Majority of the people indulge in idol worship; but some do not agree with it. Is idol worship right or wrong?
The Supreme God or Parmatma is indeed formless. Therefore some people think that He cannot be worshiped in any form. This statement is not wrong. But everyone does agree that He has to be worshiped. Then how is a formless God to be worshipped at all? ‘By Dhyana’ the angels and the saint or messengers reply. That is correct. This is what we all do, though of course for very short durations! Dhyana means Meditation, focusing on GOD.
Objection: How can you say that everybody worships by Dhyana or Meditation only?
Solution: Consider the following example:
We all know that it is only with great difficulty that we go to the Shri Tirupati Balaji Temple for darshan. When we reach there, the rush is so huge that the organizers give us only about 10 seconds for viewing the Lord (darshan). And what do we do during the time of actual darshan? We join our palms in prayer, see the idol for about three seconds and bend our heads, closing our eyes in meditation! Notice that the idol (murti) only serves the purpose of reminding us of the attribute-less God in our own hearts. Remember, that GOD appeared as NarSimha, from the pillars of the wall to protect HIS devotee Prahlad from the demon Hirankashyipu. Innocent Devotion is important.
But for doing dhyana over longer intervals, without the help of a murti or idol, one needs a very well trained mind in which there is no fickleness. However, it is a universal experience that the mind is frustratingly fickle. Therefore, Lord Krishna advises common people like us to take to God with a form. As the mind evolves and transcends this level, one can then go straight to the dhyana of the formless God. This comes only with practice and selflessness.
Even when people pray with idols in front of them or not in front of them, people usually think of achieving worldly desires more than thinking or concentrating on the Almighty Parbrahma.
So what is more important for GOD? Does HE punish people who pray wrongly?
Such doubts may appear when we one worships God out of fear. This is not correct. God is full of mercy by his very nature. Bhagavan Krishna excused even hundred insults hurled at him by Shishupala and only punished him when he crossed the limit. Though it is true that God does not like ashraddha (Atheism), it should not be imagined that He is always holding a whip at his devotees to lash them the moment they make a mistake. Indeed, He has a special love for innocent people. The boatman Guha in the Ramayana and the Gopas and Gopis of the Shrimad Bhagavatam bear testimony to this. Always living in our hearts, God can easily distinguish between a mistake due to ashraddha and a mistake due to innocent ignorance. Are we forgetting that Shabri a shudra woman was the best devotee according to RAMA even as she gave HIM her half-eaten berries? GOD looks only for real LOVE.
There is no better religion or faith than real LOVE for GOD. LOVE that never hurts another. LOVE that helps other beings, LOVE that is selfless and looks upon all as creation of GOD with selfless LOVE. Rest all is futile!
Those who practice blackmagic are not worhsipping GOD.
All black-magic is forbidden in Indian Culture and severe after death punishments from GOD are mentioned in all scriptures.
Praying to idol with devotion, good will for all, love for all, for protection is the actual Practice.
Certain idols of Hanuman, Goddessess is good for mankind as they ward off evil spirits roaming on earth.
Hanuman is only a slave of GOD’s yet he has GOD like powers to help mankind.
Peace be with all mankind!