India is a diverse country. The language, food, customs, clothes are so multifarious that an outsider is often awestruck with the sheer differences and variety the country holds. But, despite being diverse and multifaceted, there is unity amongst its people. Spirituality is the invisible thread that brings in this unity among people. India’s spiritual heritage holds the country together and has successfully withstood the test of time.
India is the only place, or country, where spirituality is advanced and practised scientifically. Indian ancestors developed the Dharmic way of life, where the people of India, although they live in different places, eat diverse food and talk various languages, live a harmonious life and have the same belief systems.
They established every little custom, tradition and practise, keeping in mind the spiritual development of an individual. The ultimate goal in life is to realise God and attain enlightenment. The ancestors understood this very well. They also understood that people were different. Their temperaments, energy levels, thought processes, belief systems were contrasting altogether. Hence, they designed not just one but many different paths for spiritual enhancement. One was free to choose whichever suited their needs and temperaments.
One of the paths towards enlightenment was IDOL WORSHIP. The Indian ancestors, namely the saints and enlightened souls, looked at the world as an energy form and this same energy is prevalent in all living things, namely insects, trees, animals, birds or humans.
If the energy system in the body can be re-arranged in a certain way, then the body becomes a divine entity. The science of Yoga and meditation practises are oriented towards this aspect. When a person meditates, the life force or the Prana is propelled towards the head chakra (Sahasra Chakra), one experiences bliss and pure joy.
When a person is an absolute beginner to spiritual practises, it is easier to focus on something. It is usually easier to understand and connect if the unexplainable gets represented in a tangible form. This way, the humans connected better and Idols were born.
Many people walked this land centuries ago and attained enlightenment and pure bliss. They became role models for the people to look up to and follow. Their life history became the epics and bedtime stories for not only children but adults as well. Slowly they were represented in the Idol form. The enlightened souls Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Budha were looked upon as Gods / Goddesses with immense adoration and respect. They were represented as Idols and worshipped.
Idols are energy forms that help increase the positive vibrations in the human body. Idols were consecrated to cater to the different needs of the people. The science of Idol making was advanced to the level that the Idols gave positive vibrations only to the particular DNA / Genetic material present in a person. Thus, the Kuladeivathas was born. A person having a different DNA will not be influenced or impacted if he/she visits a Kuladeivam of another clan. We can rightfully say that Idols give out different energy frequencies.
For People, Idols were the anchor which helped in the Spiritual enhancement. Think of it this way; In modern times, we carry the photos of the persons we love. We even value the photographs of the people who departed us. Our mind knows that it is just paper and ink. But yet, there is something that anchors us, and we are deeply connected to the photos. We do not want to part with them. Idols of Gods and Goddesses function similarly, but at a higher level. It not only helps in anchoring thoughts and energy but, increase a strong emotional connection to the supreme energy that exists in the world.
Idols function as a means to an end, but not necessarily the end. Saints and Siddhars of India say that idol worship can take you only half the journey. To fully experience divine bliss, one needs to get beyond their favourite Gods / Goddesses. One of the famous Sidhars of Tamil Nadu, Shiva Vaakiyar explains beautifully in one of his poems :
We believe that the stones are God and offer it flowers
We even go around it and utter mantras
Can the Stones talk to you? While the God lives inside of you ?
The vessel that cooks can never taste the dishes.
Saint Sivavakiyar, through this simple poem, describes that to attain enlightenment - IN IS THE ONLY WAY OUT!
There is an interesting incident in the life of the Saint RamaKrishna Paramahamsa. He was a great saint and an ardent devotee of Maa Kaali. He was immersed in devotion that every time he sat to meditate, he could actually see and talk to Maa Kaali . Though the Saint’s body and mind longed to be with Kaali, his being longed to go beyond. One day, When Saint RamaKrishna was meditating, a Guru appeared in front of him and offered him guidance on how to move ahead. The Guru simply asked Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to create a sword (during meditation) and cut the image of Maa Kaali the moment she appeared in front of him. After much effort, Shri. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa cuts the image of Kaali. The moment he does that, he became enlightened and moved to a higher plane of consciousness.
Always remember that going inwards is the only way out of this bondage. One may choose any path that suits the nature and temperament of the individual. All it matters is that one chooses a suitable path and follows it. Gurus will then appear by magic to guide you in the chosen path when you are ready.
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