The Hindu’s relationship to his or her gods!

Amit Chaudhuri in The Telegraph:

It [the saying “Lakshmi and Saraswati never inhabit the same house.”] bears the curious, forbearing mark of indulgence that distinguishes the Hindu’s relationship to his or her gods: a withdrawal of judgment, a suppression of condemnation. Why, after all, could Lakshmi and Saraswati not live in the same house, when it would have made things so much easier? We — the petitioners — won’t go there, however; any more than a retired Bengali grandfather would ask his son to come back from California to look after him. A strange protectiveness, traditionally, characterizes the Hindu’s love for his deities; it is, for instance, what makes the transference of the worshipper during the Durga Pujas from son and supplicant at the beginning of the festivities to notional, grieving father (as the visit to the paternal home comes to an end) both simple and logical. We don’t comprehend our deities’ behaviour any more than we do our childrens’; but we do know our emotions are implicated in their movements and disappearances, and so we’re willing to give them a fair amount of leeway. We are, in other words, as bound to them by maya, the law of illusory, indefatigable attraction and desire, as we are to anything else.

By the way, the same saying is used in our homes too; and, it was Gowri Puja instead of the Durga Puja in which the goddess is considered as a “girl of our home, leaving for her husband’s”.


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