The Federation of Hindu Associations, Inc. (FHA) takes strong exception to the article and subsequent rejoinders in the Back to Godhead magazine, May/June 1995, which in effect state that Shiva, Ganesha, Brahma, Rama and other deities can at best be considered as “demi-gods” and “a little higher” than human beings.
Statements of this type are extremely offensive and confusing to the devout Hindus and are destructive to the Hindu interests. Branding the worshipers of such deities as “offenders” is not fair to the compassionate and diversified philosophy of Hinduism.
With interpretations suiting to themselves, from obscure Puranas, since thousands of years, schools of Vaishnavism (Krishna), Shaivism and Shaktism (Durga) are unfortunately conflicting on this question. The attitudes reek of fundamentalism, violate the very spirit of Hinduism, and create the possibility of another offshoot from the mother religion. By following such interpretations, they are creating exclusive territories of influence and business around one deity, by eliminating or reducing the significance of others.
FHA considers that in Hinduism all deities represent the different forms, attributes, qualities, powers or shaktis of the same Almighty. A partial attachment to any of them, and not surrendering to all of the others remaining, does not complete surrender to all the qualities and components of the definition of God. Surrender to any deity is surrender to one of His attributes. Hence, all of them are worshiped, at one time or another, to complete the “Puja” [worship] of the Supreme. So, nobody should knock down, degrade or insult any of the Gods or Goddesses by creating classes or grades around these multi-faces of the same God. FHA proposes that, for the benefit of Hinduism, we should stop this discussion and treatment of superiority and inferiority.
FHA appeals to ISKCON to continue the good work initiated by Swami Prabhupada. FHA notes that even after the identification of this controversy by Radha Raman temple, Placentia [California], the statements of ISKCON are still confusing and hurting to the cause of Hinduism.
FHA appeals to ISKCON to make a clear statement that “there is no superior or inferior among Krishna, Shiva or Durga” and retract the objectionable statements and declare themselves belonging to the Hindu family and way of life, respecting everyone.
FHA appeals to all temples, associations and activists to join and work together in the best interests of Hinduism, to benefit this commonwealth of beliefs and protect it from any damage.
Please Remember: Confinement is not Hinduism. HINDUS, PLEASE SAVE HINDUISM.
Prithvi Raj Singh
Federation of Hindu Associations (FHA), Inc.
Hawaiian Gardens, California