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Devotee v/s Scholar

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SahasranamaM

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SahasranamaM

Joined: 07 August 2012

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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 2:18am | IP Logged
Dear Friends,

This is my first discussion topic in Mytho Masti. Being a newbie, I haven't gone through many of the old hot discussions that have taken place here. So please forgive if this topic is a re post or a similar thread is already running in MM. Discussions that took place in OMG and mockery threads inspired me to start this topic.

I have been asking this question since long..To everyone and to myself..!!! But I haven't heard something that gives a proper justification on the same. For the time being and sake of this discussion, let us leave the atheist/agnostic/monotheistic thoughts..Let us view through the perspective of a common person-who believes in gods/deities of his own religion.


SO,Whom do you think is a real devotee/the one who is more favorite to the gods?

1. A person who visit temples very often, follow all rituals and rules, chant prayers or mantras, listen to the devotional speeches on TV, participate in all related activities ( In short, a true, sincere devotee), but not aware of the puranas, vedas, upanishads or anything related to his or her religion.

2. A person who rarely visit temples, who doesn't involve in any of such activities, doesn't practice day to day rituals but a good scholar who is well versed with the puranas, vedas and others, who study it, respect it and is conservative towards all the elements related to his particular religion.


As far as  I am concerned, I might fall under the 2nd category. I visit temples may be once or twice in a month. But doesn't have the habit of going to temples on all auspicious days. Many of my friends/relatives used to ask: "Today is Janmashtami/ Vijayadashami/ Onam/New year...aren't you going to the temple?" I may not..because I don't feel like going on that particular day. Maybe I wouldn't feel the ambiance of god within a big noisy mob.  Also, I have heard many of them warning: "Pray before you are going to do something important" . And unfortunately if that particular mission was a failure, they would blame like  " we always used to say that you need to have a fear towards god. Take our advise and think of god. If you had done,  you could have succeeded in your mission"..!!!  But I don't consider god as someone who is authorized to manage our day to day activities prompt and safe. I will pray for sure, I will tell him my wishes..but definitely won't put any demands/conditions.

On the other hand, have seen the same devoted people are not even aware that Nakul and Sahadev aren't the sons of Kunti or Urmila is the wife of Lakshman. And they may not promote their kids sitting much on religious books/watching mytho serials on TV. They may even laugh at mockeries of Sita abduction or Disrobing of Draupadi.


So what's your take on it? A ritualistic devotee or a conservative pauranic scholar?

Edited by SahasranamaM - 28 October 2012 at 2:38am

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bhakti2

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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 8:52pm | IP Logged
You have posed such an interesting question.  In a way, though, it is quite "black and white" in its approach. I wonder if perhaps God (however you see God) is perhaps a bit more subtle in how he works in and among us.

Perhaps those who go to the temple feel they can this way "plug in" spiritually - that is, feel that they have the pulse of the spiritual coursing through them by connecting in this place.

Perhaps those who pore over the Veds find their connection in this way.

Will God make a choice between these two approaches, or, even more, amongst all the thousands of approaches the world over from all of us bhakts trying so hard just to touch the tips of his feet in terms of our understanding?

I think it maybe is not a question of God choosing the right approach from among ours, but of us doing our best in whatever way we can to be aware of the divine that courses through us, everyone else, and every atom of the universe.

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SahasranamaM

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SahasranamaM

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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 10:48pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by bhakti2

You have posed such an interesting question.  In a way, though, it is quite "black and white" in its approach. I wonder if perhaps God (however you see God) is perhaps a bit more subtle in how he works in and among us.

Perhaps those who go to the temple feel they can this way "plug in" spiritually - that is, feel that they have the pulse of the spiritual coursing through them by connecting in this place.

Perhaps those who pore over the Veds find their connection in this way.

Will God make a choice between these two approaches, or, even more, amongst all the thousands of approaches the world over from all of us bhakts trying so hard just to touch the tips of his feet in terms of our understanding?

I think it maybe is not a question of God choosing the right approach from among ours, but of us doing our best in whatever way we can to be aware of the divine that courses through us, everyone else, and every atom of the universe.



Dear Bhakti,

Thanks for the first reply..Clap
And thank god that you understood what I meant. I was sitting at my office and faced a similar situation yesterday. So just scribbled whatever I thought. Wasn't bothered whether I was able to convey it properly.

Yes. It really a tough Q..Will god make a choice..!
A youth who daily visits a Krishna temple with his prayers and offerings. Maybe he will go to college and tease his flirtatious friend by calling him 'Krishna'!!

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visrom

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visrom

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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 10:54pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by SahasranamaM




SO,Whom do you think is a real devotee/the one who is more favorite to the gods?

1. A person who visit temples very often, follow all rituals and rules, chant prayers or mantras, listen to the devotional speeches on TV, participate in all related activities ( In short, a true, sincere devotee), but not aware of the puranas, vedas, upanishads or anything related to his or her religion.

2. A person who rarely visit temples, who doesn't involve in any of such activities, doesn't practice day to day rituals but a good scholar who is well versed with the puranas, vedas and others, who study it, respect it and is conservative towards all the elements related to his particular religion. 

 
IMO I wouldn't call either of these 2 a genuine Bhakta just because they are doing this.
 
I had long back posted a story of Narad and Vishnu. Its here...
 
 
 
A real devotee is one who has faith in God and does his duties sincerely. There's no need to visit temple every day, chant prayers or be a great scholar well versed in puranas. Even without these  one can still be a great devotee.
 
Learning puranas comes out of one's own interest. But if someone is so busy with daily routine and has no time to learn the puranas, s/he can still be a great bhakta just by devotion in his/her heart.
 
 
 


Edited by visrom - 28 October 2012 at 10:56pm

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SahasranamaM

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SahasranamaM

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Posted: 28 October 2012 at 11:22pm | IP Logged
Dear Visrom, Thanks for the reply. Yes. That is correct. A true devotee is what you said just now. But that was why I had mentioned..let us leave all those aspects. Consider the common men only. What I meant was that a person who is a devotee and regular visitor to temples may not have the same respect towards the stories/art forms related to his god. Just like I cited the above example of Krishna.

Originally posted by visrom

Originally posted by SahasranamaM




SO,Whom do you think is a real devotee/the one who is more favorite to the gods?

1. A person who visit temples very often, follow all rituals and rules, chant prayers or mantras, listen to the devotional speeches on TV, participate in all related activities ( In short, a true, sincere devotee), but not aware of the puranas, vedas, upanishads or anything related to his or her religion.

2. A person who rarely visit temples, who doesn't involve in any of such activities, doesn't practice day to day rituals but a good scholar who is well versed with the puranas, vedas and others, who study it, respect it and is conservative towards all the elements related to his particular religion. 

 
IMO I wouldn't call either of these 2 a genuine Bhakta just because they are doing this.
 
I had long back posted a story of Narad and Vishnu. Its here...
 
 
 
A real devotee is one who has faith in God and does his duties sincerely. There's no need to visit temple every day, chant prayers or be a great scholar well versed in puranas. Even without these  one can still be a great devotee.
 
Learning puranas comes out of one's own interest. But if someone is so busy with daily routine and has no time to learn the puranas, s/he can still be a great bhakta just by devotion in his/her heart.
 
 



Edited by SahasranamaM - 28 October 2012 at 11:22pm

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bhakti2

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bhakti2

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Posted: 29 October 2012 at 5:13pm | IP Logged
I went to link and read the story you had posted @Visrom - it is really great.  I too had been told a very similar story in childhood - one where Lord Vishnu ask Narad to carry a deepa around the cottage in the high winds without letting the flame to extinguish.  As in the other tale, Narad must work so hard to keep the flame alight that he forgets to chant "Narayan, Narayan."  Lord Vishnu explains that the average human being is working so hard just to keep life going each day that pausing to remember the Lord is an act of devotion.  

I absolutely loved this story, too, and have always kept it close to my heart. Ironically, as I grew up, I found that japping and chanting actually helped me to concentrate and work better in life - so if I had been asked to carry the deepa I would have ended up "Ram Ram Ram" - ing the whole way round the cottage!  This is also how I get through my days - I do call for help and have never been left wanting.

Does not Krishna say to Arjun that anyone practicing any faith or even acting with dharm, in any land, in any way, all those would come to him in the end?  This is the very essence os God - I do not necesarily think he even meant that they would necessarily come to "him", Krishna, as Arjun beheld him, but they would all come, in the end, to that loving universal Om. 

And as for smilingly calling the college boy a "Krishna"...I think Krishna himself would have applauded!  After all, he was the first one to make a joke.  In a universe like this, even God needs a healthy sense of humour!

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Posted: 29 October 2012 at 5:30pm | IP Logged
Nice discussion, Nandan!
 
I don't have time for a big reply now so I'll come back later, but in my opinion the true devotee is one whose heart is geared towards God. Whether he goes to a temple or reads scriptures, nothing is of use if there is pride and arrogance in their heart. Their heart must be pure and pious, and they must be aware of God in everything they do, say, and think. Only then can they be called a t rue devotee.

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bhakti2

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bhakti2

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Posted: 29 October 2012 at 7:09pm | IP Logged
Btw - Is there truly someone who laugh at Sita haran or Draupadi disrobing??  That is most horrible.

If this were the case, I would say it is this person to whom God might speak sternly hai na? No matter how many temple bells they are ringing at exam times.

He most certainly loves you already, as you have raised this question in the first place, showing your wonder about him (or her) (or ?).

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