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JOURNEY FROM LIFE TO LIFE - Murti Pooja PDF Print E-mail
Books - eBooks
Article Index
JOURNEY FROM LIFE TO LIFE
Parampara
Karma
Dharma
Sakam Karma
Astrology
Mantra
Mandirs
Murti Pooja
Cosmos, Consciousness and the science of souls
Samskaras - The Sacraments
Namkaran Samskar
Graduation Samskara
Vivaaha samskar
Ganesh Pujan
Antyesthi Samskara
All Pages

Murti Pooja - The bridge between the manifest and the unmanifest
Murti pooja is one example where our knowledge base has eroded, and that led to attacks on the whole concept from inside and outside. We have the key, we have the technology but we do not have the locks or we do not know how to use the key. And, then what is expected happens. The so called intellectuals who can criticize any thing they do not understand started going against the system. The people who continued with Murti pooja (and thank goodness they did) did not have the intellectual logic to defend it. On the other hand people like Kabir, who never need a murti pooja, said:

Pathar pooje Hari Mile
To Main pooju pahar

If God can be achieved by worshipping a piece of rock
Then I will worship a mountain

Kabir is right from where he is speaking. Once you have reached, and you choose to speak the language of the enlightened one, there will be a problem. Kabir does not need a murti. Budha does not need a murti. But, they have already reached. When Budha got there, he stayed maun for several days. He did not find anything new. What he found has already been there. He could have said, “There is nothing to find.” But, he talked for forty years. He kept giving techniques, techniques like Vipassana and others. Krishnamurthy, instead started saying that you do not need to do anything. Now, that is true for him. And nobody has reached without doing anything. Even in Krishnamurthy’s case the whole theosophy school was behind him to get where he got.

The attacks from outside are easier if there are doubts inside. People who literally worship a Rock (Kaba) started criticizing statues. They were obsessed with statues so much that they took upon themselves to destroy the statue system. Now, that is totally absurd. Without understanding the whole system, they decided that they should destroy the statues. But, when you are guided by blind faith, you do not need brain anyway. Similarly, people who carry a cross around their neck and kill draculas using the cross, have intellectual nerve to try to criticize one of the most scientifically developed technique in the world. All because, we started having doubts.

Everyone is not a Kabir or a Krishnamurthy. They need techniques to get there. Meditation, Tantra, Mantra are techniques that can be used by different strata of people.Different people have different personalities and different aptitude. One method is not suitable for all. And, that is one reason why so many different techniques have been developed. They all do not get to the same place. The ultimate may be the same but there are many techniques which are meant to have certain manzil, certain destination.

We call this Sakam Pooja. Like Sakam karma, there is Sakam pooja and there is Nishkam pooja as well. The murti puja has been used for both the sakam puja and also to get further to the enlightenment. As we mentioned above, Mandir is a laboratory, murti is the energy source. Pran pratistha is the technique that brings the life energy to the murti. Differents mantras invoke different energy fields (devta) in to a particular murti. The dispersion of the energy is limited by the small doors as entry and exit. The dome shape of the top helps reverberate the chanting of mantra and purifies the space, mind and body of the temple and individuals. The ghee lamp, the fixed times of aarti and puja all that is part of a science and not a false fixed belief.

Many examples have been used in this book to try to convey our meanings. They are simplistic models and should be taken as such. The whole basis of idol worship or murti pooja is the relationship between the mind and the cosmic mind. What is needed is a just a bridge between the two. The murti is an attempt to create that bridge. Only something that is manifest, like the form of a murti, can become the bridge - because for most of us it is not possible to establish a direct link with the formless.

For example, we can say that telephone is not needed for communication because a telepathy would be better. There are no wires, no telephone bills and no need to carry a cellualr solid interface. In theory it is great, in practice, for now it is not possible.

No matter how much one may talk about the formless and the unmanifest, it is mere talk, and does not really convey anything to you. Whatever experience your mind has are all experiences of form and shape. You have no experience of the formless and the words cannot create any resonance in you about that which you have no experience of. You will go on talking about the formless and continue living with the form. So, if you want to establish a relationship with the formless, you will have to establish a relationship with the formless, you will have to create something which on one side has a form and on the other is formless. That is the secret of the murti, the idol.

Let me explain this another way. A mother has her son in the war front, away from her, say in the USA. She has a grand child too who she is very close to but has not seen him for many years. The son goes back home to visit his mother. She asks him about the grand son. The son describes how the grand son has grown up and is 5’7” already and is very handsome. What does the mother ask for. You guessed it right, a photo. She looks at the photo and starts crying. The photo is the manifest, in a sense it ia an idol, a murti. She sees the photo and the photo has disappeared. The grand son has appeared. It is real, the tears are the proof. Not only the grand son has disappeared but in some sense the grand mother has also disappeared. Only the emotions appear. The manifest is gone, the unmanifest has descended

Put differently, worship is the art of making the murti disappear. It is the art of slowly dropping the manifest and entering into the unmanifest. When you go to the temple you see only the murti, because you are not able to see the worship itself. If you see Meera in a temple, you see Meera and the murti of Bhagwan Shree Krishna, but for Meera both the murti and Meera are dissolved in the bhakti, the worship has happened.

Not only we developed the science of putting murti in temples but we also developed the science of disposable murtis. The murti is made for several samkaras and in several annual pujas like Saraswati or Durga puja. The worship goes for hours or days. Once the worship is over the murti is dissolved in water. It is gone. The murti was used just as a bridge, in the worship the murti disappears so does the worshipper. The murti has done its purpose and is ready for visarjan. Ganesh is invoked in gobar How significant is gobar. It is not even a stone. The question is not what the manifest is, wheter it is gold or gobar is not the question. The question is whether it acts as a bridge for you or not. Does it bring the tear of joy in your eyes the same way that a photo of grandchild brings to the grand mother’s eyes.



 

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