By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 18-08-2016
We are all great idol worshippers of the first order. And the great idol we worship is physically our own body, and mentally our own ego. The time, energy, and money we spend and the pain we endure in shaping, grooming, and beautifying our body is beyond any description. There is no length to which persons will not go, and no effort they will spare to achieve their narcissistic goals. Look at the fashion designers who design clothes to cover as well us to reveal and high-light our natural endowments that were called not long ago pudenda (those things that one needs to be ashamed of). There was a wedding to which I was invited where a prayer was to be said at home before the bride was to be sent to the church for the ceremony. I was asked to say the prayer before the great gathering. It was supposed to be at first five minutes; at the last minute to save time it was shortened to two minutes to say a few words and then a short prayer. Bride’s father asked me to do this. During the prayer the bride’s father who stood close to me looked twice at his watch. I took the liberty to comment on this. I will not be called to such functions in the future, I know. So what? I need to remind you that there was time for over an hour of photography before the prayer. What does it say about us as a society? The keepers of religious rituals accommodate very well the wants of the consumer society lest their own standard of living will be imperilled. Yet we worship Christ who whipped and drove away the vendors and moneychangers who turned the temple – his father’s house of worship – into a place of commercial enterprise. The chief priests were enraged at what he did. Similar actions of Christ tolled his death knell. The consumer society has a seductively clever way of packaging stuff that we become willing prey to its trickery and deception. But then who is the consumer society? It is us. The society that we create seduces us. And we become a one big happy community of hypocrites because we do not want to lose our own share of goodies. If you talk against it be sure you will be ostracized and crucified. Talk only at your own peril of being an outcaste. The consumer society that militates against the Kingdom of God has the power to make us helpless and losers in worldly pursuits and choice ecclesiastical positions of power. I can assure you that no bishop who openly talks like Christ did will get to the centers of ecclesiastical power that rules the Church that was supposed to be founded by the humble carpenter of Nazareth. It is also our ego who does not want to forgive and get reconciled, who wants to nurse our hurts and take revenge, and who wants to settle the score for every mistreatment or slight. Shall we then continue to worship our own bodies and massage our own egos? This is a choice that we all need to make. This is a choice not to be left for the trepid old age crippled by fear and physical infirmities intent on getting to heaven through endless pious rituals and devotions.
About The Author
Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.