PACIFICATION & CONTROL OF THE SENSUAL DESIRES BY THE MEANS OF DEVOTION AND WORSHIP
In the present scientific of the world, where the man is accustomed to quick results, putting a question mark on the utility and importance of spiritual activities like worship & devotion is, but natural.
Not only does devotion & worship demand a continuous and contact effort, but also faith and belief, which are the two pillars upon which the construction of Devotion stands.
When a person listen’s to the qualitities, sing devotional songs in the praise of the supreme Lord, and remember him, with complete faith and devotion, he acquires such firmness of character, which help’s him to control and pacify his sensual desires like lust, anger etc. This happens because of the environment which is created as a result of these activities. This environment affects the surroundings in the some way as the fragrance of the flower is carried to all around it, by the air.
Therefore it is beneficial for each man to engage himself in devotion and worship, to have full control over the sensual desires. Even being in the company of a worshipper helps in that objective.
THE NECESSITY FOR THE WORSHIP OF THE FIVE DEITIES
The methods of worship practised in the Sanatan Dharma is completely scientific, because the rituals which are performed to worship the five dieties (PANCH MAHABHUTA), The matter constitutes of these PANCHA TATVA or PANCH MAHABHUTA and each of the PANCH DEVA are considered to be PANCH MAHABHUTA – EARTH, WATER, FIRE ETHER (Sky), AIR as the Lord of the each of the element
These five basic elements exists because of the three qualities of the nature i.e. SATVA (PURE), RAJA (INFERIOR TO SATVA) & TAMA (DARK)
Out of the five basic elements of which every matter is made ETHER or Sky is considered to be constituted of Pure quality (SATVA GUNA), where as the AIR is considered to be a mixture ofSATVA & RAJA quality, the FIRE is RAJO GUNA, the EARTH constitutes of DARK QUALITY (TAMO GUNA), where as the WATER constitutes of a mixture of RAJA & TAMA GUNAS
All the living beings which exist in this world, have the five basic elements as the constitutes of the body, from which their bodies are made. Goswami Tulidas has written in the Ramcharitmanas
KSHITI JALA PAAVAKA GAGAN SAMEERA,
PANCHA RACHITA YAHA ADHAMA SAREERA
ef#eefle peue HeeJekeÀ ieieve meceerje~
Heb®ejef®ele ³en DeOeceMejerje~~
i.e. The `mean’ body is made up of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. The mans nature is directly proportional to the presence of certain excessive element in his body.
Although Lord Vishnu being the supreme power is the only worthy of reverence or worship, yet the fact is that the common man worship the deities according to their nature, which itself depends upon the five basic elements.
THE FIVE DEITIES (PANCHA-DEVA)
The following shloko describes about the five deities as the Lord of each of the five basic elements.
Meaning : (The Lord of ‘ether’ is Vishnu, the Lordess of ‘Fire’ is Durga, Sun is the Lord of ‘Air’, Shiva is the Lord of ‘Earth’ and Ganesha is the Lord of ‘Water’.
A person who has one of these element as dominant, prefers to worship that deity, who is the master of that excessive element which dominated his body. And this is the reason we see so many sects, methods of worship etc.
DIVISION OF SECTS
Those who worship ‘Ganapati’ are called ‘GAANAPATYA’ (worshipper of Ganesh)
Those who worship ‘Shakti’ are called ‘SHAAKTA’
Those who worship ‘Lord Shiva’ are ‘SHAIVA’
Those who worship ‘Lord Vishnu’ are called ‘VAISHNAVA’
The worship of the five deities actually is the worship of the basic elements from which the body of a human being is made. As a result of this body becomes healthy & strong. Therefore it is a must for every human being.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ADORATION IN WORSHIP
All of the three duties or actions (KARMA) come under the act of adoration or reverence. The three duties being
1.Daily Duties (Nitya Karma),
2.Duties performed with an aspiration for a specific purpose (Naimittika Karma),
3.Spiritual Duties (Aadhyatmika Karma)
DAILY DUTIES (NITYA-KARMA)
Those duties or actions are considered to be the daily duties, by the performance of which one attains no virtues, but by the non-performance of which, one certainly commits sin for example taking bath, doing worship during the dusktime (SANDHYA)sprinkling water in reverence to the deceased ancestors (Tarpana) and worshipping the deities etc.
DUTIES PERFORMED WITH AN ASPIRATION FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE (NAIMITTIKA-KARMA)
Those duties which are performed with an aspiration for a specific purpose are calledNAIMITTIKA KARMA, and his desires are certainly fulfilled because of those actions. But on the other hand if those duties or actions are not performed then he does not get those results. For example if a sonless father does duties according to the methods described in the sacred books, to have a son, then his desires will certinly be fulfilled.
SPIRITUALS DUTIES OR ACTIONS (AADHYATMIKA KARMA)
Those duties which are performed without having any desires, are called spiritual duties or actions. Even if they are not performed they do not give inauspicious results.
Apart from these three types of duties by which a man can worship, there are also other methods by which he can worship, like the yogis do in the state of deep meditation (SAMAADHEE) by having full control over there respiration.
Our revered sages have classified the religious duties into three categories –
1.Duties or Actions (Karma)
2.Devotion or Worship (Upaasana)
WHY IS THE GOD INVISIBLE
According to the sacred books & scriptures, God can only be seen when the eyes within are opened i.e. not by the physical eyes but by the Eyes of the heart’. The inner-self is the combination of mind, intelligence, heart & ego.
The invisibility of the God can be explained by the following example.
Let us suppose, vessel containing dirty water, which is also not still, is kept outside, under the Sun. A piece of cloth is hanging just above that vessel. In the mid-noon, when the Sun-God is just above the vessel, the image of it can not be seen in the water, because there are three obstacles in the visibility of the image. They are
1.Dirtiness of the water
2.Unstillness of the water
3.The obstacle caused by the piece of cloth
If all these three obstacles are removed then there is no reason why the image of the Sun-God can not be seen in the water. This can be done by purifying the water and making it remain still and by removing the piece of cloth from there.
Similarly there are three defects in a human being because of which the god remains invisible to him, They are the God remains invisible to him. They are :
1.Impurities caused by sinful actions
2.Restlessness of the Mind
3.Ignorance regarding unconscious & Consciousness and the inability to make discrimination between the two.
To remove out these three defects from a mans inner being is the only objective of the sacred Vedas. There are altogether one lakh mantras in all the four Vedas, Out of these, eighty thousand mantras deal only with the means to remove away the impurities from the inner self, by performing rituals & rites like yagya etc. There are sixteen thousand mantras dealing with the means to control the restlessness and unsteadiness of mind and heart, by worshipping the images and idols of gods.
There are four thousand mantras dealing with the means to help make discrimination between Unconsciousness consciousness by the help of divine knowledge.
All these three categories of mantras have been divided into
i) Karmakanda, ii) Upasana Kanda, iii) Gyankanda.
THE NECESSITY AND IMPORTANCE OF ‘OLEANDER’ (DURVAA GRASS, CHINA-ROSE, LEAVES OF BASIL PLANTS AND ‘BAEL OR WOOD APPLE’ IN THE RITUALS
There are many types of worship like
SHODASH UPACHAARA (By making offerings of sixteen items)
DASHOPACHAARA (ten items) &
PANCHOPACHAARA (Five items).
Even in these various types of worships, there are specific offerings, which are considered as appropriate for one deity, but not appropriate for the another for example DOORVA GRASS is an ideal offering if mode to Lord Ganesha, the China-rose is an ideal offering if made to Sun god, The oleander flower is considered as an ideal offering if made to goddess Durga, Shiva loves bael, the most and Lord Vishnu accepts basil leaves with Joy.
A worshipper will have to follow the certain rules and procedures for the worship of any specific deity, for example to worship Lord Vishnu one needs a white coloured wollen seat, a beads of Basil wood, the pure flower Lotus, Saffron and white Sandal wood.
Similarly while worshipping Sun-god, red Sandal wood, and the China rose are a must. If a person having a desire to get married wants to worship Goddess Durga then he must use a seat of Red wollen piece, Oleander flowers, currrent coconut fruit etc. Similarly for the worship of Lord Shiva, the leaves of Bael tree, thorn apple, Calotripis Rudraksha rosary etc.
Similarly for a worship of Lord Ganesha Durvaa Grass, Vermillion, and Modaka (Sweet) are required.
THE FOLLOWING SHOULD NOT BE OFFERED TO CERTAIN DEITIES.
Our Sacred texts and scriptures have looked with deep insight into the pros & cons of the offerings, which are made to the deities.
There are strict guideline as to what should be offered to the deity and what should be not. For example it has been prohibited to offer Akshata (grains or rice offered to deities during worship) to Lord Vishnu, the leaves of basil to Ganesha, Durvaa Grass to goddess Durga, and bael fruit to the Sun God.
The reason why leaves of the basil plant must be offered to Lord Vishnu is that Lord Vishnu rest on Sheshnaga in KsheerSoagara. The body of the Sheshnaga being cold Tulsi is considered as good offering, as it property is hot, Akshata (rice grains) having cold-property is also prohibited for the same reason.
Lord Shiva who is also known as Aashutosha had consumed poison, which was discovered while churning the ocean. This poison was not allowed to pass beyond the throat. The property of poison being very hot, the fruit of bael having cold property is considered ideal for him.
WHAT SHOULD BE OFFERED TO LORD GANESHA
Lod Ganesha who is also known as VRIKODARA which means who has fire by the name of VRIKA in his stomach i.e. one who has great hunger. So Durvaa Grass which has both cold and medicinal properties in it is considered as an ideal offering for Lord Ganesha.
Lord Ganesha, should not be offered such things which have hot properties, as it would magnigy the heat and hunger. Beside that Durvaa has also medicinal properties if the juice extracted from the Durva grasses are applied to any part of the body having a wound it cured the wound. The reason for offering Durvaa grass to Lord Ganesha is that, since Lord Shiva had cut Ganesha’s head and an elephant head was fixed later on, So the heal the wound which still might not have healed, Durvaa grass is offered.
THE MEANING OF AARTI
While performing worship & rituals, there is a possibility of mistakes and faults being committed. Aarti is performed to rectify those mistakes.
The word Aarti is dervied from Sanskrit word Aarati which means to give stoppage. It has been mentioned in the skandapurana as follows –
MANTRA HEENAM KRIYA HEENAM YATKRRITAM POOJANAM HAREH
SARVAM SAMPOORNA TAAMETI KRITE NEERAAJANE SHIVE
ceb$e nerve efeÀ³ee nerveb ³elke=Àleb Hetpeveb njsë~
meJe& mecHetCe&leecesefle ke=Àlesveerjepeves efMeJes~~
Meaning : Even of there are mistakes committed by the means of lack of mantras or the lack of ritual, while doing worship, it becomes perfect and complete by performing the neeraajana (aarati).
THE BENEFITS OF BLOWING CONCH
The Sound of the blowing conch is often heard from the temples, while worship of a deities is being done or during the AARATI. It is natural to have curiosity about its necessity. The importance of blowing conch while worshipping is also mentioned in the vedas.
SHANKHEN HATVAA RAKSHAANSI (ATHARVAVEDA)
(keÀ) MebKesve nlJeej#eebefme~ (DeLeJe&Jeso)
Meaning – After killing the demons by the means of the conch
YASTU SHANKHADHWANIM KURYAAT POOJAAKAALE VISHESHATAH
VIMUKTAH SARVA PAAPENA VISHNUNAA SAHA MODATE
(Ke) ³emleg MebKeOJeefveb kegÀ³ee&led HetpeekeÀeues efJeMesmeleë~
efJecegkeÌleë meJe& HeeHesve efJemCegvee menceesoles~~
Meaning – One who especially blows conch while worshipping, all of his sins get destroyed, and he enjoys bliss in the company of Lord Vishnu.
The importance which the sounds of the conch has on the environment has been well established by the Indian Scientists. The sounds of theCOnch help to destroy the germs and micr0 organism as far as it reaches. The environment becomes free from the germs and diseases if there is a continuous sound of the conch for a prolonged period.
WHY IS THE BLOWING OF CONCH MADE ONLY IN THE MORNING AND EVENING
There are natural and situational reason behind this, Since the environment during the morning and evening time is peaceful, therefore the sound of the conch made during that time reaches far and wide, and the people hearing the sound get benefitted. A person who is dumb or one who stammers are immensely benefitted from the sound made by the conch.
One who has the habit of blowing the conch regularly, never suffers from a lung disease.
In a place like temple where many peoples are gathered, and the air within it gets polluted by the exhalation of the people, it is very beneficial to make the air pare by blowing conches.
THE NECESSITY OF SPRINKLING WATER OF THE CONCH
It has been mentioned in the BRAHMA VAIVARTAPURANA that
JALENAAPOORYA SHANKHE CHA TATRA SANSTHAPAYET BUDHAH
POOJO PAKARANAM TENA JALENA KSHAALAYET PUNAH
`peuesveeHet³e& MebKes ®e le$e mebmLeeHe³esled yegOeë~
HetpeesHekeÀjCeb lesve, peuesve #eeue³eslHegveë~~
Meaning: After filling up the conch with water it should be kept in the temple and all the articles of worship should be sprinkled with that water.
It is of common experience and knowledge that the article acquires the quality of the vessel in which it is kept. For example if Curd, spimmed milk or ghee is kept in avessel of brass then it get destroyed because of its contact with that metal.
Similarly water kept in the conch, acquired the properties of the conch, and sprinkling of that water on the parts of the people, destroys theexternal germs of the body. For this reason the sprinkling of water kept in a conch is very beneficial.
AT DUSK FOUR THINGS SHOULD NOT BE DONE
CHATVARI KHALU KARYANI SANDHYAKALE VIVARJAYET |
AHARAM MAITHUNAM NINDRAM SWADHYAYANCHA CHATURTHAKAM ||
®elJeeefj Keueg keÀe³ee&efCe mevO³eekeÀeues efJeJepe&³esled~
Deenejb cewLegveb efveêeb mJeeO³ee³eáe ®elegLe&keÀced~~
Meaning : At the time of Dusk, (half an hour before and after the sunset) four things should not be done. These are eating of food, having intercourse with a woman, sleeping and reading of Vedas.
Sleeping with feet pointing south forbidden the entire solar system is dependent upon the attraction of the polaris (pole star). This polar star is situated in the northern sky. If anybody sleeps with the feet pointing south and head pointing North the food in his stomach will experience the polar pull. Waste part of this eaten food should move downward to be passed out ultimately as faeces. But in such orientation the food in the stomach moves upward and adversely affects the vital organs like heart, abdomen and brain. Hence one should not sleep with the feet pointing south and the head pointing north.
In exact opposition to it if one sleeps with the feet pointing north. The digestion of food will be smooth and the electric field that flows from south to north will enter the head and pass out through the feet. Thus, every morning, the brain will feel itself full of charge refresh and vigour.
To experience the polar pull physically, you can watch the needle of the compass that always points towards the north pole, no matter in whatever direction it is rotated. Hence, one should always sleep with his feet pointing north and head pointing south.
PLACE OF WIFE IN RITUALS LIKE OBLATION (YAGYA)
Regarding the place of wife in oblation like religious rituals. There exists great confusion among the public. Vedas, however given very clear ruling in this regard :
ABHISHEKE RATHAROHAI DAMPATYE SHAYANE TATHA
SHRADDHE SNANE TATHA DANE PATNI TISHTHATI VAMATAH
Meaning : At the time of enthronement in the chariot (Vehicles in modern era), on the bed of the couple, in ceremonial baths and making offerings, the wife should occupy a place at the left side of her husband.
KANYADANE VIVIHECHA PRATISTHA YAGYA KARMANI |
SARVESHU DHARMA KARYESHU, PATNI TISHTATI DAKSHINE ||
Meaning : In rituals like Kanyadana (giving of daughter as wife), marriage, installation of idols, obalation, religious rites worship etc, the wife must occupy a place to the right side of her husband.
NEED OF LEFT AND RIGHT SIDES
Let us considers what it means by the wife occupying the left and right sides of her husband in religious rituals.
The scriptures dictate that all venerable and excellent things like cow, Brahman, abode of the gods etc. should be kept at the right hand side and all the vile things should be kept at the left hand side. But after the exile of Rama, when Bharat returned from his maternal uncle’s home and entered Ayodhya he founf all the venerable objects like cow etc to his left hand side, while the vile animals like the dog and donkey passed by him through right hand side. With these omens, he had got suspicious of some inauspicious occurrence in Ayodhya.
Besides these scriptural evidences, you can get point from the vehicles as well. Family vehicles like cars are made in India in such a way that wife always occupies the left hand position of her husband. Hence in the worship of the gods and other rituals, the wife should occupy left hand or right-side positious accordingly.