Nov 28, 2007

Idol Worship

By Sreepalan V C

Indeed it is a very important point both for the followers of Jain Dharma and the rest of the world. It, idol worship, makes a significant contribution to the votary’s psychic development, as this is a tool pure and simple relating to the spiritual development towards one’s own soul in the early stages of worshiptowards the goal of liberation - Moksha.

Vyavahaar:Idol worship is a faith and practice of no difference among Digamber Jains and my information is inadequate or even nil in respect of Swethamber Jains.

Shri Padma Puran or Shri Ramayan is well-known epic and the predominant characters i.e., Shri Ram and Shri Raavan as well did abishek and pooja in the Jianalya, the presiding deity being Baghavaan Shri Muniswrurtha Swamy.

The epic is relating to the 20th Thirthankara era of Baghavaan Shri Muniswrurtha Swamy, roughly about 9 lacs years ago and at that time of happening of this historic event the later Thirthankars – souls fromBaghavaan Naminaath to the last Thirthankar Baghavaan Mahavir were all yet to be deified.

This example is given for the reason that it relates to the commonly very popular epic.
But the life history of the all the 63 salaka purushas – deifying souls relating to the current avisarpini kaal all unfailingly carries the information that idolworship was very much a part and parcel of Jain population and was very much meant for mundane soul up to the level of 5th gunasthan – avirtha samyakdhrishti and desa vrathi for concentration of one’s thinking on the idol’s – Thrithankars’ characters.

Even after the 5th gunasthan in 6th stage of pramath too till the soul secures complete immersion into it own soul and takes a strong footing in 7th of apramath and onwards, idol worship is observed to have been in vogue.

After this stage the worship gets shifted from Arihant Parameshtin to one’s own soul qualities. Not only the idol worship or non-idol worship of whatever form ormethod it adopts, but also the very concept of worship undergoes a cent percent change and gets directed on one’s own soul qualities.

Nischaya:Worship is, really speaking, only the following the way or the footsteps of the one – Thrithankar - that has lead and attained the goal of liberation. In short, aspirant one, at one stage to only canalizes one’s thinking – upayoga – knowing and seeing, the inseparable twin unique capabilities, in one’s soulqualities.

Vyavahaar, certain it is, to start with nishcaya as goal and equally certain it is that the beginning of nischaya is the end of vyavahaar.

After the attainment in full, the deification in the eyes of others and liberation or Moksha in respect of the individual soul, there is neither vayavahaar nornischaya for the individual soul is concerned.

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