In the broad sense, denigration means displaying something in an undesirable form/shape, different from its original form/shape.
Any act or object that obstructs emanation of subtle sattvik vibrations of the Divine Principle can also be considered as denigration. (All creation is made of three kinds of vibrations - tamasik, rajasik and sattvik. Each creation has a combination of these three, with one being predominant. These are the subtlest of all basic qualities. The tamasik qualities are the most inferior and the sattvik are the most superior.)
While discussing this subject, we will differentiate between a human being and a Divine being. We will include humans who have attained Divinity in the category of ‘Divine beings’.
Denigration can find expression in a painting, sculpture, text, words, sentences, play, films etc.
1. Divine symbols emanate Sattva component (or Divine vibrations).
2. A Divine symbol embodies the Divine being it represents. Hence, it represents Divine qualities and serves as a beacon for the common man to walk the right path in this life.
3. A Divine symbol serves as a source of inspiration to an individual, to live his life in a righteous manner.
4. For a believer in the Divine being, His symbol draws equal reverence. (In contrast, a non-believer finds it impossible to feel anything for the symbol, when he does not believe in the Divine.)
5. Because of such qualities and their nature, Divine symbols occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of the devout. Faith, which follows, is a by-product of this phenomenon.
6. Divinity of the mind is the ultimate stage in evolution of a man. To achieve this, he requires the help of some form/shape. Symbols serve this purpose.
1. Intentional :
A. Out of malice
Example: 1. Paintings by MF Husain
B. To destroy its importance and create doubts about it in the minds of people
Example: 1. Sri Ganesh depicted as Hitler, Laden and Bush
A. Out of ignorance
Example: 1. Deity Shiva depicted as Dog
B . For commercial gains
Example: 1. Sri Durga with whisky bottles in Her hand
C . As lack of pride for its qualities
Example: 1. Srikrushna in a half-pant
A. Denigration can shatter faith of individuals and set unwanted examples for future generations.
B. Create a doubt about the credibility of the Divine and / or its symbol. Finally, it can even cause exclusion of religious practices, and facilitate destruction of religion.
One can understand denigration of individuals; it can show an individual in a light, which tarnishes his reputation. Commenting on a Politician’s / public figure’s misdeeds or sketching their cartoons, are two such examples.
At the level of individuals, such caricatures, cartoons, creations or lampooning are the lightest forms of denigration – and subject to differences in personal opinions.
Whereas denigrating the Divine, questions the very relationship humans have with the Divine. It questions the faith of a human in Divinity and Its powers. It erodes values – moral, social and spiritual.
Thus, the urgent need to strongly oppose and stop denigration through any medium, of Deities and Divine symbols.