What does Hinduism say!

What does Hinduism say!

Row Over Sai Baba : What Does Hinduism Say. Hindus should not worship Shirdi Saibaba along with other gods, he was not a Hindu, he ate meat and...

Hindus should not worship Shirdi Saibaba along with other gods, he was not a Hindu, he ate meat and shouldn't be worshipped as he was a human being and not an incarnation– these are the statements recently made by Sankaracharya Swaroopananda Saraswati, the Dwarakapeethadipathi (one of the five shaktipeethams established by Adi Sankaracharya). These statements from one of the prominent seers of Hindu religion obviously stirred a storm and angered million of Sai devotees. The controversy brings into focus Hinduism and its roots in Sanatana dharma and faith. And in the context of the raging controversy it is only prudent to discuss the same and see what other seers and prominent people have to say

Hinduism, one of the ancient religions in the world, has come into existence from the way of life delineated in the Vedas. The religion has its roots in ‘Sanatana Dharma’, the natural, ancient and eternal way. ‘Yat Bhavam Tat Bhavati’ (You are what you believe or you become what you believe) a saying in the upanishads, made Hindus to worship every living thing as a form of god.

In a religion that worships, tress, animals, hillocks etc as forms of god are the comments of seer farfetched? Dwarakapeeth Sankaracharya Swaroopananda Saraswati’s comments that Saibaba cannot be worshipped as he is a man contradict the philosophy. Coming from one of the so called prominent seers of Hindu religion his comments have ruffled many a feather, considering millions of ardent Shirdi Sai devotees spread across India and the world.

Not to be discouraged so easily, Swaroopananda Saraswati, continued to fuel the controversy with a series of comments that has driven a wedge between devotees of Saibaba and saints, who rallied behind the Dwarakapeeth seer. He went ahead to call Saibaba, a courtesan’s son. "There was a pindari (plunder) named Waharuddin who came to Ahmednagar from Afghanistan. He had two children from a courtesan. One was named Chand Mian and the other was a girl. Chand Mian later became Saibaba of Shirdi," Swaroopananda told media during his brief stay at Seoni district in Madhya Pradesh on July 9.

BJP leader and Union minister Uma Bharti was one of the many to have reaffirmed her belief in Saibaba, seeking to distance the party and the government led by it from Dwarkapeeth Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati's controversial call to Hindus to stop worshipping the "Muslim fakir".

"In India we have a varied tradition of worshipping our parents, our teachers or the guests. It is entirely a personal choice," said water resource minister Uma Bharti.

"Saibaba never claimed or felt like he was from a particular caste. No one even questioned it. He was a dev and a fakir. He had many followers and people are his devotees even today," said Jayant Sasane, who once was the president of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust at Shirdi.

There were many PILs filed against the seer and the controversy has all the makings of turning ugly with Naga Sadhus rallying behind the swamy against the PILs filed.

Many seers say that Sanatana Dharma is the essence of the Hindu religion. Sanatana Dharma is by its very essence a term that is devoid of sectarian leanings or ideological divisions. "Sanatana" is a Sanskrit word that denotes which is Anadi (beginningless), Anantha (endless) and does not cease to be, that which is eternal and everlasting. Dharma is from dhri, meaning to hold together, to sustain. Its approximate meaning is "Natural Law," or those principles of reality which are inherent in the very nature and design of the universe. Thus the term Sanatana Dharma can be roughly translated to mean "the natural, ancient and eternal way." Faith is confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity, view, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion; a confidence based on some degree of warrant. It can also be defined as belief that is not based on proof.

Does Swaroopananda Saraswati means to say faith is not a part of Natural Law? But when, Hindus do faithfully follow Sanatana Dharma (Natural Law) – Then what is his answer to how the religion has come into existence?

Yatbhavam tat bhavati

Hindus live by the old Sanskrit saying ‘Yatbhavan tat bhavati’ (You are what you believe or you become what you believe). This is the prime reason why Hindus look at trees, plants, animals, hillocks etc as the other forms of God. Everything in the nature is closely and intricately connected to God. ‘Ishaavaasyamidamsarvam’ (The entire universe is indwelt, enveloped, covered by the Supreme Being) say Upanishads.

Hindus through ages have developed a culture based on these sayings and worshiping of village and local deities and Gurus has become part and parcel. ‘Vyakthi Aradhana’ (adoring and worshipping an individual) is a part of Sanatana Hindu dharma. Much lauded ‘Guru-Shishya’ parampara is a direct decent of this philosophy.

Raghavendra Swamy temples are seen in every town and city and devotees throng to worship him. Same is the case in Ramakrishna Maths, where, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Saradamata are worshipped. Satya Saibaba is worshipped as a God and has a cult following among Telugus. Worshipping, sages, seers and gurus, comes from times immemorial. The increasing presence of Shirdi Saibaba’s temples marks increased faith in the people and evidently Dwarakapeeth Sankaracharya’s comments that Saibaba is not a God do not go well with the devout.

Is Saibaba a God?

For Hindus, who see God in every life form, can’t Saibaba be a God? It is a question of faith. For those who follow him and worship the divinity to which they are attracted, it is a personal choice. It has been said that he did miracles, cared for poor and needy. Saibaba lived his live on one mantra, ‘Sab ka malik ek’. No matter in what form you call him, there is only one supreme lord, God, which is the supreme truth, believed Saibaba. Even Upanishads say same ‘EkamSath’ God is the only truth. Sikhs too say, ‘Ek Sat Naam’ only one truth.

In fact Saibaba never declared that he was God. If he would have done that there would not be so many followers. People, who follow him believe him and follow his teachings. Like two sides of a coin, belief and disbelief mark faith. Not everyone can agree with the faith one is following. That Saibaba is God is an issue of faith and devotion of his worshippers but not an issue to be debated.

Are the comments of Dwarapeeth Sankaracharya flawed?

We have freedom of speech. “Did Rama do engineering? Rama and Ramayan don’t exist it’s a myth,” said former chief minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi. He openly criticised the existence of Rama. Likewise Krishna and other deities were criticised. There are even bigger criticism like what power does your God have and how can a monkey be worshipped as Anjaneya. These comments cannot be prosecuted in court of law. While there are people who believe in God, others say there isn’t one. It all boils down to ‘YatBhavam Tat Bhavati’.

For me every criticism will helps to bond stronger with faith. It bolsters the belief one has. The devotees have been hurt with the seer’s comments but that is his take.

God, belief, faith and devotion are closer to one’s heart. If you truly believe then strengthen it. Don’t waste your precious time dwelling over non-believers and those who criticise your faith. If they are up for debate then debate with them else do what you like the most, dwell deep in the devotion of baba.

- Swamy Paripoornananda

Spirituality: Being truthful to self

Whatever you speak to your self is spirituality and what you speak to the world is materialism. Being truthful to you is considered as spirituality.

All the religions urge to enhanceand live in present situation and not to worry too much about your past or your future. Be it Islam or Hinduism, no religion or God says ‘Love the God’ - they all say love the neighbour, people, nature and animals. But in the name of god what people are doing today is terrible and painful.

The comment of Swaroopananda Saraswati is his perception towards religion and religious traditions but the essence of spirituality or religion doesnot end with his opinion. Since he is considered as guru and spiritual practitioner; when he addresses his personal opinions he should understand the impact and the consequences of it on the believers. It adds virtue and honour to practice on spiritualism. - SV Naganath, Psychologist

Sai Baba is God’s angel

God is the world's paramount power. God cannot be compared to anyone standing. But for the welfare of the world, God sends his angel to earth. And Sai Baba is our understanding of God's angel. We have the culture of respecting great people. India is a country of religious faith. We are here every religion, society and civilization and we should respect all.” - Jain Muni Chandra Prabhji

Question of belief

This is a culture which believes in man attaining Godhood-- there's no denying that there are people, Saibaba's devotees, who've experienced him as Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent-- they've seen and experienced him as God-. And anyway our culture talks about surpassing or crossing human limitations to experience the God within. It’s human tendency to elevate something they deeply love. I don’t see why somebody should think he is not worth worshiping. If a spiritual head talks the language of a politician this is what it sounds like... - Vadrevu Chinaveerabhadrudu

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