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Thread: Touching the iPad to your Forehead

  1. #1
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    Touching the iPad to your Forehead

    Namaste

    As Hindus, a lot of us touch a lot of different things to our forehead.

    For example, we bow and touch our forehead to the ground before Deva or Devi murti, or in a temple, and even full prostration touching both cheeks and forehead, or we put vibhuti on our forehead.

    We may touch our forehead to the feet of a Saint.

    I will also touch a sacred book such as the Ramayana to my forehead when I pick it up or put it down (ok, I should tell the truth, sometimes I don't) . I am not sure where I picked up that habit, but I think I got it from Gaudiyas for example. I have been doing this for decades. Do others also do this?

    Where does this come from, if one considers the historical situation? For example, go back to the days when a sacred text may have been scribed to palm leaves. So were the devout then picking up a set of palm leaves ( which could get damaged in the process ) and touching their forehead with them each time they are read?

    Now let us move to the last couple of centuries. We now have printed books, and some like me touch the forehead with a sacred text when we pick it up or put it down.

    Now let us move to the current place in time. We now have iPads. And pretend you have a PDF version of the Ramayana on the iPad ...

    So shouldn't we be touching the iPad to our forehead each time we pick it up to read the Ramayana or put down the iPad after reading the Ramayana or sacred text? I mean, if the iPad has a PDF Ramayana in it, then what's the difference between that and a printed copy of the Ramayana?

    Om Namah Sivaya

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    Re: Touching the iPad to your Forehead

    Namaste Shiva,

    Touching anything to our forehead is actually, symbolic bowing our head in reverence to any sacred thing. As things are very small and it is inconvenient to bow to that thing, it is a short-cut to show our reverence to that sacred thing.

    Shall we touch i-pad with our forehead ? Yes, if you consider your i-pad to be sacred. However, can you ensure that you will not use your i-pad for anything/any action less-than-sacred ? In fact, it is not the i-pad but you are bowing to the Ramayana in the i-pad ... so as Ramayana is not manifest unless opened to read, why not restrict to mental bowing to it ?

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Touching the iPad to your Forehead

    Vannakkam ShivaFan

    Ah... Now that makes me think.

    Maybe it's due to the fact that we don't take e-books seriously? Or anything in some electronic gadget seriously, as compared to a solid, printed book?

    Thank you for opening my eyes on this issue. I never really gave it much thought.

    While I make it a point to chant a mantra every time before I open the Mahabharata or Bhagavad Gita (the real book version that is), I don't even bother saying anything before reading the versions downloaded in my Ipad and Kindle.

    I wonder why too, and can only imagine that we don't take e-books as seriously as their "printed" counterparts.


    Aum Namah Shivaya

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    Re: Touching the iPad to your Forehead

    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
    I wonder why too, and can only imagine that we don't take e-books as seriously as their "printed" counterparts.


    Aum Namah Shivaya
    Vannakkam Eq: I think this is just the way with history. At one time cars weren't taken as seriously as horses. In fact an idiom (Get a horse!) came out of that, and means essentially that old stuff isn't as efficient as the new stuff. I believe in 30 years or so, paper books will be antiques, like 8 tracks and black and white TVs.

    I now have more sympathy for my elders who difficulty adapting to 'new fangled gadgets!' as now it is me who is having the difficulty.

    Aum Namasivaya

  5. #5

    Re: Touching the iPad to your Forehead

    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
    I wonder why too, and can only imagine that we don't take e-books as seriously as their "printed" counterparts.
    It is an interesting question to be sure, but I think that people have an intrinsic idea that e-books can be erased from the machine in a matter of moments, whereas printed books are materially united with the words and therefore the meaning. That does change the relationship to the work, perhaps adding another degree of separation from the creative locus...at least in my mind.

    Still, it's an excellent point that the Gita (for example) on an iPad should be shown respect and reverence. The medium can change but essence remains intact.

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