A Darshan of Garbage

Media Watch

Amrit Sadhana writes on July 2, 2013 in the Deccan Herald, India:

Picture for representational purposes only.
(Picture for representational purposes only.)

Osho said, “Godliness is next to cleanliness” and I could understand this Osho idiom when I saw pictures of the oceanic garbage in the Uttarakhand area.

I fail to understand the minds of people who worship the idol in a temple and completely neglect the environment all around. The vast nature, the breathtaking beauty of the hills and the rivers has no meaning for such devotees. What kind of religious attitude is this that makes people so insensitive, so irreverent to life?

My friends in the West often ask me this question. One intelligent man asked, “Darshan is so important in Indian spirituality, you guys go to the guru, to the temple to have a darshan. And the meaning of darshan is to look closely, deeply, isn’t it?”

I said, “Yes,” without having the slightest clue what this was leading to. “If they have the capacity to look, they can see everything. So why can’t they have a darshan of garbage, the filth lying all around? Why can’t they see the poverty of the vast majority?”

I had no answer. He had touched a raw nerve. I could never understand it myself, too. The more religious a person becomes, the more he is careless about his surroundings. This could be because what they call religion, only exists in some rituals, some traditional methods of prayer and worship. Most people have a split personality.

Their religion does not transform their baser emotions. Their devotion does not make them more compassionate and kind to human beings, to the animals or to trees.

They go to the temples to collect some virtue, punya as if virtue means some kind of money that can be stored. Take Osho’s advice, “You have to clean yourself; and nothing less than emptiness will be accepted as cleanliness. Cleanliness is next to emptiness. In fact, cleanliness is another name for inner emptiness. Throw out all the rotten furniture and rags.”

It is an ancient culture, so it is full of ancient junk. Unless it is thrown out cleanliness will be next to impossible! – The writer is in the management team of Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune. She facilitates meditation workshops around the country and abroad.

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