what do you think about worshiping idols in religions?

China
December 31, 2008 11:39pm CST
I am a Muslim, Islam don't allow people to worship idols, but a lot of religions allow people to worship idols, for example, Buddhism and Hinduism, what do you think about that, is it necessary to worship idols in religions or it doesn't matter to worship idols in religions, or it should be prohibited to worship idols in religions?
5 people like this
15 responses
@GADHISUNU (2163)
• India
2 Jan 09
Mathss, is talking like an Arya Samaji. Who is this Acharya Dharma Teertha? I have not heard about him. But I have my great regards for the founder of Arya Samaj viz., Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati for his movement asking the Hindu to go back to The Veda Samhitas.His(Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati's) commentaries on The Vedas show exquisite scholarship of Vedic Sanskrit. But I object to his views on Shankaracharya- the greatest philosopher India has produced since the time of Krishna's unification of all important Philosophical currents of His day.Buddha gave the ritualism of the Vedas the much needed jolt. Shankara used the important ideas of Buddhism in turning the current of religious thought back to the Vedic source. Mathss, has commented that in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to fight and destroy his own relatives. This, our good friend thinks is encouraging violence. If that is what violence is then it is pretty sweet. Lord Krishna is considered a purNAvatara by idol-worshipping Hindus. He has a message of doing one's duty without being swayed by personal like and dislike. Such clarity of thought is rare. I still hold to my original view. The idolaters down the generations,beginning with the masterly abstractions of Upanishads is one continuous response to the needs of individual seeker. The idolatry of the Hindus, or the Buddhists or Jains is not the same as that of some creeds supplicating meekly before an image without thinking what they are doing.This comes after, the peak of achievement in religious thought ever, the Upanishads, which Shankara was quick to realize and capitalize for the confused India of his day, and the exegesis is no mean achievement. Swami Vivekananda, in his complete works says the lay seeker in India would be able to answer the profoundest questions of philosophy. I believe this. I have talked to my unschooled aged aunt(my Mom's eldest sister), some intricate question and the answer she gave was simply baffling. Ask the unschooled idol-worshipping Hindu. The answers he gives about finding God in his idols will make your hairs stand on end! That is if you know to wonder at great truths coming out of the mouths of the most ordinary.And then what to speak of the educated Hindu. Still, Mathss, I am sad that Hindus are not violent enough, to give a fitting answer to whatever is happening to them in exploitation of their tolerance. This is because they have learnt to love the omnipresent Lord in their images, that the best of them are able to see in any man, Him and therefore raise the sword against the oppressor. In sum what i want to convey is not all idol worship is crass or elementary(kiddish. The philosophy behind the idol worship of religions like Hinduism is quite profound. But then Hinduism always gives you a choice. You could choose to drop the idols, but use the "stotras" to see the Infinite Lord in His resplendent glory, and experience Him every moment of your Spiritual Life. So, ancient Egyptian or Mayan or any idol worshipping peoples and the Modern day Hindu, Buddhist are definitely not on same ground. Islam or Christianity leave you no choice as to whether you can find God deigning to be with His very unimaginative follower whose faith in Him is quite shaky, to still find Him. See the Infinite mercy of God as seen by the Hindus. He declares, "I am where I am, I am, who I am", but when My lay devotee gives a shape to Me in different forms, I reach him in THAT manner for His love for Me alone is more than sufficient. A very benevolent, merciful and totally concerned Lord, this!
2 people like this
• India
2 Jan 09
maths also if u look in hinduism u will not see haindava: samastha sukhino bhavanthu {only hindus be in happiness} u will only see tht lokah: samastha sukhino bhavanthu {all the people in the world be in happy} and we also said sarve bhavanthu sukhina: sarve santhu niramaya sarve bhadrani pashyanthu means let all the people see good,saved from deseases and be in good and proper health conditions
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@GADHISUNU (2163)
• India
18 Jan 09
Thank you neulichuang, for the honor.
• India
2 Jan 09
once vivekananda told abt hinduism in a very good way he compared all the religions as shops selling caps,all the religions except hinduism only hav caps with only one size means people who only adapt with the caps size only will gain some knowledge,but hinduism consist of all types of caps suitable for the small heads to the bigger heads. i think this is better thn the speech of dharma anada theertha here u can see any type of worshipping in hinduism, in hinduism u can worship idol,symbol,image,animal,living form or any other as u like, all these worshipping in hinduism point out to the eternal brahman,means the divine power hinduism never said there is god out there,all the numerous gods symbolicvally represent the only one brahman
2 people like this
@GADHISUNU (2163)
• India
1 Jan 09
Worshipping of Idols is definitely not necessary, even in Hinduism or for that matter Buddhism[B], and Jainism[J] too. In fact Buddhism and Jainism which do not even posit a God, are much better off religions for a future world based on Science and civilized behavior, and in not wanting to mess with things like God. But sadly religions like B & J are too decent religions to be followed only in a very enlightened, world.This is because an essential tenet of both these religions is Ahimsa(=non-violence) which in my opinion was not a very safe concept to have banked on to stem the tide of conquering hordes that entered India. Mathss says Hinduism is violent. I only wish he were(in the remote past) true. Islam would not have entered India and India would not have been partitioned. Coming to the question of Idol worship - historically it is an imported concept to Hinduism. It is a gift(or better still a compulsion forced on the Hindu mind of the later days of Buddhism) Buddhist and Jainist schools of thought.If you observe history of religions of the world Idol worship was a prevalent mode of relating to the supernatural, which required "expunging" or purging by means of Divine Revelations, in the old world in Central Asia. By this time The Vedas had the conclusive Upanishads which by any stretch of imagination are the most intellectually unparalleled writings which posited a concept of "God" which was at once more profound than slightly-better-than simplistic personal God, of most religions of the world, and more than anything else relies much less on faith. Now coming to the debate whether idolatry must be permitted or prohibited-well, this question itself deosn't gel, and smacks of authoritarianism and violates the basic fact that peoples[mark the plural-it is deliberate] are free. While even thinking of suggesting such an idea it must be remembered, that the Worshippers of Idols [whether they are Hindus,Buddhists or Jains]have been more peaceable and more tolerant, than those who "threw idolatry" as a pernicious concept.Many religiously oppressed people have found their refuge here, among the idolaters! If you believe in some realism and go strictly by what has been established and seen to be a fact, is only true -which is sometimes called as Scientific Temper- it would be better that the militant authoritarian peoples of the world imbibe some idolatry.Also please do remember that the people who "brought in idolatry" did so after producing the peak of abstraction of the Upanishads, much before any idolatry stepped in to accommodate the plebians in any one of these three religions namely H, B, J !!!
• India
1 Jan 09
Maths please read the post properly before you start commenting. I do not think you have understood anything what Gadhisunu has written. I am having my own doubts whether you are able to understand English if it is written in a sophisticated way.
• Thailand
1 Jan 09
Mathss you need to reread GADHISUNU's response. He did not say he agreed with you. He stated that he wished you were correct but that you were not.
• Thailand
1 Jan 09
No, I am not a Hindu and no, I do not agree with you or with Swami Dharma Theertha. a
@savak03 (6693)
• United States
1 Jan 09
The Bible is very clear on this topic. Idols are not to be used in worship. That being said a lot of professed christian religions still use them. It makes me wonder if anybody really reads the Bible that they say they live by.
1 person likes this
• India
1 Jan 09
Regarding the worshiping of Idols, my grandmother once told me, that in order to reach god, it is enough if you think about him and pray, for this even a stone becomes a god. It is all a matter of trust and belief. Regarding Prohibition of Idols, I do not think it is a good idea to disturb someones relgious beliefs.
• Thailand
1 Jan 09
Mathss which of these two sites did you plagiarize for your comment? http://raudhatunnaim.com/?p=198 Or http://www.geocities.com/athens/pantheon/4789/Articles/Scripture/hind.htm
• Thailand
1 Jan 09
Since your comment is a word for word copy I can not believe you.
@Ravenladyj (22936)
• United States
2 Jan 09
but a lot of religions allow people to worship idols, for example, Buddhism Being a Buddhist myself I can assure you there is no worshipping of anyone in Buddhism. Buddha isnt worshiped or bowed down to at all.. as for other religions or spiritual paths, well whatever works for any one person who is following that path. If they feel the need to worship someone or something then all the power to them, who am I to have issues with it ya know..Is it somethign I PERSONALLY do? NOPE
@GADHISUNU (2163)
• India
2 Jan 09
Buddha is one wonderful founder of a Religion which questioned anything being stuffed down the throats of people on the basis of the founder holding temporal authority.Buddha did not even insist on anyone accepting his word as authority. In fact Buddhism is the first religion based on personal inquiry alone, without canons are Books of authority. That is why I still consider it as the first and the last rational religion. Only thing is with the emphasis on Ahimsa is a religion for an enlightened day. May be after another 5000 years of scientific development all over the world, when scientific thinking and hence dialog and debate form the basis of deciding conflicts in 99.9% of the world, whereby war would be a thing to be described through artwork kept in museums.Do you see that happening in the near future. 5000 uninterrupted years development of thought based leadership is my optimistic estimate.
1 person likes this
• India
2 Jan 09
i dont't allow people to worship idols.
@GADHISUNU (2163)
• India
2 Jan 09
Provided people accept you as a Prophet or a some kind of a religious dictator!
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
i just don't know why they uses images in worshipping where in fact it is very clear in the bible..one of the ten commandments clearly says the prohibition of worshipping graven images besides God...i think they have to review the holy scriptures...this commandment can be found in the old testament.
@santuccie (3382)
• United States
5 Jan 09
I look at idolatry in a fundamental sense, as the worship of an inanimate object. Unless one is an animist, that object is not the actual object of one's reverence. In my opinion (and this is only my opinion), "iconic" or "symbolic" value is irrelevant. To me, a carved image is at best a decoration, not to be confused with an actual deity.
• India
2 Jan 09
Well, together with Islam, Christianity doesnt allow idol worship. Maybe other religions do allow but i do not see the harm in that. Each religion has its own way of reaching to God and if they need idols to assist them in doing so, i do not see any harm in it! After all, at the end of the day, we are all praying to the same God. Just the means of praying is different! hence i do not think idol worship should be prohibited.
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
2 Jan 09
It is all about history. Before travel became relatively easy, different cultures worshiped in different ways. The reason there are so many different religions. It depends heavily on where the person was raised. Worshiping idols was done well before the development of the major religions. It was an attempt by the people to control the events that surrounded them. Mainly, it was used to try and get good things to happen and keep bad things away.
@silverjam (969)
• United States
1 Jan 09
Of course it's not prohibited to worship idols in those religions that believes and practice doing so. But for me I never do that nor encourage others to do that because worshiping idols is an act of blashphemy. Am a christian but my religion doesn't do idolatry and never believes in worshiping idols. Doing so is against the commandments of God and in fact it is the number one commandment; THOU SHALT NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GODS BEGORE ME the Lord said.
@vijigopi (991)
• United States
1 Jan 09
If u don't want to worship idols.. the answer is simple.. don't. What do you have to do with people who do worship idols.. That is none of your business. What each man's faith is.. he goes by that. We don't need to criticise any one for their beliefs. A Hindu does not differentiate between an idol and God because his religion states that the whole of creation is the manifestation of the Supreme Reality and he has no problem taking that to an idol. Whatever stone or idol he worships, the worship is not intended for the stone.. it is intended for the Supreme Reality only. I believe that all of us do idol worship in one form or another. Nobody can concentrate on nothingness while trying to meditate... try it and tell me if you can keep the mind on nothingness for more than 5 minutes and I will fall at your feet. The idol is only a prop for the mind to concentrate on. Hindus believe in evolution of the self through concentration and meditation and idol worship helps them to attain this. The millions of Hindus who are doing worship everyday of their lives know how helpful this can be to them. Hindus are not forced to worship idols. But they can if they want to. And nobody has any right to impose how people need to worship God, it is everybody's right to do so as they please.
@Galena (9120)
1 Jan 09
I find "worshipping idols" to be a strange use of words. it seems to imply that people actually worship an object. surely when someone worships before a statue or image, being referred to as an idol, they are not beleiveing that the object is a deity. they are not worshipping the object, rather what the object represents. it's a symbol to help the worshipper feel more connected to the actual being.
• India
1 Jan 09
No idols must be worshiped .