View Full Version : Swami Vivekananda' on Idol Worship in Hinduism(audio)

20 July 2009, 05:39 AM
This subject has been posted as a reply to one of the threads earlier, since it is an interesting subject let me post it on a new thread itself

I believe, worshiping many Gods(Demigods) is a practice Hindus are already accustomed with. That may have come as part of years of ritualistic practices, practiced over and over. What exactly is the fact behind this devotion? Or what might have led us to follow the practice? How many of us have tried to pose this question and find an answer?

In reality, we need to comprehend one among the many, comprehend it in its entirety, and forfeit one’s mind to it. Remember, it’s a demanding affair, but certainly an endeavor that can be attained. If you closely examine, its our desire, our aspirations, our yearning to attain results of many kinds, or to satisfy our many requests, that makes us pay devotion to many Gods. Or we expect distinct results from each distinct form of the Lord. Our very nature always yearns for something. But, once the mind is free of those desires, and requests, and when nothing is left to have desire for or yearn for, then it becomes easy to pay attention with deep reverence to one form, and meditate upon that. Certainly at this stage, duality ends.

When you are still concerned about which form of the Lord to be worshipped upon, it may be helpful to meditate upon that form, that personification of the Ultimate, which brings you peace at times of distress.

This experince is “bhakti yoga”, which is the beginning of all yogas. Hereafter, keep trying to affirm in your mind, the form of God you have experienced now. Amazingly, faith, devotion, worship and love to this form will bring you rewards of peace and serenity, only to lead you to the state of blissful Samadhi.

Also these quotes from the Holy Gita can be of help for your progress to the path of Brahman, the Ultimate Transcendental Knowledge.

Chapter 2: verse 29
Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, (no one) cannot understand him at all.

Chapter 4: verse 12
Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from fruitive work in this world.

Chapter 7: verse 3
Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.

Very important (19- 23)

Chapter 7: verse 19
After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

Chapter 7: verse 20
Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.

Chapter 7: verse 21
I am in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity.

Chapter 7: verse 22
Endowed with such a faith, he endeavors to worship a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone.

Chapter 7: verse 23
Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.

Translations may be incorrect, as the notes contain references, one can easily refer to their copies, find the quotes. My purpose here is to divert one’s mind to the messages of Gita, which has answers to all our questions.

Gita is Brahman itself


31 July 2009, 02:18 AM
Listen to the audio of Swami Vivekananda's American Speech on Polytheism, Pantheism, Idol Worship in Hinduism.


"Idolatry in India does not mean anything horrible, it is not the mother of harlots. On the other hand it is the attempt of undeveloped minds to grasp high spiritual truths." Swamiji in his speech