Dinesh and Bawa

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Idol Worship

There was a request to Guruji to talk on Idol Worship... As usual i don't remember verbatim what He said, it was all in Hindi, here it is freely translated:

This is not an explanation for a gyani (One who dabbles in Knowledge), it's for a premi (a lover)


We require some name and form to anchor our mind to. When we do Pooja to an idol, the starting mantras mean something like, Oh my God, who is within me, come on out here into this idol, so i can play with you! and then we do the Pooja, mimicking God: He has provided us with food, so we offer some rice (as if it's ours to offer, What belongs to God, we simply give to God), and we offer flowers, etc...


Then just as He is doing our aarti with the sun and the moon, we light a small lamp and do His aarti... Pooja means that which is born out of fullness of the heart (Poo ja = jo Poornata se Janam leta hai woh) it's done with deep gratitude and a sense of mischief... and when we have finished, the mantras say, ok, now that i have finished playing with you, come back within me...


Its very difficult for our minds to even begin to comprehend the immensity and vastness that is the (formless) God... so we create a name and a form, and can get some relationship, some anchor and then we worship that...

When the Guru Granth Saheb is printed in the printing press, it is just printed paper... But when it is installed in the home or the Gurudwara, then it becomes Sacred and Holy... It is the consecration of the book that makes it the Guru, and that is through our feelings for it... It's just a book, until we ourselves through our feelings make it the Guru, and venerate it.


(I have to add my own thing here: Pooja when done the right way, gives incomparable deep meditative bliss, to experience just come to the Bangalore Ashram any monday morning at 7:00 am... AND you do get really, really nice food to eat afterward as well! :))

In the days of yore, there were no mobiles or internet, and it was very difficult for a lover to communicate with his beloved... So, whatever had to be said was simply said to a photo... Now, that photo was not the beloved, was it? just a representation of the beloved...

Similarly, we do Pooja to the Idol... as a representation of God!  

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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Romantic interpretation of pooja , helps....it is easy to understand :-)can relate to it

Anonymous said...

Romantic interpretation of pooja helps....it is easy to understand :-)can relate to it

Anonymous said...

Your explanations are much more simpler and graspable than those of Guruji, even though both may be correct. This is applicable to not only this one but to all your explanations.

Anonymous said...

You are as lovely as your posts !
(Oh, *why* are you so lovely ??!! )
Hard to choose between the two ! :)

df said...

Gur Fateh veer g,
Sikhs don't worship Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Sikhs worship only one almighty.. which is formless..
and as Guru Granth Sahib ji give us a way to life, an ultimate wisdom.. so we bow to it.. but it doesn't mean that we worship Granth as God..we don't say..as you mentioned in your article that...Oh my God, who is within me, come on out here into this Granth ....

df said...

and Sir please avoid making such comments as it hurts Sikh sentiments..
because we don't support idol worship....
I know that you are not doing this intentionally but there are people who are doing this knowingly (to prove that Sikhs are Hindus)and causing rifts between Sikhs and Hindus...

Arya Samaaj first started making such comments.. and everyone knows that what happened later..

Gur Fateh

Trinaa said...

guruji's pic is awesome..thanks 4 posting.. :)

aparnata said...

OMG!! That's well a great way of saying things. Esp in your way. chanting things in my child hood made no sense. Most of the time we do it only of the delicious prasadam waiting after poojas... but "playing" is just what i dnt hear in any version of "you shuld pray because.." wow!!!!!!!!!!!! Too cul!!!!!!!

Jai Gurudev!
Love u..
Aparna

Bawa said...

dear df
i am not out to hurt any sentiments of anyone, neither is Guruji... but here is what He said in the Punjab Adv course and all the sikhs over there clapped when He said it... so i put it here...
The Granth Saheb shows us the ultimate way, so we bow down to it, sounds very similar to doing Pooja doesn't it?
and btw, the Hindus also are monotheistic, they also worship only one Almighty, only they give that Almighty numerous names and forms so that He is more accessible... like i said in the post...
Finally like Guruji said right in the beginning these explanations are for premis not gyanis... these explanations are for uniting people not dividing them...
end of discussion! :)

Abhay Karnataki said...

Lovely Article... I just love the way you make your article so lively by putting up the right photos!

df said...

i am not out to hurt any sentiments of anyone, neither is Guruji... but here is what He said in the Punjab Adv course and all the sikhs over there clapped when He said it... so i put it here...

If some ignorant people clap at a misinterpretation then it doesn’t make that justified..
I know that AOL is not intentionally hurting Sikh emotions as I have mentioned it in the beginning..
But unintentionally they are doing so… they may be knowing about Sikhi through some non authentic sources…
Or they may be(as most Hindus are) effected from Hindutva fever (may be unknowingly)..

The Granth Saheb shows us the ultimate way, so we bow down to it, sounds very similar to doing Pooja doesn't it?

Dear, you are comparing an idol with Guru Granth Sahib ji….… and an idol doesn’t show you a way to life as Guru Granth Sahib ji....We bow to the wisdom of Guru Granth Sahib ji.. we don’t treat it as God or an idol

and btw, the Hindus also are monotheistic, they also worship only one Almighty, only they give that Almighty numerous names and forms so that He is more accessible... like i said in the post...

Yah true, but it doesn’t make Sikhs as Hindus because Hindu has its roots in Vedic system (Varna System) but
Sikhi rejects Veda and Hindu rituals. ..we have our own Culture, our own language, own History and our own ceremonies…. that makes us very much different from Hindus.

Finally like Guruji said right in the beginning these explanations are for premis not gyanis..

But you can’t propagate false notions in the name of love…When a person speaks publicly, the responsibility becomes much higher….You should be a gyani to preach love…..

. these explanations are for uniting people not dividing them...

yes I am also against any divisions… and it is repeated many times in Gurbani that
neither we are hindu nor muslim we don’t believe in communal divisions..
so please don’t propagate against it

Bawa said...

dear df
even though i said end of discussion, you posted one more comment, i have published it...
what i wrote is what Guruji said
if you find a problem with that, take it up with Guruji... i hold Him to be the highest authority on every thing!
I would sincerely suggest you re read the post... it might make some sort of difference in your life! :)
Now, really, end of discussion (meaning i will not publish any more comments on this topic)
Get on with life...
Jai Gurudeva!

ashutosh said...

i was also dere at dis moment...
dat was awesome..
the way HE answers the questions...
naaa...

Anonymous said...

Well said, Bawa. Some people so live in their heads!!! They just cannot get it.... that the only aim of such comparisons is to bring people together. Maybe they have a few more lifetimes of karma left before they can understand what love is. You can only be compassionate towards them, right. Poor fellows!!!!

Dilkhush Singh Kohli said...

Jai Gurudev :-)

I do not see anything wrong in what Bawa wrote. In fact it is so true. Yes when the book is being made in the factory it is just making a book but when it is brought home/gurudwara it is our Guru.
DF please do not say we do not worship Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Ofcourse we worship from the day Guru Govind Singh Ji said Guru Manyo Granth and we treat it like we would treat a living Guru (we change clothes, we fan it, we have an arti and we take it to sleep at night).
In no way has Bawa hurt any Sikh sentiments. Lets finish it here.

Guru Ang Sang,

Dilkhush Singh Kohli

Suparna said...

Some time ago, a group of young Hindu boys in America, who were constantly ridiculed by their American counterparts (you pray to dolls, you worship cows etc) approached the priest of their local temple to seek explanations. To the question of Idol worship, the priest had replied something like, supposing you were in New York and wanted to talk to your friend in California, you would simply pick up the phone and talk. Does it mean that you are having a conversation with the phone? No, of course not! Similarly the idol is a way to help us focus our attention, energies on the divinity, and the energy and the formlessness that is beyond the physical statue... The answers were published in a magazine under "10 questions about Hinduism"..Let me see if I can dig it out from somewhere...:))

noblogurl said...

What a supremely amazing photo of Sri Sri we have in here!!
waah!
bawa, amazing blogs :D

Monica said...

very nice. actually funny to observe that, well yeah we offer to God what He has given us! we're all such kids. haha.

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