Often in life, we find ourselves pondering a curious question: In India, even stones are worshiped? Some folks find this idea confusing because they see it as blind devotion, thinking it pushes our society towards the mindless pursuit of money. They believe that honouring a stone can manipulate feelings and harm our society.
But, before we jump to conclusions, let’s take a moment to think deeply. Is this view entirely correct, or is there a deeper truth we’re missing? The tradition of worshiping stones has been around for thousands of years, so there must be a good reason behind it, more than just superstition.
It’s quite surprising when well-educated people in a highly intellectual society raise these questions. However, perhaps the intrigue lies in this very mystery. Could it be that there’s ancient wisdom hidden within these age-old practices? Maybe there’s an ancient philosophy that has adapted and evolved to remain relevant in our modern world.
Today, let’s start a journey to discover the concealed spiritual wisdom from India that supports these traditions. As we dig deeper, we might begin to grasp why these practices have endured and why they continue to hold deep meaning for countless people. Within this cultural treasure trove, we find evidence of the enduring strength of ancient Indian Santana wisdom, bridging the past and the present and offering lessons that transcend time itself.
Bharat and Bhagwan
Spiritual significance in the name ‘Bharat’ is where rules and sentiments intersect. The word ‘Bharat’ is composed of two words – ‘Bha‘ which means deep meditation, and ‘Rat’ which means absorbed. This signifies that Bharat is a land deeply engrossed in profound meditation. The name is associated with the land of King Bharat. This land not only upholds the importance of laws and rules but also equally respects the sentiments of its people. If rules govern the material world, the emotions of the public are undeniably tied to spirituality.
Many have experienced that Bharat (India) is a place profoundly supportive of one’s spiritual development. Why is it that people come to India for spiritual upliftment? It’s because India is widely acknowledged as the ‘Sahastrara’ of the Earth, a place where the aura of sentiments and feelings pervades, contributing to our spiritual growth.
Out of immense respect for these sentiments, people refer to their deities as ‘Bhagwan’. In common practice, it is observed that when individuals form emotional (bhawnatmak) bonds with someone or something, they often start considering it as Bhagwan (the God). For the sake of example, during difficult times, when a stranger aids us and helps us out of a predicament, we may express gratitude and even see them as a divine savoir, believing they assumed a form of Bhagwan (God) to rescue us from our plight. We connect our emotions (Bhawna) with God (Bhagwan), and why shouldn’t we? After all, it is our human nature to have feelings (Bhawana), and it is these very emotions that define our humanity.
Consciousness had a seed from which this entire universe emerged, and we refer to that seed as ‘Maya’. Initially, the subtle universe took shape, followed by the emergence of the tangible, material universe. Anything created in this universe undergoes two distinct stages. Initially, it takes shape within the creator’s mind, in a virtual realm of imagination, and subsequently, it manifests itself in the physical world. Similarly, consciousness, in its subtle form, transformed into the observable, material universe – an event we know as the ‘Big Bang’ or Mahapralaya.
In essence, this transformation implies that the gradual development occurring in nature led to the shift from the subtle to the gross, or from consciousness (subtle universe) to gross universe. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, “Nature develops itself by gradual changes”, also aligns with this gradual progression in nature. Initially, there existed a gross form, namely a stone kingdom, followed by the mineral kingdom where consciousness remained dormant (100% Awidhya). Whether it is stone or mineral, both fall under the category of Annamayakosha, characterized by complete materiality and possessing only a physical body. Since dormant consciousness resides within, it implies a state of complete ignorance (Blissful ignorance), thus rendering the stone unaware of its own existence. Through the gradual progression of nature, the stone also evolved. After billions of years, its dormant consciousness was awakened, leading to its transformation into a plant kingdom which has Annamaykosha with Pranmaykosha. In this new form, consciousness persisted, coexisting with some residual ignorance (Awidhya).
The sequence persists as the animal kingdom emerges, embodying the Annamayakosha, Pranamayakosha, and Manomayakosha, symbolizing the corporeal, vital, and emotional aspects. Ultimately, with the development of intellect (Buddhi), the human realm emerges, embracing all the five sheaths (Panchkosha), including the Annamayakosha, Pranamayakosha, Manomayakosha, Vigyanmayakosha, and Anandamayakosha.
Remarkably, we, as consciousness, were once akin to stones billions of years ago. We are humans who have manifested within the consciousness embodied by stones. This connection fosters an emotional attachment to stones, leading us to express our sentiments (Bhawana) and gratitude, deeming them as divine or God (Bhagwan). This is why we hold stones in reverence. In the end, it holds true that God (Consciousness) resides within not only living things but in every particle across the universe, epitomized by the concept, mahawakya called “Aham Brahmasmi!“. In the timeless model of Sanatana wisdom in India, nothing exists without purpose; everything serves a spiritual role. The key lies in shedding the veil of ignorance within and perceiving with the radiance of inner wisdom.