This post is a result of a slogan I saw behind a car, it said – Worship the creator, not the creation.
I think the car was a red colored Zen, as in that short glimpse; the attention over the slogan overtook the model of the car. It was a private vehicle, perhaps the driver was an educated guy. I looked at my own living style and I realized that I worshiped Creator and his creation. So was his slogan referring to me? Trying to taunt at me? Perhaps, it was, to people like me.
In my 28 years of being, I have worshiped the creation, along with the creator but I was never told that it is the only way to live. I did not even notice that there were communities who worshipped only the creator. My parents or priests never degraded others way of life instead they made sure to inbuilt a behavior in me to respect the nature.
Let me give some examples that happened to me in the recent days which helped me collectively arrive at a conclusion for this practice. Previous month I watched a Yakshagana program (Field Drama, a folk art of South Karnataka region). It was performed on the title “Govardana Giri” from Mahabharata. In which Krishna, to remind Indra (King of Heaven) his duties, rejects the prayers and sacrifice offered to him and instead asks his disciples to offer prayers to the Govardana Mountain, which is a shelter for several medicinal herbs, water source and provide food to the cows which in turn provide us milk. He argues that bringing rain, sunlight and wind was Indra’s duty as King of Heaven.
As a kid, I was happy that, during the third day of Deepavali, we worshipped our lovable cow Kamadhenu, at home. When I asked my mother or Ajji why we did so, she would tell me how useful she was to us. Of course milk is the product that comes to our mind always first and from it we prepare curds, butter, ghee and paneer. Few years back the cow dung was used as a coating over the mud in our front yard before cement replaced them. Cakes made from cow dung were used as fuel to heat water in most of the homes until boilers replaced them and they are still used as best manure for plants. Go-Mutra (Urine) is used in every Homa (Sacrificial rites) and it plays a key role in ayurvedic medicines. Not only cow, rat is considered Ganesha’s vahana (Vehicle); as Garuda is of Vishnu’s; as Lion and Tiger of Durga’s; Peacock is of Subramanya’s and so on.
I am told to worship the coconut tree as it is considered as Kalpavraksha (A tree which can offer all that is desired). I have written the use of every part of this tree in my previous article Here. In Mangalore if a coconut tree obstructs some construction plan, then it is removed along with its roots and replanted but never cut. And here, Bangalore trees are sadly giving way to infrastructure developments. The toll is 9500 trees as of today. (As per The Hindu)
Tulsi is auspicious and medicinal; similarly many other trees are worshipped; mountains are sacred as they are abode to several natural resources. Wells and Rivers are worshipped as they give life to us and then there is rain, sun etc; everything that is nature. Mother earth is worshipped before laying any foundation to show our gratitude towards her, as we alter her form and we seek her support.
But out of all scientific or emotional reasons and justifications we may give, The Bagavath Geetha gives most beautiful explanation for this. Krishna says – If man does not perform sacrifice, if he does not respect the creator and creation, he will be defeated by his senses, his ego and he will act as his sense will ask him to. Sacrifice is a way to control your senses; his ego; his desires; his greed.
Darwin might have found the reason behind survival of fittest in the 19th century but our scholars, thousands of years before, have not only found the reason but also have provided a solution to respect and preserve every creation or as in Darwin’s term, result of Evolution.