[Advaita-l] Idol worship question

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 26 18:58:07 CST 2012

> Namaste
> On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:
> > He is in every stone. Can we worship a stone lying in the street thinking
> > it is God?
> >
> >> yO yO yAm yAM tanum bhaktaH shraddhayaarchitumitimicchati..pls. refer
> > geeta shloka..if you feel the presence of Ishvara sannidhAna in the street
> > side stone, that would be your archa-vigraha.
> >
> Then what is the purpose of doing Pooja to Idols? Anyone can pick up a
> stone and worship it.

If that anyone has the capacity to see brahman in any stone, then absolutely no problem.
Although, someone with such an advanced level of sama-darSana may not see any need
to do any special pUjA to even a properly consecrated vigraha in a temple.
> Some people say the Idol worship in temples came afterwards. Before
> there was only Vedic Yajna. They offered things to Agni and Agni
> conveyed the same to Gods. But Idol worship is not necessary. If Idol
> worship was not started the Muslims could not have attacked our
> temples and looted us.

Why confuse the supposedly historical with what is at the level of individual sAdhana?
In the time when there was only vaidika yajna, electric power was not available and nobody
could get light at the flip of a switch. Are we prepared to live without the convenience of 
electricity today? If you can accept change in secular matters, what is the big deal about
religious matters that are an intrinsic part of the tradition you have inherited? True, advaitins
do not particularly agree with vaishNava conceptions of the vigraha in a temple being an arca-
avatAra, but no AcArya in the advaita tradition has argued that you should not go to a temple.

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