Aniq: Hi Swamiji, Thanks for answer one more question Why in Hindus doing idol worship, why it is in only India,why 300 crores Gods?
Swami Ram Swarup: The eternal knowledge of Vedas does not preach idol worship. According to Vedas, there is only one formless, omnipresent, Almighty God who creates, Nurses and destroys the universe. The Vedas were in vogue upto Mahabharat war i.e., about five thousand three hundred years ago and at that time, there was no idol worship. Vedas knowledge started declining after Mahabharat war and due to lack of knowledge of Vedas, most of the public has made their own path of worship and thus idol worship started. In this connection, I also paste my article below-
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.
So in the end I again say that he who wishes to worship idol, he may go ahead at his own.
Vishal Kumar: Namaste Guruji, I have query that`(1) I am reading you book Gita Ek Vedic Rahasya Part 1, there you have mentioned many times Yudhistar & Yaksh conversation. So, Gruji who is Yaksh.(2) Do you think Dasarath was follower of Vedic Dharam because he had married with three woman. I am agree he was not Vyabhichari but why than three marriage. (3) My last query How can Sanajay see Mahabharata war happening miles away from him & Vyas Muni writing conversation between Arjuna & Krishna. Both Sanjay & Vyas Ji were not on spot of war. Please clarify my doubts, I will be grateful to you.
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you.
It is very clear view that a student in school, college or university are taught and accordingly they study their course books. Now, those students, who in class, while listening to the lecture of teacher, are unable to understand the lecture are told to put their problems/questions before their teachers. If students have not been taught and they’ve not read their book, they cannot put question before teacher.
Arjun had been listening and studying Vedas from Rishi-munis and when he could not think over his responsibility to take part in religious war of Mahabharat, he put forth questions to Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj. During the exile period, Yudhishthir, who was learned of Vedas, was asked some questions by Yaksha, based on his (Yudhishthir’s) capability.
In four Vedas also, questions are put and answers given accordingly. In Upnishad also the said eternal tradition has been followed. For example- In Prashnopnishad Sukesha, Satyakaam, Sauryayanni, Ashwalayan, Bhargava and Kabandi went to Maharishi Piplad to put question before him to clarify their spiritual doubts. In return, Piplad Rishi told them that you are tapasvis and have already studied Vedas by maintaining Brahamcharya. Yet, you stay in my ashram observing Brahamcharya while doing Tapasya.
Thereafter only, you can put questions before me, as per your discretion. The above quoted six aspirants obeyed Piplad Rishi’s instruction and stayed in his ashram for one year while observing brahamcharya and doing Tapasya (study of Vedas etc.) after completion of the period of one year, respectfully, they met Piplad Rishi and Piplad Rishi answered their questions. I mean to say, the aspirants/devotees should study Vedas-shastras, either by staying in their ashram or on their own, as their time permits. Then their question if answered by learned will be most beneficial to the aspirants and they would also be able to spread the Vedic knowledge to others without any doubt and in easy way.
2.) Regarding Dashrath, my article pasted below-
There is no statement in Vedas that any Rajrishi can marry more than one wife. Still, there is a statement that if progeny is not obtained then more than one wife can be had. I again paste my relevant article , below:-
Polygamy is not mentioned in Vedas therefore totally against the Vedic eternal path.
Second marriage should always be avoided, please. King Dashrath and Sri Krishna Maharaj etc., were like Rishis and they had controlled their senses, perceptions and mind and hence second marriage was not a problem for them because all matters of sensuality were completely controlled by them.
King Dashrath was a learned of vedas, his spiritual master Vasishth Muniji, who was philosopher of vedas and Yoga Philosophy lived along with King Dashrath, so there was no doubt that three marriages of King Dashrath were performed in consultation with Guru Vasishthji. So, being Rajrishi, king Dashrath could marry.
Yes, King Dashrath had three wives and he was an Arya. Vyabhichari is he who has wives and still goes after other females. Similarly, the wife is called Vyabhicharini, who has husband and yet goes after other males. King Dashrath was a real Arya and his three wives were Vidushi i.e., learned of Vedas and thus they were devoted, sincere wives (Pativarta) . Actually, we put the question for which we normally are not entitled. I mean to say, King Dashrath and his beloved son Ram were also learned of Vedas and even they maintain brahamcharya while living in married life.
Rishi Valmikiji has written Valmiki Ramayan wherein he has produced a wonderful, pious picture of king Dashrath, his wives, Sri Ram and his wife Mata Sita. You see, when a student studies in a school or college, he learns several subjects from his teacher. Whatever he learns from a teacher, he is only entitled to put question before his teacher to clarify his doubts.
Nowadays it is a problem that we do not study our culture, but puts any question/misunderstanding etc., I would therefore advise to please study Valmiki Ramayan commented by Paramhansa Jagdishwranand Saraswatiji, available with M/S Vijay Kumar Hassanand, Nai Sadak, Delhi-110006, if you desire.
Secondly, I would also advise you to listen my CD named Ram Katha based on Vedic culture, where in I have sung the pious qualities of Sri Ram and King Dashrath from Valmiki Ramayan. Then automatically we’ll bow before the said adorable dignitaries.
Vyabhicharis (sensuous/sinful persons) are those who nowadays do not obey and serve the parents and mostly are under the influence of wife. Sri Ram served parents and even public. King Dashrath served his parents and public faithfully.
On the earth, no one can tell any bad work done by adorable Sri Ram that is why I advise everyone to listen/study authentic Valmiki Ramayan.
In this connection, I would only say that King Dashrath got children when he was fifty-nine years of age. The reason of not having children earlier has not been mentioned in Valmiki Ramayan except that if King Dashrath would please Shringi Rishi and make Shringi Rishi agree to perform Vedic Yajyen to bless him (the King) with babies. So, there may be a case of not having early child from one wife or second wife and King Dashrath then got married to third wife also. Yet, when he did not get children then he prayed/pleased Shringi Rishi. Secondly, in Vedas the word ‘Neti, Neti, Neti’ has also been mentioned, the meaning of which is “This is not the end”. So, the knowledge which is not mentioned in Vedas could give relaxation in some cases as it is 100% correct, based on Valmiki Ramayan, written by Authentic Rishi that King Dashrath was not a characterless King who would marry with three wives.
Also, Dashrath’s father- in –laws were not ordinary person. They were also Kings and related to Royal warrior family. Their daughters – kaushlaya, kaikayee,Sumitra were vidushis, being learned of Vedas. So, the marriage to King Dashrath , definitely was settled first after thinking into the matter/circumstances.
So, we must strive to know pious qualities of King Dashrath and Sri Ram.
Ved mantra further tells that if the wife is corrupt then she can be turned out of the house and the person can obtain child from other woman.
It cannot be found out whether Vasishth Muni authorized Dashrath to marry three wives as Valmiki Ramayan does not throw light on the matter. However, as per Vedas, the order of a King is obeyed by the public (not by Rishi, if it is against Vedas).
Yes, it is not possible to dig out whether it is case of Niyog or keeping more than one wife because it is also not mentioned in Valmiki Ramayan.
Rishi/learned always bows before the Vedic rules and Vedic rules should be obeyed by all otherwise it is commission of sin.
No special case but circumstances. One thing is clear that anybody who goes against Vedas commits sins. However, a Yogi as stated in Brihadarnnyakopnishad 4/4/23 and Yog shastra sutra 4/32 is away from pious and impious deeds. Yet yogi always does pious deeds. One thing more, suppose, there are two persons. One has one wife and other has three or more wives, then who is benevolent and adorable. He who has one wife and commits always sins, quarrels always, takes non-vegetarian, wine , is a burden on society or he who has three or more wives but always follows Vedic path or discharges his duties faithfully and does always benevolent deeds etc. Will we get the worldly knowledge from him who has three wives and knows Vedas and follow Vedas path or from the above quoted person who has one wife. Keeping more than one wife, though being a deed against Vedas, will be then his personal matter and if there is a punishment in such task, he’ll have to face. Then there remains no scope of criticizing or putting questions against dignitary. There is also a saying that ‘One should always eye at the pious deeds of learned person and not on other situation, that is why, Upnishad states – Oh! disciples/public follow our good qualities only and not bad . Secondly, the Vedas tell to think about the present and not past and future because in that case, he’ll waste his time only and gain nothing. From the past only Vedic culture and the pious deeds of the dignitaries are learnt to follow and not his past history. That is why, Vedas donot contain any kind of history. So, the marriage of three wives by King Dashrath, maybe his own decision and if (may be not) he has done sin then under the guidance of his Guru Vasishth, he could have destroyed the sin. Vedic aspirant has to keep silent and should go ahead in his own path as stated in Yajurveda mantra 17/68 and 23/10, the aspirant should never creates problems for others, he has to deal with situation in loving manner by keeping silent and not to pursue matter before those who do not like it . Hence, aspirant should continue his Vedic path alone without expecting any support from others. So, in any circumstances, the whole world against Vedic path can be neglected but not Vedic path.
3.) According to Bhagwad Geeta 18/75, the story of Mahabharat was told by Vyas muniji to Sri Krishna Maharaj, in presence of Sanjay. After listening the story, Sanjay told it to King Dhritrashtra.