About Me

Please visit our Download Section.
Please visit our Download Section.

Idol Worship Meaning | Idol Worship Bhagavad Gita

Idol worship is explained as to worship the God in image form.Every human being worships God in image form only even those who think they worship the formless God, because the mind defines everything, even the idea of formlessness or un-manifested. In this post, we listed out  some valid reasons that justify the Practice of Idol Worship in Hinduism and why Hindus pray to idols and images at homes and in temples.Idea of formlessness is already there in Hinduism that is related with Brahman.

The relationship between the many manifest deities and the unmanifest Brahman is rather like that between the sun and its rays. We cannot experience the sun itself but we can experience its rays and the qualities, which those rays have.For more details about Brahman please read this post Meaning of Brahman with Explanation .

Idol worship is neither mandatory nor prohibited in Hinduism.So it depends upon what worship method you select.Most of the people worship idol because they don't have enough practice or they do not have idea how to focus on Unmanifest. So it depends upon what worship method you select for your prayer.

However, those who worship God in any form with devotion and humility knows that idol worship connects them to God and open their hearts to divine love and I believe nothing wrong in that.

Idol Worship Meaning

According to concept of Hinduism, the whole creation is a form of God.Every religion says that God is omnipresent that means God is every where whether it is rock or soil whether it is flower or cactus,whether it is rich or poor he is in every form.

Every aspect and form in it reflects his glory because God is hidden in each of them.God has created this planet as sacred place for  everyone, every aspect of it is worthy of worship. When you say something about God as, "God is this or that," you are limiting him to a some extent and When you say, "God should be worshiped in this or that manner only," you are again defining and limiting him by your methods of worship and your understanding.

Idol Worship In Vedas

Yajur Veda 40:9 

अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येसंभूतीमुपसते |
ततो भूय ऽ इव ते तमो य ऽ उ संभुत्याः रताः ||

Those people enter into darkness, who worships only "Asambhuti", and those too enters into darkness who worship only "Sambhuti"

Idol Worship Bhagavad Gita 

Let's look the at the verses from Bhagavad Gita which help us to understand the reason behind Idol worship. In the later part of the article I have shared the reference from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita also for more clarity on Idol types. 

In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna tell us clearly about the attainment of salvation through various mode of worship that includes Idol worship also.So let us see the verses below; 

Self-realization is more difficult for those who fix their mind on the impersonal, unmanifest, and formless Absolute, because worship of the unmanifest is difficult for ordinary human beings. (12.05) 

But to those who worship Me meditating on My personal form with unswerving devotion, setting Me as their supreme goal, offering all actions to Me---I swiftly become their savior from the world that is the ocean of death and transmigration, O Arjuna. (12.06-07) 

Therefore, focus your mind on My personal form and let your intellect dwell upon Me alone through meditation and contemplation. Thereafter, you shall certainly attain Me. (12.08) 

If you are unable to focus your mind steadily on Me, then long to at­tain Me by practice of any other spiritual discipline, such as a ritual, or deity worship that suits you. (12.09) 

If you are unable even to do any spiritual discipline, then dedicate all your work to Me (or do your duty just for Me). You shall attain perfection by doing your prescribed duty for Me (without any personal motive, just as an instrument, to serve and please Me). (12.10) 

If you are unable to dedicate your work to Me, then just surrender unto My will with subdued mind and renounce (the attachment to and the anxiety for) the fruits of all work (by learning to accept all results with equanimity as God's grace). (12.11) 

After many births, the enlightened one surrenders to My Will by realiz­ing that everything is, indeed, My manifestation. Such a great soul is very rare.(7.19) 

Persons whose discernment has been carried away by desires im­pelled by their Karmic impression, resort to celestial controllers and practice various religious rites for fulfillment of their material desires. (7.20) 

Whosoever desires to worship whatever deity---using any name, form, and method---with faith, I make their faith steady in that very de­ity(7.21) 

Endowed with steady faith, they worship that deity and obtain their wishes through that deity. Those wishes are, indeed, granted by Me. (7.22) 

But such material gains of these less intelligent human beings are temporary. The worshipers of celestial controllers go to celestial controllers, but My devotees certainly come to Me. (7.23) 

The ignorant ones---unable to completely understand My immutable, incomparable, incomprehensible, and transcendental form and existence---believe that I, the Supreme Being, am formless and take forms or incarnate.(7.24) 

I do not manifest Myself to the ignorant whose Self-knowledge is obscured by My divine power (YogaMaya) and does not know My unborn, eternal, and transcendental form and personality (and consider Me formless). (7.25) 

Idol Worship Meaning Chapter 12 verses continues.

Arjuna asked: Which of these has the best knowledge of yoga---those ever-steadfast devotees who wor­ship Your personal aspect, or those who worship Your impersonal aspect, the formless Absolute? (12.01)

Lord Krishna said: Those who fix their minds on Me and always engage in My devotion with steadfast faith, I consider them to be the best yogis.(12.02)

They also attain Me who worship the unchangeable, the inexplicable, the invisible, the omnipresent, the inconceivable, the unchanging, the immovable, and eternal---restraining all the senses, even-minded under all circumstances, engaged in the welfare of all creatures. (12.03-04)

Self-realization is more difficult for those who fix their mind on the impersonal, unmanifest, and formless Absolute, because worship of the unmanifest is difficult for ordinary human beings. (12.05)

But to those who worship Me meditating on My personal form with unswerving devotion, setting Me as their supreme goal, offering all actions to Me---I swiftly become their savior from the world that is the ocean of death and transmigration, O Arjuna. (12.06-07)

Therefore, focus your mind on My personal form and let your intellect dwell upon Me alone through meditation and contemplation. Thereafter, you shall certainly attain Me. (12.08)

If you are unable to focus your mind steadily on Me, then long to at­tain Me by practice of any other spiritual discipline, such as a ritual, or deity worship that suits you. (12.09)

If you are unable even to do any spiritual discipline, then dedicate all your work to Me (or do your duty just for Me). You shall attain perfection by doing your prescribed duty for Me (without any personal motive, just as an instrument, to serve and please Me). (12.10)

If you are unable to dedicate your work to Me, then just surrender unto My will with subdued mind and renounce (the attachment to and the anxiety for) the fruits of all work (by learning to accept all results with equanimity as God's grace). (12.11)

Now let us see what Srimad Bhagavad says about the Idol Worship. [SB - 11.27.12]

Verse 12 SB - 11.27.12;

The Deity form of the Lord is said to appear in eight varieties — stone, wood, metal, earth, paint, sand, the mind or jewels.

Verse 12 SB - 11.27.13;

The Deity form of the Lord, who is the shelter of all living entities, can be established in two ways: temporarily or permanently. But a permanent Deity, having been called, can never be sent away, My dear Uddhava.

Verse 12 SB - 11.27.14;

The Deity that is temporarily established can optionally be called forth and sent away, but these two rituals should always be performed when the Deity is traced upon the ground. Bathing should be done with water except if the Deity is made of clay, paint or wood, in which cases a thorough cleansing without water is enjoined.

Verse 12 SB - 11.27.15;

One should worship Me in My Deity forms by offering the most excellent resources. But a devotee completely freed from material desire may worship Me with whatever he is able to obtain, and may even worship Me within his heart with mental intellect.

Verse 12 SB - 11.27.18;

Even very rich presentations do not satisfy Me if they are offered by nondevotees. But I am pleased by any insignificant offering made by My loving devotees, and I am certainly most pleased when nice presentations of fragrant oil, incense, flowers and palatable foods are offered with love.

Idol worship is neither mandatory nor prohibited in Hinduism.So it depends upon what worship method you select.Most of the people worship idol because they don't have enough practice to focus on Unmanifest. So it depends upon what worship method you select.

However, those who worship God with devotion and humility know that idol worship connects them to God and open their hearts to divine love.

Yes,there could be and argument that how someone can focus on formless?? we can discuss about that in separate post.

Let us know if the doubt persist,I will add some more verses from Veda in near future.Also there is another article for Murti Puja in Hinduism for Hindi readers.

Read also Idol Worship in Hindi Murti Pooja in Hindi 

Idol worship Meaning

Post a Comment

0 Comments