The saint helped the scorpion over and over again
and the scorpion each time returned a sting. Some said
“do you not know it is the nature of the scorpion to sting?”
and the saint replied “it is my nature to save.”
An excellent question. Many devout Hindus have asked me this before, so I am pleased to post it here.
Firstly, know that there is a ‘revised’ Ramayana rewritten by a reformer named Tulsidas. Tulsidas’ version is much more steeped in strict cultural norms and hints of misogyny compared to the original. However, one should refer to the original Ramayana, written by Valmiki.
In original Ramayana, we see the very important phrase that is written before Lord Ram speaks before the court of monkeys and demons in Sita’s presence just as He has finally rescued Her:
"The heart of King Ram, as He saw Sita, the most beloved of His heart, near Him, was torn for fear of public scandal." -6.115.11 (Yuddha Kanda)
"The world would chatter against me, saying that Rama, the son of Dasaratha, was really foolish and that his mind was dominated by lust, if I accept Sita without examining her with regard to her chastity." -6.117.14 (Yuddha Kanda)
Lord Ram, though He risked His life to rescue His beloved Sita, knew His dharma in the end was to act as a righteous king. Lord Ram, Bhagvan, knows His dear Sita to be pure, as His divinity and deepness in love with Narayani transcends even human emotions, but the importance to display His kingliness in that very troubled time (the former King, Ravana, had just been destroyed, so it was His time to claim the kingdom), and being the son of a king, his place, so to say was to assume the position. He implored Her to escape scrutiny from the public eye, bound by the culture at that time.
"O Sita! That is why, I am permitting you now. Go wherever you like. All these ten directions are open to you, my dearest! There is nothing more to do." -6.114.17 (Yuddha Kanda)
Even then as we see here, as Lord Ram speaks about her impurity in front of the court of His new kingdom, He does not ask Her to prove anything by means of fire, pain or public humiliation. He only asks Her to leave for Her sake.
Upon hearing this, Sita’s love for Ram being overflowing and completely devoted, She offers Herself to the sacrificial fire willingly to prove Her point to an extreme. Ram is surprised by Her offer and is devastated. Before He is able to speak to Her in private, the public sets up the sacrificial fire.
Upon entering the flames, Sita exclaims to let Herself be saved from death by God to show Ram of her truthfulness. Ram cried as She entered the fire. Just as She does, the Gods arrive to the ordeal, asking why Ram does nothing while Sita immolates Herself. Ram replies that He foolishly thinks of Himself as just a human, bound to human culture and public eye.
Lord Brahma then speaks to Him, saying He is truly Lord Vishnu Narayana and Sita is no other than Maa Lakshmi Narayani. Sita is saved from death and Ram is overjoyed. They return to Ayodhya and claim their seats as king and queen.
I hope I’ve explained it well enough!
Jai Sia Ram!
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I agree with you. Some Hindus refrain from eating eggs because of the fetus inside. Those whom refrain from even unfertilized eggs sometimes are those keeping a strict Sattvic diet. I will do a post going into detail of the diet with the components of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas gunas later, but for the sake of this question, many avoid foods that are considered Rajas or Tamas. Eggs, even unfertilized ones are considered Rajas, or a stimulant food: foods neither completely beneficial to the body both spiritually and physically nor bad, but one that mutates the mind and makes it restless.
Many modern Hindu sects implore the benefits and stress the importance of a Sattvic diet, so the use of eggs within certain Hindu groups are becoming less popular. Eggs aren’t normally used in many Indian dishes, so this feat isn’t very difficult for most.
Thanks for you input!
Jai Shiv Shankar!
It’s wonderful that you’re so interested in Hinduism! Upon studying more about Hinduism and the kind of worship we perform to express our devotion to God, one will see that we take great care into treating all that remind us of God essentially as God. And though everything on this Earth is God, the images- or murtis of the forms of Devas and Devis are to be especially respected.
Seeing that you are not Hindu, I would not expect you to perform worship ceremonies, or pujas to Lord Ganesh, nor could I expect you to look to Lord Ganesh for guidance. Atheists reject religion or the belief in any God, so treating Lord Ganesh with any sort of reverence as God wouldn’t make much sense. Hindus take a lot of meaning from symbols, statues, signs, and other iconography as worship because we believe that everything on Earth and the universe is to be revered. Since there are so many uncountable ways to explain, see and interpret these things that we respect, symbols and murtis take their place. Owning an image of God in the home is like housing a guest. We offer light, sweet smells, cleanliness, water, food, prayers and shelter to God as our guest as proper treatment. Since you are atheist, such doing so would essentially revoke your own beliefs. Owning a sacred and spiritual image without it meaning anything sacred or spiritual to you would essentially turn it into a household decoration. Proper treatment of a guest would not involve leaving them in the corner of the room to collect dust, starve and be ignored.
I do wish to respect your own beliefs, so I could never ask you to ritually bathe Sri Ganesh, perform offerings or seek guidance from His presence.
I suggest for the best option, either giving away or selling the murti to someone who can care for His image properly. Perhaps the best way for you to show interest in the Lord is to pick up some books on His leela, or deeds He has performed. These stories may help you in a less religious way by example rather than worship!
And I am interested to see your creation! Perhaps you can submit a photo of the murti to this link [ x ]. You may even find someone who is interested in owning it for proper care!
I hope I have answered your question!
Jai Sri Ganesh Ki!