The Spiritual and the scientific

Published on March 13, 2015 18:11:11 PM
1.What is logic behind Idol Worship?

Idols of Gods and Goddesses are actually a way of manifesting the supreme power of the Divine through images in a pure vicinity, like a Puja room or a temple. It is a method of connecting worldly with the divine. Idols consecrated in a temple are propitiated with Vedic rituals to add power and sanctify the stone image, in a way it is injecting an electrical energy into an object to make it powerful. And at last, it is a constant reminder to the people that there is one residing in a recognizable form to guide you if you are a true seeker.

2. Why is the Guru given so importance in Hindu parlance?

The word Guru means one who dispels the darkness and who instills light into the seeker’s mind, if he is approached reverently. A famous verse from Sanskrit Literature explains this concept
"Gukarashandhakarohi Rukarastejaruchyate
Ajanagrasakam brahma tasmai sree gurave namaha

(Salutations to the teacher, who by his grace, dispels ignorance and instills knowledge to the sishya or the seeker)
All sciences and arts, the knowledge one gains through these will be fruitful if only it is learnt under the stewardship of a teacher. If one wants to confuse himself, one can read on his own, but if one needs true knowledge of an aspect, one should take refuge in a well-versed teacher. Every epic and purana of Hindu religion illustrates this fact, like Vasishtha being the teacher of Rama and Sandipani being the teacher of Krishna and the devotion that they had towards a teacher and how they prospered in life due to the wise counsel of their teachers.Hence, Guru is indispensible in our Religion.

3. What is the role given to women in Hindu religion?

Women are considered to be the chief administrators of home, the role which is extolled as Grihalakshmi, meaning a women, brings glory and prosperity to one’s own household and to her husband’s household. She is a multi-tasker, as   a good counsel for her husband, as a friend, as a servant attending to all home needs etc.Women is considered to be the manifestation of shakti, the feminine force guiding the world to continue its sustenance smoothly.

4. What is Karma Theory? Why is it so important in Hindu religion?
Choosing one’s own profession and maintaining a decorum in doing one’s prescribed duty in the chosen profession or job would bring  peace and happiness to one as he is doing his prescribed deeds.(karma)In simple words ,what one sows ,so one has to reap. Doing good karma will lead to prosperity, whereas doing bad karma would end you up in misery. It is a great principle to instill in everyone; the aspect and idea of performing good deeds while doing his/her own profession. Doing one’s own dharma would lead him to good karma. Righteousness and devotion are two aspects of doing one’s karma. One can be a son, a daughter, a husband, a wife etc but they should do these roles with diligence and also should perform their karma without expecting for any benefits from it as it is their duty to do these karma.

5. Why to undertake a pilgrimage to holy places?
God manifests himself in every aspect of this universe, but there is a place where he resides as a permanent dweller, i.e., the heart o a devotee. This aspect of considering one’s own body and a temple and the heart as the abode of the Lord has been extended to the concept of a temple which with its many parts is like a human body. One connects his mortal form to the permanent divine  form in a temple .It is a place where a lot of positive energy is in abundance as a temple is reverberating with divine  chants all the time.Hence,to preserve the memory of the god and to make one realize the divine in one’s own recesses of heart.

6. Why are the Mantras so important in an act of worship?
The language of Sanskrit and its vocabulary has manifested itself as a vast Vedic corpus of chants, which when intonated clearly, generate positive energy and create a special potency, which one feels in the  vibrations one get  while one is chanting a Mantra. It is also a way of self-purification b chanting the name of the Lord with utmost concentration, which improves one’s power of focus in doing his duties, in day to day life.7. What is logic behind observing a fast?
The traditional name given to a fast  is upavasa,the act of being closer to the lord ‘upavasateeti upasavasaha’(An act of being closer to him)By observing a fast, one cuts on the intake of food, contemplating on the Lord, by chanting his name or reading a holy book.Scientifically,the toxic materials in the digestive system are driven out  and the acid content in our body is   lessened.Hence,both  ways ,a fast is a cleanser of our impurities.

8. Why does one ring a temple bell while entering a temple?
A temple is a microcosm of the world where the Divinity resides. An act of visiting a temple is like connecting ourselves with the divine .When one enters a temple, one connects his self with ringing a bell, in a temple, it is like conveying our arrival to the Lord by connecting and making him takes notice of us by the act of ringing a bell. On a divine plane, the temple bell emanates the primordial sound Om, which is dear to all Gods and as all Vedic chants start with this preface of Om.It is Pranava, the primordial sound which on hearing, the energy of the divine is immediately connected with the mortal.Hence, ringing the bell holds significance.

9. What is the significance of applying vermilion (kumkum) on the forehead?
The mark of a worshiper is to be worn daily as per the sastras in Hindu parlance. The symbol of a believer and seeker is the kumkum on the forehead, which is the place where one’s concentration is situated.Scientifically, the vermilion removes excess of water from the head and retains energy and controls the levels of   concentration.In Yogic science the meeting point of two eyebrows is to be concentrated to dwell upon the divine light. Hence, putting a mark of kumkum on this point would make one do the meditation with more concentration.

10. What is the logic behind touching one’s feet?
Touching the feet of elders and the learned(even if  they are lesser in age compared to one’s own) is a great act of foregoing one’s ego and surrendering one to the greatness of other ‘learned ‘men. In terms of science,the nerves that spread across the body end up on one’s feet and hand.Hence,when one touches  the feet of an elderly person, a contact with the feet to the hands is created and the transfer of energy as blessings takes place, which is a symbol of seeking grace from the elders.