YAGNA, A VEDIC RITUAL OF SACRIFICE-‘HOTREE’ OR ‘YAGNA PERFORMER’ OFFERS ‘HAVIS’ TO FIRE(LORD AGNI)
THE UNIVERSE AS GOD’S BODY
The word ‘omnipresent’ is defined as present everywhere at the same time. The property of being present everywhere is one of the Divine attributes. In western theism it has attracted less attention and the idea of ‘omnipresence’ is explained in a bit unclear way. In Judeo-Christian, and Islamic Cultures, God is not immersed in the substance of creation even though He is able to interact with it as He chooses. They tend to the view that God is in “HEAVEN”, and that God is above and outside of all creation. They explain ‘omnipresence’ in terms of His ‘ESSENCE’ as He is present to all as the cause of their being, His ‘POWER’ as all things are subject to His power, and His ‘KNOWLEDGE’ as He constantly watches all that goes on in the world and all things are bare and open to His eyes and hence He is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order. Whereas Indian thinkers tend to believe that a thing is said to be substantially or essentially in that place in which its substance is. Hence, people in the Land of India traditionally hold the view that God is related to the universe as though it is His body. The entire creation is seen as a manifestation of the Supreme Person. The theory of transcendent(exists apart from material universe) and immanent(actually present throughout the material universe)’omnipresence’ explains the meaning of the word ‘BRAHMAN’, the Ultimate Reality. Indian people reflect this belief in their worship of creation, and the idea that God is immersed in the substance of His creation could be recognized as a core value, the foundation upon which the Cultural traditions of India are established over thousands of years of their continued existence. The rituals of temple worship and the Vedic rituals of Yagna always include aspects of Worship of Creation and the Scriptures reveal that the Gods also Worship Creation to the same extent and the Indian way of life could be stated as a quest for unity with the Divine.
A HYMN TO SEEK PROTECTION FROM THE CREATOR
Yaa srushti srashtu raadyaa vahiti vidhihutam, yaa havi ryaacha hotree
Ye dvey kaalam vidhatta, sruti vishaya gunaa, Yaa sthithaa vyaapya viswavam
Yaa maa hu sarva bhuta prakriti riti, Ya Yaa praanina praanavanta
Pratyakshaabhi prasanna stanubhi ravatu Vastaabhi rashtaabhi reesa.
We seek the protection of God who physically manifests Himself with the eight bodies of
1. WATER- Lord VARUNA who was created prior to the creation of all other creation(of living entities).
2. FIRE- Lord Agni who receives ‘HAVIS’, the oblations or offerings given to God.
3. HOTREE- the person who is performing ‘YAGNA’, the Vedic ritual of sacrifice.
4. SUN- Lord Surya, the marker of day time.
5. MOON- Lord Chandra, the marker of night-time.
6. SKY- or ETHER which helps in the propagation of SOUND and is spread across the entire universe.
7.EARTH- Mother Earth, Goddess Bhu Devi, who bears the burden of harboring all living entities.
8. WIND- Lord VAYU who is the ‘Breath of life'(or PRANA) of all living entities that breathe.
THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO WORSHIP CREATION
The act of Creation Worship defines Indian Identity. All other Cultural Traditions that are existing in India proceed from this foundational principle. Indians seek their well-being, prosperity, happiness and eventually salvation through acts of worship. The foreign forces that occupied and ruled India tried hard to take away this Right to Worship as per our belief that God is immanent. We need to recognize the Right to Worship Creation as a Fundamental Right. Citizens while they are free to profess their religion , should not be free to ‘PROPAGATE’ a religion or idea which basically interferes with a Fundamental Right. No person could have a Fundamental Right to PROPAGATE at the expense of denying and devaluing other core values. To that extent, we should seek an amendment to PART III, Article 25 of the Constitution of India which deals with Freedom of Religion. The Constitution of India must recognize the Worship of Creation as a Foundational Principle of the Land of India and hence should be considered a Fundamental Right and should prohibit PROPAGATION of religion which infringes upon this Core Value. Such an amendment is vital to defend the Freedom of Religion as religious doctrines of Islam and Christianity are opposed to the idea of divinity of all created objects. These religious faiths divide humanity into two categories; the believers, and the non-believers. They also further express the claim that they possess a divine sanction to punish or modify the beliefs of the non-believers. In the global community, the adherents of Hindu religious faith are only a minority and they need special protection to defend the Right to Freedom of Religion.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
- Bhavana Jagat – 2010 in Review (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)