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Misconceptions about Hinduism

Posted by on June 26, 2017

This episode happened when i was in Malaysia. This boy Siri, who is doing his Bachelor Degree from an American University met me. This is the first time we meet, so to start with a common topic, i asked about the sign written in the front side of hi T-Shirt, which read “Hindu Yuva”, which literally means, Hindu Youth.
I asked him, about the T-shirt, for which he replied it was a club in his university. I have heard about a gentleman who does some commendable work in spreading the Hinduism he knows about. I therefore asked Siri, if it is an offshoot of that organisation. Siri had no knowledge about that organisation. When asked if that is a club limited to his University, he said every University has a club similar to his. So, we came to a conclusion, it is an offshoot and the club is in every University.
My next question was, what they do in the club. He replied, we remove the misconception of Hinduism. I asked, Like?. He replied, like explaining why Ganapathi has elephant face etc. So now i have got some solid topic to talk about. I asked him, yes good, i am asking you, why does Ganapathi have elephant face?. To this his reply was, albeit interesting, was not complete. He said, The Elephant is famous for its focus, the ear of the elephant can sense / hear things at far off distance, the trunk of the elephant is capable of lifting a trunk of the tree and a needle with same ease. After listening, i asked, what will you answer if i ask about Hanuman, the monkey God, i continued, I know you will be able to explain some of the features of monkey wrt Hanuman, which still will be absent in the elephant God. There will be some aspects which one is good at whereas the other is not. This will not establish either as God, supreme power.
So, i explained, we need to answer the root of the question always, and not really try to answer for the question. I said, let me explain, We worship Rama, Krishna etc, who are they? they are Humans. We worship Shiva, Vishnu etc, who are they? they are divine beings. We worship Garuda, Nandi etc, who are they? they are bird, animal etc. That’s it, in Hinduism, Sanathana Dharma, we do not worship different beings, but we worship divinity in everything. This includes, the tree, stone etc, that is why when we step on someone or something, we don’t ask for forgiveness or sorry, but we touch them or that and worship it, by placing our hand on both the cheeks. This we do not limit to the objects or things we know, but also the unknown, like the combination of animal body and human face, like sarabheswara or human body and animal face like Ganapathy etc. This is why, everyday in the morning, we worship the divinity in the earth, Bhumi mata or Bhuma devi, for holding us throughout the day. We dont thank the God for providing us with the food, but offer it to Him and accept it as his blessings (prasada).
We give a form to the divinity according to the maturity of the worshiper, and don’t make a rule for everyone to accept the divinity in this way or the other. These are not many ways to worship the divine but many forms to visualize the divine.
We boil down this worship in two forms, to see everything as divine or to see divine is everything.

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