System is dynamic. Answers are affirmative, yet evolving.
1. What is idolatry?
- Any attachment towards material things is idolatry.
- If we suppose anything and it doesn’t exist that is also idolatry.
- Worship of concrete or grosser things is idolatry.
2. Who is idolater?
- If a man is slave of his habits he is an idolater.
- If a man loves his family, children and so on, he is an idolater.
- If a man worships idols, photos, symbols or any such concrete things he is an idolater.
3. How and why idol worship come into our society?
Ancient sages finding the worship of Immaterial Absolute a difficult task for the masses to start with had devised certain convenient means for their uplift. They made a start by taking up something apparent in the solid form which the masses could easily grasp or understand. The images or idols given were charged with the spiritual force. This way idol worship came into our society.
4. If idol worship is the step adopted by beginners, what is next?
The people of the lowest standard or beginners adopted something solid in form. The people who are more elevated or the thinkers adopt some abstract forms like splendor, light or any godly attribute. For the highly cultured mind only the subtle idea of God is enough.
5. Why should we avoid worship of concrete things?
The object of the worship taken leaves its impact on the worshipper. If it is solid or concrete the impression will also develop solidity in him making the worshipper living stone. One becomes impervious for the entry of Divine grace. So worshipping of solid objects or concrete things should be avoided.
6. Does performing the rites and rituals help us?
The rites and rituals help to some extent in promoting sattvik vrittis. They may offer preparatory grounds for spirituality. One should perform it knowing the significance of it. If it is done as mere formality then it becomes additional burden on the existing ones.
7. What is ” prana prathistapana” ?
Infusing prana into the idol for a particular period of time which is called charging is prana prathistapana.
8. What is the effect of “prana prathistapana”?
The one who sits besides the idol and worships with devotion feels the effect of its charging which may help him to evolve.
9. How to know whether the idols are charged are not?
When one is in that atmosphere he experiences blankness or does not get any worldly thoughts. He may feel vibrations too.
10. Can anyone do “prana prathistapana”?
No. In olden days saints and sages of highest caliber, who had practical attainment could only charge. Now-a-days every tom, dick and harry claims of doing “prana prathistapana”.
11. Will there be any benefit worshipping the forms, signs, symbols?
Absolutely no spiritual benefit. The Geeta (sacred book) says that in whatever form a man worships Him, he gets Him in that very form. But the common difficulty is that people do not worship Him in any form, but instead they worship only the form, whereby the reality at the root disappear altogether. This is the greatest blunder.