[Chennai] A temple represents the body of the human incarnation (Deho Devaalaya Proktah). The statue in the temple represents the Lord in a human body (Jeevo Devah Sanatanah). The Gita also says that the Lord enters a human body and comes down to this earth (Manusheem
earth itself (Yat Saakshat Aparokshaat Brahma). The temple and the statue are only models to teach this concept. Once the concept is understood there is no need of any model. Hanuman recognized the human incarnation (Lord Rama) and sacrificed all his work to the Lord. Hanuman was not a householder and so he did not possess money to sacrifice to the Lord in human form. A saint (celibate-monk) can only sacrifice work (Karma Sanyasa). He cannot sacrifice any money (Karma Phala Tyaga). The Gopikas identified Lord Krishna as the Lord in human form. They were householders and so they sacrificed the fruit of their work (butter). Hanuman and the Gopikas never worshipped any statue in temples as per the Valmiki Ramayana and Vyasa\u2019s Bhagavatam. Hanuman and the Gopikas served the Lord without aspiring for anything in return from the Lord. Through this path (Nishkama Karma Yoga) in which service is done only out of love, without aspiring for any fruit, Hanuman and Gopikas received the highest fruits. Hanuman became the future creator of the world. The Gopikas were given the Goloka (highest heaven), which is at higher level than even Brahmaloka, in which the Lord Himself dwells. Therefore the essence of the Ramayana and the Bhagavatam is to identify the human incarnation of the Lord and serve Him. This is also the aim of the temple.
As long as the sages were present, in ancient times, this correct interpretation was given to the people. But today the priests in temples are in the place of the ancient sages. The sages recited the Vedas because there was no printing available in those days. They preserved and protected the Vedas by memorization and recitation. They knew the true meaning of the Vedas.
The priests today recite the Vedas when there is no need to do so since the Vedas are available in printed form. These priests do not know the meaning of the Vedas and are mocked as divine animals by the Veda itself (Devanaam Pasurahah). The concept of the temple as a model for communicating divine knowledge has been completely buried. Temples and statues are being misused for the selfish business of the priests. Even the rituals are misused in a similar way. These priests misinterpreted the temples and rituals as the means for getting rid of the effects of sinful deeds and for attaining the results of good deeds, which were not done. They have simply thrown away the theory of Karma, which says that one has to enjoy the results of both good and bad deeds even after millions of ages (Avasya manubhokthavyam).
In return for doing worship in temples and for doing the rituals, the priests charge some petty money for their livelihood. They recite Vedic hymns. They do not know the meaning of those Vedic hymns and they do not preach their meaning to the devotees. The selfish devotees only want to get rid of their sins and want the results of good deeds, which they never did. These priests exploit this selfishness of the human beings. The priest is like an unqualified village-doctor. He charges ten rupees as fees and prescribes medicines worth one hundred rupees. The disease only increases and the patient suffers a lot. Similarly the priest takes ten rupees and makes the devotee purchase some unnecessary materials for performing rituals. The flowers, coconuts, fume sticks, oil lamps, betel leaves, betel nuts and camphor which are purchased for the rituals are not at all found in the Veda.
In the Veda only Yajna is described. Yajna means cooking the food and nothing else. Let the priest become a qualified city-doctor and charge one hundred rupees as fees and prescribe a medicine of about two rupees by which the disease is completely cured. Let him not waste all these materials by \u2018Dravya Yajna\u2019 which means \u2018rituals involving materials\u2019. The only Dravya Yajna mentioned in the Veda is cooking food. Except this there is no other Dravya Yajna. A yajna is a ritual or sacrifice. Let the priest explain the Vedic hymns and make a Jnana Yajna (a knowledge-yajna) to develop divine knowledge and devotion in the people. The priest should become a scholar and let him charge a Guru Dakshina (fees or donation given to the spiritual preacher) without
Oil is unnecessarily burnt in the oil-lamp. During the daytime there is no need of its light. At night an electric lamp is present. Burning of oil creates air pollution; so does burning of fume sticks and camphor. In olden days the oil lamp was lit at the time of sunset as \u2018Sandhya Deepam\u2019. There was no other alternative. The oil lamp was viewed as a model of the Lord. But today the electric light is present and there is no need of the oil lamp. Some people say that the oil lamp represents the knowledge, which is destroying the oil, and the oil represents ignorance. Very good! You lit the oil lamp and looked at it. You have understood the concept. Now why should you light the oil lamp again when the concept is already understood? In the olden days a fire was maintained because it was very difficult to light a fire every time by rubbing two sticks. But now matchsticks are present. Then why should you maintain the fire? In the old Masjid, Shri Sai Baba lit a fire with sticks to avoid scorpions and snakes. But today why are you maintaining the fire with sticks in the temple of Shri Sai Baba? With the help of those sticks how many poor people could cook their food? In olden days the sages were in the forest. The fire was lit so that cruel wild animals would not approach. The smoke of the fire used to repel mosquitoes in the forest. Why should you burn the fume stick today when the mosquitoes are absent? All these materials on burning produce the poisonous gasses and carbon dioxide, which pollutes the air and stops the rain.
Today the Yajna (sacrifice) is also misinterpreted. After cooking food with the help of fire, the food is to be offered to the guest. The Veda says that the guest is like a fire. The word Agni (fire) comes from the word Agri that means that the guest should be fed first. The hunger in the stomach of the guest is called Vaishvanara, which is the divine form of fire. The Gita says the same (Aham Vysva Naro Bhuthva). The Veda calls the guest (Atithih) as Vaishvanara (Vaishva Naro...). Lord Krishna went and ate the food prepared for the sacrifice. He taught the wives of the sages that offering food to the hungry person is the real sacrifice. Lord Krishna was the protector of the Vedic Dharma. Would He spoil the sacrifice if its meaning were so?
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