Bengaluru, April 28: The Nepal Earthquake came unaskance and so did the remarks by fundamentalist political leaders. While we are yet to cope with the reason behind the disaster that splayed after the 7.9 Richter earthquake in Nepal, Sakshi Maharaj has already unravelled the secret.
He was quoted as saying,"he earthquake was bound to happen" because Rahul Gandhi, a leader of the rival Congress party, "eats beef, and goes to the holy shrine without purifying himself." Rahul Gandhi had visited the Kedarnath Shrine after it was first reopened after the Uttarakhand tragedy.
Interestingly, the politics of mud-flinging has been a part and parcel of a natural calamity. But it gets alarming when it takes a religious turn.
So, what exactly are the religious beliefs when it comes to earthquakes and natural calamities?
Beliefs by community
Jewish and Christians, since a very long time, believed that God had sent earthquakes to punish the wicked. As the sixtieth psalm in the Old Testament read,"Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it...".
Greeks, on the other hand, have a unique mythological interpretation. They believe that their god Atlas lost a war against Zeus, the king of the gods. Zeus, as punishment, condemned Atlas and asked him to bear the Earth on his shoulders. To ease this burden, Atlas sometimes shifted the world from one shoulder to the other. This shook the Earth.
The Chinese, for instance, belief earthquakes are caused by saying that the Great Dragon, living deep inside the earth, shifts the plates when annoyed.
In the Russian tales, a giant god traveled through the snow-covered fields by dogsled and whenever dogs scratched at their fleas, there is an earthquake.
The Japanese belief explains how a Giant Catfish takes the earth on its back and earthquakes are caused by its sudden movements.
What Nepal believes
With a maximum population of Hindus and Buddhists, Nepalese beliefs is digressive.
The Hindu theory on natural calamity is unique, confusing and diversified. While some believe that everything is an act of karma, there are others that believe that these calamities are results of amoral activities or caused by angry gods.
Buddha, for example, taught that calamities cannot be related to Karma, but its just that stuff happens. The main aim of mankind should be how to deal with that stuff.
A look into Facebook, just after the Nepal Earthquake, will find people chanting phrases "Om mane padme hum, which can be translated several ways, most commonly as "jewel in the lotus."
Also known as the heart 'mantra', Buddhist Nepalsese believe that whent chanted Avalokiteshvara appears to the people in need.
It is nothing serious, so please don't misinterpret
So, you see? there are no misguiding traits in any of the beliefs set above. These are simple rules that people of different communities like to follow and will follow come what may.
Hence, dear leaders, let them be. Please do not twist these innocent myths to serve your political purpose. And to the readers:
No, eating beef does not lead to earthquake, neither does idol worship. It is high time that we separated politics and religion.