Saturday, October 24, 2020
Home Variety Culture and History The Sabarimala debate: Jnana vs Bhakti

The Sabarimala debate: Jnana vs Bhakti

Sri Ayyappa should also be worshipped as per his preferences in his abode where he continues to exist in a non-physical for, at least from the devotee’s perspective.

Many catchy phrases have been used to describe the ongoing Sabarimala debate. ‘Tradition vs law’, ‘reason vs faith’, ‘patriarchy vs equality’ etc. However, I feel all these give a very simplistic reading of the situation. There is only one core debate and that is Bhakti vs Jnana, everything else is an agenda wrapped in social concerns.

Jnana relies on logic, Jnana incessantly asks questions and tries to seek answers. The seeker of Jnana does not accept the status quo and is always looking for answers. Bhakti is exactly the opposite. A Bhakt does not have any questions. He has surrendered himself to his diety and abides by what the diety asks him to do. He has unflinching devotion and follows all rules and rituals without fail. The Jnani is trying to evolve by seeking answers to all his questions, the Bhakt is evolving by letting go of all his doubts. Who is right, the seeker of knowledge or the devotee?

In the penultimate chapter of The Gita, Krishna while responding to Arjun says, “The faith of each person is according to what he is made up of..” And he continues to elaborate on this principle by essentially saying ‘to each his own’. If ever there was a liberal mindset, this has to be it. This principle to me is the foundation of what India today looks like. There is no ‘One’ correct way of worshipping or living life, there is no ‘One’ principle or ‘One‘ book or ‘One’ god to worship. The debate of Shraddha vs Jnana has been long settled in this country.

A person inspired by logic and reason can take his path and a person inspired by bhakti can also take his path without interference. ‘All rivers lead to thee..’ is the principle on which an average Indian works, he does not question other’s faith except for academic discussions. We have moved far beyond the silly ideas of right and wrong, good or bad at least at a philosophical level. And this brilliant liberal mindset has given rise to the diverse pool of philosophies. A way of life which is the core Idea of India. One is free to worship shakti or purusha, be a dualist or non-dualist, be an advaitic, mimasic, nyayic. Follow any other path as per his or her guna-dharma.

To profess that there can be only one way of worshipping at all places of worship is not liberalism. It is essentially regressive in nature. The logician and the bhakt can coexist in our ecosystem. As long as this principle is maintained the Idea of India will continue to exist. When the rational imposes his ideas on the devote, he is a fundamentalist and if the devotee insists that everyone should live by his rules, we are fast being swallowed in the narrow-minded quagmire of monotheism.

One should observe how a devotee’s demeanour changes in front of an idol which he worships. The unwavering belief that the deity is actually present in front of him watching over him is enough to transform his conduct. Most of the ritualistic part of Hinduism revolves around this deity’s preferences. Vinayaka is worshipped with a red flower and Durva, Shiva with white flowers and bel leaves. Hanuman, Vishnu, Ram, Krishna Durga, Laxmi, Kali, Saraswati – each have their set of rituals dedicated to them as per their preferences.

Worship is not only about the deity but also geography and form specifically. This is because the mode and style of worship is closely connected to a story, as is the case with Sri Ayyappa Swamy of Sabarimala. We respect the preferences made in our stories. In a way we live the story each day, we keep it alive. Hence Ram Leela is enacted every year, Narkasur and Ravan are killed every year, the audience knows the story but we re-live it every time.

Continuing in the same tradition, Sri Ayyappa of Sabarimala should also be worshipped as per his preferences in his abode where he continues to exist in a non-physical for, at least from the devotee’s perspective. No one is under any obligation to follow this tradition. If you don’t believe, don’t be a prick and don’t go there, it is as simple as this. Cannot deny the story behind the worship. If the story is denied, the method of worship won’t make sense. Similarly, if the method is denied, the story ceases to exit.

At the core of Hinduism is the ego factor. Be it any mode of worship, the aim is to let go of this Ahankar or ego. Bhakti tries to achieve this by complete surrender. For a Bhakt, there are no doubts or questions, just unconditional fondness and love for his chosen deity. Bhakti movement was founded on a deep sense of oneness and self-sacrifice.

But the 21st Century Bhakti movement is totally different. The Bhakti movement can be summed up as follows:

“I don’t understand what you stand for and I don’t believe in you but I will find you and worship you”.

*Swami Saranam Ayyappa*

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti refuses to unfurl the Indian flag, BJP demands arrest for her seditious remarks

In her first press conference after being released from her 14-month detention, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti denounced the Indian flag and pegged for the restoration of Article 370

After Twitter, Amazon’s Alexa now claims Jammu and Kashmir is part of China, netizens fume

As per reports, Alexa uses a machine-learning algorithm and more than a dozen 'question-answer techniques' to determine the best response to a user query.

‘Kale Baba’ aka Nasir caught sexually exploiting women in Lucknow, Times of India gives it a Hindu spin by calling the accused as ‘Tantrik’

The Times of India on Saturday attempted to give a Hindu spin to a crime perpetrated by an Islamic cleric, who is an accused in the sex racket, by referring to him as a 'Tantrik'.

NBSA orders AajTak to apologise live on October 27 for spreading fake news on Sushant Singh Rajput case

The NBSA had earlier asked Aaj Tak to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh and had asked the broadcaster to air an apology admitting on national television that it did not conduct the due diligence required prior to telecasting the tweets.

Pakistan fumes over reports of Saudi denying permission for ‘Kashmir Black Day’ program after it voted against it at FATF

After certain media reports suggested that Saudi Arabia had voted against Pakistan at the FATF plenary keeping it in grey list, the Arab nation has now reportedly denied Pakistan permission to hold 'Kashmir Black Day' on 27th October.

Faisal Khan says he wants to come out of brother Aamir Khan’s shadow who had earlier called him ‘mentally ill’

Faisal Khan said he will have to break out of his superstar brother's shadow and make his own decisions so that people recognise him as an individual

Recently Popular

‘He supplies drugs and girls’: Estranged wife of Mahesh Bhatt’s nephew Luviena Lodh alleges harassment by nephew-uncle duo

Luviena Lodh said that Mahesh Bhatt is the don of the industry, and he controls everything that goes on in the film industry

Exclusive: Conversation that shows how Mumbai Police is trying to coerce witness into naming Republic TV in TRP scam

While Hansa Research report and the FIR filed named India Today in TRP scam, in less than 24 hours, Mumbai Police had seemingly made up its mind that Republic TV was the culprit

France: Charlie Hebdo cartoons projected on government building to express solidarity with deceased teacher who was beheaded by Islamic terrorist

Days after the barbaric beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the streets of Paris by a terrorist for showing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his students, support continues to pour in for the deceased teacher.

‘Jism ki garmi’: How Hindi film industry disregarded consent and normalised rape and molestation over the years

The Hindi film industry has, knowingly or unknowingly, convinced a generation of people that rape is normal when done in light of 'greater good'.

Lucknow: Jama Mazar caretaker ‘Kale Baba’ caught running sex racket, video goes viral

The caretaker has allegedly confessed to police that he was sexually exploiting women and engaging them in illicit activities in the name of curing infertility and other ailments.

Complaints filed against Eros Now and Arré for vulgar social media posts related to Navratri

Both Eros Now and Arre had published social media posts linking Navratri festival with sex and vulgarity
- Advertisement -

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti refuses to unfurl the Indian flag, BJP demands arrest for her seditious remarks

In her first press conference after being released from her 14-month detention, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti denounced the Indian flag and pegged for the restoration of Article 370

After Twitter, Amazon’s Alexa now claims Jammu and Kashmir is part of China, netizens fume

As per reports, Alexa uses a machine-learning algorithm and more than a dozen 'question-answer techniques' to determine the best response to a user query.

‘Kale Baba’ aka Nasir caught sexually exploiting women in Lucknow, Times of India gives it a Hindu spin by calling the accused as ‘Tantrik’

The Times of India on Saturday attempted to give a Hindu spin to a crime perpetrated by an Islamic cleric, who is an accused in the sex racket, by referring to him as a 'Tantrik'.

NBSA orders AajTak to apologise live on October 27 for spreading fake news on Sushant Singh Rajput case

The NBSA had earlier asked Aaj Tak to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh and had asked the broadcaster to air an apology admitting on national television that it did not conduct the due diligence required prior to telecasting the tweets.

Pakistan fumes over reports of Saudi denying permission for ‘Kashmir Black Day’ program after it voted against it at FATF

After certain media reports suggested that Saudi Arabia had voted against Pakistan at the FATF plenary keeping it in grey list, the Arab nation has now reportedly denied Pakistan permission to hold 'Kashmir Black Day' on 27th October.

ED summons Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh in FEMA violation case

Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh summoned by ED in relation to a trust named Jacaranda Trust & subsidiaries in British Virgin Islands

Delhi: Already married twice, e-rickshaw driver Dilbar Qureshi poses as Rahul to trap 13-year-old Hindu girl, calls the second wife his sister to deceive...

Dildar Qureshi elopes with minor Hindu girl in Delhi after introducing himself as Rahul, police launches a manhunt

OpIndia exclusive report vindicated: Bombay HC directs India Today to deposit Rs 5 lakh fine imposed by BARC for viewership data malpractice

OpIndia was the first to expose the matter regarding the show-cause notice being sent to India Today by BARC in April this year

‘He supplies drugs and girls’: Estranged wife of Mahesh Bhatt’s nephew Luviena Lodh alleges harassment by nephew-uncle duo

Luviena Lodh said that Mahesh Bhatt is the don of the industry, and he controls everything that goes on in the film industry

Mumbai Police registers FIR against the entire editorial team of Republic TV alleging incitement of disaffection among Mumbai police and defamation

FIR filed against the entire editorial team of the Republic TV for allegedly citing Hansa Research's report on the TRP scam case

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
467,473FollowersFollow
19,100SubscribersSubscribe