07 March 2011

Ling Poojan - Part 2

This post is a continuation of my earlier post in which I have tried to probe the falsities of the pseudo scientific explanation being provided these days to explain various religious customs prevalent in the society, especially the case in consideration here “Ling Poojan” or Phallus worship. The case of Naga sadhus is often advocated as an important example whenever someone wants to stress the importance of “Shaivism/Shaiva Culture” and has often been put forward as arguments for Ling Poojan.

In fact it is a very weak argument, if it is any. The way Naga sadhus stay butt naked, their ability to keep their penis erect for quite long periods of time, the strength of their penis when they lift heavy stone tied to it etc. has often been forwarded to show how strong a penis can be and its importance as a thing of worship. Big deal ! Almost all virile and young men get erections whenever they think of sex or girls. It is very common among teenagers to have long periods of penile erection during which they keep thinking about and get obsessed about sex and girls. Blame it on age and hormones.

I am sure many of you have seen TV programmes such as “Guiness book of world records” and “Ripley’s Believe it or not”. I saw one programme where they showed someone lifting up heavy stones or bricks tied to their penis. Do these people, who are incidentally not Indians, start practicing phallus worship? Do people in their countries think that they should indulge in such practice just because some people have shown the strength of their penis on TV?


They have shown many people try to and succeed in pulling aeroplanes or trucks with their teeth or hairs. Why don’t we start worshipping hairs and teeth for that?

Believe it or not, even Fellatio has been advocated as one of the reasons to justify Phallus worship by some people. I cannot think of anything more foolish than this.

Many people swear by the name of Indian Philosophy while they justify phallus worship. It only serves to make Indian philosophy something to ridicule and laugh at in the eyes of the world. Yes, I know, many will say that that is because most people of other countries do not understand Indian Philosophy. This statement reeks of undeserving superiority complex and stupidity. Only a fool claims to know everything. Wise men never do so.

Wisdom and Philosophy are ever-changing things. There has been world famous and great philosophers such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Sir Francis Bacon, Emmanuelle Kant etc apart from our home grown ones such as Ved Vyas, Aryabhatta, Charvak, Patanjali, Pingala etc.

The main difference between the outside world and India has been that while in most of other countries, philosophical works have been understood, questioned, researched, reviewed and then new philosophical thought/logic/premises have been developed, in India it has been just the opposite. After the ancient period, Indian philosophy has become stagnant. And like all stagnant bodies, it has started showing signs of decay. We rest on our past glory. We do not want to question and review what has been written in ancient philosophical and religious scriptures. We are afraid of our society, forgetting that it is we who constitute the society. We are afraid of change. Truth, for us is what is written in the religious scriptures or told to us by religious Gurus not what we understand by our logic to be true and correct.

Indian philosophy needs to be resurrected. We need to question many unnecessary and harmful customs. We need to think from new angles. We need to be skeptics.

The question is not whether a particular organ of our body is very important or not, cause almost all organs of our body are very important for us. The question is , whether or not to worship an organ of our body just because it is an important organ.

Yes this practice has been prevalent throughout India. But is it not time to change some things. This change will not come overnight. But at least we should start to make some small changes. Small steps today will lead to big changes tomorrow. It is high time we give more importance ot science and logic rather than religion, which has only served the purpose of dividing mankind throughout the ages.

Even skepticism has been changing. Someone who could be called a sceptic or an atheist about 200-300 years ago would be considered by modern atheists as a believer. It is but natural that understanding and thought processes change with time. We go against nature when we do not want to change, when we want to live in a stagnant and decaying society in the name of culture and customs.

How many of those people who swear by Indian culture and religious Babas actually go to them when they have any medical problem. I have seen many people shout at the top of their voice that Sanskrit is the best language, and then give thousands of rupees donations to get their children admitted to English medium schools. Oh, how much steeped in hypocrisy are we!

It is often said in India that atheists are people who follow the western culture blindly. That they do not understand anything about Indian culture or philosophy. If this is not an illogical statement, I do not know what is ! It is a fact that we cannot deny that most modern research and study has been carried out in western countries. The research and discoveries being done in India is also being published in English rather than Sanskrit and Urdu. These languages, apart from serving literary purposes have been relegated to Madrasas and Gurukuls, which incidentally do not have anything to do with modern life, technology, progress and science.

Even if you learn Sanskrit, what great use is it going to be for your career?

How does the knowledge of Sanskrit make one more logical or learned than someone who knows English?

How does logic depend on the knowledge of any language?

Why are we so afraid to question our religious scriptures, whether it is of any religion? These books were written by people who were less educated than us. How can they be wiser and more intelligent than us? Come on … we are supposed to be human beings, and not pet animals that are supposed to obey there master’s every command.

04 March 2011

Ling Poojan

"Ling Poojan" or Phallus worship has been an accepted norm in the Indian society for time immemorial. The Ling is considered as a symbol of Lord Shiva, one of the three main Gods in the Indian Mythology. There has been various arguments to justify such kind of act, ranging from social arguments, religious, psychological to some pseudo scientific arguments that have come forward these days.
Let us have a look into some of the pseudo scientific arguments that are being put forward from various quarters to justify such illogical customs.
Let us for once keep the matter of faith and the psychological advantages of faith aside and look into the act itself from a scientific viewpoint.
The whole idea of worshipping a body part as a god is hilarious to say the least. If we can worship a penis or a vagina, why not worship a liver or a kidney or an intestine for that matter?
Next comes the question of justifications for the "Ling Poojan".
First of all the comparison of the snakes on the Linga with the DNA double helix. We are so naively assuming that whatever the modern technology, through years of painstaking hard work, has unveiled now, was known to forest dwelling half educated or illiterate unsocial bums long long ago, who did not have any idea of even our body parts. These so called ascetics did not even know what is an intestine or how does a kidney function, and now they are supposed to know a DNA, and actually fashion a worship idol based on its complex structure.
There has been examples of Nuclear Reactors and Galaxies to explain the shape of the Linga and the surrounding Yoni . This custom of worshipping the Linga started quite some time back in the history at which point of time neither was there any nuclear reactor, nor was their any telescope to understand the shape of galaxies. So, these justifications are not only a vain and oft-repeated attempt at explaining illogical and uninformed customs, but also criminal conspiracies at misleading gullible people. It has become a fashion these days to try to explain every superstition by using scientific terms and bending the science.
Whoever has explained the Shivalinga as a nuclear reactor seems to have very sketchy knowledge about a reactor's function, most probably gathered from the internet and is clearly under the impression that similar shapes mean similar things.
A similar attempt has been made at explaining the Shivalinga by comparing it to a gland at the base of our brain, the pineal gland. So, now the linga has become a gland.
Comparing by shape and then declaring it to be the same .... if this is not blind superstition, I do not know what is.
Quite similar to some people who declare that the Betel leaf is very good for human heart just because it is heart shaped (the commercial shape of heart as advertised by various media, not the real shape of heart, which of course is unknown to such people).