Sunday, June 10, 2018
A devotee repeats the mantra (mystic formula) of the Lord during worship and touches his heart, his head, tuft of hair, arms and hands. There is chaitanya (consciousness, power) in every letter of the mantra. Through repetition of the mantra and the touching of the parts of the body with the repetition of the mantra, the aspirant is gradually divinised. There is spiritual awakening. Spiritual currents are generated - tamas (inertia) and rajas (impurity) are destroyed and he is filled with pure satva (purity). He becomes identical with the object of worship. He attains the same world of, or proximity with, or the same form of, or absorption into, the Lord.
For a sage there is no such thing as insentient matter. Everything is Vasudeva or chaitanya. The devotee actually beholds the Lord in the idol. But the worship does not stop there. The sadhaka (seeker) is taken step by step to higher stages of devotion and samadhi (or communion) through the worship of the idol. Though he worships the idol, he has to keep before his mental eye the all-pervading Lord. He has to feel the Lord's presence in his heart and in all objects also.
The ways and rules of worship, described in the Hindu scriptures are scientifically accurate and highly rational. It is only ignorant people who have not studied the scriptures, who have not associated with the devotees and great souls, that vilify worship of idols or murtis.
The aspirant who worships the idol in the beginning, beholds the Lord everywhere and develops para bhakti (supreme devotion); he beholds the whole world as the Lord. All ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, etc., vanish. His vision baffles description. Glory to such exalted devotees who are veritable gods on earth, who live to lift others from the quagmire of samsara (world existence) and save them from the clutches of death.
Tulsidas realised the all-pervading essence. He had cosmic consciousness. He communed with the all-pervading, formless Lord. And yet his passion for Lord Rama, with bow in hand, did not vanish. When he went to Brindavan, and saw the murti of Lord Krishna, with flute in hand, he said: "I will not bow my head to this form". At once the form of Lord Krishna assumed the form of Lord Rama. Then only Tulsidas bowed his head. Mira also realised her identity with the all-pervading Krishna and yet she never tired of repeating, again and again, "My Giridhar Nagar".