Hindu Gods and Goddess in Indian Entertainment

Hindu Goddess Sarasvati

From The Editor's Desk

(Hinduwebsite Editorial - Exploring Truth Amidst Illusions and Distortions)

In India, Hinduism is denigrated systematically by various social groups, institutions, political parties, ideologies and irreverent critics.

Prominent among them is the Indian Television industry itself, which uses Hinduism to exploit Hindu sentiments, without any consideration for the values the tradition upholds.

Many television serials are produced, depicting Hindu themes and stories from the epics and the Puranas, in the country by people, who possess little knowledge of Hinduism and scant respect for its tenets.

Their works show lack of taste, disrespect for the divinities involved, and an astounding degree of ignorance of the tradition and its deeper knowledge.

Many such programs also enjoy high rating, due to the lack of proper knowledge of the audience.

People who watch them may experience devotion while watching them, but they need to know that they do not properly depict the divinities or reflect their purity, character and exalted position in the cosmic hierarchy.

The gods are unlike humans. They may have weaknesses, but they do not act like ordinary mortals, completely bereft of self-control and spiritual perfection.

The deities are supposed to protect and uphold the worlds and beings. They are being of light, virtue and character. It does not behoove their exalted position by showing them crying and weeping uncontrollably on the screen, as if they are susceptible to all human weaknesses.

If our gods and goddesses cannot control their own emotions and act ignorantly like humans, how are they supposed to be immortal, infinite, imperishable and blissful and how can they perform their obligatory duties? How can they control the worlds, if they cannot control themselves?

If they cannot control themselves, how do you expect people to worship them, surrender to them and follow them?

Many people protested when M.F. Hussein drew naked pictures of our gods and goddesses, (despite that the painter used abstraction in his painting and avoided realism).

However, they do not perceive sexism or perversion in the voluptuous manner in which the goddesses are mostly portrayed in those serials, devoid of their divinity and purity. Our gods and goddesses are not physical beings. They do not possess gross material bodies. They do not belong to the earthly plane, and they are not susceptible to the longings and desires of the mortal body. Further, they may possess a few similarities with humans but they are not humans by any means.

Human beings are mortals. They are subject to duality, desires, attachments and afflictions of the mind. The gods are light beings, made of predominantly sattva. They are divine because they possess spiritual purity. Hence, they should not be depicted with baser qualities to which humans are susceptible.

The gods of Indra's heaven are susceptible to pleasure because of the predominance of sattva, but it is not the case with the higher divinities.

Deities such as Shiva, Parvathi, Brahma, Vishnu and Lakshmi are naturally endowed with supreme qualities, which are enumerated in the scriptures namely compassion, discernment, peace, stability, equanimity, sameness, knowledge of the past, present and future, absence of aversion and attraction to the pairs of opposites, detachment, dispassion and so on.

Even if they experience emotions in extraordinary circumstances as part of their divine play or due to their association with Nature (Prakriti), it is intentional and its purpose is to convey important lessons for the devotees to learn.

Therefore, true devotees of our gods and goddesses must be aware of these truths while watching any movies or television programs which contain spiritual and religious themes.

It is better if spiritual people who practice yamas and niyamas, meditation, concentration, etc., for self-purification completely avoid them, since they can interfere with their consciousness and create obstacles.

Worldly people may watch them for knowledge as well as entertainment, but should not solely depend upon them for knowledge or wisdom.

Know that our gods and goddesses are not subject to the modifications of the mind (vrittis) as depicted in them. They may participate in human drama, and may at times act like humans to drive home certain moral lessons, but they are not human beings.

They are the immortal gods of the highest realm and the guardians of this universe. Their minds are stabilized in peace, equanimity and sameness, and they are forever absorbed in the highest yoga of nonduality, united with Brahman and sharing his infinity, all knowing awareness, and blissful nature.

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