Manoj Goswami: Swamiji namaskar, I can not understand meaning of word “vikarma” which is from Geeta. Please give clarification on this word.
Swami Ram Swarup: Namaskarji. Vikarma are the deeds which are against the Vedas. Almighty God has not told us to do the deeds against the Vedas. To do the deeds according to the Vedas are called pious deeds and the deeds done against the Vedas are called impious deeds i.e., sins.
Monica: If idol worship is prohibited in Hinduism, then why every temple around have idols erected? Why our cultural activities revolve around idols? In that case should one not go to temples to worship?
Swami Ram Swarup: If we try to know the fact that the duration of the present universe uptil now is One Arab, ninety six crore, eight lakhs, fifty three thousands, one hundred and fourteen years and uptil now six manvantars have elapsed duration of which is pasted below in the article –
Manusmriti gives the proof in its chapter one that present time of the earth is 7th Manvantar. Uptil now 6 manvantar have passed. Those are Swayambhuva, Swarochish, Auttami, Tamas, Raivat and Chaakshush, now it is 7th manvantar, called Vaivasvat.
71 chaturyugi = 1 manvantar.
There are four yug – Satyug, Treta, Dwapur and Kaliyug.
Satyug = 17 lakhs 28 thousands years
Treta = 12 lakhs 96 thousands years
Dwapur = 8 lakhs 64 thousands years
Kaliyug = 4 lakhs 32 thousands years
The total of four Yugas comes to be 43 lakhs and 20 thousands years which is equal to one Chaturyugi. 71 Chaturyugi i.e., 30 crore 67 lakhs and 20 thousands years equal to one Manvantar and 6 Manvantar have yet passed whose calculation comes to one Arab 84 crore 30 lakhs and 20 thousands years. This is 7th Manvantar and 28 Chaturyugi and the present Kaliyug has passed its time of 5002 years. So, uptil now the age of the earth and Vedas is one Arab 96 crore 8 lakhs 53 thousands one hundred and eleven years. Bhagwad Geeta shlok 8/17 also says about this fact.
14 Manvantar= 1 Kalp.
You see, uptil said period only knowledge of four Vedas existed because present sects have originated within 2000-2500 years. It means, The calculation of people belonging to those 2,500 years would seem to be nothing in comparisiom to the people of above quoted time of creation i.e., about one Arab, ninety six crore, eight lakh, fifty three thousand years. Now, we come to know from ancient holy books like Mahabharat, Valmiki Ramayan etc., that people of ancient times who were following eternal vedic path were learned, happy, rich, satisfied, had control over senses, were honest i.e., had all extra-ordinary divine qualities because of the effect of Vedic knowledge in their life. There was no poverty, nobody could even think about any ill feeling towards females. There was no corruption, justice prevailed and no bad happenings existed at that time. It concludes that people of the ancient times were million times more in number than the people of present times. Our ancestors had good character etc., as quoted above, due to effect of Vedic knowledge alone. But at present, little bit public in comparison to ancient times, have been doing idol worship against Vedas but have totally failed to attain the stage of our ancestors. We see, now the people are mostly not following Vedas’ path but are worshipping several Gods at their own but are not satisfied and have no peace, justice etc., etc. What is the use of doing idol worship or doing cultural activities etc., around idols. In the ancient times, nobody could pick any fault in the Vedic worship of God whereas several so-called saints have made idol worship as profession, to gain luxurious life and source of immoral activities, etc.
Study of ancient holy culture and Vedas concludes that Vedic worship controls the bad habits and educates the person to maintain Brahamcharya, to serve parents and elders, to educate person for hard-working, to maintain the life as simple living and high thinking, to educate devotees to be a ascetic and adoption of thousand’s of other divine qualities to become faithful to family, society and nation.
As regards to go to temple, everybody is free to worship at his own accord. This cannot be stopped by anybody else but when the question of Vedas arises then it will have to be told that Vedas do not promote Avtarwad and idol worship etc. Vedas tell to worship only one eternal, everlasting, Almighty, Omnipresent, unchangeable and unchallengeable, Formless God who creates, nurses and destroys the universe, based on Vedas. I also paste my articles 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.
God is only one who creates the universe and no other can create the universe except God. Please think deeply is any one except God empowered for creation, etc.? The pious qualities of God are unlimited whereas qualities of soul, which resides in human body, are limited. That is why He is God. This fact is also mentioned by Rishi Patanjali in his Yog shastra sutra 1/24, “KALEASHKARAMVIPAKASHYAIHI APRAMRISHTAHA PURUSHVISHESHAHA ISHWARAHA” i.e., He who is not indulged in any sorrows/sufferings (kalesh), in any kind of deed (karma) and result thereof (vipakya), He is supreme in souls and is called Ishwar (God), whereas, soul is indulged in all the said matters according to deeds done in previous, and in the present life. So this is also a difference between God and souls and therefore soul can never be God based on the different qualities.
Amongst unlimited qualities of God, few may be enumerated-that God creates, nurses and destroys the universe. God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent and Almighty, beyond description, beyond imagination, and beyond calculation. Nobody on the earth can deny such qualities, but these qualities are to be discussed and considered deeply and he who does the same is called MUNI as per Vedas and shastras.
Let us think over one quality of God – Being Almighty. Almighty means God has all powers and thus God, to control the universe and to do any kind of deed for the same, can not be dependent on another, at any cost, being Almighty. Again shastras say, which is a true saying too, that there must be reason behind for any creation, matter etc. God is a reason to create the universe. Parents are the reason to give birth to a child. Ravana took Sita forcefully which became a reason for war between Shri Ram and Ravana etc. So as per Vedas there must be a reason of avtar and after studying eternal knowledge of Vedas and thinking deeply, there seems no reason to take avtar by Almighty God. As in Yajurveda mantra 2/26, so is in Shwetashwataropnishad shlok 6/8 wherein it is mentioned that there is no reason to form a God and thus God is also formless i.e., nobody can make God but God creates universe from non-alive prakriti. Secondly the said Upnishad says that the deeds of God of creation, nursing, and destruction of universe are eternal, natural, and automatic. So naturally God needs no avtar to destroy Kalyug, earth, or devils etc., being Almighty i.e., God has all powers and is independent. Not God but only His powers are enough to control, create, nurse, destroy the universe. That is why Upnishad says that God has no desire to create etc., but it is eternal and natural and this sort of desire is named “IKSHAN” and not desire to create etc.
Suppose God has to kill a devil and He takes avtar and God kills the devils by arrow etc. It means God is not Almighty and independent because God has taken help of Avtar (Human body) and arrow, gun, etc., which is impossible.
This all I have told based on fundamental law of eternal knowledge of four Vedas. Yet if anybody says about avtar then it is their own views and they are satisfied with their views and can not be commented because they could have been realizing at their own but so far as eternal knowledge of Vedas is concerned, Avtar is not possible.
Yajurved mantra 27/36 also states ‘Na Jaatah Na janishyate’ i.e., there is one Formless, Almighty and Omnipresent God who is eternal and everlasting. He is unchangeable and unchallengeable. No other God except the said one exist. So, the Formless, Almighty and Omnipresent, Immortal God who creates, nurses and destroys the universe is only worshipped and He is the supreme one.
In Bhagwad Geeta or Mahabharata, Yogeshwar Krishna never told about incarnation, being impossible. Yogeshwar Krishna was praised by several dignitaries like Bheesham, Vidur etc., due to his bravery, social and political pious deeds and especially that Shri Krishna was a Yogeshwar.
So, the scriptures which promote incarnation (Avtarwad) are against the Vedas because they do not support their views quoting the proof of Ved mantras.
The Vedas are self-proof, say all Shastras, Upnishads, ancient and present Rishis. So, if a person needs to know about the truth then his views should tally with the eternal knowledge of Vedas which emanates direct from God.
As stated in Rigved mantra 10/135/1 , 2, 3, 4, God has provided us with the human body to face the result of our previous lives’ good (pious deeds) and bad deeds (sins) in the shape of pleasure and sorrows respectively. Whatever deeds we will do in the present life, those will have to be faced in the future lives. However, mantra further states that if a devotee makes contact with a learned acharya of Vedas and Ashtang Yog philosophy and follows the Vedic path in life, he destroys the effect of all bad deeds and attains salvation. Yajurved mantra 7/48 states that we the human-beings are free to do pious deeds or sins but result will be provided by God in the shape of pleasure and sorrows respectively because God has also donated the preach of Vedas for us to follow the same to do only pious deeds and discharge all moral duties faithfully and ultimately attains salvation. So, no matter of maya and game exists.
Are Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh Gods?
Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh are not God. Vedas tell that there is only one formless God who never takes birth. He creates, nurses and destroys the universe. His power is enough to create and control the whole universe. He is Almighty i.e., He has all unlimited powers and therefore He does not need any assistance to create, nurse and destroy the universe by Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh. If God needs assistance then He will not be called Almighty. So God does not need any support but we all humans as well as all living beings need His support and blessings every time. However, in Vedas, there are innumerable names of Almighty God according to His divine qualities. So Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh etc., are also the names of the formless Almighty God. Brahma means the greatest. Vishnu means omnipresent and Mahesh means the greatest.
It is the personal matter of worship or not to worship. So atheists are also there. But it is very clear that God in Vedas as clarified that He Has blessed the human being with human body to worship and realise God. Nobody can attain happy life in the absence of worship of God. One more thing is clear from Vedas in which God states –Oh man/woman you live on the earth given by God and all comforts provided by the God. And if you do not remember/worship God then it is sin and punishment is awarded by the God.
Very few persons know that present science has also come out from Vedas, especially Rigved. The knowledge of Vedas also emanates from God. So, it is clear that scientist also enjoy science which is given by God. God is not only the matter of blind faith. It is the matter of discussion with a learned acharya of Vedas and Yoga philosophy who from Vedas, shastras and Upnishads etc., and scientifically also prove the existence of God. For example- we see the creation and can think deeply that who has created it or is it a job of man/woman, scientist etc., then automatically after long discussion we would reach on the conclusion that men/women/scientist have not created the universe and then He who has created is called Almighty God.
Vishnu is also a name of formless, Almighty God based on quality. Quality is a sunder- “Vishnu” word is made from “Vishlari” Dhatu and the sense of Vishlari” is omnipresent. So he who has the quality of being Omnipresent at all times without a second’s break, He is Vishnu and no other Vishnu exists equivalent to this God. Similarly, Brahma= “Vri Vridhau” i.e., the biggest amongst the universe. Naturally, He is Almighty God. So, the name of Almighty God is also Brahma. Similarly, according to Yajurved mantra 16/41 shiv means he who is beneficial/causes welfare, is shiv. The most beneficial, who creates and nurses the universe is Almighty God. So, Shiv is also name of Almighty God.
Rakesh Pandita: Pranam swamiji kya ajkal kay writers pa trust kiya ja sakta hai?
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. Aajkal ke kewal usee writer par trust kiya ja sakta hai jisne vedon ka gahan adhyayan kiya ho, roz agnihotra aur Ashtang yog vidya kee sadhna karta ho aur especially jiskee lekhnee ka ek-ek shabda vedon se tally hota ho kyunki ved swatah pramann granth hain.