An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Frog and Frog-ni marry for Rain

I am not sure why some of us Indians make an ass of ourselves …. specially for the world to see… while displaying our lunacy with all the pride!! Here is a bunch of people, marrying a Frog (Male) and his Frog-ni (Female) to “please the rain Gods” and end the drought. They would do anything for the environment… but just make a mockery of the Gods and their belief!

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45 Comments
  1. Prem says

    Mockery? Why, if a god can be an elephant who rides a mouse (description for the god named Ganesha popular with many Hindus), what’s wrong with marrying frogs to appease the elephant?

    BTW, Indians are not so frog-loving after all: frog legs are a French and Chinese delicacy and are exported from India – I read in many places (for example here)that it involves breaking off the hind legs of the animal while it is still alive and tossing it back to die a painful death. Reminds me of the halal (Islamic) and kashrut(Jewish) ways of butchering an animal which bleeds the animal to death. Sorry for the gory digression.

  2. Prem says

    Mockery? Why, if a god can be an elephant who rides a mouse (description for the god named Ganesha popular with many Hindus), what’s wrong with marrying frogs to appease the elephant?

    BTW, Indians are not so frog-loving after all: frog legs are a French and Chinese delicacy and are exported from India – I read in many places (for example here)that it involves breaking off the hind legs of the animal while it is still alive and tossing it back to die a painful death. Reminds me of the halal (Islamic) and kashrut(Jewish) ways of butchering an animal which bleeds the animal to death. Sorry for the gory digression.

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  11. Desh says

    Problem with you, Prem, is that you don’t go deeper into things and speak frivolously at times… without much reflection in spiritual areas.

    Lets look at the point of Ganesha or even Hanuman or any other “God” or so-called divinity.

    In Hinduism, there is a great value to symbolism. Very early on, Rishis had understood that Truth cannot be explained. Words are apt to be misunderstood. In fact so much was the distrust with words – specially written word – that the Vedas and most Yogic mantras were never written down… instead they were passed along by hearing and rote. Guru-Shishya parampara was strictly followed. There were different Guru (and tradition) for every Veda. For example, Lord Krishna’s Guru was a Sam-Vedi. That is why He likens himself to Sam Ved in Gita and NOT Rig Ved. Atharva-Ved was obviously an after thought.. since Krishna never once mentions it in entire Gita!

    Anyways… if written word was not in vogue.. and profound Sanskrit sounds enshrined in Vedas etc propagated through Guru-Shishya method, then what was the other way for the people to express their devotion? Symbolism, obviously. And symbolism is not only a best practice for devotion but also for kriyas and Yajnas in Vedas. You offer rice or samagri as a SYMPTOMATIC of your sacrifice. When someone puts in rice in the fire instead of all the food grown on the farm… he is symbolising his ability to sacrifice everything in that fire of Yajna.

    Again, as I have said earlier.. there is no difference between idol worship and Yajna/Havans etc. Ultimately, its all about desire fulfillment. So, anyone who does one but shun the other is basically a hypocrite and prone to only shallow interpretation of the spiritual context behind both.

    So, symbolism of Ganesh is perfectly valid. The rituals and the drama that goes on where people fake their devotion to such a concept (of the Spiritual dimension that Ganesha represents) is not useful. That doesn’t help.

    The Frog marriage on the other hand, is a cultural level symbolism cloaked in religious backdrop. That is sad.

  12. Desh says

    Problem with you, Prem, is that you don’t go deeper into things and speak frivolously at times… without much reflection in spiritual areas.

    Lets look at the point of Ganesha or even Hanuman or any other “God” or so-called divinity.

    In Hinduism, there is a great value to symbolism. Very early on, Rishis had understood that Truth cannot be explained. Words are apt to be misunderstood. In fact so much was the distrust with words – specially written word – that the Vedas and most Yogic mantras were never written down… instead they were passed along by hearing and rote. Guru-Shishya parampara was strictly followed. There were different Guru (and tradition) for every Veda. For example, Lord Krishna’s Guru was a Sam-Vedi. That is why He likens himself to Sam Ved in Gita and NOT Rig Ved. Atharva-Ved was obviously an after thought.. since Krishna never once mentions it in entire Gita!

    Anyways… if written word was not in vogue.. and profound Sanskrit sounds enshrined in Vedas etc propagated through Guru-Shishya method, then what was the other way for the people to express their devotion? Symbolism, obviously. And symbolism is not only a best practice for devotion but also for kriyas and Yajnas in Vedas. You offer rice or samagri as a SYMPTOMATIC of your sacrifice. When someone puts in rice in the fire instead of all the food grown on the farm… he is symbolising his ability to sacrifice everything in that fire of Yajna.

    Again, as I have said earlier.. there is no difference between idol worship and Yajna/Havans etc. Ultimately, its all about desire fulfillment. So, anyone who does one but shun the other is basically a hypocrite and prone to only shallow interpretation of the spiritual context behind both.

    So, symbolism of Ganesh is perfectly valid. The rituals and the drama that goes on where people fake their devotion to such a concept (of the Spiritual dimension that Ganesha represents) is not useful. That doesn’t help.

    The Frog marriage on the other hand, is a cultural level symbolism cloaked in religious backdrop. That is sad.

  13. Prem says

    I’m sure those who want to marry off frogs to appease the gods, also do it as a symbolism – it is just a symbolic act for appeasement of the gods.

    If you or anyone believes a Yajna/Havan is done as a symbolism or contains acts that are done symbolically, then IMHO the yajna would also be a wrong act for you/them to do.

    Your understanding of a yajna is not shared by me. There is no God represented by the yajna fire – after all why should the fire be a special symbol when everything in the world has His presence right there. And there is no offering – symbolic or otherwise – that makes sense to be made to any god in the yajna : what is the wisdom in offering to an entity that owns everything and needs nothing? The key part of a yajna is the prayer mantras – some are prarthna mantras, some are upasana mantras, some are stuti mantras. The aahuti’s are for the chemical purification of the environment. There is no other useful or logical reason for the fire or the aahuti’s.

    The problem with seemingly innocuous symbols is that they soon take up a life of their own. Here is what goes wrong when people start believing in symbols:

    1. Girl weds dog to break ‘evil spell’: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sou

    2. Man ‘marries’ dog to beat curse : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sou

    3. Indian child married to a dog: http://www.herald.ie/world-new

    4. Not to mention the Hindu milk miracle which caused a spike in the price of milk for days – which would have prevented poor children’s parents form being able to afford the milk. God knows how many infants may have died from that denial.

    5. I also know Hindu temple priests who have fought amongst themselves because one did not “take care” of the other’s deity god when he was on vacation.

    6. Reverence and deitification of rats to the extent that millions of rupees are spent in feeding and fattening them:

    <object height=”344″ width=”425″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/GRj1TttwPgU&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;”><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”><embed allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” height=”344″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/GRj1TttwPgU&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”425″></object>

    7. Reverence and deitification of monkeys:
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/

    8. Marrying off women to temple gods – this is the root of the Devdasi culture in which women are exploited and raped right in the temples.

    9. Imprisoning a child as a child goddess: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t

    8. There are also countless anecdotes of animal sacrifices and offerings Hindus do in temples which should have been replaced by some right action such as medical treatment, hard work or facing-an enemy in battle (thinking about the Somnath temple in 1025AD).

  14. Desh says

    The aahuti’s are for the chemical purification of the environment. There is no other useful or logical reason for the fire or the aahuti’s.

    Ok, I have heard this nonsense time and time again.. I challenge you to explain to me the EXACT chemical reactions that happen and WHICH chemical is the air purified of when the havan’s smoke goes up in the air? Go find the relevant equation and write back!

    The tragedy with Vedic and Vedanta is that it has been thoroughly and completely bastardized to a level that it has become a mockery!

    There is a centrality to every practice and and EVERY “uccharan” (utterance) in Vedic Sanskrit and Vedantic practices of ENERGY. From Kundalini to Sankrit mantras to Yantras to temples to Shiva Lingas (read this – http://drishtikone.com/?q=blog… – to understand why and how Temples and structures like Shiva Linga can help)- there is a major underpinning of the use of Energy.

    Chemical/matter interactions were never supposed to be important enough. There is a reason why DESPITE knowing of the various organs and the blood vessels (read Garuda Puran for the some great explanation of the reproductive system), the Yogis and Rishis concentrated on CHakras and Nadis. Nadis HAVE NO MEDICAL significance in the modern biological sense. NO Nadi has ever been discovered physically. Yet, they are important in YOga.. indeed CENTRAL to it! Why? Because Nadis are the pathways of Energy.

    Very early on Rishis realized that at the most profound and basic level …. it is a game of Energy only. Mass and Matter is what we see.. but it does not “exist” at the most basic level… which is TRUE. Try looking for matter at the sub atomic level of your hand. In fact 90% of the ATOMs of your hand are vacuum anyways.. the rest which seem like “matter” – electrons/Protons/neutrons are composed of sub atomic particles which are wave energy.. and appear as matter ONLY on observation.

    How and WHY that energy BECOMES matter is the greatest and the ONLY challenge in Science that is UNSOLVABLE! The LHC Experiment in Switzerland that is trying to find “Gods Particle” is trying to solve EXACTLY that!!! It is look for the hypothetical “particle” that gives mass to the wave form of the sub-atomic level.

    So, what you are saying is complete nonsense.

    Yajna – at least in Gita – has a TOTALLY different context. In fact, Lord Krishna calls Vedic kriyas/karmas to be sa-kaam karmas… from which one has to go beyond. In the run up to “Karmanya Vadhika Raste…” in the Second chapter.. thats EXACTLY what he is trying to imply. In fact Karmanya Vadhika Raste.. or the most basic enunciation of Law of Karma assumed importance because of the way Vedic karmas had been interpreted – in a manner that would make their meaning gross.

    Finally, Sanskrit language is said to have been “Discovered” and not created. Discovered, because the Rishis associated the sound energy with the vibration of a form/creation (at its very basic wave level). THAT is why pronunciation of Sanskrit Shlokas in a certain manner and with a certain tenor is CRITICAL.

    It is my conviction that there was a reason why not everyone was given this knowledge or the access to the Vedas. For, as much as it can be of benefit… incorrect handling of such energy creating acts and utterances could harm many. Go read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K… to see a body of research on incorrect handling of simple Yogic kriyas.

    Yoga/Sanskrit/Mantras etc. are not a joke or frivolous creations.. they are serious stuff that go to the heart of creation and our structure itself. It is foolish to just use a Social Reformers zeal to challenge their use and practice. One can argue why should mouth be the only organ to be used for eating food… and one may succeed in using other entry ways to stuff food in… but it all hurts after a while.

  15. Prem says

    I’m sure those who want to marry off frogs to appease the gods, also do it as a symbolism – it is just a symbolic act for appeasement of the gods.

    If you or anyone believes a Yajna/Havan is done as a symbolism or contains acts that are done symbolically, then IMHO the yajna would also be a wrong act for you/them to do.

    Your understanding of a yajna is not shared by me. There is no God represented by the yajna fire – after all why should the fire be a special symbol when everything in the world has His presence right there. And there is no offering – symbolic or otherwise – that makes sense to be made to any god in the yajna : what is the wisdom in offering to an entity that owns everything and needs nothing? The key part of a yajna is the prayer mantras – some are prarthna mantras, some are upasana mantras, some are stuti mantras. The aahuti’s are for the chemical purification of the environment. There is no other useful or logical reason for the fire or the aahuti’s.

    The problem with seemingly innocuous symbols is that they soon take up a life of their own. Here is what goes wrong when people start believing in symbols:

    1. Girl weds dog to break ‘evil spell’: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3004930.stm

    2. Man ‘marries’ dog to beat curse : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7093422.stm

    3. Indian child married to a dog: http://www.herald.ie/world-news/indian-child-married-to-a-dog-1647102.html

    4. Not to mention the Hindu milk miracle which caused a spike in the price of milk for days – which would have prevented poor children’s parents form being able to afford the milk. God knows how many infants may have died from that denial.

    5. I also know Hindu temple priests who have fought amongst themselves because one did not “take care” of the other’s deity god when he was on vacation.

    6. Reverence and deitification of rats to the extent that millions of rupees are spent in feeding and fattening them:

    7. Reverence and deitification of monkeys:
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/378340/holy_monkeys_a_video_by_indu_subaiya/

    8. Marrying off women to temple gods – this is the root of the Devdasi culture in which women are exploited and raped right in the temples.

    9. Imprisoning a child as a child goddess: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4543113.ece

    8. There are also countless anecdotes of animal sacrifices and offerings Hindus do in temples which should have been replaced by some right action such as medical treatment, hard work or facing-an enemy in battle (thinking about the Somnath temple in 1025AD).

  16. Desh says

    The aahuti’s are for the chemical purification of the environment. There is no other useful or logical reason for the fire or the aahuti’s.

    Ok, I have heard this nonsense time and time again.. I challenge you to explain to me the EXACT chemical reactions that happen and WHICH chemical is the air purified of when the havan’s smoke goes up in the air? Go find the relevant equation and write back!

    The tragedy with Vedic and Vedanta is that it has been thoroughly and completely bastardized to a level that it has become a mockery!

    There is a centrality to every practice and and EVERY “uccharan” (utterance) in Vedic Sanskrit and Vedantic practices of ENERGY. From Kundalini to Sankrit mantras to Yantras to temples to Shiva Lingas (read this – http://drishtikone.com/?q=blog/intention-consciousness-and-new-science – to understand why and how Temples and structures like Shiva Linga can help)- there is a major underpinning of the use of Energy.

    Chemical/matter interactions were never supposed to be important enough. There is a reason why DESPITE knowing of the various organs and the blood vessels (read Garuda Puran for the some great explanation of the reproductive system), the Yogis and Rishis concentrated on CHakras and Nadis. Nadis HAVE NO MEDICAL significance in the modern biological sense. NO Nadi has ever been discovered physically. Yet, they are important in YOga.. indeed CENTRAL to it! Why? Because Nadis are the pathways of Energy.

    Very early on Rishis realized that at the most profound and basic level …. it is a game of Energy only. Mass and Matter is what we see.. but it does not “exist” at the most basic level… which is TRUE. Try looking for matter at the sub atomic level of your hand. In fact 90% of the ATOMs of your hand are vacuum anyways.. the rest which seem like “matter” – electrons/Protons/neutrons are composed of sub atomic particles which are wave energy.. and appear as matter ONLY on observation.

    How and WHY that energy BECOMES matter is the greatest and the ONLY challenge in Science that is UNSOLVABLE! The LHC Experiment in Switzerland that is trying to find “Gods Particle” is trying to solve EXACTLY that!!! It is look for the hypothetical “particle” that gives mass to the wave form of the sub-atomic level.

    So, what you are saying is complete nonsense.

    Yajna – at least in Gita – has a TOTALLY different context. In fact, Lord Krishna calls Vedic kriyas/karmas to be sa-kaam karmas… from which one has to go beyond. In the run up to “Karmanya Vadhika Raste…” in the Second chapter.. thats EXACTLY what he is trying to imply. In fact Karmanya Vadhika Raste.. or the most basic enunciation of Law of Karma assumed importance because of the way Vedic karmas had been interpreted – in a manner that would make their meaning gross.

    Finally, Sanskrit language is said to have been “Discovered” and not created. Discovered, because the Rishis associated the sound energy with the vibration of a form/creation (at its very basic wave level). THAT is why pronunciation of Sanskrit Shlokas in a certain manner and with a certain tenor is CRITICAL.

    It is my conviction that there was a reason why not everyone was given this knowledge or the access to the Vedas. For, as much as it can be of benefit… incorrect handling of such energy creating acts and utterances could harm many. Go read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kundalini_Syndrome to see a body of research on incorrect handling of simple Yogic kriyas.

    Yoga/Sanskrit/Mantras etc. are not a joke or frivolous creations.. they are serious stuff that go to the heart of creation and our structure itself. It is foolish to just use a Social Reformers zeal to challenge their use and practice. One can argue why should mouth be the only organ to be used for eating food… and one may succeed in using other entry ways to stuff food in… but it all hurts after a while.

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  36. Prem says

    A yajna can very well be performed without any fire or aahutis – if you check with Acharya Sridhar he’ll tell you the same. Fire and aahutis are not critical and I cannot prove their environmental benefit, just as I cannot prove there is a God. But they surely seem very important to you, at least to make some points. 🙂 You conveniently ignored the 8 or so other continuing ‘problems’ created by symbolism that I had listed.

    Finally you wrote:
    >Yoga/Sanskrit/Mantras etc. are not a joke or frivolous creations.. they are >serious stuff

    I hope when you had past opportunities to attend yajnas, you focused on reading the mantras and their meanings rather than attending to other business on the phone.

    Anyway, this discussion is not worth continuing; those who may read these comments have enough to make their own conclusions. I will let you focus your energies on more important debates like the Quranic verses. 🙂

  37. Prem says

    A yajna can very well be performed without any fire or aahutis – if you check with Acharya Sridhar he’ll tell you the same. Fire and aahutis are not critical and I cannot prove their environmental benefit, just as I cannot prove there is a God. But they surely seem very important to you, at least to make some points. 🙂 You conveniently ignored the 8 or so other continuing ‘problems’ created by symbolism that I had listed.

    Finally you wrote:
    >Yoga/Sanskrit/Mantras etc. are not a joke or frivolous creations.. they are >serious stuff

    I hope when you had past opportunities to attend yajnas, you focused on reading the mantras and their meanings rather than attending to other business on the phone.

    Anyway, this discussion is not worth continuing; those who may read these comments have enough to make their own conclusions. I will let you focus your energies on more important debates like the Quranic verses. 🙂

  38. Desh says


    Om Svaraaditya ya svaa haa. Idmaditya ya – Idanna mama.

    O blissful god, this oblation/offering is for sun. Not me.

    Guru Nanak, once asked a guy who was offering water to Sun, if he could water his (Guru’s) farms? The guy said NO. Why, the Guru asked? It is 20 km away, the person answered. Well, Nanak said, if you can give water to the Sun which is millions of kms away, what is there to offer it to a farm just 20 km away?

    Of course, in this story, and in the mantra above (which is I am sure part of some Yajna done by you), the point missed is the use of “Symbolism”. No one can offer anything to Sun, neither has anyone been able to do… nor will anyone be able to do it. It is just a symbolism for light that God signifies.

    God, is infinite. Yet, most Saints, Thinkers and Rishis have used discreet symolism to explain the characteristics of God, the infinity.

    Logically, the act of offering something to the Sun, or to Wind, or to Fire, or to the Moon is as stupid and hillarious as the act of deifying a Monkey or a rat.

    But go beyond the obvious – word or presentation – and one can find something different. There is a certain “Spiritual Ego” that comes with knowledge where a person co-opts him or herself as the knower all and makes fun of the others who may be “different” or using forms/symbolism different to ones… but that is part of the struggle of the spiritual journey.

    Logically, and at the root of it all – if you were to critically discern the issue of “Form” using what in Hindu philosophy was known as “Vivek” (which btw, is NOT differentiating between “Good” and “Evil”.. but “Truth” and “Untruth”) – then you will find that there is NO substantive difference between a NAME for the God.. and an Idol of the God. Both are forms.. and limitations to the “Infinite” enough to be considered inadequate representations of what one is talking about.

    And btw, you tried very nicely to bypass the question of proof for claim you made of the use of Aahutis – i.e.; Chemical Purification. What are the aahutis “purifying” the air of? Why not use air purifier instead? If that is your overriding concern, then get the air in your house chemically cleaned… and moreover, if it is indeed found that Aahutis somehow chemically react to clean the impurities in the air… then might as well just put the samagri, ghee, wood in a box and put it to fire. Why sit around and unnecessarily waste time? Because the purpose of the Mantras, which are oblations, ostensibly has nothing to do with the purpose of the fire – which is “chemical purification…. and NOTHING else”. Both, by definition have mutually exclusive purposes. Aint it?

    Think again. Critically look at your own logic and you will see the lack of sync in your intention and your act.

  39. Desh says


    Om Svaraaditya ya svaa haa. Idmaditya ya – Idanna mama.

    O blissful god, this oblation/offering is for sun. Not me.

    Guru Nanak, once asked a guy who was offering water to Sun, if he could water his (Guru’s) farms? The guy said NO. Why, the Guru asked? It is 20 km away, the person answered. Well, Nanak said, if you can give water to the Sun which is millions of kms away, what is there to offer it to a farm just 20 km away?

    Of course, in this story, and in the mantra above (which is I am sure part of some Yajna done by you), the point missed is the use of “Symbolism”. No one can offer anything to Sun, neither has anyone been able to do… nor will anyone be able to do it. It is just a symbolism for light that God signifies.

    God, is infinite. Yet, most Saints, Thinkers and Rishis have used discreet symolism to explain the characteristics of God, the infinity.

    Logically, the act of offering something to the Sun, or to Wind, or to Fire, or to the Moon is as stupid and hillarious as the act of deifying a Monkey or a rat.

    But go beyond the obvious – word or presentation – and one can find something different. There is a certain “Spiritual Ego” that comes with knowledge where a person co-opts him or herself as the knower all and makes fun of the others who may be “different” or using forms/symbolism different to ones… but that is part of the struggle of the spiritual journey.

    Logically, and at the root of it all – if you were to critically discern the issue of “Form” using what in Hindu philosophy was known as “Vivek” (which btw, is NOT differentiating between “Good” and “Evil”.. but “Truth” and “Untruth”) – then you will find that there is NO substantive difference between a NAME for the God.. and an Idol of the God. Both are forms.. and limitations to the “Infinite” enough to be considered inadequate representations of what one is talking about.

    And btw, you tried very nicely to bypass the question of proof for claim you made of the use of Aahutis – i.e.; Chemical Purification. What are the aahutis “purifying” the air of? Why not use air purifier instead? If that is your overriding concern, then get the air in your house chemically cleaned… and moreover, if it is indeed found that Aahutis somehow chemically react to clean the impurities in the air… then might as well just put the samagri, ghee, wood in a box and put it to fire. Why sit around and unnecessarily waste time? Because the purpose of the Mantras, which are oblations, ostensibly has nothing to do with the purpose of the fire – which is “chemical purification…. and NOTHING else”. Both, by definition have mutually exclusive purposes. Aint it?

    Think again. Critically look at your own logic and you will see the lack of sync in your intention and your act.

  40. Prem says

    I don’t agree with your translation of the following mantra.

    “Om Svaraaditya ya svaahaa. Idmaditya ya – Idanna mama.”

    In this mantra, Aditya does not represent the sun; it is another name for God. See http://www.drishtikone.com/?q=… , number 8.

    As you acknowledge, there is no point is making an offer to the Sun, which is just a non-sentient object of nature like a stone. There is likewise no point in making an offering for the Sun to God, because God already owns everything.

    Idmaditya simply means (I acknowledge that) “it is all God’s”, “idam na mama” means (I acknowledge that) “it is not mine”.

    I don’t have any problem with any idol or symbol per se and I agree that an idol is indeed like a name of God which can be useful in thinking about Him. My issue begins when people start pouring tonnes of milk on idols or start fighting over them or start marrying them, or expect them to solve their problem in return for a 10 dollar or a coconut donation – all of which I have seen or read about. Ultimately, idols and similar symbols like deified rats, tend to take a life of their own and start giving people the false notion that God exists in them only. It then becomes an effective denial of God’s omnipresence. I know people who generally have no qualms about doing things they say are ‘bad’ things (in their judgment, not mine) but say that they won’t ever do those things in the temple – because “it is the home of God”, “where I see God face to face”. As if poor God has no other place to be.

    As for your question about how a yajna fire may possibly purify the environment, I will let you find an answer to that yourself if you care. Try Acharya Sridhar in Houston when you meet him next time.

  41. Prem says

    I don’t agree with your translation of the following mantra.

    “Om Svaraaditya ya svaahaa. Idmaditya ya – Idanna mama.”

    In this mantra, Aditya does not represent the sun; it is another name for God. See http://www.drishtikone.com/?q=blog/satyarth-prakash-attributes-god-part-2 , number 8.

    As you acknowledge, there is no point is making an offer to the Sun, which is just a non-sentient object of nature like a stone. There is likewise no point in making an offering for the Sun to God, because God already owns everything.

    Idmaditya simply means (I acknowledge that) “it is all God’s”, “idam na mama” means (I acknowledge that) “it is not mine”.

    I don’t have any problem with any idol or symbol per se and I agree that an idol is indeed like a name of God which can be useful in thinking about Him. My issue begins when people start pouring tonnes of milk on idols or start fighting over them or start marrying them, or expect them to solve their problem in return for a 10 dollar or a coconut donation – all of which I have seen or read about. Ultimately, idols and similar symbols like deified rats, tend to take a life of their own and start giving people the false notion that God exists in them only. It then becomes an effective denial of God’s omnipresence. I know people who generally have no qualms about doing things they say are ‘bad’ things (in their judgment, not mine) but say that they won’t ever do those things in the temple – because “it is the home of God”, “where I see God face to face”. As if poor God has no other place to be.

    As for your question about how a yajna fire may possibly purify the environment, I will let you find an answer to that yourself if you care. Try Acharya Sridhar in Houston when you meet him next time.

  42. Desh says

    Well, for one thing that translation was not mine.. but from the booklet I got from Acharya Sridhar’s temple itself. So, you may give your “prasang sahit vyakhya” but the literal meaning is what I wrote. of course, there are mantras before and after this that do the same for Vayu, and other deities… whom obviously you brush off as names of God.. , and pretend you are simply acknowledging God and not “deities”.. which is worse. Because, Mantras had two-fold importance:
    1. They created an energy BECAUSE of what they said – so how you say and what you mean is critical when you utter them.
    2. There is a certain profoundness, philosophically of the Mantras if you were to understand references in their proper context.

    By, brushing aside the symbolism (and its inherent direction) and giving it your own broad-brushed “spin” you lose on both the above accounts.

    As for idols and milk: Are you saying that its ok to waste tons of Ghee by pouring that into the Havan-kunds all over the country but its bad to waste milk? Yeah, I know, havan can be (in fact, Havan, as defined by Lord Krishna has relevance without any physicality) done without Aahutis.. but how many do it like that? Similarly, the power of Shiv Lingam can actually be realized more from meditation rather than pouring milk… but does that stop anyone from wasting milk?

    The truth is that everyone who trashes the other’s practices creates equally meaningless ones of his own. And then it is a case of my Superstition and Ritual is better than yours. Nothing more.

  43. Desh says

    Well, for one thing that translation was not mine.. but from the booklet I got from Acharya Sridhar’s temple itself. So, you may give your “prasang sahit vyakhya” but the literal meaning is what I wrote. of course, there are mantras before and after this that do the same for Vayu, and other deities… whom obviously you brush off as names of God.. , and pretend you are simply acknowledging God and not “deities”.. which is worse. Because, Mantras had two-fold importance:
    1. They created an energy BECAUSE of what they said – so how you say and what you mean is critical when you utter them.
    2. There is a certain profoundness, philosophically of the Mantras if you were to understand references in their proper context.

    By, brushing aside the symbolism (and its inherent direction) and giving it your own broad-brushed “spin” you lose on both the above accounts.

    As for idols and milk: Are you saying that its ok to waste tons of Ghee by pouring that into the Havan-kunds all over the country but its bad to waste milk? Yeah, I know, havan can be (in fact, Havan, as defined by Lord Krishna has relevance without any physicality) done without Aahutis.. but how many do it like that? Similarly, the power of Shiv Lingam can actually be realized more from meditation rather than pouring milk… but does that stop anyone from wasting milk?

    The truth is that everyone who trashes the other’s practices creates equally meaningless ones of his own. And then it is a case of my Superstition and Ritual is better than yours. Nothing more.

  44. Prem says

    I do not have any problem with people using an idol to focus on God. So I am tolerant of others’ ways of prayer. My issue is with abuse which I think you understand, which is why you called the frog-marriage asinine instead of accepting it as another form of prayer (which the practitioners will argue it is).

    Finally, I think this discussion is inconsequential because despite the argument and our own reasons, we both act the same way. Here is the proof:
    1. You felt the frog marriage was asinine. So do I.
    2. You accept people using an idol to worship an omnipresent God and so do I.
    3. You accept people worshipping without an idol and so do I.

  45. Prem says

    I do not have any problem with people using an idol to focus on God. So I am tolerant of others’ ways of prayer. My issue is with abuse which I think you understand, which is why you called the frog-marriage asinine instead of accepting it as another form of prayer (which the practitioners will argue it is).

    Finally, I think this discussion is inconsequential because despite the argument and our own reasons, we both act the same way. Here is the proof:
    1. You felt the frog marriage was asinine. So do I.
    2. You accept people using an idol to worship an omnipresent God and so do I.
    3. You accept people worshipping without an idol and so do I.

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