The Mahishasuramardini hymn describes the Goddess ‘feet being illuminated by the gems which are studded on the crowns of all the other Gods. Read the Vishnu Purana, Maha Vishnu is the Supreme God. Skanda Purana describes Kartikeya to be in that position, even teaching His father, Shiva, the actual meaning of Omkara. Irrespective of who your favourite deity is, it can all be easily held under the large umbrella of the amorphous mass of Hinduism. They are all supreme in their own rights too.
Apart from the Mother Goddess, ubiquitous in all religions, in Hinduism, the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara control creation, preservation and dissolution of the Universe. Both Shri Rama and Shri Krishna, though stand alone Gods, are incarnations of Maha Vishnu in the Treta Yuga and Dwapara Yugarespectively, the former leading off the pure Satya Yuga and the latter leading to the ‘immoral’ Kali Yuga.
All human beings are superstitious to a certain extent. The line that separates faith and superstitions is exceedingly fine. In fact “Andha Vishwasam” the word for superstition literally translates to “blind faith”. Indians are more prone to this than many other ethnicities.
Giving India independence on the midnight of August 15th, 1947 was said to be a deliberate ploy by the British, to see to it that India (and Pakistan) would have the “bad karma” of being born at an inauspicious time. A delay of a mere two days (17th of August, 1947) would allegedly have made a huge difference in the luck of the nation. Events after Indian Independence, make us wonder if this is completely fallacious. Call it good fortune or the success of a random choice, a metaphysical blessing does seem to favour both individuals and incidents.
One of the non-negotiable demands of Hindus across the globe is the re-building of the Temples in Ayodhya (birth place of Lord Rama) and Mathura (birth place of Lord Krishna) and “recovery of Varanasi” (one of the holiest place for Lord Shiva). Learned pandits are of the opinion that the order of this restoration could be faulty for many practical as well as esoteric reasons. Many who agitate for these things to happen, have not, unfortunately visited these places for themselves. Nor have they been told the factual and clear picture of the ground situations.
In Varanasi, as one does the parikrama of the Vishwanath temple, two things are very prominent. One is a somewhat dilapidated structure that clearly shows Hindu architecture at the bottom and Islamic architecture on top. Evidently a mosque was built on a temple. Destroying any place of worship to rebuild one of a different faith is absurd and panders only to the ego of the newer builders. Fortunately, conflict is limited to the so-called followers of divinities and not divinities themselves; otherwise it would be primal chaos all over again when Gods would fight each other. Re-building a Hindu temple in this area, surrounded by armed people seems far less important compared to the real need in Varanasi. The second thing noticeable in the immediate surroundings of the Vishwanath temple is a sealed well, called the Gyaan-Vaapi, or the well of knowledge. In its hidden waters lie the ancient Vigraham or idol of Lord Shiva.
Many Hindus are idol worshippers. This is far deeper than play acting with decked up dolls. The idols used in temples have to be consecrated before they become worthy of worship. God is everywhere. The rituals of consecration starts out, interestingly, with an apology to the omnipresent force, for “containing” it within the idol. The second step is a solemn contract between the ones who build the temple and the deity installed therein. The idol has to be awakened, bathed, decorated, fed and put to sleep at night, which is a human daily routine. In exchange for this kind of proper care, the deity is bound to bless the area and the inhabitants there, with special protection for the ones who build the temple.
Following this Shastric tenet, a fully consecrated Shiva Vigraham lying in the depths of Gyaan Vaapi is disaster. This is akin to a human being thrown into a well, sans food, decorations, conversations (prayers) etc. One can easily imagine the mood of such a deity to the people who do nothing to better His situation.
The most interesting thing is that this Shivalinga and the Gyaan Vaapi lie fully within the premises of the Kashi Vishwanath temple. No disputed territory comes into play here. All that needs to be done is to break open the cement covering on the well, retrieve the old Vigraham, perform purificatory rites and reinstall the Vigraham, giving both the old and the new Vigrahams proper agamic attention. This will ensure a sea change in the blessings emanating from the act of rescuing a living deity from a toxic situation.
Any temple need be there only if there is faith in the potency of the Vigraham. To ignore the horrendous condition of a Shiva Vigraham that had years of proper worship, that too in the holy city of Varanasi, without disturbing the status quo, seems to be more anti-Hindu than differing culinary tastes.
A freshly restored and rejuvenated Shiva will guarantee enough blessings for a peaceful solution to Ayodhya and Mathura too. For after all divinities revel in love and peace – and not pieces of dead bodies, heaped up to reach a tantalizing heaven, blue and common to all.