Liberation does not come from japa, homa, or a hundred fasts
Shri Sadashiva said:
So long as a man has not real knowledge, he does not attain final liberation, even though he be in the constant practice of religious acts and a hundred austerities (111).
The knowledge of the wise from whom the darkness of ignorance is removed, and whose souls are pure, arises from the performance of duty without expectation of fruit or reward, and by constant meditation on the Brahman (112).
He who knows that all which is in this universe from Brahma to a blade of grass is but the result of Maya, and that the Brahman is the one and supreme Truth, has this (113).
That man is released from the bonds of action who, renouncing name and form, has attained to complete knowledge of the essence of the eternal and immutable Brahman (114).
Liberation does not come from japa, homa, or a hundred fasts; man becomes liberated by the knowledge that he himself is Brahman (115).
Final liberation is attained by the knowledge that the Atma (Soul) is the witness, is the Truth, is omnipresent, is one, free from all illuding distractions of self and not-self, the supreme, and, though abiding in the body, is not in the body (116).
All imagination of name-form and the like are but the play of a child. He who put away all this sets himself in firm attachment to the Brahman, is, without doubt, liberated (117).
If the image imagined by the (human) mind were to lead to liberation, then undoubtedly men would be Kings by virtue of such kingdoms as they gain in their dreams (118).
Those who believe that Ishvara is in images made of clay, or stone, or metal, or wood, merely trouble themselves by their tapas. They can never attain liberation without knowledge (119).
Can men attain final liberation by restriction in food, be they ever so thin thereby, or by uncontrolled indulgence, be they ever so gross therefrom, unless they possess the knowledge of Brahman? (120).
If by observance of Vrata to live on air, leaves of trees, bits of grain, or water, final liberation may be attained, then snakes, cattle, birds, and aquatic animals should all be able to attain final liberation (121).
Brahma-sad-bhava is the highest state of mind; dhyana-bhava is middling; stuti and japa is the last; and external worship is the lowest of all (122).
Yoga is the union of the embodied soul and the Supreme Soul, Puja is the union of the worshiper and the worshipped; but he who realizes that all things are Brahman for him there is neither Yoga nor Puja (123).
For him who possesses the knowledge of Brahman, the supreme knowledge, of what use are japa, yajna, tapas, niyama, and vrata? (124).
He who sees the Brahman, Who is Truth, Knowledge, Bliss, and the One, is by his very nature one with the Brahman. Of what use to him are puja, dhyana, and dharana? (125).
For him who knows that all is Brahman there is neither sin nor virtue, neither heaven nor future birth. There is none to meditate upon, nor one who meditates (126).
The soul which is detached from all things is ever liberated; what can bind it? From what do fools desire to be liberated? (127).
He abides in this Universe, the creation of His powers of illusion, which even the Devas cannot pierce. He is seemingly in the Universe, but not in it (128).
The Spirit, the eternal witness, is in its own nature like the void which exists both outside and inside all things, and which has neither birth nor childhood, nor youth nor old age, but is the eternal intelligence which is ever the same, knowing no change or decay (129-130).
It is the body which is born, matures, and decays. Men enthralled by illusion, seeing this, understand it not (131).
As the Sun (though one and the same) when reflected in different platters of water appears to be many, so by illusion the one soul appears to be many in the different bodies in which it abides (132).
As when water is disturbed the Moon which is reflected in it appears to be disturbed, so when the intelligence is disturbed ignorant men think that it is the soul which is disturbed (133).
As the void inside a jar remains the same ever after the jar is broken, so the Soul remains the same after the body is destroyed (134).
The knowledge of the Spirit, O Devi! is the one means of attaining final liberation; and he who possesses it is verily, yea, verily, liberated in this world, even yet whilst living, there is no doubt of that (135).
Neither by acts, nor by begetting offspring, nor by wealth is man liberated; it is by the knowledge of the Spirit, by the Spirit that man is liberated (136).
It is the Spirit that is dear to all; there is nothing dearer than the Spirit; O Shive! it is by the unity of Spirit that men become dear to one another (137).
Knowledge, Object of knowledge, the knower appear by illusion to be three different things; but if careful discrimination is made, Spirit is found to be the sole residuum (138).
Knowledge is Spirit in the form of intelligence, the object of knowledge is Spirit whose substance is intelligence, the Knower is the Spirit Itself. He who knows this knows the Spirit (139).
I have now spoken of knowledge which is the true cause of final liberation. This is the most precious possession of the four classes of Avadhutas (140).
Arthur Avalon, Mahanirvana Tantra of the Great Liberation
Kessinger Publishing (June 30, 2004)
"And now, in the last quarter of the century, there is a renewed interest in the esoteric, but this is of a more mature, spiritual nature than was shown by the sensational spiritualism of the earlier period. Esoteric thought, it seems, is not immune to a renewed surge of energy and looks like being stimulated into a re-evaluation of its beliefs, just at a time when the rest of humanity will have to question theirs.
Through Alice Bailey, 'The Tibetan' predicted that in the first quarter of the 21st century there will be a restoration of the Ancient Mysteries, which have been debased by Black Magic. These will now be expressed at a higher level. This is part of the 'Great Plan' and will pave the way for an event described as 'Externalization of the Hierarchy', when those on earth who are spiritually advanced will work consciously with the brotherhood to help humanity.
The effect of this surge in our spiritual evolution is predicted to be dramatic, especially for those who are unprepared. Such people will resist the changes, clinging all the more desperately to their materialistic values.
'The Mysteries will be restored in other ways also, for they contain much besides which the Masonic rites can reveal or that religious rituals and ceremonies can disclose ... The Mysteries will restore colour and music as they essentially are to the world ... in such a manner that the creative art of today will be to this new creative art what a child's building of wooden blocks is to a great cathedral such as Durham or Milan. The Mysteries, when restored, will make real—in a sense incomprehensible to you at present—the nature of religion, the purpose of science and the goal of education. These are not what you think today ...'
Beyond these sensational claims of a world-wide re-awakening to the Ageless Wisdom is the fundamental belief shared by many of the esoteric and religious traditions that man must first demonstrate the will to develop, before the benign forces—whether we imagine them to be 'Hidden Masters,' our own Higher Self or a Messiah—are allowed to intervene to help us."
Paul Roland, Revelation: Wisdom of the Ages,
Ulysses Press, 1995, p. 133
"The verses repeatedly stress that 'the Kingdom' is within us—and not, as the Church has insisted, in the heavens barred to the 'sinner' by Saint Peter. One reason for the Church's vehement opposition to the Thomas gospel was the inclusion of Jesus' repeated warning to us not to entrust our spiritual development and well-being to others, be they priests, politicians or prophets."
Paul Roland, Revelation: Wisdom of the Ages,
Ulysses Press, 1995, p. 51.
The Nature of the Ultimate
"The Soul is the unity that links all individual beings. It is the indivisible continuum in which beings appear as individual conscious units. Every existing thing contains a part of the universal Soul, just as every form encloses a part of space and every duration of time. But, although this individual fragment of the Soul, like the fragment of space in the pitcher, gives existence to the living being, at no moment is the individual soul really separated from the universal continuum of consciousness, the Atman."
The Nature of the Ultimate
The Origin of Existence
"In the beginning, my dear, this world was just nondual Being (sat). To be sure, some people say that in the beginning this world was just nondual non-Being (a-sat), and that Being arose from non-Being. But how could that be? How could Being be produced from non-Being? In the beginning this world must have being pure Being, one without a second." (Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1-2  )
Thus did the sage Aruni state the question of the ultimate origin of gods, men, and the cosmos.
The methods of yoga, which the Aryans had probably learned from the earlier inhabitants of India, had made them conscious, through introspection, of an ultimate void within themselves, of a stage beyond thought and dream, beyond perception, beyond knowledge, motionless, indescribable, unbounded by space and time. Was this the causal principle? Was there a motionless substratum for matter, one for time, as there seemed to be one for thought? Were these different substrata the forms of a still more subtle one? The philosophers of the Upanishads pondered over these problems.
The Perceptible Continua: Space, Time, and Thought
When attempting to reach the root of any aspect of the manifest world we are led to imagine that there must exist beyond its form, beyond its appearance, some sort of causal state, some undifferentiated continuum, of which that particularized form would be an apparent development.
The first of the continua underlying all perceptible forms appears to be space. Absolute empty space is defined by Indian philosophers as a limitless, undifferentiated, indivisible continuum in which are built the imaginary divisions of relative space.
The Three Modes of Being: The substrata of Space, Time and Consciousness
If we envisage the cosmos not merely as an unconscious mechanism but as a creative process, as the manifestation of a conscious power, we are led to search for an active or conscious substratum for each of the perceptible continua.
The substratum of space is existence (sat), the substratum of time is experience or enjoyment (ananda), the substratum of thought is consciousness (cit).
Before there can be location, place, dimension, there must be something to locate, some sort of existence. There can be no location of the nonexistant. Hence existence must pre-exist space.
Time exists only in relation to perception. A nonperceived time can have no extension, cannot be the measure of anything. The principle of perception must therefore pre-exist time. That first undifferentiated potential perception, that first principle of experience, is said to correspond to pure, absolute enjoyment, the innermost nature of existence.
'Know the Principle (brahman) to be enjoyment. From enjoyment are all beings born; once born they are sustained by enjoyment and leave this world to return into enjoyment.' (Taittirtya Upanisad 3.6. )
"There is no experience, no enjoyment, without being, and no being without experience (enjoyment). When we speak of enjoyment (ananda) as 'self-illumined existence' (svaprakala-satta), enjoyment is shown as something other than sensation, and by saying that existence is the form of enjoyment, existence is freed from the notion of inertia." (Karapatri, "Lingopasana-rahasya." Siddhanta, II, 1941-42, 153.)
The lord-of-sleep (Siva), who is the principle of disintegration (tamas), the source of an ever-expanding (disintegrating) universe, is the principle of time, the destroyer, and at the same time the embodiment of experience, the phallus (linga). Thus enjoyment that is life and time that is death are shown as the two aspects of one entity. The source of life and immortality (a-mrta) is the same as that of death (mrta), a symbol that expresses itself in all traditions as the oneness of love and death (a-mor and mortis).
Enjoyment being the form of experience, the enjoyment continuum, basis of experience, is also known as 'feeling' (rasa) or 'emotion.' 'He [the Total Being] verily is but feeling.' (Taittirtya Upanisad 2.7.)
The experience of pure, unbounded enjoyment as the innermost nature of things implies the realization of absolute time, which is ever-present eternity. The being who reaches that stage is freed from the bonds of actions.
'He who knows the enjoyment of the Immensity does not know fear from any quarter. He is not tormented by any thought 'Why did not I act rightly? why did I sin?' He who knows that [right and wrong are relatively things] reaches the Soul.' (Taittirtya Upanisad 2.9. )
The substratum of thought is consciousness. Thought can exist only in a conscious mind. There can be no thought independent of a thinker, of someone conscious of the existence of thought. Consciousness is therefore the fundamental substratum of thought and is linked with the notion of individual existence, of an individual monad, or self, or being.
The formless Immensity that appears to be the innermost nature of things can be grasped as the void, the silence, the absolute darkness, which lies beyond mind, beyond intellect, and can be realized as the substratum of man's own nature, as his own Self, his own Soul (atman).
'Vast, resplendent, of unthinkable form, it shines forth more subtly than what is subtlest. Farther than the far, it is here at hand, hidden in the hearts of the seers.' (Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.7. )
"That Soul is not 'this' nor 'that'; unseizable, it cannot be grasped; indestructible, it cannot be destroyed; unattached, it has no contacts; unbound, it knows no anguish; it cannot be injured." (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 3.9.26 and 4.5.15. )
Unbounded by space and time, the individual soul is as small as an atom, as vast as the universe. 'He who realizes the sphere of space hidden in the cavern of his heart grasps all that may be desired and comes into contact with the Immensity.' (Taittirtya Upanisad. 2.1. )
The Soul is the unity that links all individual beings. It is the indivisible continuum in which beings appear as individual conscious units. Every existing thing contains a part of the universal Soul, just as every form encloses a part of space and every duration of time. But, although this individual fragment of the Soul, like the fragment of space in the pitcher, gives existence to the living being, at no moment is the individual soul really separated from the universal continuum of consciousness, the Atman.
The experience of the universal Soul is an experience of identity; hence absolute consciousness is spoken of as the Self, the own self of each being. 'For, where there is duality, one sees another, one smells another, one tastes another, one speaks to another, one smells another, one tastes another,one touches another, one understands another. But where everything has become one's own self, then who can be seen by what? Who can be smelt by what? who can be tasted by what? who can speak to what? who can hear what? Who can think of what? Who can touch what? Who can understand what? Who can understand that through which all things are understood?' (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 4.5.15. )
As the substratum of consciousness, the Atman is the Self, the innermost nature of all divinities, of all the forms of the manifest universe, of all living beings.
The Soul is the sum of all the gods. 'All the gods are this one Soul, and all dwell in the Soul.' (Manu Smrti 12.119. )
'The ruler-of-heaven (Indra) and all the gods are the Supreme Soul. It is supreme because it includes all.' (Kulluka Bhatta, commentary on ibid. )
As the one [inner] Fire pervading the world takes the endless forms of things, the one Soul within all beings fills their forms and the space around. As the one Air pervading the world takes the endless forms of things, the one Soul within all beings fills their forms and the space around. As the one Sun, the eye of the worlds, is not affected by the defects of sight, the one Soul within all beings is not defiled by suffering. There is but one Self for all beings, [one Power] that controls all, one Form that creates all forms. The strong who witness it within their hearts alone knows everlasting joy. It is the eternity of things eternal, the consciousness of the conscious, the unity of multiplicity, the fulfillment of desire. The strong who witness it within their hearts alone knows everlasting peace. (Katha Upanisad 5.9-13. )
The Soul, the all-pervading continuum of consciousness, becomes the sole object of meditation of the realized sage.
'This Soul indeed is below, this Soul indeed is above, this Soul is to the west and to the east. This Soul is to the south. This soul is to the north. This Soul indeed is the whole world.' (Chandogya Upanisad 7.25.2. )
'It is not born, nor does it die. It has not come from anywhere, has not become anyone. Unborn, everlasting, eternal, primeval, it is not slain when the body is slain.' (Katha Upanisad 2.18. )
The Soul is not affected by the accumulated actions which shape the individuality of the living being. Yet, in contact with individual characteristics, it appears colored by them just as crystal placed near a China rose appears red.
'He who sees this, who knows this, who understands this, who desires the Soul, who plays with the Soul, who makes love to the Soul, who attains volupty in the Soul, becomes his own master and wanders at will through the worlds. But they who know otherwise are dependent. They dwell in perishable worlds and cannot wander at will.' (Chandogya Upanisad 7.25.2. )
The "I" and the Self
There is considerable difference between the notion of the Self or Soul and the entity known as the individuality. The Soul is a continuum which exists within and without all beings. The 'I' or individuality, on the other hand, is a temporary knot, a 'tying together' of different universal faculties in a particular point of consciousness. It is a center within the Self just as any object is a group of energies tied together in a particular location within indefinite space. The Soul can exist independently of the notion of particularized existence, without thought, without individuality; not so the 'I,' which is the center of the vibrations of thought.
The Realization of the Soul
Being the substratum of man's own consciousness, the Soul is the universal substratum easiest for man to reach. The realization of the universal Soul is thus the highest realization accessible to man. The Soul is man's absolute. There is for him no other transcendental reality.
'The Soul is hidden in all things; it does not shine forth, but it can be perceived by seers with the subtle eyes of the intellect.' (Katha Upanisad 3.12. )
The point where the identity of the individual soul and the universal Soul is realized, the point where all living beings unite, is called the 'point-limit' (bindu). It is the point where space, time, and all forms of manifestation begin and through which they are ultimately withdrawn. In the order of manifestation, the bindu is described as the limit between the universal Consciousness (cit), which is passive and extentionless, and the universal Intellect (buddhi), which is active and thus require a sphere of activity, some form of extension.
The 'experience of the Soul,' is identified with the bindu, is the point where the universal Being and the individual being unite.
'The Soul is a bridge that links together these worlds so that they may not part. Neither day nor night, nor old age, nor death, nor sorrow, nor good or evil deeds, can cross over that bridge.'
'All evil turns back therefrom, for that immense world is free from evil. Therefore, upon crossing that bridge, the blind regain sight, the bound are liberated, those who suffer are freed from pain. Upon crossing that bridge, the night appears as the day; for that immense world is ever luminous. ' (Chandogya Upanisad 8.4.1-2. )
The Soul is not realized through teachings, nor by intellect, nor by learning. It can be reached only by the one who woos it. To him the Soul reveals its form. He who has not renounced action, who is not at peace, who cannot concentrate, who has not silenced his mind, cannot obtain it be mere intelligence.' (Katha Upanisad 2.23-24. )
'It cannot be grasped by sight nor by speech, nor by any of the sense organs, nor by penance or deeds. He who meditates and whose nature is purified by knowledge can behold it in its undivided entirety.' (Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.8. )
'Hence he who knows this, who is at peace, calm, quiet, patient, sees the Self as himself. He sees the Soul everywhere. Evil does not overcome him; he overcomes all evil. Evil does not burn him; he burns all evils. Free from evil, free from impurity, free from doubt, he becomes a knower of the Immensity.' (Chandogya Upanisad 4.4.23. )
Immensity (brahman), the Common Substratum
That the three continua may be the different aspects of one further, still more subtle, causal substratum is a hypothesis which can never be verified, since all its elements are beyond the reach of perception and the methods of logical reasoning cannot apply to regions which are beyond the reach of natural laws. This potential, imaginary substratum is spoken of a 'the Immensity,' the Brahman. It is a prodigious generalization, a most inspiring idea, which becomes also a dangerous instrument in the development of Hindu thought, indeed of all later religions.
The Immensity, which can be described as the space-time-thought continuum, is the absolute and ultimate stage in which are united existence, the source of spatial form; consciousness or knowledge, the basis of thought; and limitless duration of eternity, the basis of experience or enjoyment. Thus, 'the Brahman is indivisible existence, knowledge, and eternity' (Taittirtya Upanisad 2.1. )
The ultimate principle is beyond the reach of form, of thought, of experience. It is beyond all categories of manifestation, beyond divisible time, beyond divisible space, beyond number, beyond name and shape, beyond the reach of mind and words. It is spoken of as the stage 'whence mind and speech, having no hold, fall back' (Taittirtya Upanisad 2.9. )
There sight cannot go, speech cannot go, nor the mind. We cannot know, we cannot understand. How can one explain It? It is other than all that is known. It is above the Unknown. (Kena Upanisad 1.3. )
This ultimate stage cannot be called either non-Being or Being. It is neither one nor many. We can only define it negatively, saying that it is nothing of what man can know or conceive, neither god, nor man, nor thing. It is thus spoken of as nondual, unknowable, formless, changeless, limitless, etc. It cannot be positive or negative, male or female, hence it is spoken of in the neuter gender.
'Invisible, inactive, beyond grasp, without qualifications, inconceivable, indescribable, it is the essence aimed at through the notion of Self, ever aloof from manifestation. Calm, peaceful, auspicious (siva), it is nondual, unmanifest Fourth stage [beyond the three stages of existence, gross, subtle, and causal, beyond the three corresponding stages of experience, waking consciousness, dream consciousness, and deep sleep].' (Mundaka Upanisad 1.17. )
This Immensity, this Void, this Unknown, this nonexistant Absolute, is the innermost nature of everything.
It is the hearing of the ear, the thought of the thinking faculty,
the spoken word of speech, as also the breathing of the breath
and the sight of the eye.
(Kena Upanisad 1.2. )
That which speech cannot express but through which speech is expressed,
that indeed know as the Immensity and not what is here worshiped.
That which thought cannot conceive but through which thought is thought,
that indeed know as the Immensity and not what is here worshiped.
That which sight cannot see but through which sight sees,
that indeed know as the Immensity and not what is here worshiped.
That which hearing cannot hear but through which hearing is heard,
that indeed know as the Immensity and not what is here worshiped.
That which breath cannot breathe but through which breathing is breathed,
that indeed know as the Immensity and not what is here worshiped.
(Kena Upanisad 1.4-8. )
'The sun does not shine there, nor the moon, nor the stars; lightning does not shine there, nor the [earthly] fire. As he shines, everything is illumined after him. The whole world shines by his light.' (Mundaka Upanisad 2.2.10; Katha Upanisad 5.15 )
'It has never begun; one cannot say that it exists nor that it does not exist.... All the perceptions of the senses rest upon it, yet it perceives nothing. It knows no connections, yet supports all things. It has no quality, yet it is the enjoyer of all merits.'
'External to all things, it dwells in all things, animate or inanimate. It is so subtle that it cannot be grasped. Always near, it is ever beyond reach. Indivisible, it only appears in the fragmentation of life. It feeds all that lives, yet devours it and gives it birth again.
It is the light of lights beyond darkness.
It is both knowledge and the object if knowledge,
which knowledge [alone] can reach,
and it dwells in the heart of all.
Thus the field [of knowing (i.e., the mind)], knowledge, and the thing to be known are spoken as one.
(Bhagavadgita 13.12, 14-18. )
Alain Daniélou, The Myths and Gods of India
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company (December 1, 1991) pp. 14-22
The Paraclete Shri Mataji "This union of Atma and Shakti as the protector of one's existence is important to understand ... At a practical level what this means is that if one goes against the Spirit, identifying with anything apart from it, the heart 'catches'...
When we come to Sahaja Yoga the Tantra is damaged and impure and the heart 'catches.' There is nothing to be upset in that. One should settle down silently and work to undo the 'catches,' gradually and slowly. The whole Library of Divine Knowledge is at one's hand and if the heart's desire to evolve the being and achieve the Absolute is pure, the solution to every problem will occur automatically, effortlessly and spontaneously — Sahaj.
The ultimate act against the Spirit is to worship that which has no Spirit — gross matter or raksasas. Shri Muhammad inveighed against both.... The Atma and its expression is the sole Reality in the Universe. Identification with anything else causes the heart to 'catch.'"
The Paraclete Shri Mataji "The first point is ego. We have such ego that you cannot get rid of it. We have subtle and subtle ways of having egos like "I have come from this country, I must have ego"," I come from this kind of family, I must have ego." All kinds of stupid things they do, which are really sinful and they think they're very great if they have ego. This ego you have to fight, otherwise your resurrection is not possible; your attention cannot pass through the Agnya Chakra. As long as they have given us satanic identifications, it will not work out. It's a very subtle happening — very, very subtle happening — that you should see your own ego. 'After Realization' - I said - 'You know yourself'; the first thing you will know is that you have too much of conditioning and too much of ego.... Like in India, I find people have so much conditioning of their so-called rituals — very ritualistic. Everything is a ritual with them and they cannot get out of it; that's all the conditioning.... But ego is the worst part in the West - more in the West, where I don't know what they think of themselves!"
Easter Puja. Istanbul, Turkey—22 April 2001
Murti (Idol) Worship
Murti (Idol) Worship [PDF Format]
"The idol is a support for the neophyte. It is a prop in his spiritual childhood. A form or image is necessary for worship in the beginning. It is an external symbol of God for worship. It is a reminder of God. The material image calls up the mental idea. Steadiness of mind is obtained by image worship. The worshiper will have to associate the ideas of infinity, omnipotence, omniscience, purity, perfection, freedom, holiness, truth and omnipresence with the form of worship he chooses.
It is not possible for all to fix the mind on the Absolute. A concrete form is necessary for the vast majority for practicing concentration. To behold God everywhere and to practice the presence of God is not possible for the ordinary man. Idol worship is the easiest form of worship for the modern man.
A symbol is absolutely indispensable for fixing the mind. The mind wants a prop to lean upon. It cannot hold a conception of the Absolute in the initial stages. Without the help of some external aid the mind cannot be centralised. In the beginning, therefore, concentration or meditation is not possible without a symbol.
Idol worship is not peculiar to Hinduism. Christians worship the Cross. They have the image of the Cross in their mind. The Muslims keep the image of the Kaaba stone when they kneel and do prayers. The people of the whole world, save a few Yogis and Vedantins, are all worshipers of idols. They keep some image or the other in their mind.
The mental image also is a form of idol. The difference is not one of kind, but only of degree. All worshipers however intellectual they may be, generate a form in the mind and make the mind dwell on that image.
Everyone is thus an idol worshiper. Pictures drawings, etc, are only forms of idols. A Boas mind needs a concrete symbol as a prop and a subtle mind requires an abstract symbol. Even a Vedantin has the symbol Om to fix his wandering mind. It is not only the pictures or images in stone and in wood that are idols but dialectics and great leaders also become idols So, why condemn idolatry?
Idols are not the idle fancies of sculptors but are shining channels through which the heart of the devotee is attracted to God and flows towards Him. Though apparently the image is worshipped, the devotee feels the presence of the Lord in it and pours out his devotion unto it. It is the appalling ignorance of the modern sensual man that clouds his vision and prevents him from seeing Divinity in the lovely and enchanting idols of His forms.
The wonderful scientific advances of this century ought to convince one of the glory of idol worship. How are the songsters and orators confined to a small box like thing called a radio or a T.V.? The latter are merely lifeless, mechanical structures which would break into a thousand pieces of thrown violently; and yet, if you know how to handle it, you can hear through it the music and see through it the pictures occurring several thousands of miles away. Even as you catch the sound-waves of people all over the globe through the radio and T.V., it is possible to commune with the all-pervading Lord through the medium of an idol. The divinity of the all-pervading God is vibrant in very atom of creation. There is net a speck of space where He is net. Why do you then say that He is net in the idols?
There are many who would glibly say: "Oh, God is an all-pervading formless Being. How can He be confined to this idol!"Are these people ever conscious of His omnipresence? Do they always see Him and Him alone in everything? No. It is their ego that prevents them from bowing to the idols of God and with that motive they put this lame excuse forward.
Empty vessels make much sound. A practical man who does meditation and worship, who is full of knowledge and real devotion, always keeps silent. He influences and teaches others through silence. He alone knows whether an idol is necessary in the beginning of concentration or not.
However intellectual one may be, one cannot concentrate without the help of some symbol. An intellectual or a learned person may say on account of his pride and vanity: "I do not like an idol I do not wish to concentrate on a form."He cannot concentrate on the formless One. He thinks that people will laugh at him when they come to know that he is meditating on an idol. He never does any meditation on the formless One. He simply talks and argues and poses. He wastes his life in unnecessary discussions only. An ounce of practice is better than tons of theories.
Intellect is a hindrance in the vast majority of intellectual persons. They say that the existence of Brahman is guess-work, the superconscious state is a bluff and Self-realisation is an imagination of the Vedantins. Deluded souls! They are steeped in ignorance. They are carried away by their secular knowledge which is mere husk when compared to the knowledge of the Self. There is no hope of salvation for such people. First their wrong impressions should be hushed by good impressions through Satsang. Then only will they realise their mistakes. May the Lord bestow on them dear understanding and thirsting for real knowledge!
The idol is a substitute or symbol. The image in a temple, though it be made of stone, wood or metal, is precious for a devotee as it bears the mark of his Lord, as it represents something which he holds holy and eternal. A flag is only a small piece of painted cloth, but to a soldier it stands for something that he holds very dear. He is prepared to give up his life in defending his flag. Similarly, the image is very dear to a devotee. It speaks to him in its own language of devotion. Just as the flag arouses martial valour in the soldier, so also the image arouses devotion in the devotee. The Lord is superimposed on the image and the image generates divine thoughts in the worshiper.
A piece of ordinary white paper or coloured paper has no value. You throw it away. But, if there is the stamp of the Government on the paper (currency note), you keep it safe in your money pocket or trunk. Even so, an ordinary piece of atom has no value for you. You throw it away. But, if you behold the stone idol of Lord Krishna at Pandharpur or any other idol in shrines, you bow your head with folded palms, because there is the stamp of the Beloved Lord on the stone. The devotee superimposes on the stem idol his own Lord and all His attributes.
When you worship an image, you do not say: "This image has come from Jaipur. It was bought by Prabhu Singh. Its weight is 50 lbs. It is made of white marble. It has cost me Rs.500."No! You superimpose all the attributes of the Lord on the image and pray: "O Inner Ruler! You are all-pervading. You are omnipotent, omniscient and all-merciful. You are the source of everything. You are eternal, unchanging. You are the life of my life, the Soul of my soul! Give me light and knowledge! Let mt dwell in Thee for ever!"
When your devotion and meditation become intense and deep, you do not see the stone image. You behold the Lord only who is pure Consciousness. Image worship is very necessary for beginners.
For a beginner, the idol is an absolute necessity. By worshipping the idol, the Lord is pleased. The idol is made up of the five elements. The five elements constitute the body of the Lord. The idol remains an idol, but the worship goes to the Lord.
If you shake hands with a man, he is highly pleased. Yon have touched only a small part of his body and yet he is happy. He smiles and welcomes you. Even so, the Lord is highly pleased when a small portion of His cosmic body is worshipped. An idol is a part of the body of the Lord. The whole world is His body. The devotion goes to the Lord.
The worshiper superimposes on the image the Lord and all His attributes. He does the sixteen forms of reverence to the Lord. First, the Presence of the Deity is invoked. Then a seat is offered, the feet are washed, watts is offered, and then hospitality is offered, The idol is bathed, dressed and invested with the sacred thread. Sandal paste is applied to its forehead, flowers are offered, and incense is burnt. Then a lamp is lit and waved before the Deity. Food is now offered, together with the burning of camphor. A gift of gold is offered. Finally (the sixteenth step), the Deity is bidden farewell.
In these external forms of worship, the inner love finds expression. The wandering mind is fixed non in this form of worship. The aspirant gradually feels the nearness of the Lord. He attains purity of heart and slowly annihilates his egoism.
To the worshiper who has faith in the symbol, any kind of image is the body of the Lord, be it made of stone, clay, or brass, or be it a picture, drawing, etc. Such worship an never be idolatry. All matter is a manifestation of God. God is present in everything. Everything is an object of worship, for all is a manifestation of God who is therein worshipped. The very act of worship implies that the object of worship is superior and conscious. This way of looking at things must be attained by the devotee. The untutored mind must be trained to view things in the above manner."
The Hypocrisy Of Worshiping Dead Idols Without And Spiritual Reality within.
Kash's family had a big bronze idol of Shri Ganesha sitting in a conch on the altar. It was a unique murti that many had admired. There were many times Kash's father specifically bowed to Him to convey thanks in gratitude for all He had done for the family and the priceless enlightenment beyond their wildest dreams.
After a few years of meditation it began to dawn upon his father that idol-worship was against the Spirit. The more he looked at the idol the more he realized it's anti-spiritual nature. By experience he had found out that only in the thoughtless state was it possible to learn from the Cosmic Consciousness. And this Cosmic Consciousness was now informing him that no idol must ever be worshipped.
But these dangerous thoughts also brought fear as he knew through experience that every thought is instantly known by the Divine Beings in his Sahasrara. And of all the Divine Deities he was specifically insulting Shri Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles and the Great Adi Shakti's own Son! How could he be so utterly ungrateful and blasphemous? Maybe his own mind, despite long stretches of thoughtlessness, still murmured to him off and on. Maybe he was deluding himself since idol-worship is an extremely revered Hindu tradition. Was he suggesting that so many hundreds of millions had been wrong for centuries?
The combination of guilt, fear and apprehension was too much to bear. He had to get an answer to something that was disturbingly anti-spiritual, yet frightfully against the very heart and soul of Hinduism. But deep in his heart, for reasons still unknown, he knew that he would never be able to worship an idol again. The Maha Yoga of the Great Adi Shakti had destroyed many falsehoods brought by religious conditioning, and this had to be another one of them.
On Friday, February 12, 1999 at 4.05 p.m. Kash was asked if he had ever seen any murtis (idols) in the Kingdom of God. He replied that no idol exist in the Spirit World. Wherever he had gone the Divine Incarnations were there is person.
Then Arwinder was questioned as he had visited far more places of worship in the Celestial City teeming with countless spirit beings — Caucasian, Oriental, Africans, Indians, and so forth. He answered that only in one did he see a grey stone figure of Shri Ganesha, and that it was outside. In other words, this work of art was part of the outer temple sculpture and not for prayer purposes. (This Revelation should convince humans that religious idols may be admired as art, but never to be worshipped as divine.)
However, no idols, icons or statues were ever seen inside any house of worship. Then what was inside and whom did the spirit beings worship? Arwinder replied that each and every worship place, without fail, had a few photographs of the Great Adi Shakti Shri Bhavanagamya Shri Nirmala Devi. Many a times he had seen spirit beings putting flowers, meditating and praying before these photographic images. On occasions he had also joined them. (If angels come down to Earth to attend the scared ceremonies and meditate on the photographic image of the Great Adi Shakti (Holy Spirit or Ruh of Allah), as the cover photograph proves, why not liberated beings living in the Spirit World do likewise, as witnessed by a child?)
When asked if there were idols, icons or statues of Shri Vrddha Devi in the Spirit World he replied that none exist. Even after being asked a number of times about this critical information the answers were the same: there are photographic images of the Great Adi Shakti but no idols in the Kingdom of God. This is reflected on Earth where those witnessing the Resurrection are meditating on the Ruh of Allah while others — sad and dismayed by the Good News due to religious falsehood, deluding dogma and intense conditioning — are rejecting the Reality of Al-Qiyamah.
No Hindu murtis, Christian icons or Buddhist statues exist in the Kingdom of God — This Revealed Truth is Absolute.
No murti, icon or statue worship is performed in the Spirit World — This Revealed Truth is Absolute.
Bhavanagamya (113rd): Realised by mental effort (called dhyana). Here it may be Dhyana of (1) vigraha or pratika which is outside, (2) or by concentration inside the heart on a mental image and worshipping Her by various offerings, (3) or by losing the devotee's individuality in Sri-Lalita-paramesvari in the Sahasrara. This is the best and is called sattvika-bhavana. Vrddha (671st): Oldest, since everything is created by Her.
"Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste." [Yajurved 40:9]
They enter darkness, those who worship natural things (for example air, water, sun, moon, animals, fire, stone, etc).
They sink deeper in darkness those who worship sambhuti. (Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol etc.)
"Deep into shade of blinding gloom fall asambhuti's worshipers. They sink to darkness deeper yet who on sambhuti are intent."
[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith pg 538]
"They are enveloped in darkness, in other words, are steeped in ignorance and sunk in the greatest depths of misery who worship the uncreated, eternal prakrti—the material cause of the world—in place of the All-pervading God, But those who worship visible things born of the prakrti, such as the earth, trees, bodies (human and the like) in place of God are enveloped in still greater darkness, in other words, they are extremely foolish, fall into an awful hell of pain and sorrow, and suffer terribly for a long time."
[Yajur Veda 40:9.]
"Na tasya pratima asti"
"There is no image of Him."[Yajurveda 32:3]
"He is One only without a second."[Chandogya Upanishad 6:2]
"Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah."
"Of Him there are neither parents nor lord."[Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]
"Na tasya pratima asti"
"There is no likeness of Him."[Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]
"He is bodiless and pure."[Yajurveda 40:8]
"Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam."
"His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye." [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]
So far we have been unable to find Vedic scripture that support idol worship
"From: Jagbir Singh
To: A. Palaniswami
Subject: Worship of Murtis
Date: Thursday, February 11, 1999 9:32 AM
We would be grateful if you could provide us with specific quotes from Hindu scriptures related to the worship of murtis. This is a controversial issue among non-Hindus, and so far we have been unable to find Vedic scripture that support it. Perhaps you and your associates will be able to provide us with precise texts to back this practise. Thank you and have a blissful Shivaratri Puja.
There are a great many quotes in the various scriptures about idol worship
"From: Acharya Ceyonswami
Subject: worship of murthis
Date: Saturday, February 20, 1999 6:54 PM
Reply to: worship of murthis
Prostrations to Vighna Vinayaga,
There are a great many quotes in the various scriptures of the different sects of Hinduism referring to the worship of murthis — the Saiva Agamas, Vaishnava Agamas, and the Shakti agamas, as well as the ancient Tirumantiram of Tirumular and much more. The Karanagama, Silparatna and Kasyapa silpa deal in great length the details of the various murthis. The Pratima Kosha, or Encyclopaedia of Indian Iconography gives various research on the art form of icons and how the murthis are to be designed.
However, we don't think it would be worthwhile spending the time to type up quotes to convince Christians of anything — it won't matter to them what our scriptures say, as they don't consider them scripture! We need to stand strong for our Hindu faith and practices without having to feel defensive to anyone for what we do. Sanatana Dharma is the fountainhead of all religions and each practices a certain part of the One Eternal Dharma. One God, One World.
We revere idols as the temporary body of gods
Subject: Dancing with Siva Shloka 108
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 1999 1:12 AM
What is the Nature of Image Worship?
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."
But where are the great many quotes in the various scriptures about idol worship?
There is not even a single line in the Vedas or Puranas that support idol-worship.
Thus if great learned men use the best Vedic quote," 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," and translate it into worship of stone idols we can only reel in repulsion and disgust. If this is one of the"great many quotes in the various scriptures of the different sects of Hinduism referring to the worship of murthis", then we can only shudder in silence and utter aversion.
Hindus should remember that they are led to believe that only their brahmins are empowered to act as middlemen between themselves and the gods through elaborate rituals and lengthy sacred sequences of mantras. For millennia ignorant masses have been conditioned that these temple priests are able to communicate with the mighty deities represented by stone statues infused with their shaktis (power) in elaborate rituals only feasible by brahmins.
So what are brahmins without their visible idols? And what are worshipers without common sense to distinguish between manmade rituals and scriptural Truth? And how did the followers of the eternal Sanatana Dharma succumb to such darkness?
The pristine and flawless Vedic scriptures did not contradict at all. It was the priestly caste that perverted them for their own power, and maintained it with a plethora of granite gods. And a billion Hindus remain blind to one of the greatest falsehood perpetuated in the name of God Almighty. May they learn through Self-Realization to worship the Eternal Essence of Brahman (God Almighty) within their own beings than the lifeless idols without, a stain on the Sanatana Dharma which even the Great Adi Shakti denounces:
You give him a statue of a deity and ask him all about this statue — whether it is all right or not. He might say that it is not alright. You can feel the subtle vibrations, whether it is in Dharma or otherwise.
Now can we say say that Ashtavinayaka's are living gods? How do you know Jyotirlingas are living? How will you know unless you know the integrations of all the great souls together? And how are you going to judge them? That is why you must get Realization."
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
New Delhi, India — February 15, 1977
"The idol installation ceremony was performed on Labh Pancham, 30 October 1992 CE. Until now, the idols were statues created by a sculptor. Now, they would become Murtis, purified and infused with divinity at the hands of the Enlightened Guru. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, along with senior sadhus and eminent devotees performed the ceremony with Vedic rituals. Brahmin pundits chanted the mantras, sacrificial fires were lit, rhythmic verses were sung, and the arti was performed. Finally, Pramukh Swami Maharaj blessed the gathering and two days later opened the doors of the Monument to all on 2 November 1992 CE, with these words," The Murti is exactly the same as the Lord in the divine abode Akshardham. There is not an iota of difference."
Idol Installation 82 KB
Idol Adornment 228 KB
The religion of the Veda knows no idols
"The religion of the Veda knows no idols," says Max Muller; "The worship of idols in India is a secondary formation, a degradation of the more primitive worship of ideal gods."
The stone idols have drowned the world
Kabeer, some buy idols and worship them; In their stubborn- mindedness, they make pilgrimages to sacred shrines.
They look at one another, and wear religious robes, but they are deluded and lost.
Kabeer, someone sets up a stone idol and all the world worships it as the Lord.
Those who hold to this belief will be drowned in the river of darkness.
Kabeer, the paper is the prison, and the ink of rituals are the bars on the windows.
The stone idols have drowned the world, and the pandits, the religious scholars, have plundered it on the way.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Shaloks Of Kabeer Jee:, p. 1371.)
All objects of worship besides Allah are mere delusions
"All objects of worship besides Allah are mere delusions. To anyone who sees this clearly, through Allah's Self-revelations, the only possible course is to give up everything else, which his own inner experience as well as outer Revelation tell him is false or of a temporary nature, and to bring his own will and actions into complete unison with Allah's Will: for that is the meaning of Islam, bowing to the Will of Allah. When we bow to the Real and Everlasting, we are automatically saved from falling victims to the False and Evanescent."
Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'n
The ignorant fools pick up stones and worship them
In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, O Nanak, the Jinn, the demons, have taken birth.
The son is a demon, the daughter is a demon, and the wife is the chief of the demons.
The Hindus have forgotten the Primal Lord; they are going the wrong way.
As Naarad instructed them, they worship idols. They are blind and mute, the blindest of the blind.
The ignorant fools pick up stones and worship them.
But when those stones themselves sink, how will they carry you across?
Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Shalok, p. 556.)
"The idol gives not the hungry and saves not the dying."
PART 1. INTRODUCTION
Sikhism believes in One immortal formless God. The God of all people regardless of religion or race. God is self-illumined, without fear, sans enmity. Truth is Gods name.
PART 2. THE STONE GODS
The Guru Granth Sahib rejects any worship of physical items such as stone idols, animals or plants. The worship of images, tombs or sacred stones is also rejected.
"They, who say the stone is God; in vain is their service. He, who falls at the feet of the stone; vain goes his labour. My Lord ever speaks. The Lord gives gifts to all the living beings. The Lord is within, but the blind one knows not. Deluded by doubt, he is caught in a noose. The stone speaks not, nor gives anything. In vain are the ceremonies of the idolater, and fruitless his service." (Guru Granth Sahib, Arjan Dev, P.1160)
"The idol gives not the hungry and saves not the dying." (Guru Granth Sahib, Nanak, P.1240)
PART 3. THE HINDU IDOLS
Although Guru Nanak's parents were Hindus, he rejected the theory of the Hindu stone gods. Since most of the Sikhs are originally from India it has been difficult to rid themselves of this concept.
"The Hindus have forgotten the Primal Lord and are going the wrong way. As Narad instructed so worship they idols. They are blind, dumb and the blindest of the blind. The ignorant fools take stones and worship them. Those stones when they themselves sink, how shall they ferry thee across?" (Guru Granth Sahib, Nanak,P.556)
PART 4. PLUCKING LEAVES FOR STONE GODS
The idol worshiper plucks leaves from flowers and then they throw them over the stone idols. The verses below show that plucking the leaves kills life for a useless cause.
"Thou tearest off the leaves, O lady gardener but in every leaf there is life. The stone (idol) for which thou pluckest the leaves, that stone is life-less. In this, thou art mistaken, O lady gardener. The True Guru is the living Lord." (Guru Granth Sahib, Kabir, P.479)
"The blind ignorant ones stray in doubt and so deluded, deluded they pluck flowers for worship. They worship the lifeless stones and adore tombs. Their service all goes in vain." (Guru Granth Sahib, Ram Das, P.1264
PART 5. CONCLUSION
The worship of idols in any form does not free the mind to doing services of just cause. The rewards are none to them, the reward achieved in their lives are of consequence and not the result of idol worship. People always need some sort of hope when their minds are not yet enlightened. The philosophy of The Guru Granth Sahib takes one to a higher plane of thinking to rid the mind rituals."
Monotheism proves then, the pointlessness of idols and of images that come between man and God.
"If we consider the most ancient evidence left by homo sapiens, we can see that man has always been aware of the existence of a Supreme Being, who is Lord of all things and of all living creatures.
Using every conceivable means, human beings of every era have always tried to show their feelings of deep respect (and reverence) towards God and to perform what is due to their Creator.
This is why Islam has always stressed the possibility of direct communication with God. Even those who have fallen into idolatry have never denied the existence of the Creator, but have simply put their idols and images in His place. And this is still happening today. This being the case, how can we recognise a true prophet and what is his or her mission?
The mission of the prophets is to reveal the will of God, that is, to provide a logical and tangible explanation of religion as it is experienced in our daily lives.
Genuine monotheism - the belief in a Supreme Being - means (or implies) the unshakeable oneness of the whole creation between man and God. Monotheism proves then, the pointlessness of idols and of images that come between man and God. The mission of the prophets is thus to set human beings on the right track, and in order to do this, the prophets have used two parrallel and complementary paths:
- the way of learning, based on theology and philosophy
- and the way of Self-Knowledge or Self-Realisation
This is why we find in our Holy Book, the Koran, both scholastic discourse and phrases which hint at the "Way in" to knowledge of the Highest Self. The concrete means of putting this message into practise is what is offered to us in this age by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
To back up this Truth, if you will allow me. I will quote these words of the Prophet Mahomet, who tells us: "God is closer to man than his own veins." And the Prophet says: "With the knowledge of the Spirit, man will begin to know himself, so as to finally achieve knowledge of God." "With the purification of his inner being, man becomes conscious that he is the Spirit."
It is thus the experience of spontaneous Self Realisation - which is revealed by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi - and Sahaja Yoga - which is the practise which she teaches - both spontaneous Self Realisation and Sahaja Yoga are in perfect harmony with the teachings of Islam. It is because of this revelation by Shri Mataji that I have wanted to speak to you tonight."
Ayatollah Dr. Mehdi Rouhani
(Address delivered by Ayatollah Dr. Mehdi Rouhani at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 3rd July 1997)
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