Does God seek revenge?

With God’s grace and persistent reminders from my uncle, after 5 long years of our wedding, we could finally perform the Satyanarayana Swamy Vratham at our residence. The pooja went on well under my parents’ guidance and help. We felt really peaceful and happy having undertaken the Vratham.

swamyBesides the pooja we were happy to host our extended family for lunch and we thoroughly enjoyed the family gathering. So, all went well except for 2 minor hiccups which are the cause and reason behind this blog post.

For those unaware, this pooja is sacred and is performed once a year by many Telugu house holds. It includes a detailed pooja procedure followed by 5 stories narrating the history of the pooja and the power of the God.

These stories, to my utter bewilderment, indicate that the Lord gets angry on anyone who vouch to do the Pooja and couldn’t undertake it. He goes to the extent of effecting the health & wealth and even causing death to the kith and kin of the person who vouched. I strongly deny to attribute these qualities to my Lord. I am sure my Almighty can never be so revenge-seeking. His motto can not be chasing every non-abiding human being into living-hell. If it is so, can we really treat him as the Supreme Power?

So these stories must have been invented by our ancestors. But for what purpose? Shouldn’t devotion be born out of sheer love? Will the fear induced Pooja process serve any purpose?

The second glitch was that at the beginning of the Pooja, we were allowed to give only the names of my in-laws. The reasons quoted by Pandit ji for denying the names of my parents  were in-comprehensible. Don’t I have the basic right of praying for the peace and prosperity of my parents?

Aren’t these practices the root cause of some problems in the Society today?

PS: I am not an atheist. I believe in Almighty. My faith is my strength and my guiding factor. My problem is with customs and practices.

 

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7 thoughts on “Does God seek revenge?

  1. It does not matter if the 5 stories are invented or not.
    But the stories might have evolved over a period of time. (i mean the wording of the stories).

    One of the story is about a trader, who loses his daughter and son-in-law to floods and gets them back almost immediately when he obliges to fulfill his promise of doing the puja.
    The death of his daughter might have never happened and merely an illusion (a divine remainder. may be?)

    The story can be seen as worshiping a vengeful god who will not forget silly mistakes or merely a lesson stating that a Human should not take his word lightly.

    Infact, all the stories serve the same meaning that ‘How much ever powerful position devout is in OR how much weak listener’s social status is, you will be treated same if you don’t keep your word.

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    • Thank you kcsomisetty for writing your interpretation of the stories. I give your interpretation the due credit it deserves. But I would also like to point out few things. One a man can be held responsible for his deeds but involving his family? – Isn’t it a stretch? Two the version of the story I heard states that the daughter’s husband drowns because the daughter forgets to eat the prasadam as she hurries to receive her husband at the port. I am all ears to understand the interpretation of this specific twist too.

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      • “One a man can be held responsible for his deeds but involving his family? – Isn’t it a stretch?”
        => No it is not. Individual facing punishments for their own deeds is a relatively modern concept (20th century). Once, I read that (wikipedia?) a chinese emperor ordered execution of Royal Court official and his family (to the 10th degree) because the official criticized emperor’s stupidity in front of the public. By 10th degree I mean, any person related to this official by a 10 notches of relation (son/wife being 1st degree, grandson is 2nd degree).

        “Two the version of the story I heard states that the daughter’s husband drowns because the daughter..”
        This is probably to imbibe fear and to motivate people to follow the rules as is and never take them lightly, I can assure that i missed eating prasadam quite a few times and my yet-to-exist wife has not died.

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      • Sure, an emperor could do that. He is not God material. But to attribute similar concept to God is what I fail to understand. And is it not interfering with our Karma Sidhantham? Also our chitragupta’s task of maintaining sin account will get cumbersome with all these cross karma linkages. Wife and husband sharing boons and banes is fine but why poor daughter and son-in-law. Anyways we are digressing I feel.
        My whole point is faith according to me is a very personal and profound feeling. Today faith is confused with fear.
        I teach my son the difference between good and bad. I give him the space to experiment and learn on his own. I do not punish him to make him only do good deeds. If I do that the essence of self judgement is lost and my son will always be a fearing person. I would prefer if he realizes the difference between good and bad on his own and can relate to the inputs I gave him. Only then he will trust me for my merits and look up to me when in doubt.
        Though the analogy may not be appropriate – Mother vs God but the essence remains the same

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  2. This is a perplexing issue from ages regarding “Does god really punish us if we disobey? ”. I can’t give a straight answer for this but in particular when we talk about “Satyanarayana swamy puja” this puja serves as a reminder that one should practice truth and truthful conduct.If we analyze the stories associated with Puja, the symbolism becomes self-evident. In them we will notice that people suffer when they fail to honor truth, but overcome their difficulties when they observe it. We may worship Lord Satyanarayana occasionally through rituals, but practicing truth and honesty in our daily life is true worship. That’s what the 5 stories in this puja explains in various lives.

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  3. Interesting Sowji to see your thoughts on this. For me the real Satyanarayana pooja is about our soul reaching the Supreme through following the path of truthfulness. The stories simply signify the karma affects of denying/refraining the truth. I perceive that the GOD almighty ordains the world through the law of Karma and this might perceived like revenge , in fact it just a process to realize the inner Self by going through affects of Karma and reach the Brahman.

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