Sunday, February 22, 2009

Actions Louder than Words

In an article just published in the Sampradaya Sun on Scroll Paintings in Lord Jagannath's Orissa, Part 2, the author, Asis K. Chakrabarti, extols the virtues of what he calls, "Jagannath Consciousness."

Here is what he writes:

"Jagannath consciousness has become ubiquitous, radiating near and far. He is the symbol of universal brotherhood. His principal preamble is, 'Humanity on earth is but one family.'

"It is precisely for the very reason that various sects and religions such as Vaishnava, Shaiva, Shakta, Buddhist and Jain traditions have transcended barriers to mingle and blend immaculately in Lord Jagannath. Lord Jagannath also encompasses the animistic tribal religions. Before Him, starting from the tribals, others like the Brahmin, untouchables/chandals, sudras, or even the Muslims - all have become His children traversing on a single path."

If the author of this article really believes what he writes, then let him explain why it is that no one is allowed into the Jagannath temple at Puri unless they can prove they are Indian-born Hindus. It is easy to use flowery language. Let Mr. Chakrabarti and the respectable brahmin priests of Puri display a universal vision of brotherhood under the fatherhood of Lord Jagannath by acting as servants rather than as racists. By excluding others on the basis of skin color or nationality, they are proclaiming that Lord Jagannath, under their care, is not Lord of the Universe, but Lord of a racist religion.

For us who are not born in India, it is no problem to pay our respects to Lord Jagannath from a distance, and to benefit by tasting His transcendental prasadam. Maybe it is better for us in order to understand our own fallen condition. Even Haridas Thakur, the namacarya personally selected by Lord Caitanya, did not complain about not having darshan of Lord Jagannath, due to his being born in a Muslim family.

But if the servants of Lord Jagannath want people of the world to take notice of the true personality of their master, Parambrahman Sri Jagannath, then they would welcome every innocent visitor to His temple. With their open minds and hearts, they could show the world the non-sectarian munificent spirit of pure love that He is.

The same prescription applies to anyone who wants to impress others with the value of their belief system. It is actions, not words, that count. Don't talk the talk unless you walk the walk. The words we write and the truths we speak are only as eloquent or as egregious as our behavior.

2 comments:

Carlo Ananda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carlo Ananda said...

Appropriate comment Navajuavana. Well said. I also take deep exception to this offensive interpretation by the brahman Chakraborty:

"It is precisely for the very reason that various sects and religions such as Vaishnava, Shaiva, Shakta, Buddhist and Jain traditions have transcended barriers to mingle and blend immaculately in Lord Jagannath."

This is pure mayavada philosophy and extremely unpalatable to the devotees of Lord Jagannatha who have written extensively on this subject (Rupa, Sanatana, Jiva, Krsnadas, Visvanath, A.C. Bhaktivedanta). Lord Jagannath is the lord of the universe not only by His words, but also by His eternal deeds, whereas everybody else is His eternal servant eternally (ekala isvara krsna ara sab brthya). To "mingle" with Him is not the goal of life. And even if He would grant such an ignorant request, His devotees would consider it spiritual suicide.