — why should he be disturbed by a mouse? Take a moment to imagine yourself sitting five feet away from a snake. Would you be able to meditate with a snake at 5 feet? No!. Siva is not only the greatest yogi but Pashupatinath too. Why will Siva need to protect himself from a mouse?

What did Moolshankar expect? — The mouse should be pushed back when he tries to go near the idol, or the offering should disappear when he tries to eat.

He had the wrong expectations because no religious book that details pooja, like Narad Puran or Agni Puran, mentions that this should happen. Neither is there any documented incident of this happening.

Unfortunately, he is not alive to answer any questions.

Pooja is nothing but a visualization technique of Cognitive behavioral therapy. There was no psychology back then, so Moolshankar had not studied it and could not understand it. Maybe, he did not understand the purpose of puja itself, nor the connection with oneself by the pooja procedure.

Our mind needs to change, not the use of idols.

It is we, humans, that distinguish between creatures and find them dirty or clean. Humans create boundaries, not God. If God also starts selecting who can come near him and who cannot, then what is the difference between humans and Gods?

God, Allah, or Shiva, whatever you may call it, does not need to protect itself as it is immortal; it is the cause as well as the creation. Nothing can be a “threat” to God. So the logic of “protection” itself is not valid here. Everything emerges from Siva at the time of creation and merges back into Siva at the time of dissolution. Who is going to protect from whom?

Tulasidas says in Varigya sandipini ( Page 9 — Chapter1 , 4th Soratha ) 

Rephrasing below, from the translation by Author Ajai Kumar Chhawchharia

Forsooth and without gainsay, lord Ram is without birth, non-dual, without a second, nameless, invisible, formless, and without qualities, is the Lord of Maya — verily, it is this Lord God who has revealed himself in a human form with the name of ‘Ram.’ He did it for the benefit of his devotees and those who have surrendered themselves before the Lord. [Note- Stanzas nos. 3 and 4 bridge the gap between the formless and formed variants of the same Supreme Being.

Maybe other civilizations were not mature or advanced enough to understand psychology and use it to connect with the immortal, just like they were not mature enough to understand the importance of yoga and the role of nature in happiness till now. 

Humans have different emotions, like curiosity, gallantry, devotion, etc. Idols give us a way for a “devotional workout.” They are nothing but a mirror for your eyes to see your mental state. If your mental state lacks devotion, the idol will show you a stone; if you have devotion, the idol will show you God, and it will give you love, energy, courage, and shelter.

The idol itself will not fly in the sky and start killing your enemies, but you can kill them with devotion. Idols are a tool to awaken our inner energy.

The idols and temples are the power of Hindus and India. They take you to a world — a thousand years ago; they have a story to tell. Each idol is a source of joy; you can observe it for several minutes or hours and plunge into its beauty. We all know  “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, then why hate idols? Idols are not at fault. When you demean an idol, you are not demeaning God; instead, you are demeaning a sculpture’s work.

My mother once said to me — Had there been no idols, how would we know how people dressed a thousand years ago?. Where would artists immortalize their art without temples?

Once “God” is attached to art, it gets a purpose and meaning in life. Its destiny is sealed forever — it will give its worshippers love, support, and courage or ask for justice against its demolishers. One cannot create “the voice of God” that will last for 1000 years nor the “touch of God,” but one can create an idol of God that will stand the test of time, and even after demolition, it will forever be in its worshipper’s minds.

Idols serve us in the process of worship; they are precious to us, so we must protect them as our duty, just like we must protect the body that serves us. 

Now, coming back to the mouse — there are mice everywhere — most probably as I write this blog or as you read this blog, a mouse is eating up on wooden doors of some non-Hindu religious place. Should people conclude that if that religious place could not protect itself from a mouse, why should they go and worship in that place?

A doctor cannot operate on himself — does it mean we conclude that since the doctor cannot operate on himself, we should not go see a doctor? 

Humans can create a sacred space, associate it with symbols, and derive support and energy from it.

The moment the first human imprinted his figure print on the walls of a cave, he signed a contract for the entire human race which said — From now on till eternity, humans shall use symbols to understand, communicate and connect.

Symbolism is the quality of humans and not birds and animals. If we also stop respecting idols, what better are we compared to the mouse. ?

Not using idols or pictures is only as good as using idols or pictures for worship. No one who does pooja runs around ridiculing others for not using them because he is aware that there are multiple paths to get the same understanding. It is the need of time for others too to understand this and respect all paths.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Recently Popular