Sacred Garbage

by Aranyakananda

Beginning the process of eliminating the amount of “stuff” we have, which will in turn lead to the packing process for moving out and into a new apartment has pointed out to me an interesting aspect of my chosen dharma. Hindus tend to believe that all of creation is sacred. That is a part of it that I, admittedly, struggle with in practice, though I find it quite acceptable in theory. But in terms of packing to move, I am the type that would rather throw everything away and start over when we move.

Herein lies the issue. Hinduism is a quite utilitarian worldview, I think. So it is all a matter of “Do I still need it, could someone else still use/re-purpose it, or has the item in question simply outlived its utility?” Has it fulfilled it’s sacred purpose? And even if it has, it is still a manifestation of Brahman, innit? It is hard to bear in mind the sacredness of all things when you are trying to toss out garbage bags full of said things as quickly and efficiently as possible. And to be clear, in reality, of the items we are not taking with us we are donating/selling/giving away as much as possible rather than simply dumping it. Neither one of us, in reality, would be comfortable with that, though anyone who has moved has been close to that point, I am sure.

Moving also forces one to stare another dilemma square in the face. Namely, how can all things be sacred when things=maya=delusion, and delusion seems to stand in direct opposition to moksha. Really it doesn’t though. When one can see maya as part of the divine process and not as the other side of the coin to the sacred, then one sees all “things” as sacred without the apparent contradiction. There is a major difference between seeing things as a manifestation of Brahman and worshiping things as Gods (idolatry/materialism run amok).

Jai Hari Aum.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in American Hindus, Aum, Brahman, current events, dharma, Dharmic Faiths, Divine Consciousness, dualism, duality, Eastern Philosophy, God, gratitude, Hinduism, idolatry, inspiration, life, Maya, meaning of life, moksha, non-dualism, opinion, philosophy, pluralism, Sanatana Dharma, Satan, social commentary, spirituality, Vaishnavism, Vedanta, Vishnu, Western Hinduism, White Hindus, yoga and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sacred Garbage

  1. Dhrishti says:

    “Namely, how can all things be sacred when things=maya=delusion, and delusion seems to stand in direct opposition to moksha…There is a major difference between seeing things as a manifestation of Brahman and worshiping things as Gods ” – You’re correct. There is definitely a major difference. It’s important to know this difference when speaking with non-Hindus about your Faith. In my understanding, all things are sacred AND part of Maya. At every turn, the natural world points to the supernatural world. Because “things” are the result of your sensory perception within Maya, they are no more real/lasting than that perception – which is quite transitory.

    Quite frankly, any murti is exactly like any sock or fork or … anything. It’s just a thing. Being too attached to a metal statue with four arms is as dangerous as being too attached to your blue-ray collection. Of course, to the Hindu, the biggest difference between a murti and a blue-ray disc is how precise either might point to Brahman. Obviously the murti easily wins out, as it is intended.

    Maybe you could donate some of your items to your temple to be sold for donations that would go to the temple? My local temple is in the middle of a multi-hundreds-of-millions-of-American-dollars construction project and folks are all the time bringing things to place on a side table we have set up. You bring your stuff, leave it at the table, and people drop some $$$ into a hundi or donation box depending on the value they assign to the item they’re taking – knowing it’s going to the temple.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s