Is ‘Deity Worship’ the beginning stage of realising God?
Don’t miss this very important fact defined in scriptures that can make you feel safe, secure and joyful forever. Scriptures declare the presence of God in five forms.
Vigraha or Archa: Murthi
Before we try and define those five forms, let’s take a small example to understand what the forms mean. Imagine you are thirsty and are looking for drinking water right away. Water also (like God) exists in multiple forms around us. But, can you quench your thirst using all those forms? Let’s see.
Water exists all around us in the form of moisture. But, can it satisfy your thirst now? No. Water also exists in seas and oceans somewhere far away from you. But, is it drinkable now? No. Water exists in clouds as well. But, can you drink the water present in clouds now? No. Water also comes in the form of rainfall. But, it’s not raining now now and therefore is not a solution for your thirst. Water that is available at your house as tap water. This is available to you now and can quench your thirst, right?
God exists in Paramapadam, an abode that none of us can perceive or reach now. He also exists in a planning abode, called Vyu:ha from where He is controlling the entire existence. This is also not reachable through this body. The same God chooses a time and place, and appears in a form such as Narasimha, Varaha, Rama or Krushna. But, that time has passed. We cannot perceive that form of God, called Vibhava or avathara. God also exists in the hearts of everyone as Antharyami. To understand His presence within oneself is not easy and is possible for yogis or rushis. It requires intense thapas and an environment that is highly impractical in today’s world or with the amount of karma that all of us have acquired over the past crores of lives. The final form of God is Vigraha or Archa:
Aagamas/Scriptures define this form (vigraha form) to be the most accessible form of God (resembling the water from tap right in your house, from the above example). This form of God is exclusively for you. God has chosen to take the form of Deity to be with you! The most Supreme, and yet exclusively accessible to you. If you do not believe in this form of God and try to look somewhere else, it is like ignoring the Prime Minister of your country when he is right at your door step, thinking that it is not practical or unimaginable.
When one believes that God is everywhere, then why not as Deity in your house? It is in fact not easy to perceive God in other objects or people, because you have defined them with a name, purpose and an action. For example: the screen that you are reading this on also has presence of God in it, but you can’t perceive God here because you have named it as ‘laptop/phone/desktop screen’ and you are using it for a purpose of reading through content in electronic form. But, when it comes to Deity – you have specially named Him with a name that reminds you of His great qualities. You have placed Him in a mandir specially to serve the purpose of showing God to you. So, there is no blocker here from your mind!
But, Deity does not talk to us… How can we feel connected to the Deity in our house?
Firstly, activate your heart when you are in front of the Deity – not your brain! Let your heart lead you to him, not the brain. The logic in brain can put you in situations where your belief is tampered. The belief that we are talking about here is not superstitious because it is proven in history that God is accessible to those who LOVE him.
Yashodaloved him dearly. Krushna let his mother tie Him up with ropes at her house. Kamsa sent many rakshasas who could not even harm Him a bit despite so much physical power. But, Yashoda tied him up, not because of her physical strength or brain power, but because of her Love towards Him.
Goda Devi, who believed in Deity form PROVED in Kali Yuga that one can completely experience the love of God through the Deity form and happily be in the company of Him forever. She was married to Lord Sri Ranganatha of Sri Rangam simply by trusting Him and humbly following a beautiful path lead by her elders, the gopikas of Nandagokulam!
How lucky are we!!! Just like Goda Devi followed gopikas, we can take her lead. We can try and follow what she said in the 30 beautiful songs that she sung in Love for Sri Krushna. Shall we?
– From the Dhanuramasam discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji – 24th and 25th December 2018
You can watch full episodes of Swamiji’s disourses at our YouTube Channel,JETWORLD.