“I Am Awed!” Hindu Youth Q & A Series
Are Hindus Nature Worshippers?
A series of “Little Questions and Lucid Answers” sessions were conducted to explore the greatness and depth of Hinduism through questions posed by global Hindu Youth to Sri Ramanujamji.
The excerpts of each of these questions and answers are being presented every month by our youth, as they understand and absorb it.
The original Q & As are also presented as short videos on our YouTube channel as the “I Am Awed” series. Here is the link to the original video, where Sri Ramuji answers this question – https://youtu.be/2e2WXehDJWw
You may have heard many people say, “Hindus are nature worshippers,” but is that true? Hindus don’t worship nature itself. We worship divinity, and we realize that nature is an expression of divinity. We believe that nature and its elements are a manifestation of the one God and revere the divinity contained in it.
The logic of “Oh, I am afraid of lightning so I will worship it,” is not at all correct. What we do is we try to understand the evolution of the cosmos as the work of the divine, and then worship that divinity.
When we read academic books or translated versions of our religious texts, especially those translated by those who do not follow or practice our dharma, they do not reflect the actual meaning being conveyed by the original text in the original language. Hence, to learn about what our Sanatana Dharma is really saying, we need to read the original sources and texts like Srimad Bhagavatam along with commentaries by Mahatmas who have actually experienced the import of those texts.
We know that nature is just the power of Bhagavan, and we are worshipping nature as if it is Bhagavan and His unmanifested/manifested power. We are taking the logic that if Bhagavan created nature and is within every entity on this planet, he should also be in nature. So when we revere nature, we are worshipping Bhagavan. There is no worshipping nature itself in this practice. Sri Ramu Anna gives an example – if you are worshipping (revering) a guru’s kirtan, you should worship it because you know that it came from a guru, not just because the song sounds nice or you like it a lot. If the guru has composed this song, then any song from him that we worship is also worshipping the guru.
Another interesting point to note is that our ancient culture’s spiritual evolution is such that we may disagree with the philosophy, but we worship the philosopher. If your Acharya has a different philosophical opinion than my Acharya, he isn’t at odds with the philosopher; he is merely disagreeing with the philosophy. There is a difference. In different traditional philosophical traditions, if you notice, followers of a particular tradition may disagree with the premise of other philosophies, but the Acharya or philosopher who showed each tradition is revered by all. This is one of the reasons why Sanatana Dharma has stood its ground through the ages. This is because our Sanatana Dharma is eternal, and such is the grandness of our religion.
Srinidhi Nenmeni, 10yrs, Atlanta, GA
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