Shastra Poojaa & Shaastra Pooja

Conflict situations have always existed in society. They get aggravated from time to time. They develop in to disputes. If not resolved by dialogue, disputes end up in war.

Dialogue succeeds under the guidance of knowledgeable persons who set out rules for peace-time social and individual conduct. Violation of peace time norms starts conflicts.

Fighting wars needs weapons. Weapons can be operated by skilled persons. Both in peace and war, an army of such skilled and trained fighters has to be maintained. Only its size differs. What should the army do with weapons in peace time?

Obviously keep them in good working condition for use when required.

So far so good, but the situation takes a worse turn when the army is over-equipped. Ambitions can disturb equilibrium in the neighbourhood or region or even the world.

Starting from world war-II, we can go to ancient times. The war between Ram and Ravan is staged in India and several other countries as Ram Leela. It is described as victory of good over evil also.

Treating it as a religious legend is irrational, even unscientific. The reason is that Ravan, the King of Lanka (now Sri Lanka), was no ordinary person. He was an acknowledged scholar of the treatises, a devotee of Lord Shiva, possessed high tech weapons and war machines, had a fleet of aircraft, had complete sway over the sky-sea-earth, possessed the wealth of the world since his kingdom was made of gold, had a well developed pharmacy and doctors, his defence could not be penetrated and he enjoyed all round security (both internal and external), had mastered Time having tied it to the leg of his bed. Such a person is impossible to defeat by any enemy. That thought made him proud. Above all, he had Amrit(the immortality potion) in his navel which grew his head instantly if cut in war with an enemy. That made Ravan invincible.

 

Now take stock of the situation in the world today. Think of the last decade of this century by when Mars and Moon would have been colonised by man. Space wars will threaten the very survival of planet Earth. The powerful nations dominating space would possess the capabilities of destroying anybody at will. Science would have developed non-ageing/ non-dying drugs akin to the immortality potion amrit. Death conquered, all the assets of the universe will be in the hands of a single individual or group (nations might become outdated by that time). How would the human race face the challenge from such a power? The similarity between Ravan of yore and man of the 21st Century is so striking!

Ravan became too proud and modern man is even more proud than Ravan. What has an evil called terrorism done to the human race? In less than 25 years it has created such an upheaval that a nuclear war seems so real in this century itself. The terrorists don’t care about the consequences and the super-powers are unable to eradicate terrorism from the world. That is the evil Ravan symbolizes.

The terrorists are no ordinary mortals. They know what they are doing and why they are doing. They work in the modern knowledge society. They are well networked. They are trained and expert in terrorists attacks on innocent civilians. If they come to possess nuclear weapons, the end of this world is certain.

It is this necessity of defeating evil that needs attack by Ram. This war against terrorism can’t be waged by another Ravan, but only by Ram.

One needs to study properly this subject. The festival of Dussehra in India is celebrated as victory of good over evil in this sense, besides the religious reasons. Evil in society has always caused harm to good citizens but that evil has been controlled by police and judiciary. The worst among them have even been executed. But evil of the kind terrorism poses or a super-power might pose by starting the third world war, needs to be destroyed by following the Ram Doctrine.

The Ram Doctrine establishes the realm of good in all respects by describing good behavior at personal, social or government level. It brooks no concession- none even for the King. The king must set the best example of good conduct and win public trust.

The law of Nature is very powerful. When individual excesses cross all limits, Nature steps in to restore order in life. A Ravan also has to die even though he might be in possession of amrit.. To destroy him, a Ram arrives on the scene. The ten headed Ravan was vanquished by Ram in a battle that didn’t last even 10 days. That is how Nature restores order in life.

The 20th Century killed God. we can’t say God intervenes to restore order in life. That is why we say Nature intervenes.

Surprisingly, science itself is going to discover God.

Space exploration is evidence of its effort. Whether they find Him/Her or not, they will have to accept that the universe is a Creation and no simplistic Evolution. Someone is regulating it. Hence, no one can destroy it. The Creator alone is capable of destroying it. It is His function to create and destroy and create again. That explains the life and death cycle we are witness to. He alone has the matter and energy to create, sustain and run such a huge creation.

Hindus worship their arms on the occasion of Dassehra.

The significance lies in the word “worship”. It mandates that arms are not to be used carelessly. They can be used only for two reasons: either to reach succour to the innocent people or to punish the wicked (paritraanaaya cha saadhunaaya, vinaashaaya cha duskritaam) and establish peace & public order.

Is someone trying to do so in the modern world? After the industrial revolution in the west and establishment of technological superiority of some nations over others, the world has already witnessed the worst- much worse than in the times of Ravan. Why should the United States of America take upon itself the responsibility of maintaining order in the world? Has it been authorized by someone to do so or it has simply entered the conflict of its own? Has it been appreciated for it or denounced and vilified? The world today is witnessing indiscriminate use of arms. The two world wars and several long drawn armed conflicts and now terrorists using modern arms indiscriminately highlight the consequences of such irresponsible behaviour. Now even school children are shooting their classmates or teachers in the school premises!

Arms cannot be used otherwise than for public good and never for wicked purposes. That is the purpose of Shatra Pooja or arms worship among the Hindus. Nobody in the whole cosmos (Brahmaand) possesses or shall ever come to possess omnipotence over the rest of the creation. He alone is omnipotent. Since He is the master of His own will, He is not at the command of the human beings who mistake it to be non-existence of Him. Can the USA or even the UNO discharge the responsibilities of the Omnipotent? Is it scientific? Is it reasonable to think so in the times of the discovery of the exoplanets? The search for other worlds than our own goes on.

There lies the lesson in shastra pooja and shaastra poojaa: worship books of knowledge and arms. Those who bear arms must worship them and never disrespect them by their misuse or abuse. Arms are not for frightening people; they are meant to assure them of security in times of need. The National Day Parades in all countries are a public display of Shastra Pooja. Ignorance of the objectives and strategy of shastra pooja draws absurd comments from some persons. Nation or individuals need to bear arms in public interest. They must also worship knowledge and books for contributing to the betterment of the people.

History is evidence that the best cultures that ever existed were those that performed shastra poojaa and shaastra pooja regularly, which made them as powerful nations.

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