Thursday, 24 January 2013

A sacred place of pilgrimage

River Ganges:

                        In India it is said that no matter what sins may have been committed, if you take a bath in the Ganges you will be free from your sins. Someone who has committed theft, who has defrauded people, who has killed someone – how can he become freed of his sins by bathing in the Ganges?
Here two things need to be understood. 

Sin- not the real event:

                        The sin is not the real event but the memory is real. It is not the sin, the act of sin, that clings to you, but just the memory of it. If you have killed someone, the memory of it will haunt you like a nightmare throughout your life. Those who know of inner things say that whether a murder is committed or not is just part of a drama and is not very important.
                        Neither anybody dies nor can anyone be killed. But the memory of the sin weighs heavily on your chest like a stone. An act is committed and becomes lost in the infinite – the act is being taken care of by the infinite. The reality is that all acts are done by the infinite; you are unnecessarily becoming disturbed. If you committed a theft it was done through you by the infinite. If you killed someone it was done by the infinite through you. You are unnecessarily standing in between with your memory
of the act,and that memory is a burden on you.

Same concept in other religions:

                        This concept is also there in other religions too. In christianity, Jesus says, ”Repent, and I will take away your sins” – and someone who trusts in Jesus returns unburdened and purified. In reality, Jesus does not free you from your sins but from the memory of your sins. The memory is the real thing. Jesus only removes that. 

Symbolic act:

                         Similarly, the Ganges does not free you from your sins, but can free you from the memory of them. If someone really trusts the Ganges and believes that if he bathes in it he will be free of all sins – if his collective unconscious built up over thousands of years reinforces this, and if the society in which he is living also confirms his strong belief – then he will be.

                Bathing cannot make a person free from the sin as such, because the sin has already been committed – nothing can be done to the theft that has been committed or the murder that has been committed; nothing can be done about that – but when a person with such a belief emerges from the Ganges, his trust in its purity and power frees him from the feeling of guilt even though the bathing is only a symbolic act.

Permanent arrangement:

Hindus have found a more permanent arrangement, connecting confession with a river, not a person. The river goes on receiving confessions and forgiving people. The river is infinite, its flow is steady and permanent.Hindu seers entrust this phenomenon to a river, not to a person. If someone goes to a tirtha he will return free and unburdened; he will be free of the memory of his sin. It is the memory that is binding him and has become a bond. The shadow of the sin that follows you is the culprit. It is possible to be free from it, but there is one condition. The most important condition is that you have total faith – faith in the idea that this has been happening for thousands of years.