Thursday, April 12, 2007

012 Christina ! Sacrificed a goat and burned a lot of fireworks

Advaitic Monks (Monistic Monks) preaching Advaita Vedanta (Monistic Philosophy) are supposed to be DISTINCT from mendicant monks and ordinary householders. Advaitic Monkhood is based on "GnAna" or GnAna Yoga, i.e. Awareness, and the Path of Awareness. What is this awareness about? It is about the Unity or oneness of one's living soul (jIvAtma) and the Supreme God (paramAtma). They are not separate. Once, a person gets this knowledge, and implements it in his daily life, he will become a jIvan-mukta (a liberated person, while being still alive). This jIvan mukta can never think of , or boast of petty things like worship of idols, sacrificing goats to idols, lighting and exploding fireworks. This must be particularly true of a monk, who goes on trumpeting in the entire world that he is an Advaita Philosophy Preacher, and who wants to accept disciples from foreigners who do not know anything about Advaita philosophy.

Swami Vivekananda wrote to Ms. Christina Greenstidel from Belur Math on Nov. 12, 1901:

"...Day before yesterday, however, came the Puja of Kali. We had an image, too, and sacrificed a goat and burned a lot of fireworks. This night every Hindu home is illuminated, and the boys go crazy over fireworks. ..."

*See post #176. In the same letter he wrote that he was leaving to North Western Provinces as Calcutta was malarious.
*Goat was saved from malaria.

But the Belur Math has a different story to tell. According to its website:

" ...It is customary to perform bali or animal sacrifice at this sacred juncture. When the first Durga Puja was celebrated at Belur Math in 1901, Swami Vivekananda wanted to have bali done . But Holy Mother prohibited it and, in obedience to Holy Mother's injunction, animal sacrifice is never done at Belur Math. Instead, a banana is ‘sacrificed' as a symbolic bali..."

We can see the contradiction between Vivekananda's letter and the Belur Math's claim. The educated, world-known Vivekananda superstitiously wanted an animal sacrifice. The uneducated wife of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (called Holy Mother)prohibited it and a banana is given as food (bali) to Goddess Kali.

Added on 12th April 2016

Context: Death of around 110 persons in a fire-accident in a Kali Temple, near Kollam, Kerala State, India. The occasion was the Temple Authorities were celebrating a Competition of FireWorks, without taking adequate precautions and safeguards. For the benefit of those who do not know about Hindu Goddesses: Kali, Durga, Bala Tripurasundari, Saraswati, Mahalakshmi, Raja Rajeswari, Chinna Masta, et al are all names for the same Mother Goddess. These Goddesses are somewhat similar to the 14 mAtEs who are worshipped in Latvian Pagan Worship Methods which existed prior to invasion of Latvia and Lithuania by Roman Catholics. Goddess Worship is basically a European Inheritance for India. It has nothing to do with Monistic Philosophy i.e. A human (or a living thing) inside and outside are ONLY ONE, NOT TWO. Vivekananda forgot that he was an Advaita philosopher.

What has not changed between 1900 (Vivekananda's Durga worship days) and 2016? Love of Indians for FIREWORKS, both explosive and illuminative. This Indian Love for FireWorks is beyond the pale of boundaries of religions. Even alien religions like Christianity, when practised in India, may attract FireWorks. But the basic tenets of Christianity and the Bhakti Yoga of Hinduism being nearly identical except for the idol worship, the love for Fireworks in both the religions is understandable.

But there no can be no fireworks, for an Advaita vEdanta Preacher (Preacher of Monistic Philosophy)!


Anonymous said...

be careful now, do you know that while you breath you are killing millions of micro-organisms, you eat vegetables well they too have consciousness, infact ones whole life is dependent on others. one man's life means other's slavery... ponder upon it and you'll understand the irony of life.
i myself love non-violence, but to what extent can you take it..?

Theodore Roosvelt -"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Raja Banaras said...

Truth beautifully distorted here again. Swami Vivekananda never wanted to sacrifice goat or any other animal on his first Durga idol puja at Belur Math in 1901. Rather he asked Ma Sarada to instruct the other pundits etc. to keep away from such ritual as this puja was proposed and organised by him. As such the rite of sacrifice of an animal was abandoned on the advice of the Holy Mother Ma Sarada. The idol was brought from Kumhartuli a couple of days before the Sashthi day i.e. 18th October 1901.