Monday, April 6, 2015

The Concepts of Deity and Divinity: Should I Cling to My Past Glories or Should I Change?

A sense of pride envelopes me whenever  I get a chance to observe the vast cultural and religious heritage of my country, India.

India is Hindustan (हिन्दुस्थान), the place of the oldest and the most cosmopolitan religion on earth, the Hinduism.

It is perhaps older than the Hebrew religion (Judaism), the other religion which the earth historians consider as existent from the days of the presently existing recorded history on earth.

I have also reason to consider that India had been the cradle where mankind originated almost a million years ago. I had written about it in some earlier blog articles.

The ancient texts of Hinduism, such as the Vedic literature and the many epics and the variety of architectural delights of Hindu temples in the north and south India detail the adventures of the numerous deities of the Hindu pantheon. These are the rich cultural heritage of the mixed peoples of India providing  much insights in to the details of human evolution with regard human civilization and religious practices. 

Some time ago, I had an opportunity to see some very famous Hindu temples located in South India, precisely, the Rajarajeswara Temple of Tanjavur and the Madurai Meenakshi Temple of Madurai, both in Tamil Nadu State. (I am not writing much about the history and the details of these temples. You may read those in Wikipedia. by clicking the linked names)

     Tanjavur Big Temple-View from road                               Tanjavur Brihadeswara Temple-Entrance

I keep wondering about the complex  manner in which the deity and divinity concepts have instigated the human mind to such extreme artistic,  sculptural and architectural creativity that could be seen in these Hindu cultural legacy. It is not that it has not taken shape in other regions or civilizations. It could be seen elsewhere as well. But yet, what we see in India is really astonishing when one try to figure out the circumstances through which the individuals of the past worked to result these marvels of human creativity.

   Brihadeswara Temple inside view                            Big Idol of Nandi inside Brihadeswara temple

They cause me to think. And I keep doing so and the thoughts compel me to seek answers to the varied aspects of human progress not only those physical, but also those concerned with the progress of human mind and spirit. I am quite relieved that my favorite book of life guidance has much to teach me in this context. 

      Brihadeswara Temple inside view            Big Idol of Nandi inside Brihadeswara temple              

Now a prominent question that come to my mind. Should the pride that I feel about my culture and its ancient legacy be allowed to hamper my own personality progress and onward evolution in mind and spirit? 

   Brihadeswara Temple inside view-Layout Map                     Brihadeswara Temple-Carved stone Inscriptions 

Should I consider the pinnacle of ancient glory as my bench mark and be contented with that or strive to go back to it? Shouldn't I try to learn from the past and move forward?

      Madurai Meenakshi Temple-Inside view       Madurai Meenakshi Temple-Inside view

Should I return back to the old? Should I consider all good old things as gold? 

Should I change my deity and divinity concepts in mind as I progress in the physical realms? Should I create conflicts in body, mind and spirit by restraining some parts of me from progressive evolution?

I have been just thinking.

Does such a thought come to your mind?

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