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

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  ....

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