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Is this irreligious?

Jaldhar Vyas <jvyas@ritz.mordor.com> wrote:
|> > Most people in this age are irreligious, and thus if you see meat-eating, 
|> > it should be understood that this is part of the aformentioned moral 
|> > degeneration. 
|> But the Bengalis in question eat meat after offering it to Durga.  This 
|> is not irreligiousity unless you consider the worship of Durga to be 
|> irreligious.  Do you?
|> -- Jaldhar

To begin with, there is a problem with word for word translation from 
Sanskrit to English.

In sanskrit, we have the words, 'bhagavan' and 'devata'. 

The closest mach for 'bhagavan' is God, but for 'devata', there is no one 
word, that is why Srila Prbhupada used the word "demigod" for 'devata' 
which has its roots in the Judeo-Christian religions, however it does exists 
in the english dictionaries.  

The word 'bhagavan' is never used in the plural sense/form in _any_ Vedic 
scriptures. In fact the very idea of God turns absolutely meaningless as 
soon as someone says "Gods".  One ignorant person (pseudo follower of advaita) 
however tried to convince me once that Supreme doesn't mean Uniquely Supreme. 
We dismiss *any* such claim as arrant nonsense since it is contrary to both 
scriptures AND reason. 

However, the scriptures say that there are many 'devatas', actually the 
number given is 330 million!  The logic is that for every function in the 
material world, there is a presiding deity, i.e. a 'devata'. 

Shiva, Parvati (aka Durga, Kali, Devi, etc.), Ganesha (obviously, being the 
son of Shiva and Parvati), Indra, Brahma, et. al. are 'devata'.  

NO Vedic scripture (Vedas, Upanisadas, Puranas, Vedanta-sutra, and the two 
itihas - Ramayana and Mahabharat) ever say that Shiva or Parvati or Ganesha 
etc. have anything to do with what is beyond the three lokas 'tri-lokas', 
i.e. their status as 'devatas' is confirmed. They are **NOT** 'bhagavan. 

A lot of people mistakenly translate both 'bhagavan' and 'devata' as God. On 
s.c.i.t. one ignorant person once said that in the Indian system, there are 
330 million Gods!!!! 

Durga (who is maya, i.e. the para-shakti of the Purushottama - Supreme Lord) 
is infact the chief/head deity/devata of the tri-lokas and can award any 
material (read "mundane") benediction, and for that reason, some of the 
scriptures (even Puranas) do infact call her 'bhavani' i.e. the goddess of the 
three plenetary system, which are, (1) 'swarga-lokas' -- the upper plenetary 
system, (2) 'madhya/mritu-lokas' -- the middle plenetary system (includes the 
earth, and (3) 'patala-lokas' -- the lower plenetary system (aka Hell :-)).  

There is **NO** contridiction in the Vedic scriptures as to the status of 
'bhagavan' -- the Absolute Truth and 'devatas' unless you want to fabricate 
one out of your imagination by twisting the meaning of some verse or simply 
spreading the rumor that so and so said that such and such Purana tell that 
Durga or Ganesha etc is 'bhagavan'. Period. 

Both advaita and dvaita schools agree that there is something beyond these  
three worlds (lokas). 

Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, 8.16  

        "From the highest planet (Brahmaloka) in the material world (universe 
	 - lokah) down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein 
	 repeated birth and death takes place. But one who attains to My 
	 abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again."

There are also verses in the Upanisads which confirm this. 

So, the ritual of worshiping Durga and Shiva etc. is authorized in some of 
the scriptures for people aspiring for material elevation, therefore such 
stuff falls under the category of 'karma-kanda'. 

However, Lord Krishna (Purushottama, Veda Vyasa was intelligent enough to 
precede the sections where He speeks with 'Sri Bhagavan uvacha') says: 

9.23	"Those who are devotees of demigods (anya-devata) and who worship 
	 them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but 
	 they do so in a wrong way (avidhi-purvakam)."  

Note the words 'anya-devata' and 'avidhi-purvakam'. 

So coming back to your point <huff-puff>, "unless you consider the worship 
of Durga to be irreligious.  Do you?" 

We do not consider the worship of Durga to be irreligious as such HOWEVER 
since Bhagavan Himself told that such acts are 'avidhi-purvakam', we say 
that it is against the process, i.e. it is on the edge of what is 
religious and irreligious. 

By following the karma-kanda section of the Vedic scriptures (including 
worship of Durga), one can move up and down within the three worlds, but 
since they are all places of misery, a wise person would want to get out 
of it, so it is natural that such a person who has understood what is what 
will dismiss karma-kanda as foolish (as it causes bondage of the soul) and 
can even call it "irreligious" and be technically correct. 

And, the Bengalis (and others) who eat meat (even after offering to Kali or 
any other 'devata') are *grossly foolish*. Most of such people are either 
unaware of the fact that there is somthing beyond the three worlds (evident 
by their considering the 'devatas' as God) OR don't have complete faith in 
jnana-kanda sections of the scriptures. One person even said to me once that 
he believes in God, however he also believes that he is enjoying here in this 
world so he doesn't want to go to what is beyond that what we see since he 
has no idea what would it be like to be there! 
|> But the Bengalis who eat meat worship Devi who doesn't have such 
|> scruples.  So there is nothing wrong with it unless you are saying there 
|> is something wrong with worshipping Devi in which case how do you explain 
|> Gita 17:4 Note it says Devan not Krshnan.

That is very smart of you trying to teach us what is there in the Bhagavad 
Gita, however, in the next 45 seconds, you will discover that it what not 
all that smart a manoeuvre. 

17.4	"Men in the mode of goodness worship the demigods (devan); those in 
	 the mode of passion worship the deamons; and those in the mode of 
	 ignorance worship ghosts and spirits."   

7.13	"Deluded by the three modes (tribhir-guna-mayaih), the whole world 
	 does not know Me, who am above the modes (ebhyah) and inexhaustible 

7.20	"Those whose intelligence has been stolen (hrta-jnanah) by material 
	 desires (kamaih) surrender unto demigods (anya-devatah) and follow 
	 the particular rules and regulations of worship according to there 
	 own nature."   

7.23    "Men of small intelligence (alpa-medhasam) worship the demigods 
	 (devan), and their fruits a limited and temporary. Those who worship 
	 the demigogs go to the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach 
	 My Supreme abode." 

14.20	"When the embodied being is able to transcend (atitya) these three 
	 modes (tri-gunas), he can become free from birth, death, old age 
	 and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life." 

If you cannot laugh on yourself, come over here, we are doing it for you. 

Manish Tandon 

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