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Initially published: February 20, 2012.
Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam is a Sanskrit phrase. The Hindus believe that this is the order in which reverence should be offered.
Before I continue, I want you to know that I am not an overzealous/arrogant Christian taking a shot at Hindus/Hinduism. I was born a Hindu, into a devout Hindu family. I came to know about Jesus, late in the year 2000 and have been a follower of Jesus Christ for about a decade now. So, please understand that what I share here is based on my own experience growing up as a Hindu. My prayer is that other Hindus will be challenged by what I share and take a closer look at who they are, what they believe, why they believe it and in the process, seek out God and find salvation in Jesus.
Since the mother gives birth, she comes first. The father comes second because the mother knows him best and can point the child to the father. The teacher comes next as the parents bring the child to the teacher and finally, the teacher points the child to God.
This is clearly visible in the Indian culture where one can observe that the parents are held in the highest regard, almost worshipped as gods.
The reality is that this cannot be right and I will try to explain why.
Hindus in general believe that all religions are the same and that they can worship all the gods from every religion because it’s all the same God at the end of the day. This belief in itself is incorrect.
In the Hindu faith, when people die, they keep getting reincarnated, until they achieve moksha (liberation). I have stated this in its simplest form, you can read more about it on Wikipedia!
However, in the Christian faith, the Bible states:
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment
Where as in the Hindu faith, people keep coming back, in the Christian faith, we believe that each person has one life and when that life is over, what awaits us is God’s judgement.
Death is a major event and one can see a major disparity between the Hindu faith and the Christian faith in how death is viewed.
Clearly, the Hindu faith and the Christian faith are poles apart! Just because there are vaguely similar ideas and concepts in both, it does not mean that the gods worshipped in the Hindu faith and the God of the Christian faith are one and the same. They are not!
So, what’s wrong with the order of reverence in Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam (Mother, Father, Teacher, God)?
Who created the heavens and the Earth, the Universe?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Who created all the plants on land?
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Who created all sea creatures and the birds?
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Who created all the animals on land?
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Who created man?
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
The point I am trying to make here is that God created everything! He is above all because He created all! No one created God! God exists eternally! God has no beginning or end!
This God, the Creator of all things, made Himself known to mankind through the nation of Israel.
The first commandment:
You shall have no other gods before me.
The second commandment:
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
From the first two commandments, it is very clear that God is not pleased when we create our own gods or worships something that He has created! We can admire God’s creation and praise Him for what He has created, but to worship, to bow down before, to give reverence to ANYTHING that He has created as gods, is a sin!
Now, look at the fifth commandment:
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
God has called us to honor our father and mother! Now, a person can only honor their father and mother to the point where honoring them will not dishonor God!
Are you beginning to see what is wrong with Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam?
If God created everything and only God ALONE is to be worshipped and revered above all else, how can people position their mother, father and teacher (who are all created by God Himself!) and give these God created human beings, more reverence and honor than God?
It is true that my mother gave birth to me, but God created my mother and God created me! God brought me into this world through my mother! God created my father. God brought me into this world using my father as well!
Look at what the Bible says about how God created us and why we are so special!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
God knitted us together, with great care and love! Each one of us, is His handiwork!
It is good to love and respect and honor our parents and teachers and elders and so on, but not more than God!
Look at what Jesus says in the following Scripture verses:
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus is not calling us to blindly hate our parents or siblings or family or anyone else, but what He is calling us to do is to love Him far more than we love anyone else!
Jesus is God and as the God who created everything, He alone deserves our praise and worship and honor more than anyone or anything else and He should be first in all our lists!
Are you saying that it doesn’t matter if we don’t love our parents and honor them or how we treat others, as long we treat God right?
Not at all! Look at what the Bible says concerning love:
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:8
If you truly want to love others, you must first love God! Without love for God, you cannot have love for others because God Himself IS love and our capacity and capability to love, comes from God, not from within ourselves!
If you claim to love, but you don’t know God or love Him, then sadly, your love is not real. What you believe is the love that you have and express towards others, is merely your own idea/opinion of what love should be and how you would want others to love you. This love is not from God or of God because you don’t know God!
This kind of worldly love is relative to situations and circumstances you are involved in and the expression of this love is selective depending on the people involved. Those whom you don’t like or those who have offended you, you don’t love and don’t find the need to love. Those who are nice to you and treat you like you want to be treated, you love and get along with just fine.
Look at what Jesus says in the Bible:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jesus challenges us to not only love those who love us, but to also love those who hate us and do us wrong in the same way because this is the love He has for us! If we only love those who love us, God says it’s nothing because even the ungodly people in the world do that!
Jesus is the greatest example of love! The Bible says:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Though we were God’s enemies and did not believe in Him or have faith in Him, because Jesus loves us so much, He died for our sins, thus paying the punishment for all the wrongs we would ever commit against God!
God not only tells us to love like He does, He also shares with us the characteristics of His love! Again, let’s look at what the Bible says about love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
God wants us to love others, including our parents, siblings, family, friends and everyone else – just like He loves us!
If you truly want to live the life God intended for you, you need to know who God really is!
Thankfully, God has revealed Himself to us in the Bible! Through His Word, through His Holy Spirit, through His Son Jesus Christ, we can truly know who God is!
Rather than following Eastern philosophies and mystical religions and the millions of so-called gurus and experts around the world, why don’t you place your trust and faith in the One and Only God who created you and follow Him?
All these false religions and philosophies instruct you to look within yourself, that the answer lies within yourself and that if you meditate and do all kinds of rituals and whatever else they prescribe, you will be fulfilled! Not only are these false religions and philosophies leading you in the wrong path in this life, they are also leading you to an eternity AWAY from God! I understand many of you have grown up in these religions/faith systems and me labelling them false may offend you but unless you realise that truth isn’t relative but absolute (that is, all religions/faith systems cannot be right and there cannot be many gods), you will remain trapped in religious systems and traditions.
In the Bible, Jesus says:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Are you longing for peace? Are you longing for purpose in your life? Are you wanting to live a meaningful life here on Earth? Are you seeking salvation? Do you want to spend eternity with God in Heaven?
If you have answered yes to all these questions, then, there is ONLY ONE WAY for all this to happen. His Name is Jesus! He is God!
The most wonderful thing about Jesus is that you don’t need to do anything to earn His love! You don’t have to work hard to earn your salvation!
This does not mean that you can worship other gods as well as Jesus! As we have already seen from the Ten Commandments, Jesus (who is God) alone must be worshipped!
Jesus is God’s free gift to us! All you need to do is to place your faith in Jesus alone and to trust Him as your Lord and Savior!
This promise is clearly stated in the Bible.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
All you need to do is believe and receive Jesus into your life!
I pray that you too will place your trust and faith in Jesus!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch with me.
God bless you all.Thank Sri 🙂