Hindus Who are Critical of Hinduism
In a recent speech a well known politician from Bihar wondered
how Mr.Modi, the Prime Minister of India, who offers milk to
Lord Ganesha, can develop the nation. Obviously this gentleman
who has been previously indicted by court in a corruption case
does not understand the meaning of sacrifice or offerings to
gods, which is the tradition of this country for at least 6000
years. The idea of sacrifice is central to Hinduism. The Vedas
state that creation itself emerged out of a grand sacrifice
performed by God in which he used parts of his own body as offerings.
Sacrifice means giving. You give out of love or devotion or
compassion and through that giving express your gratitude for
the support you receive from various people, beings, and gods.
As Hindus, we make offerings to gods because they do not
make food for themselves and depend upon human beings for their
nourishment. Why do gods need our food? It is because they are
so selfless that they do not want to make any food for themselves.
Or probably they want us to cultivate charity, which as Brahma
noted is difficult for humans to practice. He tried to teach
restraint to gods, compassion to demons and charity to humans.
It appears that he has not achieved much success in this regard.
The same principle of selflessness apply to ascetics who are
supposed to be gods upon earth . They are not supposed to worry
about themselves. Not cooking food for yourself is the ultimate
sign of renunciation and selflessness. The day you stop cooking
food for yourself by transcending your selfishness, you become
a true renunciant. Our scriptures say that since the welfare
of the world depends a lot upon such pious people and gods,
it becomes the duty and responsibility of the householders to
nourish them through daily sacrifices.
Interestingly, the politician who made the comment has "Prasad"
as his middle name, which literally means the remains of the
offering. Probably he has not given much thought to that part
of his name. From his comments and actions we may conclude that
he has not yet overcome his ambition and selfishness and cannot
think beyond himself, his family, and his personal interests.
He nourishes himself and his family rather than the gods, the
poor, and the renunciants. He surely wants to redistribute public
money among his chosen people (dal) in the cause of socialism.
Hopefully, someday he will overcome his limited view of Hinduism
and understand the significance of sacrifice and social and
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