30. Philosophy of Idol Worship -8.
8. The Image—A Mass of Consciousness
The idol is only a symbol of the Divine.
A devotee does not behold therein a block of stone or a mass of metal.
It is an emblem of God for him.
He visualises the indwelling Presence in the idol.
All the sixty-three Nayanar saints of South India attained God-realisation through worship of the Shiva Linga, the image of Lord Shiva.
For a devotee, the image is a mass of consciousness.
He draws inspiration from it.
It guides him.
It talks to him.
It assumes the human form to help him in a variety of ways.
The image of Lord Shiva in the temple at Madura in South India helped the fuel-cutter and the old woman.
The image in the temple at Tirupati assumed a human form and gave witness in the court to help His devotees.
These are marvels and mysteries.
Only the devotees understand them.
Next : 9. When Idols Become Alive
To be continued ....