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Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
Outlook.com

‘The Lord Does Not Exist’

The angry Brahminical god has tried to dominate the aboriginal, ambiguous deities. Then came the poet-saints, who transformed worship into an act of deep, silent personal love.

‘The Lord Does Not Exist’
Photograph by Alamy
‘The Lord Does Not Exist’
outlookindia.com
2017-12-26T13:21:10+05:30

The line of the title of this piece does not come from an atheist. Akappey Cittar, the Tamil Siddha from around the fifteenth century who wrote it, is marking his distance from orthodoxy by proclaiming ‘pure nothingness’. Not just the Lord, but for him, he himself does not exist, nor does the Self or the preceptor. Much of the world of appearances does not exist either. Only ‘pure void’ exists. But his is a minority voice, overwhelmed and overpowered by a strong binary that Chapter 1343(15) of the Raja Dharma Parva of the Mahabharata proposes.

Without fear of punishment and of violence, says the Mahabharata, neither fame nor prosperity can be attained on this earth. Gods who had killed (Rudra, Skanda, Agni, Varuna, Yama, Surya, Vayu, Kubera, the Vasus, the Maruts, the Sadhyas, the Vishvadevas) have greater respect and veneration than those gods prone to peace, self-control and restraint (Brahma, Dhata, Pushan). Depending on the context, people in India have chosen to portray their gods as angry, violent and punishing; or as benign, compassionate and...

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