God’s munificence has no limits. He manifests in multiple ways to help us, writes AJIT KUMAR BISHNOI
In the Bhagwad Gita, Arjuna enquires from Lord Krishna about the relative merits of worshiping God as a person or worshiping God in His unmanifest form. (12.1) The Lord replied that worshiping Him as a person is superior. (12.2) Because achieving success by worshiping the unmanifest form of God is lot more difficult. (12.5) Therefore, it is no wonder that we generally worship God in His manifest forms. Even Adi Shankaracharya, the great exponent of the unmanifest, composed the “Bhaja Govindam” texts so that the common man could easily get started on the devotional path.
In order to worship God in His manifest forms, we make idols and photos of God of His various incarnations. These idols and photos have been routinely worshiped in temples and homes. In temples, worship of a murti is generally started after a “prana pratishtha” ceremony. A very elaborate ceremony is held with lots of priests, specially invited for this purpose, chant many mantras. In simple language, they are sincerely praying to God to bless the murti with His presence. But God, the omnipresent, is present everywhere. Then, why this prayer? The answer can be had from the ‘darshan’ God gives to His devotees, who please Him by their ‘tapasya’. Such devotees are allowed to seek some boon of their choice. The Lord grants the same, if appropriate.
Traversing the spiritual path is not easy. The practitioners require a lot of help, response, etc. Hoping that their request has been granted, regular worship of the murti, now called a Deity is started. But what happens if the regular worship is stopped. The temple goes into disuse or has been abandoned for whatever reason. What will be the purpose of God’s special presence then? None. And, therefore, just as He agreed to come, God leaves. And the Deity turns back to its original identity of a stone murti.
God’s incarnations in the material world are for limited periods only. When Lord Ramachandra blessed the earth planet by His presence, He left once the purpose/purposes for which He incarnated were served. Same for Lord Krishna. Similarly, in temples, God’s presence is there till it serves its purpose.
God not only grants such favours to the humankind, but does much more. Rather He is always carefully engaged in action. (3.23) Though there is no compulsion of any duty for Him. (3.22), He is just too kind to those who take his shelter. By his mercy they achieve supreme peace. (18.62) That is a very exalted state. Even to a beginner, who just prays for something, God must respond. He must give something not necessarily what has been prayed for. Worship by distressed persons, inquisitive persons, seekers of wealth and wise persons are all responded to appropriately. God arranges some help through mediums for those who are distressed. Many have had such experiences when someone miraculously appeared and extended help. To inquisitive persons, God, situated within, destroys the darkness born of ignorance by the shinning lamp of knowledge. (10.11) Seekers of wealth are not disappointed either. (18.78) God favours some of His devotees by making them His instruments as he made Arjuna in the Mahabharat war. (11.33) Those, who preach God’s instructions, please Him greatly (18.69), and God even helps them in writing/composing spiritual texts. Many have admitted that what they wrote did not originate from them; God helped.
God’s munificence has no limits. He manifests in multiple ways to help us. Let us not miss out.
Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org