HUMANS MUST BE CRAZY !!
Look at the ability of human mind, it has not only given the divine power a human form but has also associated human qualities to the Almighty. Or else, how can one explain the wide discrimination, disparity ,hate , jealousy, ego etc that are so liberally attributed even to Gods. We have conveniently associated the “arishad vargas”, the six bad enemies of human beings even with the supreme beings. The major Hindu gods, including Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, often engage in wars, either in the form of Avatars or in their true form. ISKCON professes, Krishna is ‘the only way’, implying, Rama is either inherent or incidental!!
I have covered most of the temples in India, barring few exceptions. One such temple that I cannot visit is Balaji of Tirupati, there is a story to that exception. We, the followers of Lord Shiva , are barred from visiting the famous temple of Lord Venkateshwara, at Tirupati, because , as believed , there is an old rivalry between the two Gods over some money matters. Lord Venkateshwara , despite being known all over, as the God of ‘ISHWARYA’(wealth), has vehemently refused to return the money that he had once borrowed from Lord Shiva, hence , we, the followers of Shiva camp do not mark our attendance at the richest temple, at Tirupati. In my own humble abode, at Bangalore, I have a dedicated ‘abode of the Gods’(Mantap), placed just next to my liquor counter since I neither would like to make any distinction between the ‘spirit’ and ‘spirituality’ nor can I afford make that distinction . At our piddly Antilia, spirit and spirituality co-exist, mantap is a substitute for mandir, the Osho style. In that mantap, I have placed few idols of many a Gods to bestow on us the blessings of life. While I have Hanuman for strength, next to him is Ganapati for knowledge, perched atop a small plank is Laksmi for wealth and right in front of this is Subramanya for Protection. Well , since I do not know their exact seniority, I generally arrange them, like a seasoned soldier, as per their size with smallest in front and the biggest to the rear. Each has a fixed place of its own. This arrangement helps me in quickly identifying a God, if found missing from its place, any time of the day. Oppositely, my wife has her own sense of order, in that, she prefers to have the idol of Lakshmi right in front even though that is much bigger compared to the rest others. Of course, the Goddess evokes, amongst other things: grace, affluence, abundance, auspiciousness and authority. She appeals to all, yet many acharyas still do not advocate direct worship of the Goddess of wealth. In India, not only Hindus but also Buddhists and Jains, despite being monastic orders that turned away from Vedic rituals and Brahmanical dogmas, adore Lakshmi. Hence, this preferential reverence towards the Goddess of Wealth is understandable. However, many may not be aware, Lakshmi is invariably accompanied by Jyeshta, her elder sister. Jyestha represents everything that is opposite of Lakshmi. She is supposed to be the Goddess of misfortune, mishap, strife, poverty, fights. Never knew that there is a divinity for destruction too!! As far fights, I am reminded of Laksmi’s rivalry with Lord Shani deva. I believe, fighting amongst themselves as to who is better of the two, they went to Narada, the vedic sage with enlightening wisdom and wit, for a decision. Narada, looking at them , said, can’t decide from where you both are standing, so, ordered them to walk back a few yards . Again, undecided, orders them to come up a few yards. Yet undecided, orders them to go back a few yards, again . This spectacle of going up and down went on for a couple of times. Just as Shani deva was appearing to lose his cool, Narada gave his verdict, “while ‘going’, Shani looks good but while ‘coming’, Lakshmi looks good”!!
How true it is –while going, Shani really looks good and definitely the other way for Lakshmi—She looks good while coming !!
As far as assigning attributes to the divine, well, humans are restricted by their own level of understanding and perspective.
Forgive them, oh Lord!!