30. Philosophy of Idol Worship--4.1

4. A Symbol of God-1.

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 worshipper.

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  .....

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