Anjan: Pranaam Guruji, I would like to know if Temples are not mentioned in the Vedas, is it unnecessary to go to temples? Some people say that vigraha aradhana should not be conducted at home because it requires lot of purity at home and one should be consistent in doing so or else there will be a negative impact if not continued. They we must go to temples so that the radiation from the vigraha is very much concentrated there and we will get better effect than praying at home alone. Please spread light on this subject, Guruji.
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. As per Vedas, there is only one Formless, Almighty, Omnipresent God who creates, nurses and destroys the universe. So, idol worship is not possible as per Vedas. God being formless and omnipresent. In this connection, I also paste my article as under-
Idol worship is not mentioned in Vedas
If an aspirant will concentrate over mouth of idol then for sometime he will concentrate on chin, nose, head etc., but concentration on one point will not be achieved. Secondly, Vedas do not preach to concentrate outside the body. Yog shastra sutra 3/1 also states, “DESHBANDHASYA CHITTASYA DHARNA” i.e., concentrate on a point of body like agyachakra, tip of the nose or heart. So we cannot go against the ved-shastras. Yes, idol worship has been started within two thousand and five hundred years. That is why, Vedas do not tell for idol worship but if people desire, they can go ahead.
Pictures, drawings etc., may not be considered idols but it is an art and not worship of God. We must know that knowledge of Vedas emanates direct from God and idol worship has been made by human beings. So now we have to decide whether we obey God or human beings. If we still follow the path made by humans then no problem, one must go ahead. On the other hand, follower of Vedas must continue his own path.
In four Vedas, the media to realize the God has been stated as –
Study of Vedas under guidance of acharya which is a real media and as mentioned in the Vedas, one has to follow the preach mentioned therein viz., performance of Yajyen, name jaap of God , regular contact with learned acharya of Vedas, ashtang Yoga Practice under his guidance etc. The said media is stated by God Himself in Vedas. Man, an artist, clay and every matter right from straw to sun, moon, air, space etc., is the creation of God. It thus concludes that we have to worship and realize the creator and we must not be attracted towards creation. Attraction is the task of senses, perceptions and mind which is destroyed but the creator is immortal. No other media is stated in Vedas except the human body through which the said worship is done by a Yogi, Rishi-muni or aspirant.
Vedas-shastras state that God is omnipresent and according to Yajurveda mantra 40/6 it is true but other mantras state that God is “Ninnaya” that is hidden in the universe and we have to locate the hidden God and not the visible, non-alive matters of the world.
T.V., radios etc., all articles are man-made and controlled by some mechanism. And examples of man-made mechanism are actually not applied on Almighty, omnipresent God. Any mechanism, for example- rocket launching , launching of satellites etc., involves the mind of a man and mind has limited power otherwise mind could have searched the hidden Almighty God also but Vedas state that mind, intellect , senses etc., have limited power and God is beyond imagination , beyond description, beyond calculation. That is why, our ancient Rishis, Rajrishis practised Vedic path that is did practice of Ashtang Yoga Philosophy, yajyen etc.
As such they exercised control over mind, intellect, senses etc. A Yogi when makes the mind dead etc., and forgets even himself (soul) then he realizes the God. This eternal Vedic path of Yoga philosophy has been very well preached by Rishi Patanjali in his Yog Shastra.
God is not a matter to be seen with eyes. So how can He be seen alone in everything with the destructive eye?
Ego is not one-sided matter. If there is ego, neither a formless God is realized nor difference between idol or formless God is established. It is ego that most of the people respect the idol worship as well as formless God’s worship mentioned in Vedas but when an aspirant follows the Vedas, his mind becomes stable, then he only accepts worship of formless God and not others. Whereas, the worshipper who worships idol, he accepts formless God also i.e., he cannot ignore Vedas and can not accept one path alone. We must deeply think over it that why is it so?
God being formless has not preached regarding any of His substitute or symbol, so the aspirant who knows Vedic philosophy accepts the God’s preach accordingly. When God in four Vedas, has not stated about His mark or representative then how the follower would accept the same? Vedas have been preaching the formless worship as quoted above eternally whereas the worship of idol has been made for the last about two thousand five hundred years ago by the human-beings. So there is difference of worship of formless God and idol.
Idol worship is the worship where the sentiments and emotions of heart are involved and all the said involvements are man-made as well as destructible. How a mind/intellect having limited power can dig out the Almighty, formless, hidden God from the creation? God is Almighty i.e., He has unlimited powers whereas soul who is being assisted by mind, intellect and senses etc., has limited power.
Yajurveda mantra 1/5 and Rigveda mantra 3/56/1 states that even God cannot transgress His rules. So how can God be transformed according to our emotions and be forced to accept our sentiments which are not according to His laws of nature.
All Vedas state that His laws of creation remain unchangeable. So there is no value of our sentiments etc., contrary to His rules and regulations. In the said Rigveda mantra, God strictly states “that all mountains, seas, rivers and even the Yogis who have realized Him (God) are incapable to change His rules and regulations and the way of worship etc.” So our self-made worship, emotions and sentiments etc., are of no use until these are according to Vedas.
As regards flag, yes it is invaluable not only for soldiers but for countrymen as well. However, the flag of each country is different. Will any other countryman sacrifice his life for our Tiranga? We, the Indians are enough to sacrifice our lives to maintain the dignity of our adorable Tiranga. So flags are different, the countries being different but God is one and only one for entire universe. So worldly example in the matter of formless, Almighty God is not applicable, please.
Also the matter of image being very clear to the devotee when it speaks to him in his own language of devotion, forces a learned man to say that the said speech between his mind and soul is worldly speech and even destructible whereas when a Yogi realizes God, he is completely unable to speak, hear, see, smell, eat, think etc. In this connection, the description of Yog shastra sutra 4/30,31, 32 pertaining to Dharmamegh Samadhi refers.
Yes, only currency notes are valuable. Similarly the Yogis –like Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj, Sri Ram, Vyas muniji, Guru Vasishth, Atri Rishi, Patanjali Rishi and the present Yogis-Rishis –Munis who have realized God, following the Vedic path are valuable. The stamp of beloved God is everywhere that is in sky, water, vegetation, in each living being etc. But as far as worship is concerned then the follower of Vedas only worships formless God who creates, nurses and destroys the universe, alone being Almighty. He is Almighty, therefore, He doesnot need any assistance from anyone.
This is never forgotten that the image has been brought from Jaipur etc., so if one can worship an image then why can’t one worship all pervading, omnipotent, omniscient, merciful God, who is the source of everything, who is eternal, unchangeable, life of life and soul of soul etc. Why do we change Him from being unchangeable to changeable idol?
Practice makes man perfect. So the beginner will get the sanskar (effect) on his chitta of idol worship and the same will never be omitted again. Secondly, according to the Vedas idol worship is not authentic. You see, there is no shape of soul. Atharvaveda mantra 10/8/25 states that size of soul is less than the tip of hair i.e., soul is the minutest matter which remains unseen. But when an aspirant tries to know about the soul, he knows based on qualities. We know about a person according to the description of his qualities- good or bad. Accordingly, we know Ravanna, King Harishchandra etc., based on their bad and good qualities respectively. So is the case of formless God. God has given His description/His divine qualities in Vedas only. After studying the Vedas, we first know the God based on Shabda Brahma i.e., ved mantras. Thereafter, when we worship Him according to Vedas, we attain Samadhi and realize Him. This fact has also been mentioned in Shantiparv of Mahabharat wherein Bheeshma tells Yudhishthir that Oh! Yudhishthir, he who gets perfection in ved mantras first, then he realises God.
When Formless, Almighty God has not stated in any ved about the idol worship then how will He be pleased by idol worship? Yajurveda mantra 32/3 states “NA TASYA PRATIMA ASTI” i.e., God cannot be measured. So there cannot be any idol of God because He is immeasurable. However, if people get peace in following idol worship, they may continue. Here I am only discussing the fact of Vedas.
Touching of hand and body etc., is materialistic matter which can only please mind, intellect through skin but it can’t be quoted in respect of Formless, Almighty God.
Whole world can be considered as the body of God but in reality God does not have body because God is alive whereas world is non-alive matter. So God is separate and world is separate. God remains immortal whereas world is destructible.
The image will be destroyed one day but not God. When there is no body of God then how will we be able to offer flowers, sandal wood paste, food etc., to Him.
Yajurveda mantra 40/8 states God to be the purest and He needs not to be purified by bathing, changing clothes and applying sandal wood paste etc. It is an idol or body of human-being which requires purification again and again.
External form of worship will strengthen the idol only because we will be singing, describing the attributes of idol/creation and not to Formless God. If we in the beginning are not able to judge the true, divine qualities of formless God then our love and faith will remain unstable.
Such aspirant will only feel nearness to the idol and not formless God who is already within him and who already resides the nearest to the soul i.e., within the soul.
We will have to study the Vedas which state that idol worship is not permitted by God. Yet, if an aspirant wants to worship an idol then I am telling again and again that he can go ahead at his own. On receipt of your e-mail, I am giving answer based on Vedic philosophy only that what Vedas say about idol worship. Vedas do not speak about idol worship and avtarwad. However, people are free to go ahead on their own and do whatever they like.
When I will see any art which is liked by soul through eye, definitely it will be admired and the scene which is disliked will be ignored. So if many people admire the idol of Ganesh sitting on conch, admiration is natural. As far as Vedas-shastras and other holy ancient books written by Rishis are concerned in the worship of formless God, spirit has no concern. Neither spirit exists nor has any concern with the worship of God.
Similarly, Vigraha aradhana is also not mentioned in Vedas except worship of formless God by doing daily Yajyen/havan with ved mantras, name jaap and practice of Yog philosophy under the guidance of a learned acharya. Vedas are self-proof so, the deeds, worship or any other matter which does not tally with Vedas is considered unauthentic and learned of Vedas never accept the same. In this connection, I paste my article as under-
REVERT BACK TO VEDAS
It is the essence of Vedic spiritualism that whenever an aspirant enters into it then learned acharya preaches him that Vedas are the divine voice of God, which by the power of God, are originated in the heart of four Rishis, at the beginning of each creation. Learneds who indulge in deep study of Vedas know that Vedas are alive knowledge which emanate directly from God and hence they have not been written by anyone on the earth, in the shape of a book. Since, the said knowledge is applicable to all humans right from the beginning of earth hence Vedas are not sects.
Infact, Kapil Muni, after traditionally studying Vedas and realising the truth after hard practice of Ashtang Yog, also states the said truth in his Sankhya shastra sutra 5/51 that Vedas are alive knowledge hence ved mantras wield the power and self-capability to make such faithful aspirants, who are involved in deep and sincere study of Vedas, to understand the meaning and idea of ved mantras. This is the reason that Kapil Muni states that Vedas are self-proof to justify the truth. To elaborate, knowledge given in ved mantra or any fact stated through ved mantras does not require to be validated/authenticated by other shastras or any other book [but like our Rishi-Munis, Rajrishis
and their public used to study Vedas traditionally with faith and sincere efforts, process being the Vedic order of Almighty God, for all human-beings, the said practice is not in vogue at present
times].God knows when inhabitants of India would be able to adopt the said moral duties, entrusted by God, of studying and following the Vedas, which destroys all the effects of sorrows and makes our future bright with long life and also spreads international brotherhood along with other unlimited benefits.
Secondly, universe has been created about one Arab, ninety six crore, eight lakhs, fifty three thousand and one hundred and thirteen years ago.
So, logically, Vedas have also been created at this time-period. Rishi-Munis acquired Vedas’ knowledge by listening to Vedas traditionally from acharya and did agnihotra/yajyen, name jaap of God and Ashtang yog practice as preached in Vedas. In turn, they realised God and got the knowledge by doing pious deeds while leading the family life, making their future happy and bright, according to Vedas. Then they further educated people about the same because it has been
the benevolent nature of every learned person, who gains Vedic knowledge and experiences, divine pleasure, to share it with others. About five-six thousand years ago, Rishis wrote six shastras,
upnishads, Mahabharat (including Bhagwad Geeta) and Valmiki Ramayan much before all these books, based on the knowledge of Vedas. All these great writers – the Rishis, have eulogised Vedas in their literary works and based on their experience have admitted that Vedas are the divine voice of God.
That is why, Kapil Muni in his Sankhya shastra sutra 1/66 and Patanjali Rishi in his Yog shastra sutra 1/7 have shared their experience to educate us that the preach of any Rishi (Mantradrishta
Rishi) is also considered as a proof to reach at truth. And also the holy books written by the Rishis based on Vedic culture are also considered as proof called ‘Partah Pramann’, Vedas being Swatah
Pramann. Is it not our bad luck that the said secrets of Vedas are now mostly unknown to people and at this juncture, so called preach of any modern saint (sant who is against the Vedas) which does not tally with Vedic culture and which is definitely considered by learned of Vedas as totally false/unauthentic, is being accepted happily by the innocent public? If we consider impartially then we would find that the said matter is definitely harmful to the society, being against the Vedas because it does not come within the parameter of Vedic authenticity. Now, question is that who will bell the cat?
Duly indulged in illusion and mostly intention being after the materialistic articles etc., hardly anybody spares the time to study the literary works of Rishis like Upnishads, Shastras, Nighantu,
Ashtadhyayee, Shatpath Brahmin Granth and above quoted holy books which contain abundant proofs of ved mantras. Hence, when one will fail to study these great literary works of Rishis, under the guidance of learned acharya of Vedas. Then naturally anyone will cast doubt over the Vedas which implies non-awareness of Vedic knowledge. Nowadays, people study the so-called spiritual books written by ordinary people but not those written by Rishis. It shall not out of place to mention here that Atharvaveda mantra 7/105/1 preaches us to study Vedas or to study the spiritual books written by Rishi-Munis. The mantra strongly stresses not to study such books which are written by ordinary people. This secret has been made unknown to the public by several saints, that Vedas, Yajyen and yogabhyas are difficult and need not to be studied/performed. People do not know that God states to study Vedas and perform daily agnihotra/Yajyen, name jaap of God and practice of Ashtang yog under the expert guidance of learned acharya.
Due to ignorance of the same, people are not able to understand that they are doing sins by not obeying the God’s order of studying Vedas and doing yajyen etc. On the other hand, they are accepting the juicy lecture of saints, who are against the Vedas and who are mostly professional. Moreover, all the present sects along with their pious books have emerged about two thousand to two thousand and five hundred years ago. As compared to this, Vedas have been on this earth since
One Arab, ninety six crore, eight lakhs, fifty three thousand and one hundred and thirteen years ago. As mentioned above, Vedas are not a book. That is why, it has become difficult to repose faith in Vedas, in the absence of deep study under guidance of learned acharya of Vedas and Ashtang Yog.
Yet, it is a well-known fact spread by the tapasvis, Rishis-Munis by their preach and above quoted spiritual books that Vedas are eternal and immortal knowledge which emanate directly from God. This fact is even supported by renowned scientists like Maxmuller and many others who believe in authenticity of Vedas. It is further a well-known fact that Vedas have been preserved in world libraries with respect and honour, accepting Vedas as first and the most ancient literature. I mean to say that Vedas are the first knowledge which came on the earth. It was spread orally through the tradition of acharya and disciple, right from the beginning of the earth, as mentioned above.
So, Vedas were remembered by heart by everyone. About five thousand three hundred years ago, for the first time, Vyas Muniji, who himself remembered the Vedas by heart traditionally, wrote them on Bhojpatra for the benefit of mankind. He completed the said pious task on the day of poornnima, about five thousand three hundred years ago. Since, then the poornnima has been named and remembered as Vyas Poornnima. Further, when printing press came into existence in sixteenth century, the Vedas written on Bhoj patra by Vyas Muniji were printed in the form of book which is called “Samhita” and not ved. Samhita means collection of ved mantras which has been printed. Half of the intellectuals of the world believe Vedas to be the divine voice of God and yet half of the intellectuals believe that Vedas have been written by some great scientist who has no parallel to himself in the entire world. But learned of Vedas know that God is the scientist of all scientists and no one is born even equivalent to such God nor shall be born in future. Then what to talk about being above the God. It is also pertinent to mention here that eighteen chapters of Bheeshma parv of Mahabharat have been secluded, named and printed as Bhagwad Geeta. Infact, Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj has praised and eulogised Vedas in Bhagwad Geeta. The above stated facts are known only to learned of Vedas. The saints who are ignorant of the knowledge of Vedas are naturally ignorant of the Vedas’ knowledge contained in Bhagwad Geeta and are therefore compelled not to explain the shloka of Bhagwad Geeta, briefly and truly wherein the reference and truth of Ved mantras exists. Why? Because they have not studied Vedas.
However, most of the present literary works and most of the saints are reiterating the fact that Vedas are divine voice of God. In this connection, Almighty, omnipresent, formless God has already stated in Atharvaveda mantra 12/5/40 that those who do not study Vedas but take a piecemeal (portion) of Ved mantras, only which suits them, by means of studying other books etc., or listening from anywhere else [not based on traditional study of Vedas] will be punished by me (God). Isn’t it surprising that yet no one is taking the initiative to study Vedas. On the contrary, those deeds which are against the Vedas and promote blind faith are being done on large scale. To experience the truth, we will have to revert back to Vedas.
Hari: Swami ji Namashkar, Maine apki ek book me padha ki asli Mahabharat me 1000 shlok the aur samay k sath wahi Mahabharath ko badal kar aj hamare samane rakh diya gaya hai.. apse prarthna hai ki kripya hume asli Mahabharath ki copy kaha se prapt ho ye batayein.
Swami Ram Swarup: Namaskarji. Mahabharat Granth mein 1000 nahin 10,000 shudh shloka hain aur yeh Mahabharat Granth aapko M/S Vijay Kumar Hassanand, Nai Sadak, Delhi-110006. The website of M/S Vijay Kumar Hassanand is – www.vedicbooks.com ki shop se milega. Aap wahan patra vyavhar karein.
B S: Pujya Swamiji, Pranaam ! I would like to visit your ashram in Himachal Pradesh and the purpose is to learn about the basics of the Vedas, to participate in the hawans, to hear the pravachans etc., Swamiji Maharaj, Please inform me your availability at the ashram, the regular programmes etc., Pranaam!
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. You are always welcome here. To know the route, you are requested to make contact with the indicated disciple.