30. Philosophy of Idol Worship - 5.2.
5- An Integral Part of the Cosmos-2
The worshipper 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, water 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 now 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 be continued ....