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Hinduism and the Concept of Idolatry

4 Pages 974 Words May 2019

Why is the charge of idolatry even brought up when discussing how Hindus worship? The Hindus way of worship involves going to see the image of the deity which can be represented in many different ways. The whole concept and issue of idolatry miss something in the Hindu theology because they have different beliefs compared to believers of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam who believe that the worship of an idol as if it were God is wrong. However, in the Hindu religion, image worship is something that they do regularly whether at home or in the temple. I believe that Diana Eck’s novel Darsan provides evidence to show that the charge of idolatry is resolved because of their beliefs.
In the Hindu religion, they trust the Image as a connection to the divine truth as opposed to the Word because that is what they believe in. They trust the Image more because they believe that “seeing” is not only a form of touching but also knowing. In the novel, Eck states, “In India, as in many cultures, words for seeing have included within their semantic fields the notion of knowing” (Eck 9). This presents that they practically think that seeing is believing and that being able to worship something that is physically present helps connect further with God. A quote from Brahmanas says, “If two persons were to come disputing with each other, we should believe him who said ‘I have seen it,’ not him who has said ‘I have heard it.’” (Eck 9). This example here gives a reason to why Hindus trust the Image as a connection instead of the Word. She also writes, “Beholding the image is an act of worship, and through the eyes, one gains the blessings of the divine” (Eck 3). Through believing an image is actually God and worshipping it, Hindus believe that they gain the blessings of the divine. This in other religions would be viewed as idolatry and would therefore not be accepted. Other religions, however, trust the Word as a connection to th...

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