Savithri D savdev at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 7 12:28:36 CDT 2000

This article I received today from the "Gurudeva" mailing list is very
relevant to this topic.  I hope I am not violating any copy rights etc.(?)

Here it goes

                 What is the Nature of Image Worship?

                                SHLOKA 108

We worship God Siva and the Gods who by their infinite powers spiritually
hover over and indwell the image, or murti, which we revere as their
temporary body. We commune with them through the ritual act of puja. Aum.


The stone or metal Deity images are not mere symbols of the Gods; they are
the form through which their love, power and blessings flood forth into this
world. We may liken this mystery to our ability to communicate with others
through the telephone. We do not talk to the telephone; rather we use a
telephone as a means of communication with another person who is perhaps
thousands of miles away. Without the telephone, we could not converse across
such distances; and without the sanctified murti in the temple or shrine we
cannot easily commune with the Deity. His vibration and presence can be felt
in the image, and He can use the image as a temporary physical-plane body or
channel. As we progress in our worship, we begin to adore the image as the
Deity's physical body, for we know that He is actually present and conscious
in it during puja, aware of our thoughts and feelings and even sensing the
pujari's gentle touch on the metal or stone. The Vedas exclaim, "Come down
to us, Rudra, who art in the high mountains.
Come and let the light of thy face, free from fear and evil, shine upon us.
Come to us with thy love." Aum Namah Sivaya.

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