September 2008
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Idol worship


Why do we worship idols?

First, I would like to make it clear that this is my personal view and there may be conflicts from the popular beliefs. Also, I am a Hindu and hence my views are like what a Hindu would think about idol worship; this may not be in congruent with other religions’ idol worship.

We worship nature. We worship rivers, mountains, trees, plants, sun, moon and all the natural forces. Because we know that we can’t survive without and hence are indebted to the nature for its mercy shown to us. We know our goal – to rise and become God like, and are clear about that. We are humble people who accept and acknowledge the help of natural forces in our attempts to achieve our goals.

We love nature. We can’t live without them. It shows in our day to day customs and behaviour. This is not one-way taking or collectivist attitude. We give water to plant and trees, we protect them, nurture them. We worship the Sun like our God. We feel humble at the powers of natural forces, we worship the wind also.

Idols are visual representations of what we see and feel. Idols are made up of rocks, clay, they part of our nature. They are not created in some imaginative shapes and sizes to threaten and create an awe feeling in some tribe. We believe in education and enlightenment. We believe in reasoning and no matter how much we are able to decode, we always remain amused with the complexity and simplicity of nature.

When we worship nature and natural forces, we also see God everywhere. God is omnipresent. We give the idols the shapes and human like characteristics and hence we acknowledge that there is a God inside all of us. We all can become united with Gods. This couldn’t have become greater than this. We see God in you, him, her, and them. And hence our idols look like humans, because our love, our worship, our and our dear God does come to us in human forms. He came to us in the form of Ram, in the form of Krishna and He does come to us in human form each and every day. If only we could see and recognise Him….

Our idols are parts of the nature; they are human like, they are like us! We take care of our idols. We keep the area around them clean, we take care of them and we bend down in front of them……. Because we salute our God – we thank him for giving us this birth, for giving us this chance to live the single moment that we are alive. We bend down to show our gratitude and our love for Him.

When we love someone, we see him/her everywhere: in flowers, in birds, in moon and in the sun. Our love for God is above any singular feeling in this world. For that we don’t complain. That He made us poor or didn’t give us the riches that some others enjoy. For we took birth in this world that our God created, that we lived even a single moment, that our mothers held us close to their breasts, we are privileged.

We believe in Karma – that we do good and will get good. We do good and that makes Him happy. We don’t hurt others and don’t make others suffer. Not because there is a God watching us, but because there is a God in the other person also.

We worship idols – because we see God in them. If we saw God only in idols and not anywhere else, that would be very different. To say that we ‘need’ idols to see God is foolish. God is everywhere and in every form. Even in that bird and in that plant. Idols are one form of Him and Him only.

God is our love, our worship and also our friend. We talk to Him. And we take care of and love Him in the form of idols. Serving and taking care of the idols also represent the way our dear God takes care of us… and we also see that as the way in which we should take care of others…

What if someone attacks and hurts our idols? We will fight in defence and our religion doesn’t prevent us from fighting for dharma. We will do whatever in our capacity to prevent our idols from being troubled. But if something happened, we know that He allows us to learn many lessons from sufferings and problems. There is a right time for everything and He has plans for all. If we did our karma honestly and our hands didn’t shake, then we accept things and don’t worry too much about results. Because we believe in Him.

And hence we worship idols.

16 comments to Idol worship

  • Online Article…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]…

  • Worshiping or engaging in other rituals associated with living or non-living idols is the most useful method of killing time that entails minimum expenditure to suit your pocket and wife/father/mother can not criticize you for that.

  • Very thoughtful as always :)

  • :) right right … i love ganesh ji :) i have lot of his diff idols :)

  • Ganeshji :)…..where is my fav. Shiv ji?? reminds me tht pic of shiv ji once u posted here on blog..remember ??

  • :))i had a pleasant read…but i found the last paragraph rather disturbing “What if someone attacks and hurts our idols? We will fight in defence and our religion doesn’t prevent us from fighting for dharma”…..i think i those occasions we got to tell ourselves its just a stupid idol….and it was stupidity of attackers for doing such acts.

  • somehow …..i differ from the fact that all learnings come from suffering …….thought the right time is a fact …..but smtyms…the epitome of suffering becomes too much !……..i worship humanity ( includes a great deal !! ) …nothing else :) !

  • @gussaywali_behen, itnaa pyara naam rakhogi to mai hassunga, aur fir tum fir se gussaogi :))) Your comment is very learned one, I didn”t know all that and had shared only my personal feelings. And yes, I will search for Vivekananda”s views. Someone else asked me to read that too; kaheen woh tum to nahi? Par she is friend, kabhi bataya nahi ki woh bahan hai :) kidding…. Regards, (Rahul)

  • gussaywali_behen

    TYPO: “god now” should read “got not”.

    Do read up what our famous Swami Vivekananda has said about murti puja.


  • gussaywali_behen

    murti puja is perfect science said Pandurang Shastriji. The science is quite simple. God is in murti—> Then we realise that if god is in murti then god will be in people (around us) as well—-> if god is in murti and in people around us then God is in ME (us) as well. This realisation is ultimate realisation. God within. In dwelling god. The famous verse of veda “Isha vasyam idam sarvam, yatkimcha jagatyam jagat. Ten tyakten
    bhunjitha, ma gridhah kasya swid dhanam.—yajurveda-” That god now only created us all but also is dwelling in all of us….actually one of the chief differences bet. sanatan dharma and other ways of belief is the central tenet that god is not a separate entity (in every other religion god is separate from man). advaita (non-dual). So essentially bhakt moves from dualism to ultimate realization of adavita.

  • hi rahul, thats how i view idol worshiping. may be i am not 100% correct but i have some substance in what i have said. isnt it dear?

  • we worship idols because of our unknown fears.we fear about our future,we feel alone and need some one with us as our protector,we worship idols because we are not aware and are unable to locate HIS presence within our own self and instead look out for HIM in the idols and worship so as to have satisfaction which is self befooling. instead of looking for GOD with in our own self we start looking for the creator in HIS creations which we term as nature.

  • very nice post .
    Every faith has its own justification ????
    we people have become blind …..we dont see god eveywhere , certainly we do not see Him in other beings (thats why we ill treat them ) ,
    for us god has become more of a shrink …that too an unpaid one …..where in any person can go and put his problems expecting it to be solved .

  • @Destination: Yes, I think rediffiland doesn”t allow OpenID. You can create a rediff ID and log into the iland and then post a single post, giving your URL if you want and then it would be better. Or you can continue in this way. But if I want to email you and click on the icon, it opens MS Outlook which I don”t use. So I didn”t reply to you last time on your email ID and made use of this comment page. I hope you don;t mind. And I don”t know about those who say God is “only” in the idols, how it can be true? That can”t be true. And I agree with your points. Regards, (Rahul)

  • Destination Infinity

    A frank post again… The idea was well represented. But we should also accept that there are a lot of people who maintain that “God is only to be found in the idols.” Especially if it suits their personal interests. Religion and commerce have been deeply intertwined in our society. Like Science and commerce of late. But your take on this topic was excellent.

    Destination Infinity
    Doesn”t Rediff support open ID Commenting?

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