Kerala floods caused by the ‘wrath’ of the deity?

When we are upsetting their equilibrium, the environment pays us back.

Kerala floods caused by the ‘wrath’ of the deity?
Kerala floods caused by the ‘wrath’ of the deity?

Kerala had been receiving incessant rainfall almost on all years. But never in the known past of 100 years was a devastation of this extent experienced

At a time Nature-induced unprecedented tragedy is sweeping across both human and divine abodes in Kerala, the question in the air is whether this is the result of the wrath of the deity at Sabarimala for interfering with the rules of the temple and taking it to the court to decide. The judges of the Supreme Court had reserved their orders, but did Lord Ayyappa deliver his judgement by making His abode inaccessible to all?

Our Vedic sages had gone beyond this level of understanding and treated the earth, the atmosphere and the stellar space as one unit- Bhu, Buvah and Svah –  because whatever happens at one impacts the other

This is not the first time we are hearing this kind of justification for natural calamities. When the temple of Sri Raghavendra Swamy at Mantralaya was submerged by the floods of Tungabhadra in 2009, many people wondered whether it was related to the dismantling of the temple of Manchalamma, the family deity of Sri Raghavendra Swamy to provide the place for his Brindhavan.

Similarly, when a deluge struck at Kedarnath temple in 2013 caused by a cloudburst, many people attributed the resultant destruction to the wrath of Dhari Devi whose image was removed from her shrine just the previous day for the purpose of facilitating water storage for Alakananda dam under construction.

Linking natural disasters to the so-called ‘wrath’ of the deity is certainly disquieting in this age of reason. It also throws a bad light on the deities in general and on Hinduism in particular. It raises many questions on the very concept of deities as benefactors and the way they ‘behave’ much like human beings in retaliating when things go wrong for them. The ultimate question is whether this is what Hinduism seeks to convey. This article is an attempt to answer these questions through two concepts, the concept of portents and the concept of deities as a living consciousness.

Portents:

Portents are signs or omens that are supposed to indicate a calamity. Ancient sages of India had studied the occurrence of such portents and found a link between an event and a violation or an event and an after-effect. Varahamihira in his treatise called Brihad Samhita had compiled the portents taught by sage Garga to sage Atri in the 46th chapter of this book. These portents are basically related to the deities in the temple and the natural calamities caused by fire, rainfall, water (of the rivers) and wind that foretell the hardships to the people at large. According to the Vedic sages, they do indicate the displeasure of the deities. This concept seems to have thrived in the Hindu society for all these ages.

But this doesn’t clear the sullied image of the Hindu deities as angry ones and those who can be displeased. Are these deities ordinary mortals who show their displeasure when things don’t happen in the way they like, is the question that comes to our mind. Without stepping into theological realms, we can answer this by visualising the relationship between the deities and human beings in the same way how different elements of the earth behave.

The earth behaves like a single unit or a unitary cell. Whatever happens in Nature in one part of the earth has its impact on another part of the earth. The wind, the heat, the ocean currents, the atmospheric changes and the like do behave as parts of a single cell and interact and influence each other with the final result sinking on the earth impacting human life at some place in some way. This concept is almost accepted by the scientific community.

Our Vedic sages had gone beyond this level of understanding and treated the earth, the atmosphere and the stellar space as one unit- Bhu, Buvah and Svah –  because whatever happens at one impacts the other. A 4th component ‘Mahat’ was discovered by sage Mahachamasya, that encompasses all the three (Taittirya Upanishad 1- 5.1). This fourth component is known as Brahma or Atma or we can name it as consciousness for our understanding.

A major difference between Lord Ayyappa and other deities is that strict discipline is maintained both in the case of upkeep of temple and also in the lifestyle of the devotees who plan to visit the temple

This consciousness pervades all the three levels starting from the earth in the same way how our consciousness pervades the physical, vital and mental state of our own existence. Anything that happens in any part of our body would send a signal throughout the body and different parts of our body would react accordingly. This concept is applicable to our larger frame of existence, constituted by Bhu-Bhuvah-Svah. In this larger frame, every entity including human beings, animals, birds and even natural forces react or adjust with each other to attain a state of equilibrium – which at times appears as portents.

Consciousness as a binding factor.

Though Hinduism is a vast source of theological concepts on Gods, the underlying feature is that deities are living consciousness. The installation of the consciousness happens in two ways. The Universal consciousness is installed through mantra, yantra and tantra in temples. The consciousness of those who once lived in flesh and blood is also installed by the same means. This is based on the logic that nothing ceases to exist in Nature.  The feeling of I-ness, emotions, aspirations and thoughts that were very much real while alive cannot disappear into nothingness. All these as part of the consciousness are expected to live in a place while deified.

This is the idea behind many deities of Kerala, village deities and roadside deities who are supposed to guard against accidents those who seek blessings from them. These deities were once real persons who died while saving someone from death. Until a century ago this practice of deifying someone who died under distress was in vogue.

Lord Ayyappa was a historical person who has been deified due to the exemplary nature exhibited by him while alive. A major difference between Lord Ayyappa and other deities is that strict discipline is maintained both in the case of upkeep of temple and also in the lifestyle of the devotees who plan to visit the temple. This creates a kind of entanglement between the deity and the devotees in such a way that if anything upsets the equilibrium, it gets a reactionary manifestation somewhere.

Enclosed tweet by Mr. S Gurumurthy on Kerala flood

The liberals would not take any of these ideas. Our only word for them is that at least by thinking in these lines people get awakened to a collective conscience of a responsibility towards our environment

A comparable incident can be quoted from Silappadhikaram, the Tamil Epic on Kannagi who lived 2000 years ago. It tells about a time when the door of the Durga (Meenakshi) temple at Madurai could not be opened. This was perceived as the anger of the deity and a search was on to find out the wrong committed. It was found out that an innocent Brahmin was wrongly confined and only when he was freed, did the temple door open automatically.

This shows that the stronger the power of entanglement between the deity and the devotee, instantaneous would be the result of the violation committed to anyone one in the entanglement.

These nuances help us to answer certain questions before us.

  1. Many mistakes and wrongs are reported in many temples. But nothing of the kind of ‘wrath-manifestation’ happens in those places. So the whole idea of Lord Ayyappa showing his displeasure is wrong and silly.

Loads and loads of violations and wrongs are being done in most temples. The sanctity of those temples is definitely afflicted. This is certainly in contrast to Lord Ayyappa temple where strict adherence to discipline is followed. When it is violated, it is immediately detected through Prasna and rectified. This temple stands on a different plane.

  1. Floods and natural calamities are seen in many other places too. Which deity is responsible for those calamities?

A deity is primarily a manifestation of consciousness of high level. This consciousness is present everywhere, even in the natural forces around us. When we are upsetting their equilibrium, they pay us back. The environment pays us back. Which deity was responsible for the Chennai Floods of 2015? It was the environment that showed its fury. As part of the environment, we failed to act in unison with Nature as a collective consciousness. The closing of waterways and damage to land paid back as ‘anger’ or ‘displeasure’ of the deity (Nature).

  1. Kerala is in the front of receiving excessive rainfall all these years. It always stands the risk of floods and devastation caused by floods. Why connect such a natural occurrence with a deity?

Kerala had been receiving incessant rainfall almost on all years. But never in the known past of 100 years was a devastation of this extent experienced. When it happened, we look out for the causes. And there exists a cause now in making a tradition and discipline of this temple subject to judicial scrutiny. Never in the past had anyone dared to question the tradition of this temple. When it was questioned, a calamity broke out. This is as simple as that.

However, the liberals would not take any of these ideas. Our only word for them is that at least by thinking in these lines people get awakened to a collective conscience of a responsibility towards our environment. Hindu Thought dictates that everything in the environment – including animals like cows are part of the entanglement of the consciousness. Let people awaken to the consciousness in everything, both sentient and non-sentient and be aware of their right to existence and their right to their own tradition and not just the right to one’s own self-interests.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Dr Jayasree Saranathan

Dr. Jayasree Saranathan is a researcher, writer and astrologer with a Ph.D. in Astrology. Her research areas include Indology, Hindu Epics, Tamil Sangam literature and Astro-meteorology.

21 COMMENTS

  1. I leave with no more info than before i started reading. If one cant measure the object or the subject then that is maya. If one can not collect data and present it in the universal language that is called math, our ancestors were brilliant in it then its falsehood to begin. Just mere anecdote and coincidences does not merit analysis. If you have data suggesting interference of paranormal or in this case the divine themselves then present it.

  2. Muslim women can’t enter mosques. The courts will not dare to enter that area. They will interfere only in Hindu traditions. They are losing their credibility and respect.

  3. Good read. I would like to add this : Today Catholicism is said to be failing. But history shows that it was never accepted naturally outside Europe- it had to be proselytized. So my take is that since the Vatican was built with the remnants of destroyed pagan temples – at a time when nature was deified and temples were built, it was always struggling to capture the spiritual mind. So it resorted to imaginary concepts like “guilt” etc., as a tool for conversion. But in nature no animal is guilty of anything !. A false theology is now failing and they want to recapture lost ground through pseudo-seculars.

  4. Similar incident in recent memory was the Tsunami. There are striking connections between Tsunami and Arrest of Kanchi Acharyal. The day before Tsunami occurred, there was a strong rumour that the Bala periyaval was also to be arrested and Tsunami occurred just a day before Arudra Darshan. If the arrest had happened there wouldnt have been Arudra pooja in the mutt. There is a strong possibility Tsunami diverted the then vengeful State Government away from this case for some time. One of the victims of tsunami was a Supreme Court Judge who was confined by nature in Vivekananda Rock. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Tsunamis-hit-South-India-over-3000-killed/articleshow/971320.cms . The same Judge granted Bail subsequently https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1579661/
    Very similar to the Kannagi incident.

  5. Since the environment has been brought into the discussion, i would like the author or other competent person to analyze if there were any vastu related alterations done in the near past in the temple which caused this fury to happen. Reason, old temples are build in relation to vastu as they believe it stands against the environmental disasters if at all anything happens. That is the reason, temple in olden days are made as a place where people can convene where they can socialize and also will act as a emergency assembly point. Mantralaya and Kedarnath as mentioned, doing some alterations to the building need to be done keeping the agama in mind. If anything is done violating this agama practice, since the temple is not tuned to environment, disaster is prone to happen.
    When there was a tsunami and the entire land, cities and villages were drowned and damaged, statue to thiruvalluvar in the banks of kanyakumari did not face any damage. Thiruvalluvar is not worshiped as God. but his statue was designed by a great vastu shilpakari, Ganapathy stapathy. It stood against the environment fury!!!

  6. Could you please make two small corrections to my comment? After ‘obliterated,’ add the words ‘and the Old Testament based religions,’ as otherwise it sounds as if I am making the lost pagan faiths different from Sanatana Dharma as receipts of Jehova’s violence. I have referred to the author as ‘he”. Please read ‘she’ instead

  7. 1. The arguments made in the court is based on FAITH. If Kerala flood is brought into the argument as an evidence in support of their faith, then, will their evidence withstand the rigor of evidentiary rules for justice in the court of law?
    2. If the Kerala flood is just a portent, there HAS TO BE an immediate calamitous reaction if the court accepts neither the faith based argument or the evidence and passes a judgment against the current practice. If such a reaction happens, it will be a MIRACLE to witness and will provide a fillip to the religion. If it does not, it will be disaster to the religion. Do believers want to risk such a calumny to their religion?

    Logical answer to these questions will be a resounding “no”, which would make the question ill posed. Any defense of this indefensible question will not help the cause of the believers.

  8. The confusion is mainly due to our poor understanding of law and religion. Law is the BASIC MINIMUM, which must be followed across the board, by all sections of the people. For e.g. violence against women, divorce, 3T, all this come under the concept of BASIC MINIMUM. If this is not enforced then decay of society sets in. Again by decay, it not only mean fundamental rights alone, but the right to lead a dignified life.

    But on the same account, if a women is not allowed to enter temple, does it result in total decay of the society? My view is not so. Does it prevent her from leading a dignified life? Also please note in case of Sabarimala, not all women are prohibited. It is only women within certain age, who are prohibited.

    Therefore the question is “WHAT IS THE BASIC MINIMUM”, on which court has jurisdiction, and what is beyond that, which falls within the ambit of religion?

  9. Even if we believe in this article, the question is, are we really in a state of consciousness to assess the cause and effect relationship?

    • There is no need to believe in the article as it is the perception of the author. Level of state of consciousness ranges from 0% to 100% and all theists believe in effects in life, searching for causes. Precisely this is the reason why many Rishis took generations to comprehend the creation and understand the divine laws and they gave their findings to the humanity.

      Now it is left to the people to accept or reject these writings, but for every occurrence on this planet, there is a cause which again is a perception. But the fact is every human experiences in life occurrences, beating human logic. Then based on his % of conscous level he starts understanding what is written in texts or divine play. God, devatas are invisible and there is no evidence of their acts admissible in court of law. Hence atheism is in existence. But the irony is oath is taken in the name of God in courts, who have no evidence of existence of God. Hence it is time that courts should ban all religions and close all places of worship.This is the perception of atheists and pseudo Hindus, who have no idea of Hindu religion or devatas. Is it possible to understand the writings of thousands of years of rishis experiences in one life time ?

  10. Dieties or Devatas are INVISIBLE living consciousness. This is the founding principle of Hinduism based on which temple worship is evolved. All heavenly bodies, and pancha bhoothas are worshipped as they carry divine consciousness and influence the thought process of humans. A person performing homam will get invisible blessings from the devatas and if he is blessed, he can SEE devatas.

    If any living saint is troubled or devata is humiliated, the supreme force punishes the society as whole. Kindly note NO devata does any harm to people but the Lord uses devatas and human power to punish people. Kerala is an adharmic state filled with atheists , hence nature reacted.

    A typical case is that of death of YS Rajasekhar Reddy x CM of AP. It was Varuna deva who eliminated him thru an unimaginable cloud burst, when his helicopter crashed. He tried to humiliate Balaji. Indian judiciary and politicians should remember, that there is divine law, above man made corrupt laws and if they meddle with devatas, the punishment and suffering will be severe.

  11. This article is anti Hindu. The basic difference between Hinduism and the over- 2000 pagan religions which have been, unlike Hinduism, completely obliterated, and the Old Testament based religions, is that unlike Yaweh or Jehovah, the cruel God of the Old Testament, the gods of Santana Dharma are not vengeful to those who do not either believe in them or commit acts which insult or dishonour them. Because of the Us vs Them which the God of the Old Testament insists on, the four main OT faiths, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Marxism – fathered by Karl Marx, the quintessential Jew – are hurtling humanity towards destruction. It is an indication of the extent of their success that even Santana Dharmis are influenced to think like adherents of the jealous, punishing and capricious God of the OT. I would remind the writer of this piece to one thought from the Mitreyi Upanishad after reading which i hope she will murmur a soft prayer of forgiveness to Bhagwan Vishnu: “Keep the mind in the heart as long as it has not reached the Highest end. This is wisdom and this is liberation. Everything else is only words”

  12. Our Kanchi mahaswamigal – a God who lived with us has also said in Deivathin Kural that in places of worship like temples,what is ordained in Sastras should be followed.Hindus go to temples only with a sole purpose of pleasing the Gods & Devathas, so that they shower their blessings in the form of rains etc. Now in this practice the rules as laid down by our Acharyas & Rishis like Bagawadpadaal & Udaiyavar has to be followed. Such practices arising out of faith & scriptures, cannot be questioned by Court Judges who however learned they may be , has no locus standi to interpret the same . The touch stone of Gender equality /Constitution cannot be applied. There are certain temples where men are not allowed to enter. The SC judges should avoid taking a highly myopic view of looking through the lens of gender equality- in current modern sense and pass orders. Hindu religion gives women a high pedestal which no other religion does.Sc judges should avoid passing orders that hurt the sentiments of majority HINDUS.

    • Yes sir,I fully agree to the above views.
      Faith in GOD is just a total surrender.
      No questions asked,No arguments,No disbelief etc…etc…
      The main problem in the present day senario is that, people who think and act the other way are being highlighted as saviour by the so called intellectuals,certain sections of the media and the administrators.
      The administrators should understand one thing in mind that, they are not to satisfy the most ill conceived section of society.
      They are for the betterment of the society at large.

      Does any court can ask why Muslim ladies are not allowed to enter the Dargas?

      Why Christian Nuns are not made as Fathers(Fr),or to the higher ranks like popes?
      Every society is having it’s own principles and ethics.One should try to respect it with higher esteem.
      Similarly in our Hindu rituals too!!!

  13. Sita was wronged for second time & she went in to lap of her mother (Bhudevi-Mother Earth) when Lord Ram asked her to undergo the “agni pariksha” once again. It was an earth quake.
    When the Brahmin woman was wronged, Madurai is cursed to be in drought prone since then.

  14. Fully true…. though it may sound orthodox thinking, there is huge metaphysics in it. it is said that natural calamities like floods or extreme summer or drought or landslides happen when there is something wrong drastically happening in society. Earth quakes, lighting strikes, disasters happen when the country does wrong to others or imlements wrong policies i.e. USA pereneially have been imposing economic sanctions on all countries for one dirty reason to others. So its coast lines in Lousiana (hurricanes) / california (wildfires) or Australian forest fires are now become something like a normal season.
    Mahabharata is full of such stories – Akash vani giving warnings. Ramayana had many warnings to Ravana.

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